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Senate Votes to Make Black Boxes Mandatory in 2015 Autos

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on May 16, 2012

They’re mandatory in airplanes, but very soon, the device known as a black box might soon be required to be installed in motor vehicles as well.

The new transportation bill that was just approved by the United States Senate has a clause that makes these event recorders mandatory on all vehicles of the 2015 model year and later.  A similar measure is now being considered in the House of Representatives as well, and if reports are to believed, that legislative body will likely be approving the mandate too.

The event recorder, or black box, if you will, will adhere to standards set by the Department of Transportation.  The DOT has advised that such boxes gather data under a variety of different metrics.  These 15 categories include such things as what time the firing of the airbags occurred in a crash, what the position of the throttle was, and in which direction the vehicle was accelerating.  These are just to name a few.

Some worry, though, that this is an invasion of privacy.  To that end, though the Senate version of the bill stipulates that the owner of the vehicle is also the owner of the data in the box.  Therefore, any law enforcement officers who want to see the information must first obtain a warrant.  It should be noted, though, that in the event of an emergency, rescue personnel can access the data if it’s critical to helping them do their jobs.

New Study Shows Obese Drivers More Likely to Die in Auto Accidents

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on May 8, 2012

A new study suggests that a person’s weight might have an influence on the likelihood of that person surviving a vehicular accident.

The study, which will be presented by the University of Buffalo in New York at Chicago’s Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, hinges on the fact that persons of normal weight utilize seat belts far more often than their obese counterparts.  In fact, after looking at 300,000 accidents, researchers discovered that regular-sized individuals have a 67% greater chance of wearing a seat belt.  This number lowers steadily the larger a person is.

When combined with research from two years ago that shows morbidly obese people are 56% more likely to die in a crash (along with a 21% increase in the moderately obese), it paints a startling picture.  The people behind the research are currently calling on automakers to figure out how to make vehicles safer for people of greater-than-average weight, suggesting that obese crash test dummies could provide a solution.

It should be noted, however, that people that are just described as being ‘overweight’ are actually slightly less likely to die in a crash.  This has to do with having a moderately larger mass and because they position themselves further from the steering wheel.

It’s my hope as a personal injury lawyer in San Diego that everyone out there learn a valuable lesson from this study and others like it.  This shows that any number of statistics can influence how safe a person is in an automobile accident.  As a San Diego car accident attorney, I figure that the more knowledgable we are, the more we can do to prevent disaster.

New Airbag Technology Aims to Make Commute Safer

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 30, 2012

A new airbag has been designed, and its makers claim that its application will make drivers and passengers safer in the event of an accident.

The company touting the brand new airbags is PATEV Associates, a consulting firm working in cooperation with MBB International, the maker and patent holder of the technology.  The new airbag, which is being promoted through a program called “Better Airbags,” was designed to eliminate the need for a pyrotechnic explosion that prompts the airbag to go off.

The new airbag works via implementation of a high speed valve.  This valve can be adjusted to fit the driver and passenger of each vehicle.  By adjusting volume and air flow, airbags could be geared toward different body types instead of the one size fits all approach currently employed by airbag manufacturers.  Plus, the makers say that persons would not have to deal with possible dangers inherent with sudden carbon monoxide pollution.

This system could be updated in real time to reflect safety needs in the event of an accident.  PATEV says that the airbag can be inflated multiple times as well.  And after each accident, the new system can record the data associated with the incident, similar to an airplane’s black box.

I’ll be curious to see how safe such technology truly is as a San Bernardino personal injury lawyer.  I’m a big supporter of innovative safety technologies, but one must also be wary of what’s basically a press release.  If this device can truly make people safer, though, then as a car accident attorney in San Bernardino, I look forward to its implementation.

Michigan Survey Shows Over Half Admit To Distracted Driving

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 2, 2012

A new survey conducted in the state of Michigan has some startling results that show just how prevalent distracted driving might be throughout the country as a whole.

In anticipation of this month’s Distracted Driving Awareness campaign, Michigan’s Office of Highway Safety Planning conducted a survey of 600 people, and their results might surprise you.  Although 80% of persons surveyed said that they consider cellphone drivers to be at a greater crash risk, 56% of people said they themselves talk on a phone while behind the wheel.

Results for texting are a little more reasonable, if still not comforting.  8% said that they are guilty of texting while driving, and 96% said that such an action could contribute to an increased risk of an accident.

A number of factors could contribute to the results.  Some people may simply think that the ability to stay online and stay connected to friends and family is more important than being safe and having attention focused fully on the road.  Plus, it could be a case where people think that they are the ones that have a handle on their driving, and that it’s all the other people who can’t drive properly.

As a San Francisco car accident lawyer, I worry that this type of thinking could lead to a number of accidents.  We’re likely all guilty of figuring that an accident could never happen to us, but believe me when I say that we’re all at risk.  As a San Francisco personal injury attorney, let me advise you to do everything you can to remain safe.

Cadillac XTS To Unveil the First Ever Vibrating Safety Seat

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on March 27, 2012

Car technology continues to improve in a bid to keep motorists safe.

The 2013 Cadillac XTS, a full size sedan, will debut next month with a first of its kind safety feature:  a safety seat.  This technology has been designed to better alert the driver of a vehicle when an accident is about to occur.

Here’s how it works:  when the vehicle senses that an accident is in the offing, the seat will vibrate much like a cell phone.  But it goes a step farther than just simple vibration.  If the threat is happening off to your right, then the seat will vibrate on your right side.  When it appears that an accident is almost certain, then the entire seat will shake and the dashboard will blink at the driver.

After its debut on the XTS, the technology is scheduled to roll out on the company’s ATS  and SRX vehicles later this year.

Eventually, drivers will be able to choose from two systems.  The first is called Driver Awareness, which provides the vehicle operator with the aforementioned alerts.  The second system, which is scheduled to come out in the fall, is called Driver Assist.  If drivers choose to utilize a vehicle with this function, the car will take its own evasive action, such as braking or accelerating.

As a San Diego car accident lawyer, I can see that we’re living in a brave new world of car technology.  I only hope as a personal injury lawyer in San Diego that such technology becomes pervasive enough for everyone to be able to benefit from it.

Alabama may stop distracted school bus driving

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on March 19, 2012

The state of Alabama is considering prohibiting school bus drivers from using their cellphones while behind the wheel, in what’s becoming a growing national trend.

A bill passed recently by the state’s House of Representatives would ban school bus drivers from using their cellphones for anything other than an emergency situation while the bus is in motion. According to the bill’s sponsor, Joe Hubbard of Montgomery, the bill was inspired by a voter who called Hubbard concerned for the safety of her child who rides to school on a bus where the driver regularly takes calls on his cellphone while driving.

Though a federal ban on cellphone use for commercial vehicle drivers applies to trucks and buses, the law affects only the drivers of vehicles moving hazardous waste or crossing state lines. Washington, D.C. and 19 states currently have similar laws prohibiting school bus drivers from using cellphones while the vehicle is in motion. The Alabama law would ban the use of cellphones, including those equipped with hands-free devices in all cases except to report a medical emergency, hazardous driving conditions, public safety threats, or malfunctioning vehicles that might endanger the driver or student passengers.

As a Ventura car accident lawyer I have seen firsthand the harm that drivers can cause when they take their eyes off the road. If you or a loved one has been injured in a collision with a distracted driver, please consider contacting a Ventura personal injury lawyer.

Bill aims for safer elderly drivers

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on March 19, 2012

According to an estimate from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, approximately 1 in four drivers will be 65 years old or older by the year 2030. Baby Boomers, the generation comprising the largest percentage of Americans, will begin entering their mid-60s soon, and several organizations — including the American Highway Users Alliance, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging and Transportation for America, Easter Seals, American Traffic Safety Services Association, and the American Association of Retired Persons — have joined together to form the Coalition for Older Roadway User Safety (CORUS), a group promoting increased highway safety for elderly drivers and pedestrians.

CORUS unanimously supports newly introduced U.S. Senate Bill 1813, also known as the Moving ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). The bill would insist that states with an elevated rate of elderly driver and pedestrian fatalities and injuries reprioritize their Strategic Highway Safety Plans to specifically aim for decreasing these statistics. The number of people killed In auto accidents is on a steady decline, but in 2010, nearly 33,000 people were killed in traffic accidents, and another 2.2 million sustained injuries. The bill would also focus on improving safety for teen drivers and drivers on rural roadways.

As a San Bernardino car accident lawyer, I hope we can continue to make the roads safer for drivers of all ages. If you or someone you care about has been injured in an automobile accident, please consider discussing your case with a licensed San Bernardino personal injury lawyer.

Crown Victoria Safety Record Called Into Question

By PSB Admin on January 24, 2012

The Crown Victoria is the vehicle of choice for 85% of law enforcement departments across the country.  But does that mean that it’s safe?

The Center for Auto Safety reckons not.  The Washington D.C. based group is leading a crusade to get the Crown Victoria recalled.

Their issue has mainly to do with the placement of the gas tank, which is right behind the rear axle of the vehicle, making it a potential fire hazard.  Ford says there’s a kit which fixes the problem, but the Center disagrees.  A spokesman stated plainly that even with the kit being offered to help mitigate disaster, ten crashes have occurred in which an officer lost their life due to a fire.

The Crown Victoria has been involved in 135 law enforcement-related fatal collisions across the country between 1994 and 2009.  The latest attempt to have the Crown Vic recalled came about because of a fire which claimed the life of a Honolulu police officer over the weekend.

The country has gotten used to associating Crown Vics with officers of the law, but as a Bakersfield car accident lawyer, I think it’s important to continue to investigate the safety record of any and all vehicles.  No matter what kind of car a person drives, he or she should feel safe, especially if that person’s an officer of the law.  But that’s just my humble opinion as a car accident lawyer in Bakersfield.

Companies Join Forces To Create Innovative Safety Services

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on December 1, 2011

According to news sources, two companies called LightSquared and Smarter Car have joined forced to create new innovative safety services for motorists on the roadway by supplying critical vehicle information to drivers and auto dealerships in realtime. The service is intended to be offered by automobile dealerships as an additional safety option.

The companies mentioned have signed a wholesale services agreement that will allow them to bring the new service to the marketplace by utilizing a device to be installed to an On-Board Diagnostics port in the vehicle and using a nationwide network to supply both dealerships and drivers with critical information regarding the vehicle in realtime.

The information that the technology presents would presumably lead to increased safety as well as better maintenance of the vehicle, therefore maintaining its overall value.

As a Los Angeles car accident lawyer, I appreciate all efforts made to ensure higher safety standards to all motorists on the road. The conclusions of this innovative endeavor seem to suggest that vehicles will be made safer by installing these creative information channels between the vehicles and their dealerships. As a personal injury lawyer Los Angeles, I hope that supplying this information will assist motorists in finding newer and better ways to stay safe on the road.

University Organized Event Offers Free check-ups for Bikes

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on November 3, 2011

According to the news, students from the University of Georgia are being granted free safety checks before they get on with their holiday season. Even if all they need to have checked is their bicycle.

Mechanics from the UGA Campus Transit along with Five Star Automotive will be present at the University’s Tate Student Center where ‘Operation SafeDrive’ will be taken place. The annual event will be happening from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. and it’s sponsored by the UGA Parking Services. During those hours, workers and students alike will have the opportunity to have their vehicle checked so any possible issues may be prevented before they hit the road.

The new thing about this year’s event is that for the first time, bikes are included in the safety inspections and tune-ups. Organizers have stated that an electric-powered Chevrolet Volt will be on display during the whole event so the community can learn a bit about the allegedly environmentally friendly vehicle.

As a Los Angeles car accident lawyer I appreciate initiatives that will educate drivers and riders nationwide. Maintaining your vehicle in a good condition can diminish the chances of a car accident related to technical malfunction. For any other car accident that you or a loved one might be involved with, contact a personal injury lawyer as fast as possible.

 

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