In recent months, California company Google Inc. has been publicizing its latest development: a car that can drive itself. And although we are likely years away from the Google self-driving car becoming a common fixture on our freeways, it is exciting to see the latest developments in technology come to life, which is why a recent accident report involving the self-driving car could spell trouble for the company and its innovation.
Last week, the son of actor Ryan O'Neal suffered non-life-threatening injuries after he was involved in a head-on car accident in San Diego. Police are not sure of the reason for the accident, which involved a van and a car driven by 46-year-old Griffin O'Neal, but they are continuing to investigate the incident.
With the onset of August, many California families are looking for ways to squeeze in one more summer adventure before the kids head back to school. One relatively cost-effective way to take that last family vacation is by heading out on a cross-country road trip. For example, California parents could consider the historical Route 66, a road trip that stretches from California to Chicago, covering eight states between.
Despite the constant warnings of the dangers of drunk and distracted driving, recently released data from traffic safety officials reports that traffic fatalities dropped in 2010, marking the fifth consecutive year of such a decline. In general, auto accident deaths have been on the decline for several decades, likely due to vehicle safety improvements and an increase in driver awareness. However, the data shows, bicycle and pedestrian injuries and deaths have remained steady.
In recent years, state and local legislatures and law enforcement agencies in California and throughout the country have debated the potential safety ramifications of elderly drivers. Namely, safety advocates are concerned about the common risky behaviors displayed by older drivers, such as slower response times and increased confusion. However, those who believe that older drivers should be allowed to keep their driving privileges now have some new information on their side.
This week, an elderly California man died as the result of a car accident involving a 15-year-old driver. According to San Diego police, the boy had taken his parents' sport utility vehicle out for a joyride with four other teenagers when he crashed into the 77-year-old man's vehicle. The man died in the fatal auto accident, and two of the passengers in the boy's SUV were injured. It is not yet clear whether the boy will face criminal charges for underage driving.
On Monday, the California Department of Transportation pulled all of its maintenance employees off California roads after a Caltrans employee was hit by a car and killed on a San Diego freeway earlier that day. The fatality marks the third death of a Caltrans employee in the last 48 days, which spurred the one-day shutdown as state transportation employees reexamined safety procedures and attempted to figure out how to prevent similar deaths in the future.
In recent years, it seems that there has always been some large-scale movement aimed at increasing the safety of our roads. First came the campaign promoting awareness of the risks of drinking and driving, followed by the "click it or ticket" seat belt promotion. Now, federal officials have focused their efforts on distracted driving, such as texting, tweeting or updating Facebook behind the wheel.
Many bicyclists are understandably wary of riding their bikes on a busy road, preferring to ride on designated bike paths to protect themselves from accidents and injuries. Unfortunately, there are times when the bike path can't protect bicyclists from irresponsible and dangerous drivers.
We all know that the roadways are not only for cars and trucks; especially in warm, tourist destinations like San Diego, larger vehicles must navigate around motorcycles, pedestrians, and bicyclists. When negligent or careless drivers fail to share the streets with these alternative forms of transportation a serious accident can occur.