News reports make it appear that all cases of distracted driving are related to cell phones and texting. This is simply not the case according to the National Safety Council. Since cell phone usage accounts for just over 50% of driving distractions it is worth looking at the "rest of the story."
It turns out California regulators are taking a dim view of Tesla Motors Autopilot. They are not yet taking issue with the system itself, just the name. In draft regulations recently released the Department of Motor Vehicles said car companies should not use the terms "Self-Driving", "Automated" or "Autopilot" in their advertising unless their cars are capable of driving themselves without a human paying attention. That is not something approved on California roads as of yet.
Jet Blue is something called in the law a "Common Carrier" and that simply means it's an entity whose business involves transporting people or goods from one place to another for a fee. In California even amusement parks are considered to be Common Carriers as are trains, busses, taxis, Uber and Lyft. Common Carriers are held to the highest standard of care because they are transporting passengers for money and need to be extra careful and they may be held liable for damages if a plaintiff can prove negligence.
Common Carriers offer their services to the public under the authority of a regulatory body, which sets standards for safety and other passenger concerns. Commercial airlines like Jet Blue for example are expected to adhere to regulations set forth by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Common Carriers are required to exercise the highest degree of care and diligence in the safety of their passengers and/or cargo. Their failure to warn passengers about potentially dangerous conditions expose carriers to legal action. For example, an airline like Jet Blue may be held liable for a passenger's injuries if the pilot failed to turn on the fasten seatbelt sign after noticing and flying into an area known to have heavy turbulence.
Liability for failure to warn comes down to the question of whether a reasonably careful operator would have known or should have known about the dangerous condition. Therefore, Jet Blue is being sued for injuries as a result of severe turbulence and for failing to exercise the care and diligence expected of a reasonably careful operator.
In this particular instance 24 people were transported to the hospital after the Jet Blue flight from Boston To Sacramento was forced to divert and perform an emergency landing to tend to the injured aboard. The facts support that the pilots flew into severe turbulence even after the FAA warned of such turbulence and a CNN Weather anchor revealed that the sort of turbulence the Jet Blue pilots were flying into could have been seen on both Radar and visually from the cock pit.
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The reality is we all know better and continue to do it anyway. The use of social media along with texting while driving continues to rise. It appears that nothing short of serious injury or death will slow down the use of these applications.
Anyone familiar with our Law Office knows we handle Personal Injury Litigation exclusively. We work with injured people from injury to settlement and that can mean all the way to trial. We take exceptional care of our clients and as a result they often ask us to handle everything from Estate Planning to Family Law and child custody.
The latest bright, shiny object drivers have to distract them is "Pokemon Go". In case you live in a cave this is a virtual reality game which invites you into an alternative universe. In this universe you catch virtual creatures and add them to your collection. This game is supposed to cause increased physical activity in the form of walking and human contact for those playing it. The game is targeted at those 35 & under. So far so good. Here is the rest of the story.
An on duty California Highway Patrol officer was involved in a 4 car collision that resulted in the death of a 15 year old teenager from Willows recently according to a statement released by the CHP. This blog is not meant to denigrate any member of the CHP and is written to illustrate that distracted driving accidents can happen to anyone of us.
The weather this year has been a departure from previous years in that we have weather to talk about that actually impacts how we drive. We've been blessed in recent years in that our Winter driving has been much like Summer driving without all the heat. Not so this year. The fact that Folsom Lake is filling up shows that we have had lots and lots of rain and it means that weather impacts how we drive.
As a result of an $8 Million Dollar verdict, Yellow Cab in San Francisco is considering filing Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. This move comes 6 months after the verdict found them responsible for the brain Injury and partial paralysis suffered by a passenger in a Yellow Cab vehicle.
Having a Holiday party this month? Have you considered who will be liable in the case of food borne illness or someone driving home intoxicated? As Americans host and attend parties most are completely unaware of the risks. Anyone hosting a party must understand their responsibilities when inviting others and serving food and drinks.