Articles Posted in Unsafe vehicles

Who can watch the road with all this to see and do? 

171204174617-gm-marketplace-780x439Dashboards can do everything these days. Search for the latest tune on Spotify? Check. Know the latest NFL score? Of course.

But encourage you to order dinner? General Motors just added an application that allows drivers to place restaurant orders while driving. GM is launching the Marketplace app in millions of its new models so millions of hungry drivers can study menus as they drive at 70 MPH.

Just as unnerving, the driver can also book a hotel on Priceline or peruse shopping sites on this new app.

Of course internet connectivity can help improve safety if used responsibly. Instead of looking at a map, you can keep your eyes on the road while listening to voice-activated GPS directions. If you’re in a car accident in a remote area, your Wi-Fi could be a God send to get help more quickly.

But bad driving is already out of control in North Texas. We all see drivers not looking at the road and weaving into our lanes. Playing with these apps is unnecessary and dangerous. Shame on GM and the other auto makers for allowing them on dashboards. They should be illegal.

Continue reading

https://www.fortworthinjuryattorneyblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/233/2017/07/Screen-Shot-2017-07-18-at-11.57.00-AM.pngI always tell my clients whose vehicles have been totaled to buy the biggest truck or SUV they can. That’s because over half of the vehicles on the road are pickup trucks or SUVs in Texas.

And that’s not counting all the 18 wheelers and other commercial trucks racing around making deliveries.

When a collision happens between a large vehicle and a smaller one, the occupants of the larger one almost always suffer fewer, if any, personal injuries.

So which vehicle should you buy?

Exterior styling, gas mileage, price and payment options are top reasons why we choose vehicles. Volvo used to brag about its safety ratings. Not any more. Safety is usually a secondary concern for car buyers. But we should all focus on how our vehicles will hold up against much larger, heavier SUVs or trucks.

Even if safety is at the top on your list, how can you tell which vehicles are the safest? Generalities like big cars are safer don’t always hold up. And a vehicle that looks safe may have serious flaws in its design and manufacturing.

Here’s a list of the 12 most dangerous vehicles in the U.S. Predictably, small sedans most often received failing grades. But even some SUVs, minivans and pick-up trucks were substandard. Some of the models have fortunately been discontinued, probably due to safety concerns. Continue reading

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

car crash -- at nightVisibility Ratings Not So Bright

While driving at night along one of North Texas’s residential streets or deserted country roads at night, obstacles can seemingly appear out of nowhere — an animal, a bicyclist, a jogger or a fallen tree limb — forcing you to swerve or slam on the brakes.

You may have felt at times like your eyes were going bad. After reading this study, you may now realize that your eyes are not the problem.

Your headlights should allow you to spot an obstacle in plenty of time to slow, stop or maneuver safely. Instead, your headlights may not be lighting the way.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducted a recent study of vehicular headlights, and the results were enlightening:

  • IIHS rated the 82 possible combinations of headlights on 31 midsize cars.
  • Only the Toyota Prius v earned a good rating.
  • 11 vehicles were rated “acceptable.”
  • 9 cars received “marginal” ratings.
  • 10 cars only came with poor-rated headlights.

Even the Prius rating comes with a catch. Prius owners had to purchase the advanced technology package that included the highly rated LED lights and high-beam assist to achieve optimal visibility. Otherwise, the Prius comes equipped with the poorly rated halogen lights and without high-beam assist that provides substandard visibility.

Continue reading

car crash -- three car collision rear-end

We Need This To Happen Now

Even though safety advocates have been fighting for years to prevent rear end collisions, the auto lobby has fought back.

It was recently announced that the deadline for automatic braking systems has been delayed for up to eight years.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced a voluntary agreement which would make automatic emergency braking standard in most new cars in six years. It will take eight years for heavier SUVs and pickup trucks to have this technology.

But the NHTSA announced with great fanfare in November that its 5 Star Rating System would be required in 2018. Many major manufacturers, including GM and Ford, promised to add this technology quickly.

The failure of the government and auto industry to take faster action to insure our safety is troubling.

After all, auto makers already have the technology for automatic braking and every one knows that it greatly reduces the number and severity of auto and truck crashes.

Berenson Injury Law has noted for years that the case load of personal injury lawyers has dramatically increased due to rear end collisions caused by distracted driving and DWI’s, among other negligent acts.

Continue reading

A pre-wedding celebration turned into tragedy when a drunk driver broadsided a limousine two weekends ago. Four women were killed and four women and the truck driver were seriously injured in the horrific accident. 

Limousines Are Stripped of Safety Features

Limos are the embodiment of success and glamour but they have serious safety flaws. A stretch limo is created by cutting a car in half and then adding side, floor and roof panels between the two ends. In the process, the manufacturer removes life-saving safety features, such as seat belts and airbags, meaning limo passengers have little protection if the vehicle is involved in an accident. And the fact that most (if not all) passengers aren’t seat belted just adds to the danger.

Auto manufacturers are not permitted to sell vehicles that don’t meet rigorous safety standards, but limo companies are somehow exempt under federal laws.

Continue reading

Thumbnail image for Takata Airbag Recall Photo.jpg

Congress Castigates Corporation – Again

The U. S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation released a scathing report yesterday detailing Takata’s deplorable safety practices. It cites internal emails in which executives decided to halt safety audits of its plants to save money. The committee held another hearing on Takata’s devastating corporate conduct today – the fourth time Congress has met over the air bag fiasco in the last eight months.

Takata Altered Airbag Design To Save $2.00 Per Unit

Takata began recalling millions of vehicles that contained defective airbags last year. By May that number had reached 34 million automobiles, making it the largest auto recall in history. One out of every seven vehicles in the United States is affected. 

The problem arose when the company made the fateful decision to use a cheaper propellant in its airbag canisters. The new propellant was highly volatile and often exploded, sending metal shrapnel flying into the cabin of the vehicle. The flying fragments killed at least eight people and injured hundreds of others. The new propellant cost the company $2.00 less per unit. 

Continue reading

airbags deployed

Recall Is Largest, Most Fraudulent in History

The airbag was considered one of the most effective auto safety advances in auto manufacturing history. But over 15 years ago, they began exploding without warning, killing at least six people and seriously injuring at least 139 others. Takata, the company that produced most of them, denied it was at fault.

But pressured by over 100 lawsuits, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), fines, and loss of revenue, Takata admitted its airbags were dangerously defective yesterday. It also agreed to recall another 17 million vehicles. This brings the total number to a shocking 34 million — one out of seven of the vehicles on U.S. roads. Takata still effectively denies that it was at fault. 

This is the largest recall in automotive history, surpassing even the G.M.ignition switch debacle. Both companies knew about their defective products for many years and engaged in massive fraud which endangered drivers all over the world. I’ve blogged about these corporate cover-ups and am glad that the public will be better protected.

Takata Aware of the Dangers Since 2000

When there is an impact, gas inside a canister is ignited which rapidly inflates the airbag. Takata’s airbags contained an ammonium nitrate propellant that is commonly used in fertilizer — think back to what happened to the town of West two years ago when it blew up.  But it is cheaper to use than the previously used propellant based on tetrazole. Unfortunately, it is highly risk because it is sensive to moisture, obviously a problem in humid states like Texas. The canister can quickly heat up, then violently explodes.  This sends sharp metal fragments flying into the interior of the vehicle like shrapnel. The shards of metal can lacerate, blind, or even kill the driver and front seat passenger. Other drivers on the road are obviously at risk if a driver goes out of control. It’s a nightmare waiting to happen.

Continue reading

GM Claims to Protect Trade Secrets; Victims Fight to Protect Consumers 

IMG_5421.jpgThe Texas Supreme Court decided almost 30 years ago that attorneys could share information gathered in automobile defect cases. The issue has come before the court several times when large corporations sought to restrict the rights of plaintiffs’ legal teams to share information. However, in each case, the case has settled before the Texas Supreme Court could affirm the precedent case law. The issue is likely to be before the court in the near future, according to an article in yesterday’s Dallas Morning News. Which way will the court rule?

GM Defect Lead To Original Precedent

Click here to watch the video

Crash Tests Show Serious Defects in Popular Minivan Models

The minivan is a staple for many Texas families that need to tout several children around town. Parents are able to fit their kids, sports equipment, groceries and multitude other items into these convenient vehicles, which also have a reputation for being very safe.

But how safe is your minivan? Although popular minivan models performed well on older testing platforms, they exhibited serious flaws when subjected to the new small overlap front crash test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). In some cases, the researchers had to cut the test dummy out of the vehicle using a crowbar. Had the dummy been a human being, the driver would have suffered horrific leg injuries.

Small Overlap Front Crash Tests

The small overlap front crash test replicates a common accident scenario in which the driver strikes another car or s stationary object — such as a pole or tree — with the front corner of the vehicle. The new test was introduced because these types of frontend corner crashes account for one-fourth of fatal and severe automobile accident injuries in vehicles that had previously earned a Good rating in the IIHS’s older version of the front overlap test. In the new test, 25 percent of the front end of the vehicle on the driver’s side hits a solid barrier at a speed of 40 mph, mimicking a typical real-life situation.

Continue reading

Contact Information