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Category: Motor Vehicle Accidents

News, safety and legal information for San Diego motor vehicle accident victims

A head-on car accident in Rancho Santa Fe on October 5, 2012 leaves two people hospitalized with critical injuries.

CHP officers say the crash happened when a 68-year-old Rancho Santa Fe man lost control of his car – a ’07 Toyota Camry – near Winland Hills Drive. Police say the driver was driving at a very high speed when he reached a curve in the road and began to spin into the east lane. As a result, the Camry broadsided a ’03 Toyota Rav 4 being driven by a 64-year-old San Diego woman.

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Spinal Cord Injuries: Know the Facts

A spinal cord injury is any injury that damages the spinal cord, the complex bundle of nerves that runs through the spinal bones or vertebrae. The spinal cord may be damaged when the vertebrae are broken or dislocated, causing them to cut or push against the spinal cord. In severe cases, the spinal cord may be severed completely.

Approximately 12,000 people suffer a non-fatal spinal cord injury in the U.S. each year, according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center. About 262,000 people in the U.S. live with a spinal cord injury.

Currently, the average age of a spinal cord injury patient is 40.7 years. Men are more likely than women to suffer a spinal cord injury; each year, about 80% of new spinal cord injuries happen to men. However, any serious trauma or injury to the body may result in a spinal cord injury, especially if the trauma results in a broken back or head injury.

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A multi-vehicle accident in Orange County recently may have been caused by a 22-year-old Marine corporal stationed at Camp Pendleton. Police believe he was intoxicated at the time of the crash, according to a recent article posted by Channel 10 News.

The Marine, who is stationed at the Northern San Diego base, ran a red light at the intersection of Avery Parkway and Marguerite Parkway in Mission Viejo while exiting the San Diego Freeway. His car hit a Honda Element in the intersection, pushing it into a second car nearby.

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Del Mar Considers Teen Drinking Ordinance

The Del Mar City Council may pass an ordinance holding adults responsible if they give teenagers alcohol or drugs, according to a recent news article posted by local CBS affiliate KFMB.

The ordinance, known as a “social host ordinance,” prohibits adults from providing intoxicating substances like drugs or alcohol to minors. A person convicted of violating the ordinance may face up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. According to Del Mar’s city attorney, the ordinance is intended to curb teen drinking by limiting minors’ access to alcohol. Several other California cities have already passed similar ordinances prohibiting adults from providing alcohol or drugs to adolescents.

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The details of a settlement reached between Toyota Motor Corp. and the family of four Lexus passengers killed in a 2009 crash will remain confidential, according to local news. The judge who ruled that the information was not to be released chose to do so to protect the family from harassment over the case or the settlement amount they received.

The case centered on a crash on Route 125 that killed a California Highway Patrol officer along with his wife, his wife’s brother, and the couple’s 13-year-old daughter. The fatal Santee car crash was caused by a stuck accelerator in the rented Lexus they were riding in. According to Toyota, the Lexus had not had its floor mats changed, and the old floor mat caused the accelerator to stick.

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San Diego ranks 103rd out of 193 cities in driving safety in the annual Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report, according to a recent article in the San Diego Union-Tribune. Chula Vista is listed as the country’s 86th safest place to drive, while Oceanside is 110th and Escondido is 119th. According to Allstate, the safest U.S. cities to drive in include Fort Collins, Colorado; Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Boise, Idaho. Washington, DC ranks last – the most dangerous city in the U.S. in which to drive.

Allstate creates its rankings each year by reviewing claims filed by Allstate drivers, who make up about eleven percent of all drivers on the road in any U.S. state. The most recent set of ranking is based on claims Allstate received between January 2007 and December 2008.

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Two women suffered severe injuries in a head-on motor vehicle accident in Rancho Santa Fe on Tuesday, September 7. News10 reports that emergency workers arrived at the scene of the San Diego car crash and discovered the two female motorists trapped inside their smashed automobiles. The women were freed and transported for trauma care to Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla. A dog that sustained injuries in the collision was transported to a veterinarian for treatment.

While an investigation into this auto accident is still underway, some potential causes could relate to a dangerous roadway or intersection, driver distraction, or a vehicle defect. Investigators may examine whether the driver of the vehicle carrying the dog was distracted by the animal or if one of the motorists was talking on a cell phone or texting before the collision occurred. It is the responsibility of all drivers to safely operate their vehicle by paying attention to the road and following traffic laws.

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In a previous blog post, we addressed the national Labor Day Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest. campaign and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) drunk driving survey. With groundbreaking data from the survey reflecting that 8% of all drivers have operated a motor vehicle while drunk at least one time during the past year, law enforcement was on high alert over the weekend to help keep motorists, passengers, and pedestrians safe.

No traffic fatalities were reported in San Diego County for the first 60 hours of the Labor Day weekend, according to the California Highway Patrol. A recent news story states that the reporting period started at 6:01 p.m. Friday and ended at 6 a.m. on Monday. During this timeframe, the CHP made 72 arrests throughout San Diego on surface streets and highways for motorists driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. However, this number does not take into account any drunk driving arrests made by city police officers. One reported traffic fatality was reported in 2009 and 82 drivers were arrested for DUI.

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Commercial vehicle drivers, including tractor trailer and bus operators, are required to follow state and federal laws relating to driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs in addition to many other rules and regulations to ensure motorist and passenger safety. Bus drivers who transport passengers while under the influence of alcohol or drugs do a huge disservice to the public. They are not only putting their own lives at risk, but also the lives of others on the road and passengers who trust them to safely transport them from one place to the next.

According to a 10News.com article, a bus driver in San Diego is expected to confess to driving under the influence, drunk driving in a commercial vehicle, and public drunkenness for a June 1 incident. Before his arrest, the 41-year old had been driving for the bus operator, First Transit, for three months. A passenger of the bus reported the driver, saying that he was driving slow and stopped at bus stops that did not have anyone waiting at them.

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