Articles Posted in Auto Safety

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children remain in rear-facing child seats at least until two years of age. This is a change to their previous recommendation of 1-year-old or 20 pounds.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has even broadened that recommendation and they say that children should ride in rear-facing seats as long as possible.

Why are rear-facing child seats safer?

rear_facing_booster.jpgThe reason that rear-facing child seats are safer is that, in a car accident, they provide more support of a child’s neck, head and spine.

Even with these recommendations, it is not easy for parents to keep their child in a rear-facing seat. Many rear-facing seats are only designed to 20 pounds and a 2-year-old can often weight 40 pounds or more. Or, a child who is tall but is skinny, may outgrow a seat long before they reach the weight that the seat is rated for. Therefore, parents may be required to purchase more than one car seat while their child is young.

Purchasing a child safety seat is often a confusing problem for many parents. A child must fit the seat and the seat must fit the car. This sounds like an easy objective to achieve, but it can be more difficult than one might thing.

One federal study found that, in up to 73% of the cases, child seats were not even installed in cars properly.

Parents are encouraged to consult Consumer Reports for information on child seat protection, ease of use and fit in various motor vehicles.

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents and the family of those killed.

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The Center for Auto Safety (CAS) is requesting that Chrysler Group recall more than two million Jeep Grand Cherokees because they say that even in a low speed crash, the Jeep’s fuel tank could rupture because it is unshielded and located behind the rear axle.

According to CAS, there have been upwards of 172 crashes in which there were was a fire with resulting death to 269 people. In addition, there have been many burn injuries.

The fuel tank in these Cherokees is made of plastic and can get punctured in an accident and the fuel filler hose can also separate from the tank says CAS.

Chrysler condemns the finding by CAS and says that CAS had a “simplistic, unsubstantiated review of raw accident data.”

In the late 1970’s, Ford recalled the Pinto after a controversy about the safety of its fuel tank after Ralph Nader and CAS said that it was “Unsafe at any speed.”

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents and the family of those killed.

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In the past, when an SUV and a car collided, the occupants of the car were at a much greater risk of serious injury or death. One reason was that SUVs and pickup trucks had bumpers higher off the ground and would override the smaller vehicle in a collision.

A new study done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that the fatality rate to people in cars in collisions with larger vehicles has been dropping due to the redesign of SUVs to align their front-end designs with other vehicles. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) built into SUVs have also made them more stable and less prone to crash.

At the same time SUVs and pickup trucks were made safer, passenger cars and minivans were also being improved with safety features such as side airbags and improved structural strength.

Starting in 2003, the major automobile manufacturers at the recommendation of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration redesigned the front-end of pickup trucks and SUVs so that their energy-absorbing structures aligned with those of cars so that, in a collision, the larger vehicle would not override the car. This change along with side airbags and increased structural strength in cars and minivans has caused the fatality rate to drop from 44 deaths per million vehicles in 2000-2001 to 16 deaths per million vehicles in 2008-2009.

Many of the major automobile manufacturers participated in redesigning their SUVs and trucks including Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, Honda, BMW, Mazda, Volkswagen and Toyota.

This information is provided by Seattle car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents and the family of those killed.

Source:

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Effort to make SUVs, pickups less deadly to car occupants in crashes is paying off
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As the population of the U.S. ages and senior citizens are staying more active, we are seeing more reports of older drivers getting into car accidents.

Today in Redmond, a 90-year-old man driving a Cadillac crashed his vehicle into a local business, the SunShine Foot Spa located in the 16800 block of Redmond Way.

Luckily no one was seriously injured in the accident but a customer at the foot spa, an employee and the 90-year-old driver were all taken to the hospital with injuries. According to one report, it was fortunate that more people weren’t injured as there were approximately 10 people inside the business at the time of the car crash.

It appears that driver error was the cause of this accident with the elderly driver hitting the gas pedal instead of the brake.

Many elderly drivers strive to keep their independence and the automobile is certainly a symbol of that. However, elderly drivers, those ages 75-84, have a car accident fatality rate equal to that of teenagers. For drivers older than 84, the car accident fatality rate is four times that of teenagers.

Along with age comes a host of mobility problems, decreased visual acuity, memory and flexibility. In addition, many senior citizens take prescription medications which can effect their driving.

A few years back, a 90-year-old driver, Elizabeth Grimes, ran a red light and killed a 17-year-old high school student who was driving to school. This was a call to action for some states to draft laws to make sure drivers age 79 years old and older do not drive if they have diminished capacity. These states require older drivers to renew their driver licenses in person and some even require they take a driving test. In Washington state, drivers age 55and older are encouraged to take a collision prevention course.

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in car accidents and the family of those killed.

Source: KIRO 7 “3 Hurt When Car Rams Through Redmond Business

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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported that the Cadillac Escalade has the dubious honor of being the vehicle with the most insurance claims for theft.

The IIHS looked at insurance claims for stolen vehicles between 2008-2010 collected by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) found the following vehicles had the highest claim rates per 1,000 vehicles.

  1. Cadillac Escalade (all 4 versions) with Escalade EXT stolen at the highest rate with 14 claims per 1,000 vehicles
  2. Ford F-250 crew 4WD – 9.7 claims
  3. Chevrolet Silverado 1500 crew – 9.2 claims
  4. Ford F-450 crew 4WD – 7.9 claims
  5. GMC Sierra 1500 crew – 7.3 claims
  6. Chrysler 300 – 7.1 claims
  7. Ford F-350 crew 4WD – 7.1 claims
  8. Chevrolet Avalanche 1500 – 6.4 claims
  9. GMC Yukon – 6.4 claims
  10. Chrysler 300 HEMI – 6.3

The vehicles with the lowest claim rates per 1,000 vehicles were:

  1. Audi – .5 claims
  2. Mercury Mariner – .5 claims
  3. Chevrolet Equinox – .6 claims
  4. Volkswagen CC – .6 claims
  5. Chevrolet Equinox 4WD – .6 claims
  6. Lexus RX 350 – .6 claims
  7. Saturn VUE – .6 claims
  8. Chevrolet Aveo – .6 claims
  9. BMW 5 series 4WD – .7 claims
  10. Mino Cooper Clubman – .7 claims/ol>

    From this list, you can tell that thieves are targeting large pickup trucks. That makes those vehicles cost more to drive per year because of the fuel and insurance costs.

    This information is provided by Seattle car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in automobile accidents and the family of those killed.

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In the past few years, motor vehicle accidents deaths have been declining in every area except pedestrian accidents. In the past three years in Washington State, there have been 61 pedestrian killed in each of the three years.

Here are some pedestrian safety tips if your vehicle becomes disabled on the side of the road. Far too often, we have read reports of pedestrians killed in and around the greater Seattle metropolitan area when their vehicle became disabled on the I-5 or I-450.

Pedestrian safety tips

bellevue pedestrian accident attorney

  1. If your vehicle becomes disabled, try to get it completely off the roadway so that you are safe when changing the tire, tending to your vehicle or waiting for help.
  2. Be aware of traffic and never turn your back to traffic.
  3. If your car is disabled and you are waiting for help, stay in your car and keep your seat belt on in case your car is hit.
  4. If you exit your car, stand far away from the roadway and behind a barrier or guardrail if one is near.
  5. Avoid standing behind or between cars.
  6. Do not try to run across a highway.
  7. Even if you have to walk further, only cross at crosswalks.
  8. Assume drivers do not see you.

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in pedestrian accidents and the family of those who have been killed.

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The Washington Traffic Safety Commission is not keeping it a secret where and when the joint task force of DUI patrols will be taking place. They are publishing all the information on a web-site called watikileaks.com.

The watikileaks web-site shows the times, dates and places where extra DUI police patrols are looking for drunken drivers.

bellevue car accident lawyerThe web-site and the DUI emphasis patrols are all part of “Target Zero” an initiative of the Traffic Safety Commission and local law enforcement to get drunken drivers off of the road. There goal: zero traffic accident fatalities or serious injuries within the next two decades. Deterrence in a huge party of the strategy in enforcement of DUI laws.

Alcohol abuse is a leading cause of car accident deaths in Washington State. In fact, approximately 48% of all Washington car accident deaths, alcohol, drugs and medications were a factor.

Aggressive enforcement of drunken driving has already lowered the number of fatalities in the past few years.

Using the watikileaks.com web-site is easy. A driver can choose a county and a list of the DUI emphasis patrols are listed. For example:

  • August 26-27 – DUI patrols will be throughout downtown Redmond and Seattle.
  • September 2-5 Extra DUI patrols will be out in the following King County cities: Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Newcastle, Sammamish, Issaquah, Snoqualmie, and North Bend areas.
  • September 9-10 – Extra DUI patrols will be in Downtown Kirkland.
  • September 10-11 – Extra DUI patrols will be out in Redmond.

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in accidents involving drunken drivers and the family of those killed.
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Speeding is a huge factor in traffic accidents and speeding was the leading contributing cause for car accidents in Washington State. In 2009, there were 8,744 traffic accidents in King County alone where speeding was a contributing factor.

Speeding can be deadly because it increases a driver’s stopping distance, reduces maneuverability around curves and increases the distance a driver travels when reacting to situations such as cars stopping ahead of them. Speeding is also associated with other risky behaviors such as drinking and driving, aggressive driving and distracted driving.

The Washington Traffic Safety Commission has been working on changing driver behavior in an effort to reduce traffic accidents. To that end, they helped fund King County Target Zero Task Force which provided extra law enforcement patrols that specifically targeted speeding drivers.

The Seattle PI.com
reports that between July 15 and August 7, the emphasis patrols wrote 1,245 speeding tickets and also made three DUI arrests, three felony arrests, four aggressive driving violations, 15 cell phone citations, six seat belt tickets, 50 uninsured motorist tickets and 15 suspended/revoked license violations.

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents and the family of those who have been killed.

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New York state has become the first state in the U.S. to require convex or cross over mirrors to be installed on the front of large trucks with a gross weight of 26,000 pounds or more when driving within New York city.

The law is intended to avoid pedestrian accidents which are caused by blind spots. The push for the law to be enacted came after a four year old boy was killed when a delivery truck hit him while he was riding a tricycle. The truck driver did not see the boy because he was within the truck’s blind spot.

The new law is not supported by the New York State Motor Truck Association and their position is that it will not increase safety and that the law only applies to trucks actually registered in the New York state.

There are blind spots in most motor vehicles, areas of the road that can not be seen while a driver is looking forward or with the rear-view or side mirror. In trucks, because they are so large and high of the ground and the operator has such a high seating position, the blind spot can also be directly in front of the vehicle.

Many safety organizations call for safety measures in large SUVs as well. When backing up, a blind spot in the SUV can hide small children or vehicles including bicycles, which has resulted in the death of at least 50 small children.In fact, blind spot detection features are the safety feature that motorists want most in a new car.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents and the family of those who have been killed.

Source:

Truckinginfo New York Law Requires Convex Mirrors on Trucks in Big Apple

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A Seattle driver hauling a kayak was responsible for a multiple vehicle accident on Interstate 5 near South Spokane Street in Seattle early Friday morning when the kayak fell from her car.

Seattle’s KOMO News.com reports that the woman’s car dropped a kayak on I-5 and two cars collided as they tried to avoid the kayak. Two other vehicles were hit with debris from the car accident.

Washington state vehicle code RCW 46.61.655 is the statute that covers lost loads. It is also known as “Maria’s law” for the young woman who was seriously injured and blinded after a lost load crashed into her vehicle. The statute provides that a driver is guilty of criminal negligence if he/she fails to secure all or part of a load. If a lost load causes bodily injury, the driver could spend up to a year in jail and face a fine of $5,000.

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