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Electric Scooter Accidents: The Hidden Dangers

City bike rental system, public kick scooters on the streetIf you live in Southern California, you’ve probably noticed the latest rage in urban transportation – the pay-as-you-go electric scooter. They are convenient, fast and easy to operate, and – best of all—you can find one on just about every street corner. E-scooters are marketed as an eco-friendly alternative to cars for short distance travel, and at just $1 a pop, they are incredibly affordable to boot. Simply download the app, locate your nearest scooter, press a button and you’re zooming around city streets at 15 mph.

At present, the Santa Monica-based Bird heads the market in rentable electric scooters. Like other start-ups in this industry, Bird absolves itself of all liability in the event of an accident, property damage or losses.

E-scooters are no safer than mopeds, and many who ride them treat them more as toys, ignoring road rules and putting passersby at risk. In addition, most riders forego helmets or protective gear, a factor that increases the chances of serious accident-related injuries. Earlier this year a Los Angeles woman broke her arm in two places in an electric scooter accident. She later discovered that her car insurance policy wouldn’t cover her medical costs, an important detail buried in most rental’s fine print.

Doctors are reporting an uptick in serious injuries stemming from electric scooter accidents. Skull fractures, traumatic brain injury, concussions and deep lacerations are among the most common. Besides potholes, unwary drivers and pedestrians, there are many potential hazards that can cause a catastrophic accident.

Why electric scooters are dangerous

The electric scooter holds great appeal for residents and tourists alike. But there are many hidden dangers to consider:

  • There is no licensing or training required, meaning inexperienced and sometimes ill-equipped riders
  • E-scooters have a smaller profile than bicycles and are less visible to drivers
  • Road hazards like uneven pavement, gravel and potholes can undermine stability and increase crash risk
  • Collisions with cars expose riders to severe injury since there is no barrier or safety harness
  • Mechanical malfunction like failed brakes or throttle have been reported

In the greater Los Angeles area, reports of electric scooter accidents have prompted growing safety concerns. According to the Santa Monica Daily Press, a young woman operating an E-scooter made by Bird was injured when she struck a moving car at an intersection. She suffered moderate head trauma in what was one of the first reported scooter crashes California.

Ellis Law represents those injured in electric scooter accidents, whether caused by negligent drivers, distracted pedestrians, road hazards or a scooter malfunction. Our veteran personal injury lawyers conduct in-depth investigations and help victims secure maximum compensation from liable parties.

E-scooter accident attorneys in LA

Headquartered in Los Angeles, Ellis Law Corporation has procured more than $350 million on behalf of clients over the years and is passionate about protecting the rights of personal injury victims throughout California.

If you or someone you love was hurt in an electric scooter accident, call our offices for a free, no-obligation case review with car accident lawyers in Los Angeles.

Additional Resources on Electric Scooter Dangers:

  1. Healthline, It’s Official: Scooters Can Be Bad for Your Health https://www.healthline.com/health-news/scooters-can-be-bad-for-your-health
  2. Cleveland Metro, What are the dangers of electric scooters? https://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2018/08/the_dangers_of_electric_scoote.html
  3. CNN, Do something about the dangers of e-scooters https://edition.cnn.com/2018/08/16/opinions/dangers-of-e-scooters-vox/index.html

How Trick or Treaters Can Stay Safe on Halloween

Little children in Halloween costumesFor a child, Halloween is an exciting time to get dressed up and acquire as much sugary loot as possible. But for parents, Halloween can be a bit scary. They know that, in the midst of the goblins and witches roaming the streets lurks a real danger: The potential for pedestrian accidents. Compared to other days of the year, twice as many young pedestrians are killed on Halloween. That’s according to Safe Kids Worldwide, which also notes that about 12% of kids five years of age and younger are allowed to go trick or treating without their parents.

How old is old enough to go out alone?

One of the most effective ways to keep your child safe on Halloween is to go out trick or treating together. You know your child best. Consider your child’s maturity level and awareness of traffic hazards when deciding how old is old enough for your child to go out without you. Generally, it’s recommended that all kids ages 12 and younger be accompanied by an adult.

How can parents choose the safest possible costumes?

There are a lot of safety hazards to consider when choosing a Halloween costume, including flammability and whether toxic materials are a concern. But in terms of traffic safety, the number one consideration is visibility. Choose a costume with lighter colors and add reflective tape. You can also give your child a glow stick, but only if your child is old enough not to bite it. Hundreds of children have been treated in the ER for ingesting the fluid inside glow sticks. Another option is a string of blinking LED lights that is intended to be worn around the neck.

Talking about traffic safety with your child

Before every Halloween, sit down with your child for a traffic safety talk. No matter how old your child is or whether you’re going out together, your child can benefit from being reminded of the potential hazards. Remind your child to always travel on the sidewalks, look both ways before crossing a street, and assume that drivers can’t see them. Your child should also know that Halloween is a prime time for drunk driving. Even if your child is crossing at a red light, your child must wait for an approaching car to completely stop—just in case the driver is impaired and runs the stop light.

What to do next if your child was injured

The serious injury of a child is every parent’s worst nightmare. Always rush your child to the ER or call 911 right away. Even if your child insists that he or she isn’t seriously injured, there could be internal injuries that you can’t detect.

When the dust has settled and you’re starting to think about holding the responsible party accountable for their negligent or reckless actions, Ellis Injury Law is here to help. Our car accident lawyers in Los Angeles are seasoned litigators who routinely handle pedestrian accident lawsuits. We can help your family move forward from the accident by seeking compensation on your behalf. Call today 888-675-8254 to request a free consultation.

Additional resources for pedestrian safety on Halloween:

  1. Safe Kids Worldwide, Quick Tips for a Safe Halloween, https://www.safekids.org/infographic/quick-tips-safe-halloween
  2. National Safety Council, Halloween Safety On and Off the Road, https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/tools-resources/seasonal-safety/autumn/halloween

Safety Tips for Driving at Night

high-speed movement on the night road

It’s no secret that driving at night is inherently more dangerous than daytime driving. There are a few reasons for this. Fatigue and falling asleep behind the wheel are a major cause of car wrecks. Visibility is also poor. And there’s a greater likelihood of driving in the proximity of another driver who is impaired by alcohol or other drugs. If you’re too tired to drive, be safe and call a cab or an Uber instead. It just might save your life.

Reduce your speed

Your ability to judge distance and your ability to react can both be impaired at night due to fatigue and poor visibility. You can partially compensate for this impairment by reducing your speed. If it’s raining or the roads are icy, then you should reduce your speed substantially.

Improve visibility at night

If your windshield is dirty, it might worsen glare from headlights at night. Always keep your windshield cleaner fluid topped off and fix the washer pump right away if it breaks. Remember to replace your windshield wipers as soon as they start deteriorating. Periodically, clean the inside of your windshield or get your car detailed.

Your headlights can also get dirty, potentially increasing glare for other drivers and affecting your own visibility. Use a special headlight cleaner kit for those.

Look for reflected light

Even if your headlights and windshield are clean, it’s difficult to spot animals on the road. Large animals like deer can do considerable damage to your vehicle if you hit them. Get into the habit of scanning the sides of the road ahead of your car. Look for animals’ eyes, which will reflect light from your headlights back at you. Remember that deer often travel in groups. If a deer crosses the road ahead of your car, wait a few extra seconds before driving through in case there are stragglers.

Use your high beams with caution

Some drivers avoid using high beams at all because they’ll have to switch them back to low beams when a car approaches from the opposite direction. But high beams are an excellent way to stay safer on less traveled roads. Just remember to switch back to low beams promptly when you see someone else’s headlights.

Don’t stare at oncoming headlights

When you’re fatigued, it can be easy to become transfixed by the headlights of oncoming cars—even if you know it’s not good to stare at them. Get into the habit of looking down and to the right when a car approaches. You can use the lane markings to keep your car centered in the lane while you’re looking down.

Steps to take after a car wreck in southern California

Car wreck cases aren’t always straightforward. And even if you think the insurance settlement is reasonable, it might not cover all of your medical expenses and other losses stemming from the accident. After a crash, you need the knowledge and legal representation of a seasoned car wreck lawyer in LA. Call Ellis Injury Law at 888-828-5603 to request your free consultation. We never charge a fee unless we recover money for you, and there’s no obligation.

Additional resources on traffic safety

  1. National Safety Council, Driving at Night, https://www.nsc.org/road-safety/safety-topics/night-driving
  2. Popular Mechanics, Own the Night: 10 Tips for Driving After Dark, https://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/g106/10-safety-tips-for-driving-after-dark/

The Past and (Hopefully Safer) Future of Automated Cars

cockpit of autonomous car. a vehicle running self driving mode and a woman driver reading book.

Thirty-seven thousand, four hundred and sixty-one. That’s the number of people killed in motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. during 2016, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Each one of those 37,461 people is a spouse, father, mother, sister, or brother who will never return home to their loved ones. Even one fatality is too many, which is why traffic safety experts have been hard at work on rollouts of safe and reliable automated driving systems.

The history of automated cars

Since automated driving technology is still in its infancy, you might be surprised to learn that it actually got its start nearly 100 years ago. In 1925, U.S. Army electrical engineer Francis Houdina equipped a Chandler sedan with a transmitting antenna. With much fanfare, Houdina tested his remote controlled car on Broadway in New York City. The test went well at first, but the car ultimately crashed into another vehicle packed with photographers.

Fast-forward to 2013, and automated driving systems have once again captured public imagination. This time, the focus is less on the novelty of the driverless car, and more on the possibility of eliminating traffic fatalities. By 2013, a handful of major automobile manufacturers announced initiatives to create self-driving car technologies. They include General Motors, Ford, Mercedes Benz, and BMW, among others.

Self-driving cars are exciting for public safety advocates because most car crashes are caused by driver error, not by unavoidable hazards like hailstorms or black ice. By eliminating the necessity of human control and maneuvering of the vehicle, proponents of automated driving systems hope to substantially reduce the number of accidents. But there’s a long way to go before the technology is ready.

The future of car automation

The last decade has already seen the implementation of some automated driving systems. By 2010, automakers rolled out advanced safety features like forward collision warnings, lane departure warnings, and blind spot detection. By 2016, late models included rearview video systems, automatic emergency braking, and lane centering assist.

Recently, NHTSA and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a Federal Automated Vehicle Policy that outlines voluntary guidance for automakers. By 2025, automakers hope to widely integrate the following automated driving systems into their models: Traffic jam assist, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and self-park. And beyond 2025, it’s hoped that cars will feature fully automated safety features, including highway autopilot. Not only does this present the possibility of eliminating accidents caused by human error (which is 94% of the total), it offers hope for new independence for disabled individuals and older individuals who can no longer drive.

The current state of traffic safety

Although improving the safety of the roads is a laudable goal, the current state of traffic safety is still unacceptable. There are countless accidents caused by driver negligence every day across the U.S., including plenty right here in the southern California region. Car wreck lawyers in LA can assist survivors in securing the compensation they deserve to pick up the pieces and move forward with their lives.

After an accident, you need an experienced legal advocate on your side. Call the LA car wreck lawyers at Ellis Injury Law. Our law firm in Los Angeles offers complimentary, no-obligation consultations. And there’s never a legal fee unless we secure money on your behalf.

Additional resources on automated cars:

  1. NHTSA, Automated Vehicles for Safety, https://www.nhtsa.gov/technology-innovation/automated-vehicles-safety
  2. Discover, The ‘Driverless’ Car Era Began More Than 90 Years Ago, http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2017/12/13/driverless-car-houdina-houdini/#.W6fp1GAxAhY

What Are the Most Dangerous Cars on the Road?

Electric Car mini carEver wonder what the most dangerous cars on the road are? Well, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) knows. Every couple of years, they examine fatal accident data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and compare it with IHS Automotive data on registration. It then ranks cars by which models have the most fatalities per million registered vehicle years. A registered vehicle year is a single vehicle registered for 1 year.

Mini Cars Are Over 14 Times More Dangerous Than SUVs

The most dangerous cars on the road are all smaller or mini cars, partly because if these cars collide with larger vehicles, people in the former are more likely to be hurt. Four-door minicars, for example, had a fatality rate of 87 per million registered vehicle years. Compare that with the fatality rate of large SUVs. Their fatality rate on average is 6 per million registered vehicle years.

In other words, four-door minicars are more than 14 times more dangerous than SUVs.

The 10 Most Dangerous Makes and Models

According to IIHS data, the most dangerous car on the road is the Hyundai Accent, with 104 deaths per million registered vehicle years.

The second most dangerous car is the Kia Rio, with 102 deaths per million registered vehicle years.

Bringing up third position is the Toyota Scion tC, which also is the only other car to have more than 100 fatalities per million registered vehicle year.

Four makes and models have fatality rates of more than 80: the Chevrolet Spark, the Nissan Versa, the Ford Fiesta sedan, and the Kia Soul.

The Nissan Sentra is the next most dangerous car, with a fatality rate of 72. While this can’t be called safe, it is notably safer than the first 7 most dangerous cars.

The Ford Fiesta, with a fatality rate of 68, is the ninth most dangerous car, while the Volkswagen Golf rounds out the 10 most dangerous list, with a fatality rate of 63.

The data were compiled from the beginning of 2012 to year-end 2015 and mark the most recent time that the IIHS has compiled this data.

If You Need a Seasoned Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer

Looking at the fatality rates for these makes and models can be a grim experience. It illustrates how dangerous it can be on southern California roads.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a car accident in the Los Angeles area, call the Ellis Law Firm today. We have been litigating and winning cases concerning car accidents for more than 20 years.

Our number is 1-800-INJURED. The first consultation with a Los Angeles car wreck lawyer is complimentary. You never owe us any money unless we win your case!

Additional Resources:

  1. Edgerton, Jerry. “7 of the deadliest cars on the road.” CBS News. MoneyWatch. July 6, 2017. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/7-of-the-deadliest-cars-on-the-road/
  2. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Highway Loss Data Institute. Driver death rates by make and model. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/7-of-the-deadliest-cars-on-the-road/

Ellis Law Firm Kicks Off Football Season With An Apple iPad Giveaway

Ellis Law Corporation is treating football fans to a special opportunity this fall. If you spot our branded truck at one of the NFL games this month, you could win a brand new 32GB Apple iPad! Our personal injury firm has 20 locations throughout California, from Sacramento to San Diego. Our truck was last spotted at the LA Coliseum for the Rams vs. Cardinals game.

Your next opportunity to spot us will be at the LA Coliseum for the Chargers vs. Rams game on Sunday, September 23.

How To Enter To Win A Free iPad

  1. Spot our branded truck at one of the area NFL games between 9/16/18 – 9/30/18. Check our Facebook page to see which games we’ll be at!
  2. Take a picture of the truck with your mobile device.
  3. Visit our Facebook page and “LIKE” us (click the thumbs-up symbol).
  4. Post your picture of our truck in the Comments section of our Contest Post with the hashtag #IFoundEllisLaw.
  5. OR … Can’t make it to the game? Simply like our Facebook page and comment about the game in our Contest Post.

Contest Rules

You must be 18 years or older and a resident of California to participate. One winner will be chosen at random on October 1st, 2018. If you are announced as the winner, you must message the Ellis Law Corporation Facebook page to arrange a day and time to pick up your prize from our central office at 2230 E. Maple Avenue in El Segundo, California (90245). Please note: the iPad is Wi-fi enabled, but no cellular plan is included.

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by or associated with Facebook.

What the Andy Ellis Truck Looks Like

Our box truck is so large it’s hard to miss, and we’ve wrapped it in green and black with the logo “Car wreck? One call does it all,” and a picture of Andy Ellis on the side.

We’re excited for you to spot our new wheels on September 23 at the LA Coliseum!

California Personal Injury Attorneys

Automobile accidents are one of our main areas of litigation. We want you to know who to call when tragedy strikes. When the other motorist was speeding, driving drunk, texting and driving, running a stop sign or light, or failing to yield the right of way, you have a legal right to compensation.

We know how hard it can be to recover from a serious crash. Medical bills mount, you may not be sure where to obtain the best possible medical care, and you’re probably feeling your confidence behind the wheel shaken. Lost time off work only further compounds the financial stress. Andy Ellis and his compassionate team of experienced southern California car accident lawyers can get to the bottom of what happened in those few decisive seconds before your crash to help you recover from your accident.

Contact Ellis Law Corporation if you have any questions about seeking legal representation following a car accident or if you have any questions about our September NFL iPad promotion.

How to Talk To Senior Citizens About Their Driving

senior citizen serious conversationYour aging parent has spent a lifetime caring for you. Now that the roles are reversed, it can be challenging to handle sensitive issues like driving safety. As difficult as it is to begin the conversation, delaying it could lead to something far worse: Serious injury or even death from a car accident. As experienced car accident litigators, the lawyers at Ellis Injury Law in Los Angeles know all too well the heartbreak that serious crashes can cause. We’d like to offer a few tips to help you talk about driving safety with your aging loved one.

Prepare for the conversation

It’s almost certain that your aging loved one is going to have some objections when you have the conversation. It’s best to prepare for them in advance. Concrete evidence of your loved one’s dangerous driving habits may be difficult for him or her to deny. Take a ride or two with your loved one and discreetly observe dangerous driving habits. Write them all down later on, and add any other problems you’ve noticed recently to the list.

Some examples of dangerous driving habits are:

  • Following too closely
  • Failure to use the turn signal
  • Having trouble staying in the lane
  • Having delayed reaction times

Some examples of other issues that can affect your loved one’s abilities include:

  • A recent diagnosis of cataracts or glaucoma
  • Arthritis
  • Hearing impairment
  • New medication that may cause dizziness or drowsiness

Start the discussion

Many people find that getting the conversation started is the most difficult part. Choose a distraction-free place to have the discussion, and make sure there will be plenty of time to discuss the issue. Keep your tone of voice calm and speak in a measured way. Start the discussion by saying something like, “I know this is a sensitive issue, but…”

You could even say something like, “Frankly, I’m uncomfortable bringing this up because I know how important it is to you to continue driving for as long as possible. But I’m growing increasingly concerned for your safety and the safety of others on the road. I’ve noticed that…” Then, go ahead and list the concrete examples of unsafe driving habits you’ve noticed, and mention any medical issues that can impair driving abilities.

Be an active listener

Remember that you’re having a two-way conversation, not delivering a lecture. Focus on being an active listener. Pay close attention to the objections your loved one raises. He or she might worry about getting to a weekly golf game or getting to the supermarket each week. Acknowledge your loved one’s concerns and look for solutions in a collaborative fashion. If your loved one denies that his or her driving is unsafe, you could offer to arrange a professional driving evaluation.

Discuss alternative transportation solutions

Your loved one may be more willing to give up the keys if alternative transportation options are available. Make a list of the local possibilities, like buses and subways. You could also help your loved one learn how to use a ridesharing app. And of course, you and other family members could offer to drive your loved one to the supermarket or doctor’s office.

Car accident lawyers in southern California

The legal team at Ellis Injury Law has more than 20 years of experience handling accident claims in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. If you or your loved one has sustained an injury in a crash, talk to our southern California car accident lawyers today. We offer complimentary, no-obligation consultations, and we never charge a fee unless we win your case. Call 888.675.8254.

Additional resources about traffic safety

  1. National Institute on Aging, Older Drivers, https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/older-drivers
  2. Everyday Health, 6 Signs It’s Time to Stop Driving, https://www.everydayhealth.com/senior-health/driving-safety.aspx

Keep Your Teen Driver Safe on the Road

teens texting and driving

Handing a teen the keys to the family car is a hallmark experience; watching a child exercise mobility is often exciting yet tempered with anxiety over the dangers they may encounter. Unfortunately, parents have plenty of reason to be worried about their teens driving. Car crashes are the leading cause of teen deaths, and in 2015, six teens died in traffic accidents every day. However, parents are also in the best position to influence their teenagers in ways that can keep them safe on the road.Here are some safe driving habits to instill in teen drivers:

Obey the speed limit

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speed was a factor in nearly one out of three teen driver fatalities in 2016. Teach teens that they do not need to keep up with traffic that is going too fast; it not only reduces the likelihood of an accident, but reduces the chances of getting a ticket that could affect driving record and insurance premiums.

Drive alone

A teen driving with one other teen in the car is two and a half times more likely to be involved in a crash than a teen driving alone, and the chances of an accident increase dramatically with each additional teen you add to the vehicle. Teach your children that the vehicle is not the place to socialize so they should leave their friends at home.

Never drive while drunk or impaired

Teens are the most likely group to be killed by drunk driving; nearly 20% of teen drivers killed in 2016 had been drinking. Since the legal drinking age in all states is 21, there are far too many underage teens drinking. Many also do not understand the impairment caused by both prescription and illicit drugs. Discuss the physical risks of driving while impaired, including the danger to self and others, as well as the long-term consequences including criminal prosecution, negative driving record, lost scholarship opportunities, and serious reputation damage.

Do not text behind the wheel

According to a study recently published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, nearly 40% of teenagers surveyed admitted to sending text messages or emails from behind the wheel in the preceding month. Even though texting while driving is illegal in California, about 32% of CA teenage drivers surveyed confirmed they drive while sending messages. Research shows that sending a text message takes the driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, which is long enough to drive the length of a football field. Unsurprisingly, texted makes a driver 23 times more likely to crash.

Safe driving in southern California

Southern California is known for its sun, sand, and traffic. Modeling safe, distraction-free driving habits as you navigate the CA roadways is the number one way to ensure safe driving by your teens. If you are injured in an accident with a distracted driver, speak with a Los Angeles texting and driving accident lawyer at Ellis Injury Law today to find out about your rights.

Additional teen driving safety resources:

  1. Journal of Adolescent Health, Texting/Emailing While Driving Among High School in 35 States, United States, 2015, https://www.jahonline.org/article/S1054-139X(18)30250-7/fulltext
  2. Youth.gov, Promoting Safe Driving, https://youth.gov/youth-topics/teen-driver-safety/ways-promote-safe-driving-youth
  3. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Teen Driving, https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/teen-driving

Former Los Angeles County Prosecutor Arrested in Alleged DUI Crash

ambulanceMichael Kenneth Pettersen, a prosecutor from the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office currently on leave, was arrested in late August when he rear-ended a vehicle waiting at a red light in Calabasas. The struck vehicle was carrying a well-known radio personality who goes by the moniker Big Boy.

Mr. Petterson is 54 years old and lives in Northridge. He has been on leave from the district attorney’s office since January 2017.

Passenger of Struck Vehicle Indicated Drinking at Scene

Although Mr. Pettersen had not been formally charged with driving under the influence (DUI) at press time, a videographer was on the scene and filmed footage that showed an individual in the driver’s seat drinking as he awaited police. He also stumbled when police helped him out of the vehicle.

Big Boy, whose real name is Kurt Alexander, said to the videographer “Man, this dude just crashed into me and he’s sitting in the car still drinking,” a comment caught on the videotape. He later tweeted “He was still on the bottle.”

Held on Two Outstanding Warrants for DUI

The collision occurred at roughly 1 p.m. at the intersection of Parkway Calabasas and Park Entrada.

Officials said that Mr. Pettersen’s record also shows two outstanding warrants on 2014 DUI charges from Ventura County and 2016 charges of driving with a suspended license. He is being held on the former and entered a “not guilty” plea on the latter.

He will be appearing in court shortly to plead on the recent collision.

In September 2017, Mr. Pettersen was suspended from the California State Bar due to nonpayment of membership fees, according to the Los Angeles Times. Records indicate that he had been a member of the bar since 1989.

Call an Experienced Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer

The recent crash illustrates the potential dangers posed to motorists throughout southern California. Being hit at a red light and possibly put in danger by a motorist under the influence of alcohol are only two potential perils of the road.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a vehicle collision in Los Angeles, you may be entitled to monetary compensation to help you with expenses related to the incident, including those medical bills, property damage, loss of income from time off work, and even funerals.

The Ellis Law Firm has successfully fought for the rights of those injured in southern California motor vehicle accidents for more than two decades. Call us today at 1-800-INJURED for a free consultation.

Additional Resources

  1. Fry, Hannah. “On-leave county prosecutor arrested on suspicion of DUI after colliding with radio personality Big Boy.” Los Angeles Times. August 23, 2018. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-big-boy-crash-20180823-story.html#
  2. “Los Angeles Prosecutor Arrested for DUI After Car Crash With Radio Host Big Boy.” Huffington Post. August 24, 2018. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/michael-pettersen-big-boy-crash_us_5b7fa7b7e4b0729515119727

Running-a-Red-Light Accident Deaths on the Rise

11 Year Old Boy killed in Modesto Hit and Run

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) analyzed data from traffic accidents caused by a driver running a red light. They found that, during 2016 alone, over 800 people died from these types of accidents. This represents a 17% increase since 2012. To highlight the critical importance of red light camera programs in municipalities across America, the IIHS and three other national safety organizations have released a checklist to guide the planning and implementation of red light camera programs.

Red light camera programs can save lives

“We developed the guidelines to help communities avoid the problems that have undermined programs in the past,” said David Harkey, President of the IIHS. Harkey went on to state that when camera programs aren’t consistently implemented, there is a rise in red light-related accidents, injuries, and deaths.

Critics of red light camera programs have claimed that their primary purpose is to generate revenue for municipalities. Jill Ingrassia, the managing director of Government Relations and Traffic Safety Advocacy of AAA, would like to debunk this misconception. She states, “When properly implemented, red light cameras can help save lives and can serve to supplement law enforcement efforts, rather than generate revenue for governments.” Ingrassia went on to state that the guidelines released by the national safety organizations can go a long way toward restoring public trust in red light camera programs, and in making the roadways safer for all.

Red light camera advocates face an uphill battle

There has been a decrease in the number of communities with red light camera programs from 2012 to 2018—the same period of time that saw a spike in traffic accidents caused by running red lights. The IIHS noted that new camera programs continue to be implemented, but the downward trend continues because more municipalities are turning off their cameras. Public opposition to the programs, reduction in camera-initiated citations, and financial strain are the top causes for a community turning off its cameras.

A closer look at the red light camera checklist

The red light camera checklist provides comprehensive best practices guidance regarding planning, oversight, and sustainable public support. The first step a community should take is to identify the intersections at which running the red light occurs regularly. Before installing a red light camera, communities can consider changes to the road design and signal timing to reduce accidents. Then, communities should solicit public input and statements from victim/advocates. The checklist also encourages communities to engage in ongoing evaluation to ensure the public’s support.

Ellis Injury Law: Successfully advocating on behalf of traffic accident victims

The LA car accident lawyers at Ellis Injury Law applaud every effort by state and national organizations to improve traffic safety and minimize preventable deaths. But even one fatality is one too many. If you’ve lost a loved one in a car accident, it’s only natural to want justice. Call us today at 888-675-8254 to request your free case review. Our legal team fights for the rights of accident victims and their families throughout southern California.

Additional resources about traffic safety:

  1. IIHS, New guidelines for automated enforcement programs emphasize safety amid rise in red-light-running crash deaths, http://www.iihs.org/iihs/news/desktopnews/new-guidelines-for-automated-enforcement-programs-emphasize-safety-amid-rise-in-red-light-running-crash-deaths
  2. CDC, Automated Red-Light Enforcement, https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/calculator/factsheet/redlight.html