Archive for the ‘Auto Accidents’ Category

Update on U.S. Car Recalls — Recalls from GM, BMW, Nissan

July 31st, 2014 by admin

General Motors continues to recall its products because of defects that can harm or kill people on U.S. roads today. We’re monitoring this situation, which shockingly keeps rising with more and more recall announcements for GM particularly.

However, other car manufacturers are also recalling thousands and thousands of cars, trucks, minivans, and SUVs that are being driven in our communities and across the nation. Literally millions of vehicles on the roads today are being driven with dangerous flaws which could cause a crash and serious injury or even death to the car’s occupants as well as others on the road.

If you have been involved in an accident involving any of these vehicles, then you need to investigate whether or not you have a legal claim against the car maker for damages resulting from that crash.

This is true even if you were held to be at fault in the crash because more and more cases are being uncovered where liability was wrongfully placed upon a driver who was a victim of one of these design defects.

This week’s update on US Car Recalls:

1. BMW

This month, BMW recalled 1.6 million of its 3 Series models due to defective passenger side front air bags. It seems that the air bags sometimes explode because of a faulty air bag inflater manufactured by parts maker Takata Corporation in Japan.

This is the same part by the same Japanese manufacturer that has been the cause of so many other car recalls for problems with air bags. BMW 3 Series model years 2000 to 2006 are subject to the recall; around 600,000 are being driven here in the United States.

2. Nissan

A few days ago, Nissan voluntarily recalled over 226,000 more vehicles due to a problem with air bags installed in the cars. This is the same Takata air bag that is the reason for the BMW recall this month. The air bag inflators can blow up the air bag without warning, apparently, causing wrecks as well as damaging occupants with flying bits of metal thrust into the car’s interior compartment by the force of the unexpected inflation of the air bag.

Nissan has recalled over 650,000 vehicles thus far because of the air bag problem. The current Nissan recall involves:

2002 Infiniti I35
2002 Maxima
2002 Pathfinder
2002 Sentra
2003 Maxima
2003 Pathfinder
2003 Sentra
2002 Infiniti QX42
2003 Infiniti QX42
2003 Infiniti I35
2003 Infiniti FX 35
2003 Infinite FX 45
2004 Sentra

3. General Motors

As of this past week, GM has recalled 29,000,000 cars sold around the world with almost all of these recalls (approximately 26 million) being driven by American drivers. This month, GM even began recalling products it has just sold as 2014 and 2015 model year Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks were among those GM vehicles recalled by the car company.

There are simply too many model names and numbers to list in this post. If you or a loved one have a GM vehicle, or if you were involved in an accident involving a GM product in the past ten or more years, then please investigate whether or not that model is now subject to recall. AOL is maintaining an ongoing list of these GM recalls on their website (here) and CNN is also keeping a running record of the various makes and models that have been recalled by General Motors (here).

General Motors is being investigated on several fronts (including criminal ones) for the company’s knowledge over a long period of time that there were dangerous parts being placed into their cars and GM allowing these products to be sold in the U.S. marketplace regardless of the risk of serious injury or death resulting from those flaws.

For more information on GM’s intentional hiding of these dangers and the tragedies that have resulted, read our earlier post, “General Motors NYT Expose: Documents Reveal GM Knew of Dangers and Kept Silent.”

Below: an infographic showing General Motors Recalls — it is not complete:

 

General Motors NYT Expose: Documents Reveal GM Knew of Dangers and Kept Silent

July 17th, 2014 by admin

We know that personal injury lawsuits are sometimes the only way that people can be protected over those dedicated, even obsessed, with making more money and the pursuit of profits. It is why we do what we do (read our firm philosophy here). So, when the New York Times expose regarding the recent GM recalls was published this week, it only served to energize our passion for helping injury victims while enflaming our sense of justice: how can General Motors Corporation, of all the car makers out there, have ever thought that it could evade justice regarding these product defects?

1968’s Larsen v. General Motors: Landmark Case

Consider the Larsen case of 1968, the lawsuit that made GM liable for its cars: there, a man named David Larsen was driving his GM-built Chevolet Corvair when he was hit head-on and died horrifically as the car’s steering wheel was thrust by the force of impact into Mr. Larsen’s head.

GM’s design of the Corvair’s steering wheel column was shown to be defective. While General Motors argued that car manufacturers had no duty to design their products to make sure the car had protections for the occupants in the event of a crash, the court ruled otherwise.

Larsen was the cornerstone case that demanded car companies build their cars with safety in mind. Larsen has been cited by judges in literally 1000s of courts since the opinion was first issued over 45 years ago — and it was GENERAL MOTORS that was the defendant in that historic precedent.

From the opinion:

General Motors contends that it has no duty to produce a vehicle in which it is safe to collide or which is accident-proof or incapable of injurious misuse. It views its duty as extending only to producing a vehicle that is reasonably fit for its intended use or for the purpose for which it was made and that is free from hidden defects; and that the intended use of a vehicle and the purpose for which it is manufactured do not include its participation in head-on collisions or any other type of impact, regardless of the manufacturer’s ability to foresee that such collisions may occur. ….

The intended use and purpose of an automobile is to travel on the streets and highways, which travel more often than not is in close proximity to other vehicles and at speeds that carry the possibility, probability, and potential of injury-producing impacts. The realities of the intended and actual use are well known to the manufacturer and to the public and these realities should be squarely faced by the manufacturer and the courts. We perceive of no sound reason, either in logic or experience, nor any command in precedent, why the manufacturer should not be held to a reasonable duty of care in the design of its vehicle consonant with the state of the art to minimize the effect of accidents.

The manufacturers are not insurers but should be held to a standard of reasonable care in design to provide a reasonably safe vehicle in which to travel. Ford Motor Company v. Zahn, supra. Our streets and highways are increasingly hazardous for the intended normal use of travel and transportation. While advances in highway engineering and non-access, dual highways have considerably increased the safety factor on a miles traveled ratio to accidents, the constant increasing number of vehicles gives impetus to the need of designing and constructing a vehicle that is reasonably safe for the purpose of such travel. At least, the unreasonable risk should be eliminated and reasonable steps in design taken to minimize the injury-producing effect of impacts.

New York Times Reports GM Documents Show General Motors Knew of Defects As People Were Dying

In a report written by Rebecca R. Ruiz and Danielle Ivory this week, the New York Times is reporting (”Documents Show General Motors Kept Silent on Fatal Crashes,” July 15, 2014) their investigation has revealed that while people were dying from product defects now subject to recall and federal agencies were asking GM questions about these fatal crashes, General Motors was shrugging its shoulders to the federal questioning while internally, its own people had determined that the car’s components were causing the deaths.

In sum, GM may had hidden known flaws in its products, and continued to sell them for well over a decade, and then gone so far as to keep silent about this when the federal safety people came to question GM about what was happening with its cars.

Read the entire NYT expose here.

Think of the billions of dollars GM took in over those 10 years — was it really worth the deaths of all these people?

When people argue that personal injury law isn’t a worthy endeavor and is, in and of itself, motivated by a love of profits, consider Larsen and what is happening right now.

It is through personal injury litigation that those who have been hurt by GM’s wrongdoing will find justice — and it is through personal injury cases that have been filed and will be filed in the future that General Motors will be made to understand that this kind of behavior is intolerable in the United States using the only language that GM apparently understands: the bottom line.

GM Car Crash Since 1997? Do You Have a Claim Against General Motors?

July 3rd, 2014 by admin

The recalls from General Motors Corporation (GM) just keep coming and within the news releases from the GM CEO, it’s assumed that more GM recalls are coming in the near future. This week, for instance, the car maker issued another recall announcement where SIX additional recalls of its vehicles are issued.

This week’s recall announcement alone would be a major recall. GM recalled 7.6 million GM vehicles — and especially concerning about this week’s GM Recall was the revelation that cars made and sold almost 20 years ago are dangerous.

That’s right. For almost two decades, GM has been selling cars, and the American public has been buying GM cars (and trucks and minivans) that we now know to be defective and unsafe.

 

 

1997 – 2005 Chevy Malibu and 2003 – 2014 Cadillac CTS Recalls

Specifically, the Chevrolet Malibu has been recalled for model years 1997 through 2005 in this recall. Also, the Cadillac CTS model years 2003 through 2014 has been recalled. Why? Both the Chevy Malibu and the Cadillac CTS have “unintended ignition key rotation” — which is dangerous and a potentially deadly defect.

In fact, this ignition switch problem is the same product defect that resulted in some of the other MILLIONS of GM model vehicles being recalled in the past few months. It is this same ignition switch defect that forms the basis of the controversial GM “victims compensation fund” that was announced this week, providing settlement offers to some GM car owners (not all, and not for every situation).

Check Your General Motors Vehicle Here Using Your VIN

If you can find the vehicle identification number for the GM model (hint: if not in or on the car, check your insurance paperwork, auto insurance policies will have the VIN), then you can go online and check to see if your General Motors vehicle has been recalled.

Go HERE to input the VIN and find out at the General Motors website.

 

What Does This Mean? Millions of Crash Claims and Accident Causes May Be Reexamined for GM Liability

As more and more General Motors cars and GM trucks and GM minivans get recalled, the time period for these model years seems to be increasing. It is shocking to consider that models like the beloved Chevy Malibu (so popular that if you haven’t owned one, you know someone who has) have been dangerously defective since 1997.

Which means that wrecks have happened because of these product defects over the years and there may be claims paid and verdicts issued where the fault was not found to lie with General Motors. We wrote earlier about the Texas driver who had a felony conviction on her record after a fatal car crash involving a GM car, where no one knew the GM vehicle defect had caused the accident and the resulting death of her passenger (and fiance).

Now, she is in the process of pursuing justice against GM and getting that criminal record erased. See: “GM Recalls: What is General Motors’ Liability for Crashes Going Back 10 Years?

Her story will be among many others where GM has evaded justice in car crashes and traffic accidents for years as these serious car defects were not revealed to the public and GM just kept selling cars.

Products Liability Law Exists for Justice

In both Indiana and Illinois, state products liability personal injury law provides the basis for victims of defective products, like these GM vehicles and the dangerous components within them, to find justice from the businesses that chose profits over people.

If you have questions regarding a GM recall issue, then please feel free to contact our offices for more information.

You can also read our past coverages of this evolving GM Recall Crisis, including details on what cars are involved in the various recalls:

  1. GM Recalls Millions of GM Cars and SUVs: Congress Is Investigating while Justice Department Begins Criminal Investigation – Is Your GM Car Dangerous?
  2. GM Recall: GM Ignition Switch Dangers Grow – Moves to Stop People from Driving these Cars, Get Victims’ Claims Recognized
  3. RECALLS JUST KEEP HAPPENING: CAR MAKERS LIKE GENERAL MOTORS MAY BE RESPONSIBLE FOR MANY, MANY SERIOUS INJURIES AND DEATHS

 

Have a Safe Independence Day Holiday – Don’t Become a 2014 Fourth of July Traffic Statistic

July 1st, 2014 by admin

Throughout Indiana and Illinois, lots of plans are being made for enjoying the upcoming Independence Day holiday. Officially, the Fourth of July Holiday begins tomorrow and continues through midnight, July 6, 2014; maybe you or a loved one is taking a couple of days off work this week for some welcomed rest and relaxation.

Almost 400 People Planning Their 4th of July Holiday Today Will Die in a Car Crash

Many people in our neck of the woods may be planning to take a short road trip; in fact, AAA has announced that it is predicting the highest number of Americans to be traveling over U.S. roads this Fourth of July than we’ve seen in the past 7 years. According to AAA, 80% of those traveling over the Fourth this year will be driving.

Put together lots of people on the road, coupled with festive holiday plans, and it’s sad but true that we’re also going to experience an uptake in the number of car crashes and other kinds of accidents over the next week.

In fact, over in Itasca, Illinois, the National Safety Council has announced that it is predicting 385 fatal traffic accidents over this Fourth of July weekend holiday.

According to the NSC, we may also have almost 50,000 people suffering from serious injuries in traffic accidents needing medical care. That’s in addition to other injuries, like burn injuries from fireworks, and other types of accidents (slip and falls, drownings, etc.).

Safety Tips for Your Independence Day Weekend

From the Illinois NSC offices and the American Red Cross come the following tips for a safe Fourth of July Holiday:

  • Refrain from all cell phone use while driving your car – both hands-free and handheld
  • Do not drink and drive your car, motorcycle, truck, van, boat, ATV, etc.
  • If you drink, designate a non-drinking driver or take alternate transportation
  • Place children in age-appropriate safety seats
  • Never leave children unattended in a vehicle.
  • Keep alert for local weather conditions. Check to see if any warning signs or flags are posted in campsites or near lake shores and beaches.
  • Swim sober and always swim with a buddy.
  • Don’t drink while operating a boat.
  • Make sure kids have protective floating devices to wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
  • Never dive headfirst into lakes, rivers, or other natural bodies of water.
  • Walk carefully into open waters.
  • Keep a close eye and constant attention on children and adults while at the beach or in camp sites.

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Be careful out there and Happy Fourth of July from everyone at the Kenneth J. Allen Law Group!

 

Air Bag Recalls Just Keep Coming: Is Your Car Dangerous?

June 24th, 2014 by admin

Here’s a list of popular vehicles driving on our roads today that have dangerous airbags in them and need to be taken in for repair. Remember this isn’t a complete list (because those recalls aren’t all done yet), so please check with recalls.gov to see if your make and model is subject to recall now:

  • BMW 3 Series
  • Dodge Charger – 2006
  • Ford GT – 2005-2006
  • Ford Mustang – 2005-2007
  • Ford Ranger – 2004
  • Honda Accord 2001-2007 (4 cylinder)
  • Honda Civic – 2001-2005
  • Honda CR-V – 2002-2006
  • Honda Odyssey – 2002-2004
  • Lexus SC 430 – 2002-2004
  • Mazda 6 – 2003-2007
  • Mazda RX-8 – 2004-2008
  • Nissan I30/I35 – 2001-2003
  • Nissan Maxima – 2001-2003
  • Nissan Pathfinder – 2001-2003
  • Toyota Corolla – 2003-2005
  • Toyota Matrix- 2003-2005
  • Toyota Sequoia- 2003-2005
  • Toyota Tundra- 2003-2005

What is Going On with U.S. Car Airbag Recalls?

One of the biggest manufacturers of air bags in the world, Takata Corporation, sells air bags along with other kinds of safety equipment, to major car makers all over the world. Honda, Toyota, Nissan, and Mazda, in Takata’s Japan, as well as American car manufacturers like Ford and General Motors, are all customers of Takata.

For years now, millions of vehicles have been fitted with Takata air bags and sold in United States showrooms as well as in car markets all over the globe.

And they are seriously dangerous defective products.

These air bags explode — and to make matters worse, when they blow up, the air bags sent metal fragments out into the car’s interior at great force. For example, one single metal piece, a mere one inch in size, flew out of an exploding air bag in a Honda Civic and blinded the driver as well as cutting the driver’s face so badly that over 100 stitches were needed.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating this massive air bag recall. For the latest NHTSA statement on its activities, go here.

 

Toyota Recall Gives Details

On June 11, 2014, Toyota issued a news release that it would be going back and sending a second notification to its customers of the need for repair of their front passenger airbags.

As Toyota explains:

The involved vehicles were equipped with front passenger airbag inflators which could have been assembled with improperly manufactured propellant. Improperly manufactured propellant could cause the inflator to rupture and the front passenger airbag to deploy abnormally in the event of a crash.

Approximately 766,300 vehicles in the US were covered by the 2013 recall, including vehicles that were previously inspected and already received a replacement inflator. This recall involves certain Model Year 2003-2004 Toyota Corolla, Corolla Matrix, and Tundra; certain Model Year 2002-2004 Sequoia; and certain Model Year 2002-2004 Lexus SC 430 coupes.

Owners of vehicles subject to this safety recall will receive an owner notification letter by first class mail.

Detailed information is available to customers at www.toyota.com/recall, the Toyota Customer Experience at 1 800-331-4331, www.lexus.com/recall and Lexus Customer Satisfaction (1 800-255-3987).

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It is best if you check your vehicle at recalls.gov to see if your car or SUV has been recalled. Check even if your car isn’t on the list.  

If it has, then you need to get the issue resolved as soon as possible.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a deployed air bag, then you may want to investigate whether or not that incident involved a vehicle now subject to recall – and if you have a defective product claim against the air bag manufacturer, the car maker, and others for an injury claim.

Using Phone While Driving More Dangerous Than Drunk Driving According to New Research Study

June 17th, 2014 by admin

Chatting on your phone while you’re driving, or texting while driving, is known to be dangerous and the cause of many fatal and serious car accidents. Now, a new research study out of Great Britain is revealing that using your phone while you’re driving a car is more dangerous than driving drunk.

The research study was done by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), and the British government is reportedly relying upon this new study as support for increasing its legal punishments for people who are involved in car crashes while texting or talking on their phones.

Driving drunk less dangerous than driving while talking on your cell phone?

Considering how serious DWI (driving while intoxicated) and DUI (driving under the influence) charges can be here in the United States, punishable by both time behind bars as well as fines in criminal proceedings and serious personal injury and wrongful death civil lawsuits against the drunk driver, it is amazing to think that distracted driving caused by using a phone could ultimately be found even more serious than drunk driving — and with criminal and civil results that are as serious as DWI / DUI cases, if not more harsh in consequences.

However, if the British research findings from its independent research group and respected, and confirmed, here in the United States, then both Great Britain and the United States may be viewing phone use by drivers of cars, trucks, SUVs, minivans, and other vehicles on the road just as dangerous and potentially deadly as anyone who gets behind the wheel of a car with a blood alcohol content (BAC) in excess of the legal limit.

Scary Distracted Driving Statistics

We already have these well-accepted statistics from the federal government:

  • An estimated 421,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver, this was a nine percent increase from the estimated 387,000 people injured in 2011.
  • Ten percent (10%) of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.
  • Drivers in their 20s make up 27 percent of the distracted drivers in fatal crashes.
  • At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving.
  • Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at 55mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded.
  • Headset cell phone use is not substantially safer than hand-held use.
  • A quarter of teens respond to a text message once or more every time they drive.
  • 20 percent of teens and 10 percent of parents admit that they have extended, multi-message text conversations while driving.

Accidents and Crashes Involving a Driver Using a Phone

For those in Indiana and Illinois who are victims of a serious car crash where a driver was using their phone at the time of the accident, there are a great many experts ready to testify on behalf of accident victims about the seriousness of distracted driving and how using a phone while driving is often the cause of serious injury accidents and wrongful death fatalities in crashes.

However, this new report goes even further as it helps to explain in terms that all of us can understand — including juries — that driving while using a phone is a very serious and dangerous thing to do.

We now know that using a phone while driving is more dangerous than driving drunk. This is a serious threat to all of us out on the American roads today.

Will the state laws change in the future to have distracted driving laws mimic those of current drunk driving laws?  We’ll see.

Indiana Workers’ Compensation and Car Accidents On the Job

May 27th, 2014 by admin

In the State of Indiana, workers that are hurt while on the job will have their damages covered by Indiana Workers’ Compensation coverage. This is a specific form of insurance that the Indiana Legislature passed which requires Indiana employers to pay for insurance policies that will cover their workers and employees should they be injured while at work. This is overseen by the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Board.

What is Covered by Indiana Workers’ Compensation?

Indiana Workers’ Compensation will help those Indiana workers who are hurt on the job or suffer some kind of disease or illness as a result of their work environment. This includes covering any injuries that are incurred while driving a vehicle on the job.

 

Car Accidents on the Job

All kinds of accidents are covered by Workers’ Compensation. Construction site injuries are covered. Mill workers hurt by machinery are covered.

And those who drive trucks or cars or other motorized vehicles as part of their job are likewise covered. A commercial delivery truck driver hurt in an accident on the job here in Indiana can look to Indiana workers’ compensation coverage to help him.

However, there are times when car accidents on the job are not clear in coverage. Workers’ Compensation claims may not be immediately available to a driver who was on the job at the time of the accident but does not drive a motor vehicle as part of their daily duties.

For example:

  • A secretary who is running an errand for her boss and is hurt in a car crash;
  • A worker who is carpooling with another employee to an afternoon work seminar and is hit in a crash;
  • An executive who is driving a client to a meeting and is involved in a traffic accident;
  • An employee who is driving on a business trip and is in an accident.

Personal Injury Lawsuit Against the Driver Who Caused the Crash

Here, there may be a need to have a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer to advocate for these claims to be covered by Workers’ Compensation by proving up that the situation did indeed occur “on the job.” This may be necessary in dealing both with the employer as well as their insurance company.

Note: if the accident was caused by a third party, then the injury victim can still sue for personal injury damages by filing a claim against the driver who caused the crash. This lawsuit can be filed and can proceed while the Workers’ Compensation negotiations continue. When the injury victim gets paid from the claims made against the driver who caused the crash, then the Workers’ Compensation carrier may ask for reimbursement for monies paid under the workers’ compensation policy.

2014 Click It or Ticket Campaign: Extra Police Patrols on Indiana Roads over Memorial Day to Fight Traffic Deaths

May 20th, 2014 by admin

Memorial Day Weekend is upon us — and once again, for the fifth straight year, the Indiana State Police as well as local law enforcement agencies are joining with the national campaign overseen by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to promote the use of seat belts through the “Click It or Ticket” campaign.

 

In Indiana “Click It or Ticket” has already started and will continue through June 1st; however, things will really get serious over the three-day national holiday weekend over the Memorial Day holiday. There will be special police patrols on Indiana roadways during this time period, and drivers will be pulled over if there is a suspicion that they are not following Indiana seat belt laws.

What are the Indiana Seat Belt Laws?

According to IC 9-19-10-2, Use of safety belt by motor vehicle occupants; safety belt standards:

Sec. 2. Each occupant of a motor vehicle equipped with a safety belt that:
(1) meets the standards stated in the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard Number 208 (49 CFR 571.208); and
(2) is standard equipment installed by the manufacturer;
shall have a safety belt properly fastened about the occupant’s body at all times when the vehicle is in forward motion.

And under IC 9-19-10-3.1 law enforcement has been authorized by the state legislature to stop vehicles to insure compliance with the seat belt law:

Sec. 3.1. (a) Except as provided in subsection (b), a vehicle may be stopped to determine compliance with this chapter. However, a vehicle, the contents of a vehicle, the driver of a vehicle, or a passenger in a vehicle may not be inspected, searched, or detained solely because of a violation of this chapter.
(b) A law enforcement agency may not use a safety belt checkpoint to detect and issue a citation for a person’s failure to comply with this chapter.

Why is Wearing a Seat Belt Important? Click It or Ticket Works

The reason that Indiana continues to embrace the “Click It or Ticket” campaign for major holidays like Memorial Day is because it has worked to save lives and reduce serious injury to both drivers and passengers who are in a crash. The odds of surviving a traffic accident increase by 50% if the person in the crash is wearing a seat belt, according to the latest studies.

 

 

Car Accidents on Northwest Indiana Roads: Remember Highway Work Zone Safety and Stay Safe

May 8th, 2014 by admin

Go to this site for up to the minute traffic information (including live cams of Borman Expressway, etc.) from the Indiana Department of Transportation.

Now that winter is past, all across Northwest Indiana there are road crews working on our roads and highways to do repairs and seasonal roadway maintenance, and you’ll likely drive by those bright orange barrels and see highway workers busy doing things like fixing cracks and pot holes in asphalt, repainting warning lines as needed, and doing new work like building new roads, off-ramps, and more.

All this work is necessary and needs to be done when the weather is conducive to getting things done. Unfortunately, this also means that there may be traffic delays and lanes of backed up cars, trucks, big rigs, and more as highway work zones block the free flow of traffic. It’s needed to keep roads safe for drivers, but it’s frustrating nonetheless.

To minimize the inconvenience to Indiana drivers and keep our lanes moving as smoothly as possible, much of Indiana highway repairs and road construction takes place at night or during times of day that aren’t when most of us are on the roads. Drivers are also given lots of warning ahead of time with signage and electric message boards that there is a work zone ahead or that road closures will take place during certain time periods on that route, giving the driver a choice to take a different route and avoid the work zone. Major work zone events will be part of the nightly new coverage on television, radio, and social media as well.

Still, frustrated drivers often disregard safety while driving alongside or through highway work zones. Drivers late for work, to get the kids to school, or commercial drivers behind on a deadline to deliver cargo to its destination can become so irritated by the stop and go slowness of work zone manuevering that they decide to drive a bit recklessly to get passed the work zone area. They’ll do things like:

  • Move between lanes dangerously
  • Decide not to yield the right of way to another vehicle
  • Speed
  • Run over stuff in the roadway rather than avoiding it
  • Drive off-road to get ahead of the stalled traffic
  • Run other vehicles off the roadway

When this happens, the frustrated driver places his or her car and passengers at risk of an accident but also places those vehicles around him in danger of a crash. According to the Indiana Department of Transportation, 300 people were hurt and 13 people died in accidents taking place in highway work zones.

From INDOT:

  • Nationally, four out of five people killed in work zones are drivers and passengers – not highway workers.
  • Rear-end crashes are the most common type of work zone crash.
  • It takes just one minute more to travel through a two-mile work zone at 45 mph than 65 mph.
  • Areas where traffic is entering or leaving work zones are often more dangerous because drivers may be changing lanes and merging.
  • Most fatal work zone crashes occur on roads with speed limits greater than 50 mph.
  • Fatal work zone crashes occur most often in summer and fall.

This year, remember it’s better to be safe than sorry when your driving takes you into a roadway work zone here in Northwest Indiana.  It’s a hassle, but patience pays.  If you are unfortunately involved in a road work zone crash, then please note that  injury victims may have a claim against the driver who crashed into him or her. Other parties may share responsibility here, too: if the work zone created road hazards that contributed to the crash  – say the warning sign wasn’t working, or road barriers weren’t moved — then others may share in the legal responsibility for the harm that has occurred.  Also, highway road workers that are injured in a work zone crash may be covered by worker’s compensation. 

APRIL IS NATIONAL DISTRACTED DRIVING AWARENESS MONTH: VIOLENT VIDEOS SHOCKING (BUT WILL THEY SAVE LIVES?)

April 8th, 2014 by admin

This month is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month — and for the first time ever, the federal government is spearheading a big, national, month-long publicity campaign to boost public awareness about the dangers of distractions while driving. This year’s campaign is being wrapped around the catch-phrase “U Drive. U Text. U Pay,” and it will run simultaneously with law enforcement campaigns around the country against using a phone while driving.

Millions of dollars ($8.5 million) are being spent this month for this big media campaign which is being touted as supporting the “… the first-ever national distracted driving high-visibility enforcement (HVE) crackdown,” running from April 10 to April 15 this year.

As part of this year’s campaign, several videos are being released to promote greater awareness of the dangers of car crashes and traffic deaths from distractions while driving on U.S. roads. Some are finding these videos surprisingly violent — but the intent behind them isn’t to shock so much as it is to break through to teens and others who may not understand how serious it is to text or talk while driving a car. (One of these videos can be viewed below.)

DISTRACTED DRIVING STATISTICS

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has compiled research that includes the following scary facts:

  • Ten percent of fatal crashes, 18 percent of injury crashes, and 16 percent of all motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2012 were reported as distraction-affected crashes.
  • In 2012, there were 3,328 people killed and an estimated additional 421,000 injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.
  • Ten percent of all drivers 15 to 19 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.
  • In 2012, there were 540 non-occupants killed in distraction-affected crashes.

To prevent distracted driving, motorists are urged by NHTSA to:

  • Turn off electronic devices and put them out of reach before starting to drive.
  • Be good role models for young drivers and set a good example. Talk with your teens about responsible driving.
  • Speak up when you are a passenger and your driver uses an electronic device while driving. Offer to make the call for the driver, so his or her full attention stays on the driving task.
  • Always wear your seat belt. Seat belts are the best defense against other unsafe drivers.

VIOLENT VIDEO FROM APRIL 2014 U DRIVE. U TEXT. U PAY. CAMPAIGN BY NHTSA

 

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If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a traffic accident where distracted driving was a factor, then please accept our sincerest condolences — from our perspective as plaintiffs’ accident lawyers (and staff), we understand how life-altering these events can be not only for the injury victim but also for all those family and friends who suffer, as well, in the aftermath of a tragic accident that could have been so easily prevented.