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Articles Posted in Vehicle Accident

bus carrying a group of tourists near Yosemite crashed on Saturday. According to a KGO News.com report, the bus was nearing the south entrance on Highway 41 when it lost control on a winding road. It went off the road and crashed down a ravine before hitting a tree.

Fortunately, no one was killed in the crash, but 15 passengers suffered injuries as they were reportedly thrown from one side of the bus to the other as it crashed. They were taken to local hospitals for treatment.

While the crash is still under investigation, authorities believe that excessive speed played a large part in the accident. A CHP officer explained to KGO that the bus was travelling at an unsafe speed at the time, and that other factors were still being considered (such as intoxication, mechanical failures, etc.).

A ferry boat accident has left one person dead, and another severely hurt.

According to an ABC 7News.com report, the MS San Francisco collided with a small pleasure boat on Sunday afternoon. The accident occurred in Racoon Strait, just south of Tiburon. The ferry was on its way back to San Francisco from Sausalito. Authorities believe that the smaller boat was travelling at a high rate of speed before hitting the ferry, but the accident is still under investigation.

Onlookers from the ferry, which had about 500 people on board, described a chaotic scene. One witness explained how first responders administered CPR to one of the pleasure boat passengers who was completely unresponsive. He later passed away. The other passenger appeared to be in shock over the ordeal.

Since a law allowing California motorists to dictate and send text messages using hands-free systems, the practice of “texting while driving” has taken on a different connotation. While thousands of Bay Area drivers stuck in traffic every day, using voice-command systems has made communication easier and ostensibly safer.

However, if a new lawmaker has his way, the new law could be replaced, and hands-free texting would become illegal.

Assemblyman Jim Frazier (D-Oakley) wants to ban all forms of text messaging (manual and hands-free) while behind the wheel. He relies upon a recent Virginia Tech study (the institution that analyzed the dangers of cell phone use while driving) finding that use of hands free texting is equally as dangerous as traditional text messaging.

Cars driving themselves: it sounds like something out of a science fiction movie. But all around the world, car makers are taking steps to turn that dream into a reality. Nissan, Toyota, Audi, and even Google are hard at work creating the first generation of autonomous vehicles. Proponents say that when human drivers are taken out of the equation, safety will improve. Others, however, are uneasy with the thought of allowing humans to step back from the responsibility that comes with driving a car, and fear that without human intervention, faulty machinery could cause a car accident.

Car manufacturers are taking a number of different technological approaches towards autonomous driving, and each has a different philosophy. Toyota, for example, is particularly reserved. Executives there feel that assisted driving should enhance the experience for the human driver, rather than remove him or her from the picture.

Google, on the other hand, believes in replacing the human element completely. Their autonomous cars have racked up over 300,000 incident-free miles, including trips down San Francisco’s winding Lombard Street and across the Golden Gate Bridge.

Crash-test ratings released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have historically informed publications like Consumer Reports and have influenced auto buyers as a result. Although the IIHS is not a federal agency, its crash-test results are both respected by motorists and manufacturers alike and are highly-anticipated when new models are released into the marketplace.

Until recently, common car accidents known as overlap crashes were not tested for by either the IIHS or federal authorities. Given the prevalence of overlap crashes and the devastating nature of both property damage and injury that result from this kind of impact, this crash-test oversight was a disservice to the public. However, the IIHS now tests for overlap impact consequences in new models and its initial results were released just a few weeks ago.

Of the 18 midsize family vehicles tested by the IIHS, two 2013 models rated “good” while two rated “poor” and the remaining 14 were categorized as either “acceptable” or “marginal.” In addition, only three of 11 vehicles considered to be either luxury or near-luxury 2013 models earned a good or acceptable rating.

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