Articles Posted in Auto Safety

But are self-driving vehicles safe?Articles-Driveai-Launch-10-18-18-1

Three vans that move slowly without drivers will be available to ride around the stadiums/Six Flags area in Arlington starting today. Presumably other Texas cities are considering the use of self-driving vehicles. But while some people say they are the future of transportation, most are frightened.

Proponents of this new technology say that these vehicles are far safer than the ones on the road now. With 84,000 crashes each year just here in Tarrant and Dallas Counties, that’s hard to dispute. And disability advocates argue that handicapped people will be able to get around easier.

On the other hand, skeptics point to several fatal collisions and argue that there are not enough safety procedures to protect the driving public from robotic vehicles on the open roads.

Both sides are right.

Congrats to Arlington, “America’s Dream City,” for pushing the Dallas-Fort Worth area forward and trying to make our streets safer. The new service from an exciting California start up company called driver.ai starts this weekend. Next weekend, the hours will be from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

I am always advocating for safer roads and am planning to ride one of the vans tomorrow to learn more. I’ll give you a full report Monday.

The future is now, at least with regards to our roadways. Self-driving cars are already legal in some states and some serious issues have already come to light. A concept that we once thought of as something out of a sci-fi movie is already a reality in a few areas of DFW, including Frisco in a closed business park and on public streets in Arlington starting next month.

Although it’s difficult to say when autonomous cars will become the standard, there’s already been an impact on personal injury law. Even if it is gradually implemented into our roadways over time, now is the time to determine some important issues about liability.

Self-Driving Cars

Changes in Legislation

Proving fault has always been the primary task of any personal injury attorney. Without it, there is no way to make the liable party pay for the damages he or she has caused. But who is liable when there is NO driver behind the wheel? Some legislation is already law and more is in the works. But some of the new laws are leaving drivers unhappy with the potential effect it could have.

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School started today and the streets of Dallas-Fort Worth have suddenly changed. Roads that were not busy in the morning and afternoon are now crowded school zones. Buses are back on the roads carrying one million of our precious students between their homes and schools in Texas.

School is Starting

Unfortunately there were 671 accidents in school zones throughout Texas during the 2015-2016 school year.

UPDATE 8/22/18: The Star Telegram reports that a car crashed into a school bus in north Fort Worth this morning causing one child to be rushed to the emergency room and injuring nine other children. It’s only the third day of the new school year.

One collision or injury is too many. We adults have to use extreme caution to make sure no more children are injured this year.

Ways to protect our kids

These accidents most often occur as children are walking or riding their bikes to school. When you fail to heed the school zone laws including the slower speed limits, you could be the cause of a child getting injured. We all know how frustrating it is to get stuck behind a slow school bus or waiting while a group of children cross a crosswalk. But these rules protect kids from getting serious injuries. We have to be responsible for them and assume they might be careless.

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Sure, Ride-sharing is Convenient — But Are You Always Safe?

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Last week police arrested an Uber driver charged with a shocking crime: sexually assaulting a 77-year-old Fort Worth woman.

Another Uber driver was convicted in Boston several weeks ago for having sex with his passenger, a young college student who was intoxicated.

158b2e912e38821593f81375bf0aa21eA self-driving Uber struck and killed a pedestrian on Monday. It unfortunately won’t be the last time this happens.

The 49 year-old woman was walking her bike across the road in Tempe, Arizona when the SUV ran over her. A “driver” was behind the wheel of the SUV but the vehicle was set to the autonomous mode. The person sitting in the driver’s seat was supposed to safeguard against this type of collision but it clearly didn’t work.

This horrific accident highlights an important question: is this new technology ready to hit public streets?

I am a big fan of vehicle automation because it takes human error out of the equation. Self-driving cars may one day finally put an end to drunk, distracted, speeding, and tailgating car accidents. But those advantages are too far down the road at this point.

As I discussed in a previous post, these cars should not be raced onto our roadways without thorough testing and strict safety regulations. We aren’t there yet. Continue reading

https://www.fortworthinjuryattorneyblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/233/2017/10/0601busax2_1464821017896_2633261_ver1.0-1.jpg#1 Cause Of Job Deaths? Crashes.

Drive Safely Work Week begins today and I want to promote this excellent idea. Companies are being being asked to remind their employees about driving safety and enforce policies that will prevent auto and truck accidents.

For businesses like 18 wheeler and bus carriers, driving safety should already be a given, right? But see this photo from a case I am working on where a bus driver driving children home from school ran the stop sign and crashed into my client driving the tractor trailer, seriously injuring him.

Why don’t businesses take steps to stop the rampant number of car and truck crashes we see here on a daily basis? A personal injury lawyer sees far too many wrecks caused by company employees — and there’s no end in sight.

Traffic accidents in DFW have shot up over the years as more and more employees move here. Fort Worth and Dallas are two of the fastest growing cities in the United States, with 400 people moving here every day. It’s a recipe for disaster since almost every one (91 percent) commutes to and from their jobs by a private vehicle. 

With so many people rushing to get home, more people surprisingly die in auto accidents during the evening rush hour than at any other time of the day — including after midnight when many intoxicated drivers are out.

This week puts companies in a good position to influence traffic safety. From distributing simple educational and marketing programs to implementing widespread changes in workplace policies, businesses can make our lives much safer.

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dreamstime_xs_15112562-300x200Here’s some horrible news: on Saturday a 19-year-old woman from Central Texas left her two and one-year-old daughters in a hot vehicle for 15 hours, causing their deaths. How can this happen?

The high today will be 92 degrees, but people don’t realize that inside a car without air conditioning, that temperature will quickly climb to a deadly 165.

Being in a hot car even for a short time can result in heat stroke or death.  Continue reading

Document. . . But TTexasBarToday_TopTen_Badge_June2016exas Is Trying To Ban Them

The Dallas City Council voted to renew the city’s contract for red light cameras last week just after the Texas Senate voted to eliminate them. At least 40 cameras, a lot less than the 66 first authorized when the program began 10 years ago, will be in place at dangerous intersections.

Although some Dallas residents objected for various reasons, council members pointed to a 47 percent decrease in car accidents at the camera-enforced intersections to back their decision.

Texas Lawmakers Want to Put the Brakes on Red Light Cameras

These cameras have been controversial since they made their appearance in Texas a decade ago. Some towns have gone so far as to pass referendums, including in Arlington where residents voted to remove them.

Two years ago the Texas House passed a bill to end red light cameras but it died in the Senate. So the practice of ticketing people through the mail continues across the state.

A new bill has been filed in the Texas Senate to ban red light cameras across the state, excepting on toll roads. Another bill filed would prevent counties from refusing registration of a vehicle based upon too many red light tickets, which is the policy in Dallas. The Senate bill now moves to the House for approval. Continue reading

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Photo courtesy of dailymail.co.uk

This week lawyers claimed in a class action suit in Miami that four major automobile manufacturers knew the airbags they bought from Takata Corporation were dangerous but they continued to install them anyway.

The internal company documents allegedly show that Ford, Toyota, Nissan, Honda and possibly BMW knew the bags were lethal but wanted to save a few dollars each on their expensive vehicles.

As a result, at least 11 people have been killed, two from Texas, and over 100 people have been injured, many seriously, after their airbags ruptured. Shards of metal were shot into drivers and passengers when canisters with dangerous gases overheated and inflaters exploded..

Wait, aren’t airbags supposed to prevent injuries?

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High tech junkies, take note: the Alliance for Transportation Innovation will conduct rides in its new shuttles from 9:30 a.m. through 1:00 p.m. at the Arlington Convention Center.

The U.S. Department of Transportation just announced that Arlington is one of 10 out of 60 applicant cities that have been picked to tArticles-Transportation-Autonomous-Vehicle-01-30-17est out driverless cars. In a research partnership with Texas A&M University, the program will test the vehicles out on the University of Texas at Arlington campus, in the Entertainment District (the area surrounding Six Flags Over Texas, AT&T Stadium and Globe Life Park), and on the HOV lanes between Dallas and Fort Worth on I-30.

Government and business leaders will also conduct a a round table Thursday to talk about how Arlington can begin using these vehicles. The fact that Arlington, the largest city in the country with no mass transit, is interested is a good step as our highways get more congested and unsafe.

Other Texas cities that are a part of this study include Houston, San Antonio, Austin, College Station-Bryan, and El Paso, making us the epicenter of driverless car research.

If you’re like me, sitting inside a fast moving vehicle, relying on its computers, sounds scary. Riding on DFW Airport’s shuttle is the closest we’ve probably come to that other than a roller coaster. But almost all (94%) of collisions are caused by driver error, so who knows, perhaps this is a good alternative.

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