Federal Regulators Delay Decision about Motorcycle Anti-Lock Brakes

bike-acident

According to statistics, injury and death on America’s roadways has escalated significantly over the past couple years. Many believe the rise to be tied to the availability of cheap gas, an incentive for people to spend more time on the road. Motorcycle safety advocates say the fatality rate among bikers has remained high, and say that federal regulators have failed to take action on a measure they believe would dramatically decrease the annual number of motorcycle-related deaths: the requirement that all bikes have anti-lock brake systems.

Anti-lock braking systems (ABS), which have been standard issue on most passenger vehicles for more than 25 years, prevent a vehicle’s wheels from locking up when the driver slams on the brakes. When wheels lock up, the driver has far less control and often cannot take any kind of evasive action. With anti-lock braking systems, a vehicle’s wheels will still turn, even though the vehicle speed is reduced.

Motorcycle safety groups have been asking the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to require anti-lock braking systems for years, but the NHTSA has thus far opted not to do so. A spokesperson for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimated that, with anti-lock braking systems installed on all motorcycles, the number of annual fatalities in bike accidents could be reduced by as much as 30%. Regulators were apparently close to making ABS mandatory on motorcycles almost a decade ago, but some regulators backed off, contending that there was “insufficient proof” that the systems were effective. Motorcycle safety groups have called this assertion “disingenuous.”

Though some motorcycle manufacturers have offered ABS as an option, BMW appears to be the only company in the United States to make it standard equipment on all bikes.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we bring over 30 years of experience to people in and around SF Bay Area who have been injured in a motorcycle accident. We built our practice on a strong commitment to personal service and attention. We’ll take the time to learn the unique aspects of your case, so that we can tailor our representation to get the outcome you want. When you hire us to help you pursue full and fair compensation for all your losses, either Joe Nierenberg or Steve Weber will work directly with you throughout the process.

To set up a free initial consultation with an experienced California motorcycle accident injury attorney, contact Weber & Nierenberg by e-mail or call our office at 1-866-288-6010.


Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

car-bike-acident

Safety experts have long known that motorcycle accidents are far more deadly than other types of motor vehicle accidents, with statistics showing the fatality rate to be 35 times that of other motorists per mile driven. You can never fully protect yourself from the carelessness or inattention of other drivers, but understanding the most frequent causes of car-motorcycle accidents may help you anticipate and avoid potentially dangerous situations. Here are the most common factors leading to motorcycle crashes.

Head-On Accidents

In nearly four of every five (78%) of car-motorcycle collisions, an automobile strikes the bike from the front. Such an impact is deadly, accounting for more than half of the deaths in motorcycle accidents (56%). More than half of those accidents happen when the driver of another motor vehicle makes a left turn into the path of the oncoming motorcyclist. When questioned after such an accident, most motorists contend that they never saw the biker until it was too late.

Lane Splitting

Lane splitting is an extremely dangerous tactic, where a motorcyclist passes cars or other motorists by riding between lanes of traffic. Lane splitting makes it extremely difficult for a biker to maneuver, and bikers who are lane splitting may not be visible in a driver’s side-view mirror.

Road Hazards

With just two wheels, a motorcycle is generally less stable than a car. Accordingly, when you unexpectedly hit loose gravel, a pothole or detritus on the road, you can easily lose control and crash.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we bring over 30 years of experience to people in and around SF Bay Area who have been injured in a motorcycle accident. We built our practice on a strong commitment to personal service and attention. We’ll take the time to learn the unique aspects of your case, so that we can tailor our representation to get the outcome you want. When you hire us to help you pursue full and fair compensation for all your losses, either Joe Nierenberg or Steve Weber will work directly with you throughout the process.

To set up a free initial consultation with an experienced California motorcycle accident injury attorney, contact Weber & Nierenberg by e-mail or call our office at 1-866-288-6010.


The Importance of Defensive Driving

motorcycle-ride

For years, safety officials and motorcycle groups have been working hard to raise awareness of the presence of bikers on American roadways, from bumper stickers to public service announcements to billboards. Though some areas of the country have seen minor declines in injuries and fatalities involving bikers, the reality is that too many motorcyclists are still unwitting victims of motorists who simply don’t pay attention. Which has led many to conclude that perhaps the most effective safety campaign is one that promotes defensive driving.

What is Defensive Driving for a Motorcyclist?

The first step toward maximizing your defensive driving is to recognize that driving a car and riding a bike are two very different things. You may be an outstanding driver behind the wheel of a car, but you may need to take some time to learn how to safely ride your bike. If at all possible, work your way up to the big Harley.

Also, the bigger the motorcycle one of the best ways to start thinking defensively on a bike is to pretend that you are invisible. After all, to many other drivers, you essentially are. Assume that other motorists don’t see you and be prepared to take the action you need to ensure your safety. That may cause you to:

  • Increase the distance between your bike and other vehicles
  • Be on the lookout for escape routes, including the space between cars (but only in an emergency)
  • Pay close attention at every intersection, as drivers may not be looking for you
  • Recognize that most other motor vehicles are bigger than yours and don’t be invested in being in a particular spot at a particular time

Another really important component of driving defensively is keeping your bike in top condition. You need to know that the bike will respond in the event of an emergency, that you can either brake quickly and effectively, or that you can give it that little extra bit of gas to pull you past a dangerous situation.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we bring over 30 years of experience to people in and around San Francisco Bay Area who have been injured in a motorcycle accident. We built our practice on a strong commitment to personal service and attention. We’ll take the time to learn the unique aspects of your case, so that we can tailor our representation to get the outcome you want. When you hire us to help you pursue full and fair compensation for all your losses, either Joe Nierenberg or Steve Weber will work directly with you throughout the process.

To set up a free initial consultation with an experienced California motorcycle accident injury attorney, contact Weber & Nierenberg by e-mail or call our office at 1-866-288-6010.


The Importance of Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists’ Coverage for Motorcyclists

vehicle-policy

If you ride a motorcycle, here’s one thing you want to make certain you have—the maximum coverage on your own motor vehicle insurance for uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage.

What is Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists’ Coverage?

With almost every motor vehicle insurance policy, there’s an additional rider that can be purchased (for an additional premium) that provides additional coverage to you should be involved in an accident with a driver who either has no insurance or has limited insurance. It’s a very good idea, as a biker, to purchase this additional coverage, as any injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident will likely be serious. As a result, even if the other driver has insurance, if your injuries are extensive, you may exhaust the limits of liability before all your losses are covered.

There’s a fundamental difference between uninsured motorists and underinsured motorists coverage. An uninsured motorists provision applies when the other driver had no insurance to cover the costs of any injury or property damage. An underinsured motorists’ provision is designed to address those situations where the amount of coverage the at-fault party has will not cover all the losses incurred. For example, you may have traumatic brain injury or spinal cord trauma, with projected costs of health care or other needs of hundreds of thousands of dollars or even a million dollars or more. If the person who cause the accident had a cap of $50,000 on liability for any accident, you may need to pursue a claim against your own policy to get the benefits you need.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we bring over 30 years of experience to people in and around Sacramento who have been injured in a motorcycle accident. We built our practice on a strong commitment to personal service and attention. We’ll take the time to learn the unique aspects of your case, so that we can tailor our representation to get the outcome you want. When you hire us to help you pursue full and fair compensation for all your losses, either Joe Nierenberg or Steve Weber will work directly with you throughout the process.

To set up a free initial consultation with an experienced California motorcycle accident injury attorney, contact Weber & Nierenberg by e-mail or call our office at 1-866-288-6010.


Happy New Year

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Oakland Warehouse Fire Considered Preventable

Firefighters putting out a fire at night

The devastating fire that caused the deaths of at least 36 people in Oakland on Friday, December 2 could have been prevented, according to public officials. The Alameda County District Attorney’s office has launched an investigation to determine whether criminal charges should be filed.

According to witnesses, the fire started around midnight and quickly consumed most of the building, known as the Ghost Ship. Police believe that nearly 200 people may have been in the building at the time of the fire. A Facebook page indicated that an electronic music act, Golden Donna, was scheduled to perform at the Ghost Ship Friday night and that 192 people had planned to come to the show.

According to residents, the Ghost Ship was the brainchild of Derick Almena and his wife, Micah Allison, who ran an artist’s collective, leasing living and studio space for a small fee. It is believed that 20-25 artists lived in the old warehouse.

Public records show that a number of complaints had been filed against the building’s owner, Chor N. Ng, as recently as last month. Authorities say the building permits allow use only as a warehouse, and do not include either living or entertainment space. The building had no fire alarms or sprinkler system and had only two exits. Furthermore, the access to and from the entertainment space, on the second floor, was a makeshift stairway constructed of old wooden pallets. Oakland officials say no one had obtained a permit for the Golden Donna show, either.

A former resident told reporters that Almena had encouraged artists to cover up the fact that they were actually living in the warehouse. She said, however, that police came by weekly and knew that people were living there. City Councilman Noel Gallo, who lives a block from the Ghost Ship, said he knew that people were living there.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we bring over 30 years of experience to people in California who have been injured because of the carelessness or negligence of another person. We built our practice on a strong commitment to personal service and attention. We’ll take the time to learn the unique aspects of your case, so that we can tailor our representation to get the outcome you want. When you hire us to help you pursue full and fair compensation for all your losses, either Joe Nierenberg or Steve Weber will work directly with you throughout the process.

To set up a free initial consultation with an experienced California personal injury attorney, contact Weber & Nierenberg by e-mail or call our office at 1-866-288-6010.


36 Dead in Oakland Warehouse Fire

Fire fighters putting out a building fire

A fire broke out Friday night, December 2, during a party at a two-story warehouse and artists’ studio in Oakland, California. Initial reports indicate dozens of people were in the building when the deadly blaze started, the Oakland fire chief says.

The death toll from the Oakland, California, warehouse fire has now climbed to 36 as authorities continue to discover bodies — some of them of teens possibly younger than 17 — after a blaze broke out during a dance party in a building that housed artist studios.

Only a fraction of the charred remains of the partly collapsed structure had been searched, and crews clearing debris were expected to find more bodies as they advanced, Alameda County sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelly said.

The building had permits for use only as a warehouse, not as a living or entertainment space, and there was no evidence the structure had fire sprinklers, officials said. Known as the Oakland Ghost Ship, the complex was under investigation by city officials for allegedly unpermitted construction and blight.

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Pokemon Go a Potential Boon for Personal Injury Attorneys

Pokemon

The phenomenal success of Pokemon Go promises to bring substantial value to shareholders in Niantic, the application’s marketer. But there’s another phenomenon that’s keeping pace with the growth of Pokemon Go, according to safety officials—the number of injuries caused or suffered by people caught up in the “augmented reality” application.

For the uninitiated, Pokemon Go is an application for your smart phone that uses the phone’s GPS capabilities to help you locate and “capture” virtual reality creatures with names like Charmanders, Pikachus and Bulbasaurs. These creatures are virtually located throughout a geographic area. So if you see people wandering through a park or shopping center with their eyes glued to a handheld device, it’s a distinct possibility they are playing Pokemon Go.

Thus far, there are few built-in measures to ensure the safety of users. Niantic has issued a new version of the game that requires a user to hit a button that says “I’m a passenger,” designed to keep people from playing the game while behind the wheel of a car. However, it’s entirely on an honor system. There’s nothing to prevent a driver from hitting the button and cruising the streets glued to the smart phone screen.

The litany of injuries continues to rise. Less than an hour after the game’s initial release, a player in Washington, DC broke his foot falling into a ditch. A motorist in Baltimore side-swiped a police car and another in Massachusetts caused a multi-car crash on the freeway there when chasing a Pikachu. Though neither boy was hurt, two teenagers were shot at in Florida while playing the game, when a frightened homeowner mistook them for burglars.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we bring over 30 years of experience to people in and around Sacramento who have been injured because of someone else’s carelessness. We built our practice on a strong commitment to personal service and attention. We’ll take the time to learn the unique aspects of your case, so that we can tailor our representation to get the outcome you want. When you hire us to help you pursue full and fair compensation for all your losses, either Joe Nierenberg or Steve Weber will work directly with you throughout the process.

To set up a free initial consultation with an experienced California motor vehicle accident injury attorney, contact Weber & Nierenberg by e-mail or call our office at 1-866-288-6010.


Cheap Gas Fuels Increase in Injury and Death on Highways

Injury-and-Death

The worst fears of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) officials have proven true, as the death toll on the nation’s highways saw its greatest increase in half a century in 2015. Though officials admit that there are a number of factors at play, they point to research that shows a direct correlation between the price of gas and the number of motor vehicle accidents. According to government statistics, more than 35,000 people died on America’s roads in 2015, up about 8 percent over the prior year.

NHTSA representatives cite a study conducted by Professor Guangqing Chi, at South Dakota State University. Chi looked at data from the past 20 years, comparing accident rates to the price of gasoline. His study found that every time gas prices took a noticeable dip, there was a corresponding increase in injury and death in motor vehicle accidents. His prognosis for 2015 was much gloomier than it actually turned out to be—he had predicted an increase of 9,000 deaths on the nation’s roadways.

Chi says the reasons for the relationship are not complicated. The lower the price of gas, the more people are inclined to drive. They may choose to take a vacation by car instead of flying, or they may simply drive more around town. Assuming that accident rates remain the same, more cars on the road for more amounts of time means more accidents, injuries and deaths. Chi says the impact of lower prices hits younger drivers harder, as they are more inclined to change their habits based on the price of gas.

Contact Weber Nierenberg

At Weber Nierenberg, we bring over 30 years of experience to people in and around Sacramento who have been injured in a motor vehicle accident. We built our practice on a strong commitment to personal service and attention. We’ll take the time to learn the unique aspects of your case, so that we can tailor our representation to get the outcome you want. When you hire us to help you pursue full and fair compensation for all your losses, either Joe Nierenberg or Steve Weber will work directly with you throughout the process.

To set up a free initial consultation with an experienced California motor vehicle accident injury attorney, contact Weber Nierenberg by e-mail or call our office at 1-866-288-6010.


California Motorcycle Accident Statistics

Motorcycle-Accident

According to studies, there are more motorcycles (approximately 800,000) on California roadways than in any other state in the country. On an annual basis, nearly 12,000 people are injured and almost 500 people killed in motorcycle accidents on state roadways.

Motorcycle accidents in California have the greatest impact on riders between the ages of 25 and 34, with riders above the age of 55 the least affected. The three months that saw the highest number of motorcycle accident fatalities were, in order, August, July and November. Statistics also show that, from May through September, there were more than 1,000 motorcycle accident injuries per month in the state.

Though one in four (24%) of motorcycle accident fatalities in California involved a biker with a blood alcohol content of more than .08% (the legal limit), that is below the national average, which is 28%. Nearly 90% of motorcyclists killed in a crash were wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, but authorities attribute that to the state’s helmet law. Nationwide, only 57% of bikers killed in crashes were wearing a helmet at the time of death.

One in five persons killed in motorcycle accidents in California were operating the bike without a valid drivers’ license.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we bring over 30 years of experience to people in and around Sacramento who have been injured in a motor vehicle accident. We built our practice on a strong commitment to personal service and attention. We’ll take the time to learn the unique aspects of your case, so that we can tailor our representation to get the outcome you want. When you hire us to help you pursue full and fair compensation for all your losses, either Joe Nierenberg or Steve Weber will work directly with you throughout the process.

To set up a free initial consultation with an experienced California motor vehicle accident injury attorney, contact Weber & Nierenberg by e-mail or call our office at 1-866-288-6010.


 
 
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