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Sacramento California Personal Injury Law Blog

Wheel spikes or other ornaments may contribute to crashes

Dangerous or distracting ornamentation on motor vehicles can contribute to accidents. At the same time, drivers on California roads are known to enjoy the freedom of expression available via custom decals and paint jobs, after-market accessories and rims. There is some debate in the legal community regarding whether and at what point such customization constitutes a safety hazard.

One area of debate surrounds semi-truck lug nut covers that look like spikes. They protrude out from the rims on tractor-trailers traveling on California highways, and some say they have an unnecessarily intimidating look. Many of them are made of plastic, but some are made of aluminum or other metals, and so they may actually make a crash more harmful.

Collision avoidance systems work, if drivers use them

A report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety indicates that collision avoidance systems work to prevent motor vehicle accidents on roadways in California and across the United States. A vice president with IIHS analyzed more than 5,000 car accidents that occurred during 2015. She found an 11 percent lower rate of head-on, single car and sideswipe collisions for vehicles in which warning systems were active.

The rate of injury accidents of these types, according to the study, was 21 percent lower in vehicles with collision avoidance systems. According to the IIHS vice president, at least 55,000 injury accidents could have been prevented in 2015 if all passenger vehicles on U.S. roadways were equipped with avoidance systems. She said they work to prevent crashes because they give drivers more time to react to dangerous situations.

Study: Infrastructure investments keep pedestrians, bikers safer

Fatal bicycling accidents are on the rise. According to a study for the Governors Highway Safety Association, biking deaths rose by 12.2 percent in 2015, outpacing the overall rate of traffic fatalities.

What do we know about biking fatalities? They are more likely to take place at night, according to the study. That is, an approximately equal number of deadly bike accidents occurred during daylight hours and at night, but only 20 percent of bikers ride after dark.

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