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Police investigate three fatal hit and run crashes in San Diego County

Three pedestrians were killed in three separate hit and run accidents in San Diego County, California – one in National City, one in City Heights, and finally north of Oceanside – on the Sunday night of December 28, NBC San Diego reported.

According to a police report, a white, older model pickup truck struck a pedestrian walking across the crosswalk on Plaza Boulevard near Highland Avenue in National City at around 6:30 p.m.

Police described the truck as a Nissan or a Toyota that probably incurred front-end damage on the passenger side. The pedestrian victim was 75-year-old Armando Guerrero.

At around the same time, a 23-year-old man perished after being hit by a dark-colored Lincoln Navigator in City Heights.

Near Camp Pendleton, a 24-year-old man attempted to run across the street, and he was hit by multiple vehicles. The first to make contact was a mid-size pickup truck that quickly fled the scene.

Police are conducting ongoing investigations into these instances in hopes of recovering the perpetrators.


Head-on collision in Oceanside seriously injured two

A damaging two-vehicle accident occurred along a curvy road in Oceanside, California, resulting in the serious injury of two, CBS8 reported on November 28.

The car collision happened along the 1300 block of Sleeping Indian Road at around 7 p.m. According to preliminary investigations conducted by local fire officials, a Ford truck was headed north while a small passenger car was traversing the southbound lanes when they hit each other head-on. The truck ended up on top of the smaller car, pinning a man and woman inside the vehicle.

One of the victims was taken via helicopter to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido and the other was brought to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, while the truck driver was uninjured.

If you experience an accident through no fault of your own in San Diego, the attorneys of Ritter & Associates may help you pursue the financial compensation you need to recover from those responsible. Call our offices at (619) 296-0123 today to learn more about your options.


Unanticipated dangers of voice-activated car features

The idea is simple: take handheld mobile devices out of drivers’ hands so they can concentrate on driving, yet allow drivers to make calls, answer text messages, access navigations systems, and do basically anything else possible on a smart phone. Integrated, voice-activated safety features are billed to just that and more—say, control the air conditioning system, the radio, and so on.

The concept is sound; however, as indicated in a recent study, the practicality of these systems is not quite up to par yet. In fact, as reported in the New York Times, these systems can be downright frustrating for drivers and may distract drivers just as much as a handheld mobile device. The problem lies in the voice recognition software of these systems—they are not capable of accurately and consistently following a driver’s voice commands.

Often, when drivers attempt to access say, the navigation system, the software instead begins calling someone from the contacts list. The lack of consistent recognition frequently leads to greater frustration in the driver and therefore, greater distraction.

Until the voice recognition software advances to a point where it may accurately and consistently follow a driver’s commands, these safety systems are likely to present their own distractions to drivers. However, these systems are not likely to disappear from our cars, especially as more and more cities and states enact laws against the use of handheld mobile devices.

Critically, then, the attorneys at Ritter & Associates implore you to use caution when using these voice-activated safety systems and, perhaps more importantly, to be aware of distracted drivers on the road. If you have experienced an accident caused by a distracted driver, contact our offices at (619) 296-0123 to learn about your options for recourse.


Self-driving vehicles register with California DMV

The California Department of Motor Vehicles recently mandated that self-driving cars register for a permit, and three companies have been approved to test drive 29 vehicles on any California road, the Associated Press reported on September 17.

Bernard Soriano, the DMV official overseeing California’s self-driving vehicle regulatory process, said among those who have already applied for regulation are 25 of Google’s Lexus SUVs, two for Mercedes, and two for the Volkswagen Group of America. He noted that other companies are also in the process of applying for registration.

In 2012, the California Legislature passed laws for the regulation of this emerging technology. Companies must report all accidents, every incident in which the vehicle failed in its self-driving mode, and must hold insurance capable of paying personal injury claims up to $5 million.

Although new innovations continue to develop in the motor vehicle industry, car accidents still happen and often result in serious injury and damages. If you have experienced an accident in San Diego due to the irresponsible actions of a negligent driver or manufacturer, the attorneys at Ritter & Associates may help you seek the compensation you need. Call our offices at (619) 296-0123 today to learn more.


Los Angeles deputy injured in car accident

According to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials, one of their deputies was injured in a rollover accident on the 14 Freeway near Palmdale, California last Monday, September 1.

Sargeant David Sauer said the female deputy, who they did not identify publicly, was trapped inside her vehicle after it rolled. Officials shut down off-ramp at Santiago Road while emergency medical responders worked to remove her from the wreckage.

Sauer said the deputy was rushed to a nearby hospital, and that her condition is unknown.

The cause of the accident is currently under investigation.

Victims of car accidents may be forced to cope physical pain, expensive medical bills, inability to earn daily wages, and mental and emotional trauma. If you were involved in an accident due to the negligence of other drivers in San Diego or elsewhere in California, call our attorneys of Ritter & Associates at 619-296-0123 today.


San Pasqual Valley-area highway accident puts two in hospital

An accident that involved three vehicles on a San Pasqual Valley-area highway in San Diego, California hospitalized two individuals on Thursday, August 28, and closed that particular stretch of road for several hours.

Preliminary investigations by the police state that a 21-year-old male lost control of his 1991 Pontiac Firebird while driving at a high speeds at around 8:30 a.m. along State Route 78, according to CBS8.

San Diego Police Department Officer Frank Cali said the car struck two oncoming vehicles when it drifted into the westbound lane near Bandy Canyon Road, first hitting a 2005 Chevrolet sedan, then flipping a 2005 Chevrolet truck. The driver of the sedan and Firebird were admitted to separate hospitals to address their injuries.

If you or someone you care about was the victim of an automobile accident in San Diego or other areas in California that was the result of the irresponsible actions of another individual, call our attorneys at Ritter & Associates today by dialing 619-296-0123.


Eliminating driver error with new technology

Prior to the recent ITS (Intelligent Transportation Society) World Congress conference in Detroit, where a number of carmakers show off their new safety technology, Toyota announced that it will not be developing a driverless car in the foreseeable future. As reported by the Associated Press, Toyota will instead continue to develop collision-prevention technologies that aim to relieve drivers of some of the more technical aspects of driving, thereby allowing drivers to focus on decisions they make while driving, and better anticipate those of the drivers around them. Toyota’s announcement marks a notable departure from Google and other car makers that are currently developing driverless cars.

The collision-prevention technology that Toyota will be implementing as standard across its entire vehicle lineup in the U.S. by 2017, however, are already available in some luxury vehicles. Among the features that will be made standard are those that will keep a vehicle in the center of a lane, monitor the driver to ensure their eyes are on the road and hands are on the wheel, and incorporate radar technologies to help control a driver’s speed in traffic. By making these features standard, Toyota will ostensibly improve vehicle safety on U.S. roadways.

This announcement comes shortly after a report by the MIT Technology Review that anticipates a few of the significant technological challenges that the developers of Google’s driverless car must grapple with. Aside from being untested in severe weather conditions, the report claims that Google’s driverless car likely would not be capable of driving on 99% of the roadways in the U.S., largely due to limitations in the mapping software that the vehicles rely on.

Although it may perhaps be safest to completely eliminate human control of cars and trucks, the prospect remains firmly on the horizon. Until then, the advances made in collision-prevention technology by companies like Toyota are sure to dramatically reduce car accidents that result from driver error.

For experienced legal support in the San Diego area, contact our personal injury lawyers at Ritter & Associates. You can reach us at 619-296-0123.


California cellphone ban has yet to show decrease in motor vehicle accidents

A new study that will be published in the August 2014 edition of Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, co-authored by University of Colorado professor Daniel Kaffine, indicates that banning cellular phone use while driving does not necessarily mean that fewer motor vehicle accidents will take place.

The study focused on the number of daily accidents that happened in the state of California six months before the ban on hand-held cellphone use while driving, which took effect on July 1, 2008, and six months after the regulation’s implementation.

Many researchers expected anywhere from a 5-10 percent drop in the number of car accidents, but in fact, the ban on hand-held cellphone usage did not clearly show that it was effective in its goal of decreasing car crashes.

Sadly, even with legislative efforts to make driving safer, car accidents in California remain a serious threat to public safety. If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident because of another driver’s carelessness or recklessness, the San Diego car accident lawyers at Ritter & Associates may be able to help. Learn more by calling our offices today at (619) 296-0123.


GM compensation program to begin August 1

General Motors will be launching a compensation scheme for the families of the victims affected by the ignition switch failure defect that prompted GM’s recent internal investigation, The Dallas Morning News reported on June 5.

The specifics of the compensation program will be outlined in the coming weeks by expert Kenneth Feinberg, who GM hired in April. Claims will begin being heard on August 1.

GM recalled 2.6 million compact vehicles to repair the ignition switch defect that was responsible for at least 13 deaths in the U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas conducted a thorough internal review of GM in relation to this issue. CEO Mary Barra assured that the delayed recall was not an intentional cover-up, but instead a series of mistakes and neglect.

If you have been injured or your personal welfare has been unduly compromised by a defective product, the experienced product liability attorneys at Ritter & Associates may advocate for you to receive the compensation you deserve. Call (619) 296-0123 today to discuss your legal options.


Van lands on sedan, kills five

According to police authorities of San Bernardino County, a vehicular traffic accident in Hesperia, California on May 11 resulted in the death of five individuals, USA Today wrote on May 11.

According to San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Jodi Miller, a Honda sedan was crushed as it sat at a stop sign, killing all of the car’s occupants. The incident occurred around 7 a.m. in Hesperia, a Mojave Desert town east of Los Angeles.

Emergency medical respondents extricated the bodies of an adult male, a male teenager, a young boy, and two other bodies. The identifications of the deceased have not been released by authorities. The driver of the van sustained minor injuries due to the incident.

The attorneys at Ritter & Associates send their deepest regrets to the friends and family of the deceased during this difficult time.


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