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San Diego Injury Accident Lawyer Blog

Smartphone Addiction Is Driving Up Auto Insurance Rates

By Ross Jurewitz on March 6, 2017

driving- cell phoneYou know how annoying it is—the stoplight turns green, and the car in front of you doesn’t move until after you lay on the horn. Almost nine times out of 10, you see that the reason the car in front of you was so slow to respond was because that driver was looking at their smartphone. This phenomenon is not just annoying, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal, it’s causing a rise in auto insurance rates. And not just for the smartphone junkies, but for everyone. This is because distracted driving caused by smartphones is causing an overall increase in traffic accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatal accidents increased by 7.2 percent in 2015. More accidents means the increase in payout costs is outpacing premium amounts for many insurance companies, forcing them to raise their rates across the board.

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Posted in: Car Accidents

Pop Quiz: What do You Know About California Headlight Laws?

By Ross Jurewitz on February 8, 2017

HeadlightsHey California drivers, here’s a quick quiz for you: Why do automobiles have headlights?

You more than likely came up with some form of the following as your answer: “So that the driver can see the road ahead when it’s dark.” That answer seems obvious, right?

Well, you would be 50% correct. What many drivers are unaware of is that headlights are also implemented so that you can be seen by other drivers. Maintaining visibility for other drivers is paramount in staying safe on the road, particularly during times of inclement weather. If it’s pouring down rain on the 805 during a busy commute home, it doesn’t matter if your vehicle is a bright red SUV, silver sedan, or a milk-white bread truck, without the headlights on, your car will be difficult to perceive by other drivers, and you will be a moving hazard and possible accident waiting to happen.

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Posted in: Car Accidents

Motorcycle Lane Splitting, How Common is it?

By Ross Jurewitz on January 30, 2017

motorcycle“All the time. I do it all the time. Every chance I get,” said Terry, from Balboa Park.

“I’ve been doing it for years. I’ve never had a problem,” said Jim, from Clairemont.

“It’s fast. It feels good,” said R.J., from Mission Beach.

“A lot of times, I’d get singled out at parties. People would point at me and say things like ‘he’s one of those guys,’ or ‘ask him about it, he loves it.’ I felt like a freak sometimes,” said Clint, from Mid-City.

“I’m so thankful it’s legal now. I don’t have to look over my shoulder anymore,” said Hersh, from Mission Valley.

What are all these people talking about? Motorcycle lane splitting, of course.

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The Mindset of a Distracted Driver

By Ross Jurewitz on January 27, 2017

INNER MONOLOGUE OF THE MAN WHO HAS YOUR LIFE IN HIS HANDS: Hmm, nice outside today…(walks to car)…These new boots are remarkably comfortable…(unlocks car door, gets inside)…Wow, it still smells like that garlic pizza I brought home last night…(starts car, checks mirror)…Hmm. The ol’ eyebrows are getting a little long…(puts car in reverse, backs up)…Which one is NPR? Is it 3?…(pushes the “3” button on the radio, continues backing up and straightens out the car to move forward)…Man, I love Robert Siegel’s voice…(shifts to drive, moves forward)…These new boots are a little awkward for driving…(stops at stop sign)…Excellent question, Robert…(phone beeps)…Aw, damnit…(he fishes the phone out of his pocket as he turns onto a busy Carlsbad Village Dr.)…(he slides his thumb frantically across the face of the phone to open it) I’m sliding, damnit!…(he finally opens the phone and reads the text he just received as he approaches a stop light)…Ha, ha, ha! That’s hilarious!…(he tries to reply to the text, occasionally looking up at traffic)…Damn predictive text!…(he uses his knee to hold the wheel as he moves forward, using both hands to compose a text)…BAM!…(he crashes into another car)…THE END.

Every time we get behind the wheel of a vehicle, each one of us engages in an activity that we may not fully acknowledge, and that is trusting in the judgment of other drivers who will be sharing the road with us. We expect other drivers to use caution and drive attentively, but with the ubiquity of hand-held devices paired with the “down time” of driving, people often get too easily distracted.

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Posted in: Car Accidents

Cars Can’t Swim! Heavy Rain May Lead to Flooding Dangers Throughout San Diego Area

By Ross Jurewitz on January 17, 2017

rain-drivingThat old 70’s song states that “it never rains in Southern California,” but “it pours, man, it pours.” Well, it looks like we may be witnessing that over the next week, as a series of winter storms are making their way towards the San Diego area. There’s no doubt that we need rain to quench our state’s historic six year drought, but when too much precipitation comes too fast, it can lead to flooding and hazardous driving conditions. While flooding is possible throughout San Diego County, certain areas are more prone to flash flooding than others. The San Diego River nearly always floods during heavy rains, as well as parts of Escondido and East County. The San Diego Police Department (SDPD) advises area drivers to watch out for flooding at the following intersections:

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Posted in: Personal Injury

Ouch! Sunny Obama Bites White House Visitor

By Ross Jurewitz on January 13, 2017

Sunny ObamaWhile Inauguration Day nears and President Barack Obama prepares to leave office, another member of the presidential family is making headlines. Sunny, one of the First Family’s two Portuguese water dogs, apparently bit an 18-year-old visitor on the face while she was trying to pet her. The girl, reportedly one of presidential daughter Malia’s friends, was attended to by the president’s personal doctor. The teenager is expected to be fine but may need a few stitches. While Portuguese water dogs are supposed to be a friendly breed, one can never know exactly how an individual dog will act in any given situation. Maybe something scared the dog? Maybe Sunny was just trying to play? The fact is, the dog bit the visiting teen and she experienced a certain amount of trauma.

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Posted in: Dog Bites

Betting On Your Car? Better Be Sure

By Ross Jurewitz on December 30, 2016

bmw“Hey hon. Almost ready?”
“Yeah. But I can’t get this tie right. Can you give me a hand?”
“Sure. When was the last time you wore a tie?”
“Probably the last wedding we went to.”
“You look nice in a tie.”
“Don’t get used to it.”

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The King Of The Road? Knowledge.

By Ross Jurewitz on December 27, 2016

big-rig-accident-2It’s getting closer to that time of year where the astute driver may notice something becoming more and more common on San Diego freeways: commercial trucks. With the massive amount of retail business conducted around the holidays, both in-store and online, there are more trucks on the roads shipping products around the country. This can possibly be dangerous if drivers are not patient, alert, and safe. Just ask Sarah.

In December of 2015, Sarah, a San Diego native, was heading south on the 5 just past Old Town. She maintained a safe distance behind a commercial 18-wheeler when the driver suddenly hit the brakes much too quickly for Sarah to maneuver away from the rear of the truck. She slammed her brakes then collided the front end of her Toyota Camry into the rear bumper of the semi, causing her airbag to be deployed and her car to be totaled.

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Posted in: Truck Accidents

How To Handle A Brand New Bike

By Ross Jurewitz on December 23, 2016

bike-giftAh, Christmas day. There are so many familiar and wonderful sensations that fill the home on that special day of the year: the sight of the tree glowing with lights and surrounded by gifts, both wrapped and unwrapped; the children, filled with the magic of Christmas, giggling and playing with new toys; the sounds of loved ones chatting, laughing, sipping coffee and taking pictures that will be fondly remembered in years to come; the smell of freshly-baked pumpkin bread or the rich scent of casseroles baking for the dinner that awaits.

But for you, the sensation that cuts through all others is the smell of the virgin rubber on the tires of the new mountain bike that Santa Claus brought for you, with its clean, light aluminum glistening like tinsel. The smooth Shimano components whisper to you from the other room, saying, “I’m agile, strong, and ready to ride.”

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Posted in: Bicycle Accidents

Put the Phone Down

By Ross Jurewitz on December 15, 2016

distracted-drivingJeremy, a 34-year-old man, worked in downtown San Diego and usually took his lunch break in the warm, comfortable afternoons. He would walk over to his favorite sushi place or go over to the deli where Bill made his favorite turkey and avocado sandwich. Since downtown is a bustling area with lots of cars, buses, and pedestrians, Jeremy was aware of the dangers of jaywalking and followed the traffic lights accordingly.

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Posted in: Distracted Driving

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