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On Monday afternoon June 4, there was a head-on collision on Vasco Road that caused four people to be sent to area hospitals.

Two patients were critically injured and transported from the accident by air ambulance. One was taken to Castro Valley’s Eden Medical Center and the other to Walnut Creek’s John Muir Medical Center. One patient sustained multiple leg fractures and the other had been knocked conscious.

The accident occurred just south of the Walnut Boulevard intersection. A Jeep Compass with three occupants crashed into a flatbed tow truck.

Vasco Head On Injury Accident
Photo: Tony Kukulich - The Press


A California Highway Patrol spokesperson said the jeep was traveling north on Vasco Road and while trying to pass another vehicle, drove into the southbound lane. That is when the jeep crashed head-on into the tow truck, which had been going south.

The Jeep then went down an embankment before catching fire. All occupants of the jeep escaped the car before the fire reached them. A witness at the scene told the CHP that one passenger was actually ejected from the car, but there has been no confirmation of that. 

The fire destroyed the Jeep and even spread to both sides of the road. Farm equipment that had been stored near the northbound lanes of Vasco Road was either damaged or completely destroyed by the fire.

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Fire trucks out of the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District were called to the scene along with crews from CAL FIRE who helped put out the burning vegetation.

Both northbound and southbound lanes of Vasco Road were completely closed throughout rescue operations. The CHP is continuing to investigate the accident.

UPDATE: A 17-year-old girl, who had been passenger in the front seat of the Jeep involved in the head-on collision on Vasco Road, has succumbed to her injuries. She was a resident of East Palo Alto. The Coroner’s Office of Contra Costa County will be releasing her name in due course.

If you or a family member has been involved in an accident due to motor vehicle negligence and need to consult with a Bay Area attorney specializing in auto accidents, please contact us. We will answer any questions you have, advise you of your legal rights and how to protect them. 

(Source : The Press )

Published on behalf of O'Connor, Runckel & O'Malley LLP

SUNOL, CA – A young girl just 8 years old was tragically killed just after midnight on Friday. The car she was riding in was violently rear-ended by another car near a highway construction zone on I-680, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The 3-car crash also sent the girl’s parents to Eden Medical Center, with one having sustained major injuries, Officer Tyler Hahn of the CHP said.

8 Year Old Killed in Rear End Auto Accident
Photo Credit: ABC News


The accident occurred on the northbound lanes of I-68 around 12:20 a.m. As a black Dodge in the far left lane neared the exit at Calaveras Road, traffic slowed due to the two left lanes having been closed by the California Department of Transportation. 

The Dodge did not slow down and slammed into the back of a white Toyota, according to Hahn. The driver of the Dodge had apparently fallen asleep, which was confirmed Friday morning by the CHP.

The girl who was killed had been riding in the back seat of the white Toyota, Hahn added. Her father had been driving and he sustained major injuries. Her mother was sitting in the front passenger seat and was hospitalized with minor injuries, according to the CHP.

The crash caused the Toyota to slam into a gray Ford. Fortunately, no one in the Dodge or Ford sustained any injuries, Hahn said.

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The accident caused all three northbound lanes of I-680 to be blocked until the CHP was able to clear the scene a little after 2:20 a.m.

Hahn said that it did not appear as if alcohol or drugs played any role in the accident. Anyone who may have witnessed the accident are asked to contact the Dublin office of the CHP at: (925) 828-0466.

If you have lost a family member in an accident caused by someone else, you may be entitled to seek legal recourse and compensation. To ensure that your legal rights are protected, contact an experienced wrongful death lawyer. Pick up the phone and call the law firm of O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley to speak with an attorney who has handled hundreds of cases similar to yours. You deserve to be treated with sympathy and respect during this very difficult time.

(Source: East Bay Times)

 Published on behalf of O'Connor, Runckel & O'Malley LLP

The information contained in this article is not meant to serve as a medical diagnosis or advice, especially when it comes to treatment. If you have questions about a medical condition it is important for you to see your physician or another qualified health professional. Do not ignore the advice of a medical professional or delay seeking treatment because of what you’ve read in this article or somewhere else online.

The media has been giving concussions a lot of attention lately since the NFL has been forced to acknowledge the burgeoning evidence that concussions can cause victims lasting damage. Medical research has very clearly shown that concussions, especially when suffered repeatedly, cause long-term brain damage that includes memory problems, difficulty focusing and other cognitive impairments.  

Concussion Diagnosis
Concussion Diagnosis


Diagnosing a Concussion

If you’ve received a head injury your physician will go over your medical history, assess your symptoms, and give you a neurological examination. You could very well be suffering from a concussion and not show any signs or symptoms until hours or even days after being injured.

Your doctor will most likely perform or provide a referral for the following tests:

Neurological Assessment

Your doctor will first ask you some very detailed questions about how you were injured before performing a neurological examination or assessment. He or she will check your:

  • Balance
  • Hearing
  • Physical coordination
  • Reflexes
  • Strength and sensation
  • Vision

Cognitive Evaluation

There are a number of tests your doctor will likely give you to evaluate your cognitive (thinking) abilities. These would include your:

  • Ability to recall facts and information
  • Ability to focus and concentrate
  • Your memory

Brain Imaging Tests

If you are suffering from seizures, debilitating headaches, constant vomiting or have worsening symptoms, you may need brain imaging. These tests should be able to determine how severe your injury is and whether you have swelling and/or bleeding inside your skull.

The test that’s normally used to evaluate the brain immediately after being injured is called a cranial computerized tomography (CT) scan. A CT scan takes a series of cross-sectional X-ray images of the injured skull and brain.

Another test called a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is often used to pin point any changes that may have occurred in the brain and/or to diagnose problems that can happen after suffering a concussion. To get such detailed images of the brain an MRI employs radio waves combined with powerful magnets.

Brain Imaging
Brain Imaging


24-hour Observation

After suffering a concussion you should either be hospitalized overnight or observed at home very closely for 24 hours straight with your doctor’s permission.   

Someone needs to be constantly checking on you for 24 hours straight to determine whether you’re stable or if your symptoms might be getting worse.

During this time, your caregiver should wake you up on a regular basis to ensure that you are able to wake up normally.

Recommended Treatment

If you have a concussion, your recovery will move along more quickly if you can simply rest, both physically and mentally.

In order to do this you will need to avoid any kind of physical activity that exacerbates your symptoms. This would include activities that require you to physically exert yourself, like playing sports or doing anything involving vigorous movements. Avoid these types of activities until they no longer cause you any symptoms.

In terms of mental activities, avoid anything that requires you to exert yourself mentally, trying to concentrate or think things through. You should avoid schoolwork, using a computer, reading, watching TV, texting and/or playing video games if you notice your symptoms acting up or getting worse due to this mental activity.  

If you’re a student your doctor will likely want you to shorten your school days and workloads. If you are employed your doctor will want you to work shorter days and take frequent breaks throughout the day while recovering from your concussion.

Once your symptoms start improving, you can add more mental activities, such as taking on more schoolwork or projects at work. You can also gradually increase the number of hours each day that you spend at school or work.

Before resuming any physical activity you will want to consult with your doctor. It may be that he or she will allow you to do some very light physical activity once your symptoms totally subside. These would be things like gentle jogging or exercising on a stationary bike for short periods of time. As long as these activities do not trigger or make your symptoms worse, they should be okay.

In time, after you are no longer experiencing any symptoms of a concussion, you can consult with your doctor as to what precautions you would need to take in order to stay safe playing sports. If you start playing sports too soon after suffering a concussion you increase your risk of another concussion and a serious and perhaps deadly brain injury.

For headaches, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever like acetaminophen, the most common being Tylenol, but there are other brands as well. If you take aspirin or ibuprofen, which would be Motrin IB, Advil and others, you risk an increase in bleeding.

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Getting Ready for Your Doctor’s Appointment

It is vital that a medical doctor examine anyone with a head injury of any kind, even if it doesn’t seem like an emergency.

If it’s your child who has suffered a head injury, get on the phone right a way to call his or her pediatrician. The doctor may ask you to bring your child in immediately, depending on the seriousness of your child’s symptoms. 

How to prepare for the doctor’s appointment:

What to Do

  • Find out if there are any instructions you need to follow or restrictions prior to seeing the doctor. In the meantime, avoid any physical or mental activities that exacerbate your symptoms. Do not participate in any physical activities including sports. Avoid as much as possible any stressful, prolonged or difficult mental activities.

While making your doctor’s appointment, find out what you or your child can do to assist in the recovery and avoid reinjury. Athletes should not resume playing their sport until they have undergone a medical evaluation.

  • Make a list of all signs and symptoms that you or your child has been suffering. This should include when each symptom started and how severe each one is.   
  • List any other medical issues that you or your child is receiving treatment for. Include any previous head injuries. List all prescriptions and over-the-counter medications as well as vitamins, minerals and any other supplement you or your child takes.
  • Bring someone along with you to the doctor’s. Since you have a head injury it may be difficult for you to take in all the medical information and advice. If you bring someone along they may remember things that you may end up forgetting.

Questions For Your Doctor

If you think you might have a concussion, you will want to ask the following questions:

  • What exactly is a concussion?
  • What tests will I need to have?
  • Do I have a concussion?
  • What approach to treatment do you think is best?
  • When do you think my symptoms will begin subsiding?
  • Am I now more at risk of having another concussion?
  • What is my risk for having long-term effects or complications?
  • When do you think it would be safe for me to start exercising again?
  • When do you think it would be safe for me to play sports again?
  • Would it be safe now for me to go back to school or return to work?
  • Is it safe now for me to drive or run heavy equipment of any sort?
  • I’m dealing with other medical conditions. Can they all be managed at once?
  • Do I need to see a specialist? Will my health insurance cover a specialist and if not, what would it cost? You may need to check with your insurance company for these answers.
  • Do you have any informational leaflets or brochures for me to take home? Are there any websites that you suggest for further information?

You may also have additional questions that occur to you during your appointment, so don’t be shy about asking all your questions. 

The Doctor’s Questions for You

Be ready to answer the following questions from your doctor regarding the head injury and its symptoms:

  • Do you participate in any contact sports?
  • How did you injure your head?
  • What symptoms did you notice having right after being injured?
  • Do you recall exactly what occurred right before being injured? Right after?
  • Were you knocked unconscious from the injury?
  • Have you experienced any seizures?
  • Have you felt nauseous or been vomiting since you were injured?
  • Have you experienced any headaches? If so, when did they start?
  • Are you having any problems now with physical coordination?
  • How has your memory been since the injury? Any problems concentrating?
  • Are you experiencing any unusual sensitivity, problems with your hearing and/or vision?
  • Have you noticed any unusual mood swings, including agitation, anxiety or depression?
  • Are you feeling more fatigued since being injured?
  • Are you having difficulty getting to sleep, sleeping or waking up?
  • Has your sense of smell or taste changed in any way?
  • Have you been dizzy or experienced any vertigo?
  • Are there any other symptoms that you’ve noticed that you are worried about?
  • Is this your first head injury or have there been others in the past?

Taking Care of Yourself Until You See Your Doctor

The best thing you can do for now is to avoid doing anything that exacerbates your symptoms. This means you need to avoid participating in any physical activities, including sports, which will raise your heart rate. Taking long walks, jogging or doing anything physically strenuous, like lifting weights is out of the question.

Also, do not get involved in any mental activity that may exacerbate your symptoms, things that require a lot of concentration. For example, doing schoolwork, using the computer, playing video games, texting and/or watching TV.

If you’re suffering from headaches, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever like acetaminophen, the most common one is Tylenol, but there are other brands. It is best to avoid taking aspirin or ibuprofen, which would be Motrin IB, Advil and others because these will put you at risk for an increase in bleeding.

Recovering Losses

If you or a loved one has suffered a concussion as the result of the negligence of another, contact O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley and we will provide you with a free consultation with an experienced concussion attorney. At O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley, we make sure you have the resources necessary for the evaluation and diagnosis of all types of head injuries, and we will help you recover your losses.

(Source: Mayo Clinic)

Published on behalf of O'Connor, Runckel & O'Malley LLP 

CROCKETT, CA – The California Highway Patrol responded to a fatal crash involving a big-rig truck on Interstate Highway 80 this past week in Crockett.

The accident involved a sedan crashing into a big-rig truck near the Pomona Street off-ramp from the I-80, according to the CHP. In addition to the fatality, there was one injury.

The crash was called in to the CHP at 3:55 a.m., but the fatality wasn’t reported until 5:28 a.m.

Big Rig Accident Attorney
Big Rig Accident Attorney

 

The victim who died was transported to a local hospital after the crash and later succumbed to the injuries, according to the CHP.

This crash happened in near the same spot where another big-rig truck crashed and burned earlier that same morning on I-80, not far from the Carquinez Bridge.

 

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That crash also resulted in injuries and occurred about 1:00 a.m., all lanes of the highway had to be closed off for over two hours.

If you have lost a family member in an accident that was caused by someone else, you may be entitled to financial compensation. To have your legal rights protected contact an experienced wrongful death lawyer. O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley are highly skilled personal injury attorneys with many years experience.When you call our law firm, you will speak with an attorney who has successfully handled hundreds of similar cases. We understand your anguish and will treat you with the sensitivity you deserve during this difficult time. 

(Source: ABC News)

Published on behalf of O'Connor, Runckel & O'Malley LLP

OAKLEY, CA – A man on the run after escaping a jail in Wyoming was driving a stolen Honda when he plowed into another vehicle last Tuesday, killing his female passenger and severely injuring himself.

Erica Pearce, 35 succumbed to her injuries later Tuesday at Walnut Creek’s John Muir Medical Center trauma unit after initially being taken to Sutter Delta Medical Center for assistance with her breathing.

The Contra Costa County Coroner’s office confirmed her identity on Thursday. Pearce was wanted by law enforcement in Missoula, MT for escaping a minimum-security jail and a warrant had been issued for her arrest.

Fatal Oakley Crash
Fatal Oakley Crash - Photo Credit ECT

The driver of the Honda, Jerome Dunks, 37, was in taken to John Muir Medical Center and remains in critical condition, according to police. It is too early to know whether he’ll survive his injuries.

Law enforcement said that Wyoming had issued an arrest warrant on Dunks for escaping a minimum-security jail. At the time of the accident he was driving a stolen Honda Civic that belonged to the state.

Police claim they have no idea how Dunks and Pearce knew each other or what their relationship was. They both managed to escape their minimum-security jails at about the same time, 10 days ago, according to authorities.

The collision occurred at about 5:10 a.m. in the intersection of Laurel Rd. and O’Hara Ave. As the Honda approached Laurel Rd. in the northbound lanes of O’Hara Ave., it moved into the southbound lanes, passing cars that had come to a stop, police said.

The Honda then moved back into the northbound lanes before entering the intersection and immediately T-boned the SUV. The driver of the SUV was taken by ambulance to a local hospital where he received treatment for his injuries.

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The Honda and SUV were both totaled. The collision also damaged a critical fiber optic line, causing Internet and cable TV service to be interrupted for hundreds of people in the vicinity.

If you or family member has been in a motor vehicle accident or been the victim of motor vehicle negligence and want to consult with a Bay Area attorney who specializes in auto accidents, please contact us. We at O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley have over 50 years of experience in litigation and at trial. Our record of success demonstrates our level of expertise. We would be happy to schedule a free consultation to answer your questions, explain your legal rights and how best to protect them.

(Source: East Bay Times)

Published on behalf of O'Connor, Runckel & O'Malley LLP

 

Weather conditions can have a huge impact on driver safety. It can affect driver visibility and control as well the vehicle’s maneuverability, stability, and traction. Rain, high winds and extreme temperatures affect roadway conditions, pavement friction and the flow of traffic, all of which can increase the risk of motor vehicle accidents. Weather conditions affect roadways, the flow of traffic and the operational decisions that follow.

In an average year there are more than 5,748,000 car crashes occurring on U.S. roadways. Statistics show that in approximately 1,259.000 (22%) of these accidents, weather played a role. Weather-related traffic collisions are defined as car crashes that happen in bad weather. It could be fog, rain, snow, sleet, heavy crosswinds, the wind blowing sand, debris or snow across the road, and/or slick/slushy pavement caused by rain, snow, or ice. As a result of these weather-related collisions, nearly 6,000 people lose their lives and more than 445,000 are injured every year.   

Auto accident lawyer
Auto Accident

The overwhelming majority of these accidents occur when it’s raining and on wet pavement: 46% occur when it’s raining and 73% occur on wet pavement. Other weather-related collisions happen during typical winter weather conditions: 3% happen in the fog, 13% happen on icy roadways, 14% happen on snowy/slushy roads and 17% happen during sleet or snow storms.

What Drivers Should Do to Stay Safe

Everyone’s driving is affected by extreme weather. Heavy fog, rain, snow, sleet, ice and dust will all diminish your visibility.

Of all the various weather conditions that driver’s face, fog is considered the most treacherous. If you find yourself driving in heavy fog, slow down and turn on your car’s low-beam lights. If the fog is so thick that you barely have any visibility, pull off the road to safety and wait until the fog lifts to resume driving.

When it first starts drizzling, raining or snowing, slow down because this is exactly when roads are the most slippery. When moisture in the air mixes with dust and oil on the road, it can get very slippery, causing reduced traction. Under these conditions you are at risk of losing control of your car.

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It’s not just cold winter weather, rain, sleet, ice and snow that can affect your driving, but high temperatures, heavy winds and glare from the sun can cause problems as well.

Bright sunlight and/or how light reflects on a streaked or dirty windshield will diminish visibility and this puts you at risk. Before starting your car you should remove dew, frost, or ice from not just your windshield, but all the windows as well. 

It’s up to you to ensure that you are able to see clearly and be seen by other drivers. If you’re driving in rain or snow, stop regularly to wipe any mud or snow off all the windows, as well as the side mirrors, headlights and even the taillights. In an abundance of caution, even in daylight during perfectly clear weather, keep your headlights on so that other drivers can see you.

When it’s windy outside it can affect how well you can control the steering. Head winds can slow you down, whereas tail winds will push the car forward, increasing your speed.

Crosswinds can push the car sideways, causing it to swerve. This affects larger vehicles like vans, SUVs and trucks more. If you find yourself driving in a crosswind, slow down and steer very carefully. If heavy winds persist, pull over to safety until the winds die down.

The automobile accident attorneys at O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley are well known and respected throughout the legal community and among our clients. From our offices in Contra Contra Costa County, San Francisco and Sacramento, we serve clients throughout Northern California. Our experience and expertise are available to you.

(Source: Federal Highway Administration )

Published on behalf of O'Connor, Runckel & O'Malley LLP

BRENTWOOD, CA – A two-vehicle traffic accident that occurred on Sunday night in Brentwood left five people injured. A 12-year-old girl who had lost consciousness was transported by air for treatment at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland.  

Battalion Chief Craig Auzenne of East Contra Costa Fire Protection District (ECCFPD) said that the girl had not been wearing her seatbelt when the cars collided. In addition to losing consciousness in the accident, she suffered facial trauma. Her current medical condition has not been released.

Brentwood Crash
Photo Credit: Brentwood Press


The others injured in the accident were two men and two women. They were taken to John Muir Medical Center’s trauma unit in Walnut Creek for treatment of relatively minor injuries.

The crash happened on Sand Creek Road at 6:30 p.m. just outside the entrance of the Streets of Brentwood Shopping Center. Brentwood police who responded to the call had little to go on regarding what caused the accident since many of the people involved didn’t speak English. The investigation is ongoing with the help of a translator.

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The two vehicles that collided at the intersection were a silver Nissan Sentra and a silver Toyota Corolla. There were two occupants in the Nissan and five in the Toyota. One of the cars had been going east on Sand Creek Road after exiting State Route 4. It has yet to be determined what direction the other vehicle had been travelling.

According to Auzenne, this accident is considered a tier 1 mass casualty incident. Six medical units as well as engines from the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District and ECCFPD were sent to the scene, along with the CALSTAR rescue helicopter, which landed and took off from the Sprouts parking lot.

At O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley we have 50 years of litigation and trial experience. We have the expertise and a proven track record of success. If you or a loved one has been the victim of motor vehicle negligence and would like to speak with a Bay Area auto accident attorney, please contact us. We are here to answer your questions and discuss how to protect your legal rights.

(Source: Brentwood Press)

Published on behalf of O'Connor, Runckel and O'Malley

EL SOBRANTE, CA – A school bus filled with special needs children was involved in a collision with two other vehicles on a road in El Sobrante on Tuesday, causing injuries to 15 people, with two of them reportedly in critical condition, according to authorities.

The bus driver, who is currently pregnant, and seven kids were among the 15 injured in the traffic accident, although the fire department initially said that no children were hurt. A school bus, Volkswagen car and Chevy pickup truck were all involved in the collision officials from the California Highway Patrol said.

School Bus Crash
Photo: NBC

The collision at Lois Lane and San Pablo Dam Road was called in at 8:11 a.m. According to Contra Costa Fire, a medic vac. helicopter and four ambulances were immediately sent to the scene.

Slick slippery roads from recent rainy weather may have contributed to the collision, according to authorities. 

“The driver of the Volkswagen slowed down for some unknown reason, causing the driver of the Chevy pickup to veer off trying to avoid the VW, but colliding with it anyway,” according to CHP Officer Hannah Walcott.

Once the Chevy hit the Volkswagen, the driver of the Chevy pickup lost control and crashed into the school bus, head on.

A gentleman living near San Pablo Dam Road witnessed the crash just as it occurred since he happened to be driving by.

El Sobrante Bus Crash
Photo: NBC News

He told a reporter for KPIX 5, “I was on my way to Starbucks when I suddenly heard a loud crash right behind me. I looked back and saw that the bus and two other vehicles had collided. I immediately stopped, got out of my car and ran to the bus to offer aid. The bus driver, who appeared pregnant, was in a state of panic. I did everything I could to help and could tell that it was extremely traumatic for everyone on the scene,” he said.

The two individuals in critical condition are someone who was in the Chevy pickup truck and someone in the VW, which was crushed. Both were transported to Walnut Creek’s John Muir Medical Center, according to Fire Inspector Steve Aubert.

According to Steve Aubert of the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District, the bus driver and seven children were transported to a local hospital with apparent minor injuries, but they all required a medical evaluation.  
Aubert said the school bus was transporting children who attend a special education school located in Contra Costa County.

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Also transported to a hospital were one adult and two children that had been in another vehicle.
Early information reported by the CHP suggested that there was oil on the road after the crash, but that it had been contained.

The investigation is ongoing as to what actually led to the collision.

If you have been seriously injured due to someone else's negligence, contact an experienced personal injury attorney at the law offices of O'Connor, Runckel & O'Malley today. We provide free consultations in order to evaluate your case and discuss the legal options available to you.

(Source: NBC)

Published on behalf of O'Connor, Runckel & O'Malley LLP 

Roads in the Bay Area are becoming more dangerous, not just for drivers trying to navigate the crowded highways, but for pedestrians and cyclists, as well who are increasingly getting killed making their way through city streets.

A recent report from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the regional agency for transportation planning, reveal that the number of deadly crashes involving cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians on Bay Area roads increased 43% from 2010 – 2016.

Highway 4 Crash
Highway 4 Crash

MTC researcher David Vautin said, “There are definitely more people living in the Bay Area and using the roads, which may be responsible for a portion of the increase. Plus, more drivers are coming in from further away, on long boring commutes.”

The increase in the area’s population and the longer distances commuters are driving still cannot account for the increase in the number of people being killed on Bay Area roads and highways during those years, according to Vautin. In 2010 there were 318 fatal crashes, which rose to 455 in 2016. In five out of those six years, the fatalities increased and this was after declines during the previous four years. However, 2016 wasn’t the year with the most because there were 509 deadly crashes in 2003, which was the high point in the 16 years that the study spanned. 

Some traffic experts think there are more “distracted drivers,” with people using their cell phones to make calls, send text messages or check Facebook while driving, he explained. While others blame the decrease in life-saving technology after the widespread adoption of anti-lock brakes, shatterproof windshields and seat belts. New breakthroughs have not been implemented to the same extent.  

But, at the end of the day, the real problem is basic human error, according to Stephanie Mak, an MTC data analyst. In analyzing reports of fatal collisions that occurred between 2010 and 2016, she discovered three major culprits: excessive speed, unsafe turns and driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

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Mak concluded that it was “unsafe behavior on the part of drivers” that caused the majority of fatal crashes, nothing more, nothing less.

This situation is not exclusive to the Bay Area. Across California and the nation at large, fatal collisions have been on the increase ever since the recession, according to spokesman Chris Cochran of the California Office of Traffic Safety. He said that deadly traffic collisions rose 33% in California between 2010 and 2016, adding that this wasn’t totally unexpected.

What usually happens is that in an economic down turn, fewer people are on the roads traveling or commuting for recreation or work. Once the economy improves, people start hitting the roads more often.

“We’re basically returning to pre-recession figures,” he said. “However, there is a real danger that we could move beyond that.”

Alameda Crash
Alameda Crash

Cochran went on to say that recent technological developments, like interactive dashboards in cars can be very distracting. But other automatic innovations, such as “driver-assist” technology in the form of alarms that sound when you are about to collide with another vehicle or when you swerve out of your lane, can certainly help, he added.

However, these highly advanced features are not prevalent in most vehicles. Driverless cars, which are being touted as the no-collision option, are many years away from being adopted by the masses.

Until that time comes, Mak has been conferring with other officials working in regional transportation planning agencies as well as her colleagues at the state to determine what they are doing to lower the numbers of fatal crashes. She’s trying to figure out what could specifically be done better in the Bay Area. In the end, it could be more effective enforcement for impaired drivers and those who speed, she said. Or, possibly more campaigns and outreach to better educate motorists.

Fatal Truck Crash
Fatal Truck Crash

There are some cities in which residents and business owners are speaking up about their desire for safer streets, wanting their streets designed to be safer. San Jose, Fremont and San Francisco have decided to join the “Vision Zero” traffic safety movement, which is promoting an effort to redesign city roads and highways in ways that will eliminate deadly collisions.

The roads that have already been redesigned seem to be making a difference, according to Cathy DeLuca, executive director of the pedestrian advocacy group, Walk SF. In 2014, the city of San Francisco enacted Vision Zero as a policy. As a result, the number of deadly crashes in 2016 went down, according to preliminary data. DeLuca remarked that figures for 2017 look promising, with approximately 33% fewer deaths having occurred on roads so far this year.  

Ginger Jui, spokeswoman for Bike East Bay, a nonprofit group advocating for cyclists, said that there are more cyclists than ever navigating the roads in Alameda and Contra Costa counties and this could be the reason for the increase in fatal crashes. However, she commented that the addition of protected bike lanes and adjustments to city streets designed to slow down speeding vehicles are definitely working to save lives.

She said, “Whenever you can reduce speeding, it benefits everyone on the road.”

The auto accident lawyers at O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley are very experienced in this area of the law and highly respected in the legal community. We provide our legal expertise to people throughout Northern California from our offices in Sacramento, San Francisco and Contra Costa County. Please reach out to us if you or a family member has been in an auto accident caused by the carelessness or negligence of another. We will gladly offer you our legal advice and expertise.

(Source: Santa Cruz Sentinal)

Published on behalf of O'Connor, Runckel & O'Malley LLP

A crash involving four vehicles occurred Tuesday night in Brentwood caused critical injuries to three individuals.

The victims were each transported by helicopter for treatment at local trauma centers. There were three others involved in the crash that required no hospitalization.

The collision was called in at 6:45 p.m. and happened on Marsh Creek Rd. near Walnut Blvd. Officer Charles Vonhofen, spokesperson for the California Highway Patrol (CHP), said the apparent cause of the accident was inattentive driving.

Inattentive Driving Accident Brentwood
Inattentive Driving Accident

According to Vonhofen, preliminary reports are that a black Cadillac Escalade truck was going east on Marsh Creek Rd. and apparently the driver didn’t notice traffic ahead coming to a stop. The Cadillac Escalade slammed into a grey Volkswagen, causing the VW to then plow into a silver Toyota, which then crashed into a silver Cadillac CTS.

The impact of the 4-car crash caused severe damage to the VW and Toyota. The drivers of those two cars were critically injured and extricated by firefighters. The Cadillac CTS had minor damage and the Escalade was damaged on the front end only. The vehicle that the third critically injured individual was riding in was not immediately reported.

The victims were initially transported by ambulance to John Muir Medical Center located on Balfour Rd., which has a landing pad for helicopters. From there, two of the critically injured were flown to John Muir Medical Center’s trauma center in Walnut Creek. The third critically injured patient was flown by helicopter to Kaiser Medical Center in Vacaville.

The accident investigation is ongoing, but according to the CHP, alcohol apparently was not a factor.

Contact O'Connor, Runckel & O'Malley

The attorneys at O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley specialize in auto accidents. They are a well- established law firm and highly respected in the legal community. If you or a family member has been involved in a motor vehicle accident involving negligence and want to consult with a Bay Area attorney specializing in auto accidents, please contact us. We will answer your questions, advise you of your legal rights and how best to protect them.

(Source: East Bay Times)

Published on behalf of O'Connor, Runckel & O'Malley LLP

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