Law Office of Frederick J. Sette
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Santa Cruz Car Accidents Caused By Distracted Drivers

The Santa Cruz Patch reports that this past week the California Highway Patrol (CHP) began cracking down on distracted drivers. As part of a zero-tolerance enforcement campaign, the CHP will seek out and ticket those drivers who violate the state's hands-free cell-phone law. Reports indicate that in 2008, more than 30,000 California drivers had car accidents due to distraction. The leading cause of distraction - cell phone usage.

Other forms of distraction include eating, drinking, applying make-up, using a GPS, and adjusting the radio. As stated by a CHP officer, when California drivers are multi-tasking, they put both themselves at risk as well as increasing the risk of "injuring or killing their passengers, bicyclists, pedestrians or innocent victims traveling in another vehicle."

Put bluntly - no phone call or text message is worth a human life.

As a Sacramento car accident attorney, I agree. Whenever drivers takes their eyes off the road for just a moment, serious accidents and injuries can occur. Rather than take a chance, its always best to pull over or wait if you need to make a call or text. The risk of injury is far too great.

For more information, or if you have been in accident as the result of a distracted or otherwise careless, reckless or negligent driver, contact Attorney Frederick J. Sette, dedicated to helping the injured for more than 15 years.

Governor Signs Bill Allowing Video Monitors In Cars To Record Accident Information

Governor Schwarzenegger has signed a new law - AB 1942 - into effect that will allow carmakers and owners to install video recording devices on their windshields. The monitors will save video and audio information if there is unusual movement or a crash. It also will record how fast, the direction of travel, a history of where your car has been, steering and brake performance and seat belt usage.

The purpose of the law is to promote safe driving habits and reduce car accidents. Although the bill received much support from companies who hire drivers and want to ensure they are driving safely, critics fear the devices could be used to secretly record conversations. Other concerns include who will control the device and whether it can be remotely activated by third parties such as the note holder, the DMV, or insurance company.

Click here for the entire text of the bill.

As a California personal injury attorney, I am hopeful that this law will have its intended purpose - ensuring and improving California roadway safety.

For more information, or if you have been injured in a car accident, contact the Law Office of Frederick J. Sette, dedicated to helping the injured for more than 15 years.

Driver Linked To Fresno Bus Accident Was Drunk

According to Sonoma County's PressDemocrat, the driver of the SUV which led to the tragic bus accident near Fresno was drunk.

Sylvia Lopez Garay had a blood-alcohol level of 0.11. California's legal limit is 0.08.

The accident occurred after Garay's SUV rolled over on Highway 99. Garay and her passengers exited the vehicle, leaving the overturned truck in the fast lane. Witnesses report that the Greyhound bus driver didn't have enough time to react as he approached the overturned vehicle, first crashing into the SUV, then another vehicle, before careening off an embankment and into a large tree.

Although the accident is still under investigation, it appears that drunk driving played a role in this tragedy. In California and across the United States, driver intoxication is a leading cause of accidents. In fact, Mothers Against Drunk Driving reports that one person dies every 30 minutes due to an alcohol related crash.

The good news is most California towns are reporting a decrease in DUI accidents as compared to 2009. However a few cities, such as Santa Cruz, report a dramatic increase in DUIs.

As a personal injury attorney concerned about safety on California roadways, I urge you not to drink and drive. For more information or if you or a loved one has been injured in a DUI accident, please contact the Law Office of Frederick J. Sette, dedicated to helping the injured for more than 15 years.

Landowners - And Their Employees - Responsible For Negligent Conduct In National Parks

In a recent decision, the California Supreme Court held that National Park and other recreational workers must ensure the safety of visitors, or be found liable for their actions.

The impact of this holding could have far-reaching implications throughout California - including in National Parks such as Yosemite and Muir Woods - and across the country.

In Klein v. US, a bicyclist was riding through the Angeles National Forest when he struck head-on by a car driven by a volunteer working for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. He was seriously injured in the collision.

At issue was whether a landowner owes a responsibility to those on its land for recreational purposes. Here - the landowner is the United States government. After extensive review, and based on the plain language of the statute at issue (Civil Code Section 846) the Court determined that landowners may be held liable for the negligent conduct of their employees - including vehicular negligence. The Court rejected the United States' argument that the landowners were shielded from liability for negligent acts because they were on Federal Property. Rather, the Court was swayed by California's "strong interest in promoting the safe driving of motor vehicles and in preventing or minimizing personal injuries from motor vehicle accidents."

As a California personal injury attorney, I strongly support this decision. When an individual suffers serious injuries due to the negligence of another, they should be entitled to recover damages. Hopefully this decision will lead to greater protection and safety to the hundred of thousands of individuals who enjoy our National Parks each year.

Fatal Antioch Motorcycle Accident Kills 2

According to KTVU San Francisco, two people were killed in a hit and run accident on the Highway 4 Bypass when a pick-up truck swerved into the lane of another car. The car then crossed the median and hit a motorcycle head on. Both the driver and passenger were thrown from the motorcycle and died shortly thereafter. The pick-up driver fled the scene and the driver of the car sustained serious injuries to her leg.

The motorcycle crash is still under investigation.

Unfortunately, the potential for serious injuries resulting from motorcycle accidents is great. Motorcycle drivers have little protection from the impact of a crash, and as a result, falls from motorcycles often end in serious, even fatal, injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 5,000 motorcycle deaths occur each year in the United States.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car or motorcycle accident, please contact the Law Office of Frederick J. Sette, a California personal injury attorney committed to helping those injured in accidents for over 15 years.

Millions Approved To Improve Sacramento's Roadways - Including "Blood Alley" - And To Prevent California Car Accidents

According to the Central Valley Business Times, the Sacramento area will receive close to $250 million to improve its roadways. Significantly, the California Transportation Commission (CTC) has approved $45 million to widen Highway 46, a dangerous two-lane highway that serves as a major link to the Central Coast.

Highway 46 has received much notoriety as a deadly stretch of highway. Dubbed "blood alley," since April 2005 there have been 391 car accidents, with 130 injuries and 24 deaths on that stretch of road.

Most recently, on April 6 three people were killed and two seriously injured in a head-on collision, about 2 miles west of Lost Hills.

Other improvements include substantial rehabilitation of Highway 99 and resurfacing of Interstate 5 from Florin Road to the Sacramento/San Joaquin County line.

The projects are a welcome improvement for Sacramento's roadways. As a Sacramento personal injury attorney, I understand the impact dangerous and poorly maintain roadways can have on a driver's safety. Too often, even the best drivers are caught off guard - and injury accidents occur - when dangerous road conditions obscure their vision or require quick reflexes.

Hopefully, as a result of these changes and improvements, Highway 46 will lose its reputation as one of California's most dangerous roads.

Honda Recalls Thousands of California Minivans

Earlier this week Honda announced a recall of over 410,000 Odyssey minivans and Elements due to braking problems that could create problems stopping. According to NHTSA, at least three car crashes have been linked to the defect causing minor injuries.

Car accidents are one of the leading causes of personal injury and wrongful death in California.

The defect is linked to Honda's electronic stability control system, which brakes all of the car's wheels in an emergency and allows some air to enter the hydraulic brake line. As a result, drivers are forced to apply excessive pressure while braking.

According the California New Car Dealers Association in Sacramento, the Odyssey was rated as the best-selling minivan California.

The Honda recall follows the massive recalls issued in recent months by Toyota for accelerator defects and Ford Motor Company for power steering defects.

As a Sacramento personal injury attorney concerned about automobile safety and consumer protection, if you're driving a Honda, I urge you to contact this office or Honda for more information regarding the affected vehicles.