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How can you stay safe when using public transportation?

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Public transportation is a huge benefit to cities, towns and villages. The ability to get from one place to another without your own vehicle saves you money that would otherwise be spent on fuel, repairs and insurance. There is some trouble with choosing public transportation, however. The primary concern is safety. Do you know anything about the driver? How do you know that the company took its time choosing its drivers and making sure they would keep passengers safe?

Without knowing anything about the company's hiring practices, you are blinding putting yourself in the driver's hands.

Could you be involved in a California truck accident?

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If you live in California and spend any amount of time behind the wheel, you know that you have to share the road with large commercial trucks. Many drivers are intimidated by their hulking size and additional risks the trucks add to driving.  Even if you try to avoid traveling near them, there's no way of doing so for long.

In Los Angeles, for example, the roadways are well known for being extremely crowded. This increases the likelihood of driving in close proximity to a commercial truck. Unfortunately, it also increases the likelihood of being involved in an accident with one.

Do you live in the deadliest county in California?

San Bernardino County is the third deadliest area for drivers, passengers and pedestrians in California. A recent study by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed that more 10 percent of all fatal U.S. motor vehicle accidents occurred in California during the last year studied.

The highest number of California fatalities occur in just five counties in the southern portion of the state. In order starting with the deadliest county, they include:

What does "driving while addicted" mean in California?

Everyone knows it is unlawful to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Did you know that in California, it is also illegal to drive a vehicle if you are addicted to a drug? This law is intended to keep people safer on the roads by preventing addicts from driving.

Driving while addicted to a drug: The thought behind the law

Big Rig Driving Makes List of California's 12 Deadliest Jobs

"A higher number of heavy-truck drivers die on the job than workers in any other occupation."

- The Sacramento Bee

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Driving big rigs is No. 3 on the list of California's 12 deadliest jobs, as the Sacramento Bee reports. Out of 12 occupations, truck driving falls behind just logging and aviation, with 295 fatalities throughout 2012-2016.

But part of what has many truck drivers up in arms over the latest safety regulations (see: electronic logging devices) is that many critics and lawmakers haven't walked a mile in a driver's shoes - or driven a few thousand miles.

California's Fuel Efficiency Rules Cause More Car Crashes - Or So Say the Feds

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California makes its own rules on fuel efficiency. At least for now. And while it's not likely that this will change under the Trump Administration's version of the EPA, the rumor mill says that the federal government may give it a shot, using phrases like "death toll" when referring to California's fuel efficiency standards.

Honda Odyssey Seat Flips, Crushes Boy: Freak Accident or Larger Issue?

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It's too early to say whether there's a larger problem here, but there are two issues at play in the death of a 16-year-old boy in April:

  1. The "unacceptable" performance of the 911 operator, who may have failed to give enough information to the police.
  2. A possible defect in the Honda Odyssey minivan that can cause the rear bench seat to collapse when not properly latched.

When the boy grabbed his tennis gear from the back of his 2004 Odyssey, the third-row seat flipped and pinned him down. He'd apparently leaned over the third-row seat from inside the van when it flipped, trapping him in the rear cargo area. Despite two emergency calls, first responders were unable to find him in time, and the boy asphyxiated.

Download the Latest Software Update for Your Robot Car - Or Else

When will "robot cars" be ready?

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According to Wired, the "unsatisfying" answer is never. But it's the right answer. This is a crucial message that hasn't been popularly broadcasted until recently, in the wake of recent fatal accidents. The answer is never because these cars - just like smartphone apps and computer programs - will always need to be updated. Robot cars run on software, after all. Software is what drives the autonomous tech that gets a vehicle like an Uber SUV from Point A to Point B without hitting anything.

Johnny Law Comes for Truckers with Electronic Logging Devices

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In Nick Stockton's Wired piece, truckers react negatively to updated hours-of-service rules that now digitize and automate logbook recordkeeping. No more pen and paper, apparently. It makes it easy, the way Stockton describes it, for an officer to confirm exactly how long a trucker has been behind the wheel without rest.

"To inspect a trucker's logs," Stockton writes, "a smokey just plugs into the ELD unit. Any trucker found in violation of their Hours of Service gets curbed for 10 hours - a serious penalty in a business where running late is bad news."

Self-Driving Car Woes

Things aren't so hot for self-driving cars right now.

First Pedestrian Death Involving Self-Driving Car

On March 18 in Arizona, a self-driving vehicle operated by Uber struck a woman who was crossing the street. She died later in the hospital. In Uber's defense, the woman was apparently crossing the street outside of the crosswalk. But crosswalk or no, this appears to be the first fatal accident involving a self-driving vehicle and a pedestrian. And it showed how poorly this particular self-driving vehicle handled an emergent situation - its failure to avoid someone who unexpectedly steps out into the street.

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