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Bakersfield Personal Injury Law Blog

Samsung recalls smartphones due to battery fires

California residents who have a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phone may be interested to learn that the company recalled all of the ones that have been sold due to reported incidents of battery fires. The recall reportedly affects approximately 1 million smartphones.

The problem with these particular phones is likely associated with the fact that the batteries are lithium ion. These batteries have a highly flammable liquid that gives the phone power. If the battery becomes compromised in some way, such as a puncture through the plastic that separates the positive and negative sides, it could short circuit and catch fire or explode. In order to fix the problem, Samsung was offering full refunds for the phones or an exchange for a Note 7 that had a battery pack provided by a different supplier. Those who do not exchange their phones may find their battery life drastically reduced.

California man killed in possible drunk driving crash

An automobile accident on the evening of Sept. 10 along a road east of Bakersfield left a 58-year-old Lamont man dead and at least three others injured. The accident involved multiple vehicles and is believed to have been caused by a drunk driver.

According to information released by the California Highway Patrol, the fatal motor vehicle crash occurred at approximately 9 p.m. on Panama Road. A 28-year-old Bakersfield man traveling westbound in a 1996 Isuzu pickup truck tried to pass a 1991 Mustang and collided with a 2008 Mercedes driven by a 29-year-old Bakersfield woman traveling eastbound. The impact caused the Mercedes to collide with the left side of the Mustang, making the driver lose control and go off of the roadway. The driver of the Isuzu pickup truck then proceeded to strike the driver's side of a Toyota Camry that was also traveling eastbound, before flipping over and skidding into a Mitsubishi Mirage stopped along the south side of the road.

Car accident fatalities climb in 2015

California drivers may not be as safe on the road as they were in recent years. This is based on statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showing a 7.2 percent increase in car accident fatalities around the country in 2015. Not since 1966 has such a large percentage increase occurred, and as a result, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has asked the public and experts to help bring the numbers back down again.

The total number of people killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2015 was 35,092. This was still significantly lower than the figure of 42,708 from a decade earlier, but officials say one reason for concern is that the number had been dropping steadily. The decrease was attributed to fewer drunk drivers, more seat belt users and improving safety technology including electronic stability control and air bags.

Federal agencies pushing for speed limiters on large trucks

In California as well as in the rest of the nation, commercial trucks may soon have speed limiting devices mandated by the federal government. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration have proposed a regulation that would require the installation of speed limiters on most commercial trucks and buses.

The two agencies are proposing limiting the speed of vehicles weighing in excess of 26,000 pounds to 60, 65 or 68 miles per hour. The regulation is open for public comment. On average, more than 1,000 fatal commercial vehicle accidents take place every year. The NHTSA and the FMCSA hope that the regulations would reduce the number of fatalities that occur.

Alcohol consumption not ruled out in fatal crash

Police in California say that alcohol consumption or drug use have not been ruled out as possible causes of a fatal wrong-way crash involving three vehicles on the morning of Aug. 11 in Sonoma County. The accident claimed the life of a 41-year-old Vacaville man and left a 41-year-old Woodland woman seriously injured. The crash took place on Alexander Valley Road near Healdsburg at approximately 10:00 a.m.

According to the California Highway Patrol, the fatal accident was caused by the driver of a Honda Accord who was proceeding eastbound in the westbound lane of Alexander Valley Road near Soda Rock Lane when he came upon an oncoming GMC SUV and Kia sedan. Police say that the driver of the SUV swerved to avoid a head-on collision, but his vehicle still struck the side of the Honda as the two vehicles passed one another. The woman behind the wheel of the Kia was given very little time to react, and she was unable to avoid striking the oncoming Honda head-on.

Speeder causes fatal chain reaction crash

The California Highway Patrol said that a driver who caused a fatal accident on Aug. 8 was driving at an unsafe speed. The chain reaction crash took place in Irvine near the border of Tustin and involved a total of five cars. One person was killed and two other people were taken to the hospital with injuries.

According to reports, the fatal car accident occurred when a 1994 Dodge van was traveling on the 5 Freeway south of Jamboree Road at around 10:30 p.m. As the van traveled at excessive speeds, it struck a car from behind and started a chain reaction. The second car hit a third car and two other cars were hit.

Woman killed while stopped after minor collision

A California woman was killed on July 28 after she had stopped by the side of a road after a minor traffic accident in Petaluma. Before the fatal car accident occurred, the 58-year-old victim was a passenger in a Mazda MX-5 driven by her husband. Petaluma police say that the Mazda and a Ford Explorer had a minor collision at about 3:50 p.m. before both drivers stopped along Sonoma Mountain Parkway.

Following the accident involving the Mazda and the Ford, a Nissan Maxima driver who had seen the accident happen stopped along the road as well. When all of the vehicle occupants were out of their cars, an 86-year-old man driving a Toyota Camry struck the back of the Nissan. The impact of that crash caused the Nissan to hit the back of the Mazda which then hit the Nissan driver and the 58-year-old Mazda passenger.

California man faces raft of charges after fatal accident

A 24-year-old California man is facing a raft of charges including vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run in connection with a July 22 accident in Ventura County that claimed the life of a motorcyclist. He faces a prison sentence of up to 17 years if convicted on all charges. Ventura Police Department officers say that they took the man into custody after he allegedly fled the accident scene on foot and flagged down a passing vehicle.

According to reports, the sequence of events began when the man struck an unmarked police vehicle on Highway 126 in Ventura at approximately 2:00 p.m. Police say that the man's vehicle struck an SUV and a motorcycle as he attempted to elude his pursuers by exiting the highway at South Kimball Road and running a red light. Emergency medical services personnel attempted to revive the badly injured motorcyclist, but their efforts were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Head-on car crash injures 5 people including 3 children

Five people were injured in a two-car accident in California on July 22. The crash took place along northbound Empire Ranch Road in Folsom just before 4:30 p.m. Three of the injured victims were children and two were adults. According to reports, all of the injured victims were conscious and able to speak to medical personnel while they were being taken to the hospital.

Police say that the car accident was caused by a woman who was driving a Chevy Cruze with three children in her car. For reasons that are currently unknown, the Chevy driver left her lane and collided head-on with a woman driving a Kia Soul. Police say that there are many reasons the Chevy driver may have left her lane, but they would not know what caused her to lose control of her vehicle until the investigation was completed.

Facts concerning deadly vehicle wrecks over the last 13 years

A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that roughly 32,000 vehicle-related fatalities occurred in California and across the nation during 2013, which is a 31 percent decrease from the year 2000. Compared with other high-income countries such as Sweden, Japan, the United Kingdom and Spain, the United States has not decreased its rate of fatal car accidents nearly as much. The average decrease between the year 2000 and 2013 for these other countries was 56 percent.

The report further noted that the US comes in second place, with Canada coming in first, as the country with the highest number of alcohol-related vehicle crash deaths. In regards to front car seat belt use, among 20 countries, the US ranks as the third lowest country, with Austria in first place and Belgium in second, in the use of front seat belts in cars.

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Bakersfield, CA 93301
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