Articles Posted in Automobile Accidents

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By September 2019, all new hybrid and electric vehicles in the United States must come with a sound-emitting device that will help reduce the risk of pedestrian accidents.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s new rule requires that all hybrid, electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles be equipped with an acoustic device to help prevent pedestrian accidents. These quiet vehicles pose a potential hazard because pedestrians, both blind and sighted, very often fail to realize that they are in the path of an oncoming quiet car.  NHTSA estimates that there are as many as 2,400 pedestrian injuries every year that occur as the result of collisions involving these cars.

The agency clearly lays out the minimum sound requirements for both electric and hybrid vehicles with a gross weight of 10,000 pounds or less.  The requirement asks manufacturers to ensure that these devices produce sounds that meet the minimal requirements of the standard, and which are high enough so that both blind as well as sighted pedestrians can recognize the danger of an accident and can easily move to avoid one. The noise must be audible, and must be produced when the car is traveling at a speed of less than 19 mph. Vehicles that are moving at greater than this speed do not need to emit the sound, because the wind noise generated by the car traveling at high speeds, is deemed sufficient to alert pedestrians.

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One of the most distracting activities behind the wheel does not involve any kind of electronic device. The simple act of eating or snacking while driving can significantly increase your risks of being involved in a motor vehicle collision.

According to researchers, a person’s crash risk increases by as much as 70% when he’s driving while eating or drinking.  Any kind of behavior that takes your hand away from the steering wheel and your eyes off the road, constitutes a distraction while driving.  Avoiding these behaviors is one important way to keep safe while traveling.  Whether you are chowing down a breakfast during the morning rush hour, or snacking on the way home, your risks of an accident are magnified.

Unfortunately, while many motorists seem to appreciate the dangers of using a cell phone or texting while driving, they may not fully understand the dangers of snacking while driving. Let’s face it. We have all snacked or sipped a beverage while driving at some point.  According to one study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, drivers between the ages of 40 and 50 are much more likely to snack while driving, compared to drivers of other age groups.  Drivers between the ages of 20 and 30 are next on the list, followed by drivers between the ages of 16 and 17. People also tend to snack and drive more frequently when they are alone, compared to when they are with other passengers.

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Georgia personal injury law allows victims of accidents to recover compensation for injuries caused by the negligence of other persons and companies.  If you have been involved in an accident, it is important to not only learn about our State’s laws, but also understand specific doctrines, like comparative negligence, that may affect your claim.

Accident victims are sometimes surprised when they are blamed for their own injuries. However, that does happen and in many more cases than most people realize.  The other party in your claim could attempt to point the finger at you, claiming that you were responsible for your own injuries by your own negligence.  For example, if investigations find that you were also negligent because you were on your cell phone at the time, or because you were also speeding, then Georgia’s comparative fault laws may apply to your claim, making it difficult for you to recover the full amount of your damages.

In a case like this, the courts will reduce the damages that you are eligible for by the percentage that you are at fault in the accident. For instance, if the court decides that the other person was 80% at fault in the accident, while you were 20% at fault, it will reduce the damages that are recoverable by you by 20%.

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Halloween is almost here, and that means excited parents working on costumes for their even more excited children. However, it’s important to keep in mind that Halloween can be a dangerous time, especially for children. Child pedestrians walking around in the dark simply translates into a higher risk of accidents for young children.

This Halloween, make sure that your children are aware of all safety rules before they go out trick-or-treating. There are basic, simple safety rules that children must follow when they are out on Halloween night.

Make sure that young children are accompanied by older children when they’re out. Children must be told to follow the old safety rule of looking left, right and then left again when crossing the street, and must only cross the street at corners. They must walk on sidewalks, and if there are no sidewalks, must walk in the face of oncoming traffic.

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Road rage is a major factor in American accidents, and as many as 80 percent of Americans admit that they have experienced an episode of road rage at least once over the past year.

According to statistics released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 4 in 5 Americans admitted to engaging in dangerous behaviors, like hitting another vehicle on purpose, or stepping out of their vehicle in anger, during a bout of road rage. As many as 8 million motorists admitted to these and other types of dangerous behaviors on the road.

It’s normal to experience a moment of frustration and anxiety when you are driving, especially during peak hours. However, a responsible motorist must keep control of his emotions and not allow them to cloud his judgment and his behavior. Road rage can contribute to the kind of dangerous and impulsive behaviors that can increase the risk of an accident.

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Sometimes, car accidents are the result of a driver having a medical emergency at the wheel. For instance, a driver who suffers a heart attack, stroke, or seizure may lose control of his or her vehicle, leading to a serious accident.

In cases like this, can another injured driver or passenger recover damages from the motorist who lost control as a result of a medical condition?

This can be a tricky question to resolve. Liability will depend very heavily on whether the motorist who had the medical emergency was aware of his or her health condition or the medical risks involved in driving.

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Motor vehicle accident fatalities continue to be a problem across the United States. This is true in Georgia, where the traffic accident fatality toll in the first half of 2015 looks set to exceed the number recorded the previous year. The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) believes that distracted driving, accounts for much of that increase.

Thus far, according to the statistics, traffic accidents are up by 25% over the previous year. Georgia records an average of 100 fatalities every month, and at that rate, the total will be at least 1,200 fatalities by the end of the year. If that happens, it would be an increase of 4.6% from 2014. There have been close to 400 traffic accident fatalities in Georgia this year.

Other findings from the 2015 statistics should cause even more alarm. For example, many of the fatalities were not wearing seat belts at the time of the accident. Only 38 % of the motorists involved in fatal accidents were wearing seat belts at the time. In addition, 69% failed to maintain their lanes. These are crucial driving errors that dramatically increase the risk of being killed in an accident.

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Whether or not you’ll be home for Christmas, the holiday season is always a busy travel time. This year is slated to be even busier than usual. Due to the improving economy and the low price of gas, AAA predicts that 2014 will have the busiest holiday travel on record, with nearly 99 million Americans traveling more than 50 miles. Air travel is also expected to increase this year, to 5.7 million travelers.

The last days before Christmas are a particularly dangerous time to be on the roads, as people are rushing to finish their holiday shopping or leaving for trips out of town. For those wanting to avoid the worst of the traffic, traveling on the actual holiday may be your best bet. Fewer people are on the roads on Christmas and Christmas Eve.

Winter weather is another factor that makes holiday travel hazardous. Snow and sleet make roads dangerous and safe driving difficult. If you can’t avoid being on the roads this holiday season, here are some tips to make your journey safer:
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For months now, the Takata airbag recall has been making headlines. So far, the faulty airbags have been responsible for five deaths and hundreds of injuries around the world. Currently over 20 million vehicles have been recalled worldwide, including over 11 million recalled in the United States.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has become involved, urging owners of the affected vehicles to act on the recalls. However, the agency’s powers are limited. In November, the NHTSA called for a national recall of vehicles with affected driver’s side airbags. Takata refused to issue a nationwide recall, although the company said it would cooperate with manufacturers who chose to issue recalls. Honda, Takata’s biggest customer, has issued a nationwide recall in accordance with the request by the NHTSA.

The current recalls by Takata only apply to vehicles in high-humidity areas. Takata justified its refusal by stating that scientific evidence shows the malfunction is only present in high-humidity environments, and that expanding the recall would delay getting parts to those at greater risk. The NHTSA is preparing to take further action.
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Some would say this has been a hard year for auto giant General Motors. Times have been even more difficult, however, for those consumers directly affected by the series of safety issues that have plagued the company, caused car accidents and prompted millions of recalls. The recalls affected several models, including Chevrolet Cobalts, Saturn Ions, Pontiac G5s, Chevrolet HHRs, Pontiac Solstices and Saturn Skys, primarily those manufactured from 2003 to 2007.

Loss in vehicle value aside, an ignition switch flaw in the vehicles has been linked to more than 30 deaths and instances of bodily injury. A federal judge in New York has slated the first of many trials for 2016 and those close to the lawsuit claim there was evidence that certain employees knew about the dangers posed by the ignition switch flaw for the last ten years, a full decade before the recalls were initiated.

According to the announcement finally made by GM earlier this year, the ignition switch may slip out of position when jostled, cutting power to and disabling life-saving devices – including air bags, steering capabilities, and brakes. Plaintiffs’ attorneys hope the ruling in this first case will set a favorable precedent for those to follow.
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