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Over 100,000 Suzuki Swifts Recalled Due To Fuel Leak

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on May 8, 2012

Another staggering vehicle recall has been announced by an automaker.

In this case, the vehicle in question is the Swift, and the recall was announced by Japan-based Suzuki Motor.  Around 109,000 of the subcompact cars fall under the purview of the recall, which was initiated due to a fuel leakage issue.  Of the recalled vehicles, just over half reside in Japan, with the rest having been exported to Mexico, Australia, and various countries throughout Europe.

The problem has to do with the rubber fuel filler hose.  Due to a defect, this component can actually leak fuel, posing a hazard to consumers.  Four instances of this event have transpired in Japan, but none of those incidents reportedly caused an accident of any kind.  No other countries have reported the issue as having taken place at this time.

The vehicles being recalled were all manufactured between September 2010 and April 2012.  This recall follows a previous March recall wherein Suzuki announced that 93,000 Swift vehicles had the defect and would need to be brought in to receive repairs.

Even though this recall affects countries far removed from a Bakersfield car accident lawyer like me, I still find it important to keep up with the latest recall information from across the world.  In my years as a personal injury attorney in Bakersfield, I’ve quickly learned that regional recalls can be expanded to include vehicles available in other countries, which is why I make it my duty to be on the ball with the latest happenings from all over the globe.

127,350 Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 Automobiles Recalled

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on May 7, 2012

Another massive automobile recall has just been issued.

This time, the recall affects some 127,350 Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 automobiles.  The recall, which was announced by the Chrysler Group, concerns those vehicles of the model years 2011 and 2012 that were produced up to December 20 of last year.  The majority are in the United States, with 8,274 residing in Canada.

The defect has to do with the anti lock braking system and the electronic stability control.  The power distribution centers in the vehicles contain a fuse that is in danger of overheating.  If this happens, then the driver would be in danger of losing control of the vehicle, increasing the possibility of a crash.

The company discovered the defect while testing a Michigan police car.  Following that test, Chrysler confirmed their findings by testing various other consumer vehicles.

Consumers can expect to receive a recall notification at some point this month.  Affected persons should be able to bring their automobiles in to an authorized service dealer to receive a free repair.

I’m sorry as a personal injury attorney in San Jose to see yet another recall put lives in danger.  It’s my hope that this issue not imperil safety and that all vehicle owners can get the necessary repairs.  I urge everyone as a San Jose car accident lawyer to get their cars fixed should they have this vehicle in their possession.

Auto Accident Fatalities the Lowest They’ve Ever Been

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on May 7, 2012

Despite the often troubling news about rampant distracted driving deaths and accidents along the roadways, new information seems to suggest that roads are safer today than they have been in years.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced their estimate of the number of fatalities that occurred due to an automobile accident in 2011.  They say that 32,310 people died last year in a motor vehicle accident, which is still about 32,310 more than would be acceptable, but it does represent a 1.7% decrease from 2010.  In fact, rates have never been this low.  Since people began keeping records in 1921, this is the lowest number ever when taken as a percentage of miles driven.

So what’s the reason for the sharp decline?  Experts point to improved safety equipment in automobiles, an increase in the number of people who utilize seat belts, and public safety campaigns designed to inform people about the dangers of drinking and driving.  One other factor might be the economy.  When there’s an economic downturn, people don’t drive as often as they normally would.

35.7 billion fewer miles were driven last year when compared with 2010, and 1.09 deaths occurred every 100 million miles.  Perhaps most encouraging, these numbers have declined 26% from six years prior.

I’m glad as a car accident lawyer in San Diego to see these statistics get better with time, but there’s still work to be done.  It’s my hope as a San Diego personal injury lawyer that we don’t lose sight of the fact that just one life lost is one life too many.

Study Says Texting is Dangerous No Matter the Phone’s Position

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 30, 2012

For those still not sure that the act of texting while driving is dangerous, here’s one more study that seeks to convince you.

Under the banner of a project known as Generation tXt, students, under the guidance of University of Oklahoma School of Medicine faculty, looked at the driving habits of thirty students between the ages of 15 and 19.  These participants were then tasked with submitting to a driving simulator in three scenarios:  while not on a phone, while the phone was held down low as if to hide the device from police, and with the phone held in a position of their own choosing.

What researchers discovered was that neither position that the phone was held in would increase driving ability over the other position.  Both placements severely impeded the ability of the teenagers to drive the vehicle properly.

The study debuted its results at an annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies on Sunday.  The research was conducted in order to respond to those persons who say that anti-texting laws are forcing teenagers and other drivers to hide their phones in a way that makes it more difficult to drive.

I know how important studies like this are as a car accident lawyer in Ventura.  I’ve long suspected that it doesn’t matter where a phone is held; what matters is that, in texting, your mind isn’t on the road ahead.  I hope as a Ventura personal injury attorney that people can now begin to address the real problem.

Alabama Senate and House Seek Compromise on Texting Ban

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 25, 2012

Alabama is one step closer to disallowing the practice of texting while driving.

Yesterday, members of the Senate met to vote on House Bill 2, which would ban people from texting while behind the wheel of an automobile.  The measure was approved by a 24 to 7 vote.  This comes in addition to a similar bill passed two months ago by the Alabama House of Representatives, who voted 94-0 in support of their own ban.

The House has rejected the Senate version of the bill and instead requested that a conference committee encompassing members of the House and Senate meet to iron out the kinks and make a compromise.  Lawmakers are confident that a deal can be reached.

There are a few key differences in the two bills that have proven to be sticking points.  The Senate bill has a provision providing for exceptions to texting when a person has their vehicle stopped in the road, say by a traffic light, as well as for people checking the directions on a GPS.  Lawmakers believe that with those two exceptions gone, a reconciliation is possible.  The Senate bill also provides exemptions for emergency workers on the job and drivers in the process of seeking emergency services.

As a Riverside personal injury attorney, I’m glad that yet another state is attempting to curb this very dangerous practice.  I hope the two sides can work out a compromise.  I believe as a car accident lawyer in Riverside that doing so could save many lives.

NHTSA Hopes New Program Will Eradicate Traffic Fatalities

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 20, 2012

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and other highway safety organizations are hoping that technology combined with new policies can make automobile accidents a thing of the past.

This incredibly ambitious goal actually has a name, and that name is Toward Zero Deaths, or TZD.  Using data from across the country in order to aid enforcement officials and mandate new safety standards, the NHTSA and various state departments of transportation think that they can prevent almost all car accidents in the future.  They want the current rate of 1.14 fatalities per one million vehicle miles traveled to be brought down as low as it could possibly go.

To aid the TZD initiative, officials utilize what’s known as the Four E’s.  This involves improving safety by improving enforcement, education, engineering, and emergency medical services.  An analysis of the data that governs these four areas can help officials get a grasp on the problems along the highway and how to fix them.

All different sorts of analytics can help officials in determining new safety guidelines.  We can now look at data regarding traffic volume, medical response times, education campaign success, and crash investigation, among other things.  This allows numerous safety officials across different organizations to identify driving trends and correct problem areas.

Technological innovation is an important part of safety, and as a car accident lawyer in Fresno, I hope we can make great strides in keeping highways fit for travel.  I know how vital such measures are as a Fresno personal injury lawyer.

Canada Outlaws US-Bought Car Seats Due to Low Standards

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 19, 2012

A number of car seat recalls have been issued throughout the United States because the items were not up to federal safety standards.  But a new report raises questions about how other countries perceive goods available in America.

In Canada, it’s illegal for consumers to purchase a car seat in the U.S. and then bring the item across country lines.  This is because our country has lower standards for such products than what is required in Canada.  In fact, Canadians caught using a car seat from America or some other country could face a $176 fine, a lawsuit, or possible criminal charges.

The stringent requirements in Canada are mandated by the Motor Vehicle Restraint Systems and Booster Cushions Safety Regulations and Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.  All car seats are required to have a National Safety Mark label affixed to the item to certify that the seat is indeed safe for use.

For their part, the Canadian Border Service Agency has said that the threat of American car seat importation is not great enough so as to require added border controls to prevent the seats’ entry into Canada.

I find this story fascinating as a car accident lawyer in Bakersfield.  We often like to believe that the products we use on a daily basis are going to be safe for use because of the regulations in place, but this shows you that other countries’ regulations might be far more stringent than our own.  As a Bakersfield personal injury attorney, I don’t know if this means that our own regulators need to be more strict on what’s for sale on American shelves, but it’s certainly something to consider.

Massachusetts Cops Crack Down on Construction Zone Speeders

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 18, 2012

Massachusetts is doing its part to help cut down on automobile accidents occurring in construction zones filled with numerous defenseless workers.

Tomorrow, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and various officials from local law enforcement agencies are scheduled to announce a measure that will place additional state troopers at road construction areas along the roadways.  Officials are hoping that the increase in police officers will reduce the number of traffic violations such as speeding that compromise safety of both drivers and construction workers in those areas.

Violators of a variety of laws will be receiving citations from officers in the hopes that, over time, dangerous driving behaviors can be changed entirely.  The measure was instituted in response to a rise in construction zone crashes that put lives in danger throughout Massachusetts.  The new program owes its existence to a federal grant.

The initiative is timed to coincide with National Work Zone Awareness Week, which starts next Monday.  At the press conference tomorrow, officials will be demonstrating how troopers will be utilizing equipment to clock drivers who are going over the speed limit.

I’m glad as a Ventura car accident lawyer to see Massachusetts make an effort to improve safety in this critical area.  With cars going by at high rates of speed, construction workers are often put at risk along the road, especially when someone is driving recklessly.  It’s my hope as a personal injury lawyer in Ventura that more states follow suit with plans just like this.

Helicopters Trauma Patient Rescue Rate Higher Than Ambulances

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 17, 2012

If you’re involved in a life-threatening accident that requires immediate medical attention, then it’s imperative that you get to a trauma center as quickly as possible, and a new study suggests that you might be better off traveling by air than on the street.

The Journal of the American Medical Association has just published a study conducted by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine which claims that accident victims with severe injuries are 1 to 2% more likely to survive if they’re transported to a trauma center via a helicopter rather than via an ambulance.

In compiling their findings, the researchers looked at 224,000 patients that had to receive treatments, 162,000 of which traveled in an ambulance.  By taking the findings just at face value, ambulances come out on top, with an 89% survival rate versus an 87% survival rate amongst helicopters.  But once researchers factored in age, distance away, likelihood of survival, and other factors, the numbers reversed themselves and helicopters came out on top.

Researchers are quick to point out that this shouldn’t be used as a blanket scenario, and that each case should be taken on its own merits depending on distance and time factors.

I found this study incredibly interesting as a car accident lawyer in San Diego.  I regularly read stories about persons being rescued and transported to a hospital to receive injury treatments, but I never thought to consider which method of transport was safer.  I hope as a San Diego personal injury lawyer that this research is the first step to saving the lives of accident victims all across the country.

NHTSA Study Shows Many Fail to Stop Drivers from Texting

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 16, 2012

A new survey sheds some light on the disturbing practice of texting while behind the wheel of car.

Following a poll of over 6,000 persons by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it was discovered that 90% of people believe that texting or emailing while driving is an unsafe practice.  However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that these same people will voice their opinion when texting while driving happens in their presence.  In fact, only half of all drivers older than 65 would say something to such a distracted driver, and an even more underwhelming 33% of passengers between the ages of 18 and 24 would speak up.  These statistics come despite the fact that the poll also shows that these same young drivers were 300% more likely to report texting or emailing at the time of an accident.

To help combat this ever increasing problem, the Department of Transportation used the announcement of these findings as a way to also introduce a program known as the Distracted Driving Design Challenge.  The DOT is tasking teens with coming up with some kind of catchy icon that shows distracted driving dangers and can be used on various social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

I find it quite sad as a personal injury attorney in Riverside that the practice of texting while driving continues to be an issue.  Young drivers who have only recently gotten their license are in the biggest danger from such a practice, yet these statistics show that these are the very persons most often doing the texting.  I hope as a Riverside car accident lawyer that these awareness campaigns work.

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