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Authorities Reevaluate Safety of LATCH Car Seat System

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on June 28, 2012

Rules that were originally meant to keep child passengers safe in automobiles are now being reevaluated.

In 2001, a law went into effect that required vehicles to come equipped with a lower anchor that could be used by parents to strap children into their safety seats.  This system, known as LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children), was meant to make installation easier and kids safer.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and various other safety advocates have now successfully petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to alter previous guidelines.  Not only were the requirements of the anchors based off of outdated child size guidelines, but bigger kids could endanger the viability of the devices.  Anchors are only meant to hold up to 65 pounds, but since seats themselves can weigh up to 33 pounds, even fairly small children could be put at risk when strapped in via this method.

In 2014, parents will be advised by car seat manufacturers to not use the lower tethers if that aforementioned weight limit is reached.  Early reports suggests using the LATCH system has already fallen out of favor with many.  Safe Kids Worldwide commissioned a study which showed LATCH only got used 30% of the time.

With LATCH on the decline, it’s important to note that a seat belt can provide the same function as the lower anchor system.  Seat belts are a safe alternative that all parents should consider.

Report Says Self Driving Cars Could Slash Insurance Premiums

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on May 30, 2012

A new report concerning autonomous cars paints a pretty picture for those hoping that such technology could have an impact on their wallet.

The report, which was released by the Celent consulting firm, is called “A Scenario:  The End of Auto Insurance:  What Happens When There Are Almost No Accidents.”  Although there are a lot of “what if’s” involved in their analysis (it is just a scenario after all), the report estimates that automobile insurance rates could drop by around 80%.

First, the scenario relies on early estimates that place a drop in automobile accidents at 90% from their current rate.  This might even be higher than what they actually could be.  In fact, American Scientist believes that death rates akin to commercial flight or railroad accidents would be the ultimate goal, putting deaths somewhere around 1% of their current levels.

In addition to the 90% drop, the scenario leans on the continued growth and implementation of certain technologies.  The first is telemetrics, which would allow auto insurers to better determine pricing.  Then comes collision avoidance systems, automated traffic enforcement that eliminates a need to be pulled over, and autonomous vehicles themselves.

If these tools continue to grow, Celest estimates insurance premiums will be 60 to 80% less expensive than they are now.  The shift would be gradual at first, and then drop exponentially as certain technologies become increasingly commonplace in 2018.

NHTSA Could Make Vehicle to Vehicle Communication Mandatory

By PSB Admin on January 31, 2012

Could car accidents become a thing of the past?

That’s what the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hopes to ultimately achieve.  Next year, they might take a big leap toward that goal when they meet to decide whether or not to create regulations concerning vehicle to vehicle communication.

After finishing up a number of studies, the NHTSA feels they’re ready to examine the data to see if they should institute a mandate that would require such technology in every car.

The idea is that vehicles will send signals to one another to prevent collisions.  The NHTSA believes that this sort of technology could be a preventative factor in 80% of crash scenarios.

Similar mandates have already occurred.  Electronic stability control must be in every new car, and forward collision warning and lane departure warning are also being instituted in new vehicles.

These safety measures seem to be working.  33,000 traffic fatalities occurred in 2010, which is 25% less than the number of deaths in 2006.

As a car accident attorney in Fresno, I’m glad to see emerging technologies designed to keep commuters safe.  By eliminating the possibility of error, roads can become safer than they’ve ever been.  Maybe a 100% fatality free statistic is impossible, but it’s my hope as a Fresno personal injury lawyer that we can come pretty close.

NHSTA Investigates Ford Freestyle Seat Anchor Problem

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on December 28, 2011

According to news sources, a third-row seat anchor issue in 2004 Ford Freestyle and Mercury Monterey vans has prompted The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to open an investigation into the issue to explore whether or not a recall of the vehicle models is warranted.

The vehicles in question have seat anchors that reportedly fail to secure third-row seats in the 2004 Ford Freestyle and Mercury Monterey vehicle models. The NHTSA has reportedly received 7 reports regarding the seat anchor issue, with one of the reports claiming that the seat anchor allegedly separated completely.

States where chemicals are used for de-icing the roadways may have a higher number of affected vehicles since the chemicals may cause corrosion in the rear wheel wells, which are attached to the seat anchors.

The NHTSA is continuing its investigation in order to determine whether or not a recall of the vehicle models is necessary.

As a personal injury lawyer Los Angeles, I understand the inherent dangers of defective products and the risks they entail. I hope this information can help raise awareness about this recalled product and keep consumers safe. If you or a loved one has been injured through the use or consumption of a defective product, speak with a car accident lawyer Los Angeles to learn about the legal options available to you.

Truck Fatalities On The Rise

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on December 8, 2011

According to news sources, road traffic fatalities relating to trucks have increased in 2010 for the first time since 2005, a new study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found.

The situation is a stark contrast to other statistics released by the NHTSA in the same study, which found that overall road traffic fatalities decreased to a level not seen since 1949. The report details that 3,675 truck-related fatalities took place in 2010, a significant increase than in previous years. In all, truck-related fatalities saw an 8.7 percent increase from the previous year, the report said.

The number of big rigs on the nations roadways has also increased by a reported 41 percent, the study said.

The American Trucking Association said it was “difficult to draw conclusions” and claims that fatal collisions involving large trucks have actually decreased by 35 percent in the years between 1999 through 2009.

As a personal injury lawyer Los Angeles, I find that the conclusions of this study can be useful to motorists and pedestrians alike. I advise you never to leave the scene of an accident. If you or someone you care about has been injured in a car accident, I urge you to contact Los Angeles truck accident lawyer to help you understand the best legal proceedings for your situation.

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