Archive for October 15, 2015

This Week Is Child Passenger Safety Week

Auto Accidents Lawyer

Child Passenger Safety Week began September 16 and culminates September 22 with National Seat Check Saturday. The goal is to remind parents and care givers to make sure that they are properly using and installing their child safety seats. Car crashes are the number one killer of children 1 to 12 years old in the United States and the best way to protect them in the car is to put them in the right seat, at the right time, and use it the right way.
A new National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) survey shows that parents are making five significant mistakes when using car seats and booster seats:

  1. Wrong harness slot used – The harness straps used to hold the child in the car seat were positioned either too low or too high;
  2. Harness chest clip positioned over the abdomen rather than the chest or not used at all;
  3. Loose car seat installation – The restraint system moved more than two inches side-to-side or front to back; anything more than one inch is too much.
  4. Loose harness – More than two inches of total slack between the child and the harness strap; there should be no slack.
  5. Seat belt placement was wrong – Lap belt resting over the stomach and/or shoulder belt on the child’s neck or face.

The survey also found that one in five parents do not read any instructions when installing seats, yet 90 percent felt confident or very confident that their car seats and booster seats were installed correctly. If car seats and booster seats are not used properly they may not protect the child the way they should.
To help parents ensure their child seats are installed and used correctly, Safe Kids and NHTSA are encouraging everyone to take 15 minutes to conduct an at-home checkup using the following guidelines:

  • Right Seat. Check the label on your car seat to make sure it’s appropriate for your child’s age, weight and height.
  • Right Place. Kids are VIPs, just ask them. We know all VIPs ride in the back seat, so keep all children in the back seat until they are 13. Doing this, along with correctly using the appropriate child restraints, greatly reduces the risk of injury.
  • Right Direction. You want to keep your child in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible. When he or she outgrows the seat, move your child to a forward-facing car seat. Make sure to attach the top tether after you tighten and lock the seat belt or lower anchors.
  • Inch Test. Once your car seat is installed, give it a good shake at the base. Can you move it more than an inch side to side or front to back? A properly installed seat will not move more than an inch.
  • Pinch Test. Make sure the harness is tightly buckled and coming from the correct slots (check manual). Now, with the chest clip placed at armpit level, pinch the strap at your child’s shoulder. If you are unable to pinch any excess webbing, you’re good to go.

Parents are encouraged to read the vehicle and car seat instruction manuals in addition to following the checklist. By following these guidelines not only will your child ride as safely as possible, but you will be establishing the foundation for a lifelong habit of seat belt use every time your child travels.

A New Danger: Counterfeit Air Bags

US Car Safety Law

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a consumer safety advisory to alert vehicle owners and repair professionals to the dangers of counterfeit air bags on US car safety law . Thousands of motorists may be at risk of driving cars and trucks installed with these dangerous counterfeit bags.
According to the NHTSA, these air bags look nearly identical to certified, original equipment parts and some even bear the insignia and branding of major automakers. However, testing of these air bags has shown consistent malfunctioning, ranging from non-deployment of the airbag to the expulsion of metal shrapnel during deployment.

The problem is not a manufacturing issue, but a counterfeit issue. Government investigators believe many of the counterfeit bags come from China and then they are marketed to auto repair and body shops as real, certified equipment, industry officials said. Auto dealerships that operate their own body shops are less likely to have installed counterfeit bags, due to the fact they are usually required by their franchise agreements to buy their parts, including air bags, directly from automakers. However, only 37 percent of auto dealers have their own body shops. So in these situations, consumers whose vehicles have been damaged are referred by their insurance companies to auto body shops that aren’t affiliated with an automaker.

While the full scope and scale of this problem is uncertain from currently available data, NHTSA has identified certain vehicle makes and models for which these air bags may be available and believes this issue affects less than 0.1 percent of the U.S. vehicle fleet – an estimated 250,000 cars on the road. Only vehicles which have had an air bag replaced within the past three years by a repair shop that is not part of a new car dealership or who have purchased a replacement air bag online may be at risk.

Fortunately, no deaths or injuries have been tied to the counterfeit bags, but it’s unclear whether police accident investigators would be able to identify a counterfeit bag from a genuine one. About 1.5 million air bags are deployed each year in auto accidents. So even though there have not been any deaths, this is an extreme safety risk. Air bags save thousands of lives each year and are an essential piece of safety equipment in vehicles.
It is important for at risk motorists to contact the call center that has been established by their auto manufacturer to have their vehicle inspected at their own expense and their air bag replaced if necessary. Here is a list from the NHTSA explaining who is most at risk:
Consumers who have had air bags replaced within the past three years at a repair shop that is not part of a new car dealership
Consumers who have purchased a used car that may have sustained an air bag deployment before their purchase
Consumers who own a car with a title branded salvage, rebuilt, or reconstructed
Consumers who have purchased replacement air bags from eBay or other non-certified sources-especially if they were purchased at unusually low prices (i.e. less than $400)

Drunk Driving Campaign For Halloween Safety Kicks Off Today

Auto Accident Lawyer CA

Auto Accident Lawyer CA & Law enforcement agencies around North Carolina are joining the North Carolina Highway Patrol for the 2012 Halloween “Booze It & Lose It” campaign. The campaign will kickoff tonight and run through October 31, 2012. The campaign aims to keep impaired drivers off the roads, and allow everyone to enjoy the holiday. The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office is planning ‘Low-Manpower Checkpoints” in different places throughout the county, so drivers should notice more officers and patrols on the roads.

State officials say Halloween parties lead to a number of drunk driving arrests and auto accidents, which is why they are making an effort to prevent injuries and deaths. It seems more and more adults are celebrating this holiday each year, which means the potential for drunk drivers on the road increases as well. When the National Consumer Federation surveyed adults five years ago, only 52.5 percent of adults planned to celebrate the Halloween. This year, the number has increased to 71.2 percent.

While the campaign was not scheduled to start until tonight, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police got a jump on the effort by making eight arrests late Thursday and early Friday at a DWI checkpoint in southeast Charlotte. The checkpoint was conducted from 11 p.m. Thursday until 3 a.m. Friday in the 4900 block of Providence Road, which is near Fairview Road.

It is important for anyone consuming alcohol this weekend to make sure they have arranged for a safe ride. Something this simple could potentially save lives and prevent serious injuries. During the 2011 campaign, officers statewide charged more than 750 motorists with DWI..

N.C. Personal Injury Attorneys Wish You a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving

Tips from expert personal injury attorneys

The Thanksgiving Holiday is finally upon us and everyone is looking forward to spending time with family during the extended weekend. However, with millions of Americans planning to travel on this weekend, it is important for travelers to be aware of the dangers on the roadways and to prepare for a safe holiday commute. The end of Daylight Savings Time and the onset of winter weather signifies that we are heading into the deadliest six weeks of the year on the roads.

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports more trips per-day are made over the Thanksgiving Day holiday than even the year-end holiday travel period. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), more than 400 motorists are expected to die on the nation’s roads over the long Thanksgiving Holiday weekend and an estimated 50,000 more will be injured seriously enough to seek medical attention. It seems that air travel may rise for the holiday as well, but the vast majority, 90 percent of travelers, hit the roads to meet with family and friends. More North Carolinians are expected to travel by car this Thanksgiving weekend due largely in part to a dramatic drop in gas prices statewide.

There are many things to keep in mind when traveling on this holiday. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that drunk driving was involved in 40 percent of all fatal accidents during the Thanksgiving holiday last year. However, drunk driving is not the only issue for drivers to be concerned with. Many travelers must commute through areas with only two lane roads to go to and from gatherings. Dangerous head-on accidents are all too common on these narrow roadways. Drowsiness is also a significant contributor to car accidents. During the holiday season, many people drive late at night and for many miles, and sleepiness can cause a driver to lose track of the road during travel.

Here some tips to help you and your loved ones stay safe on the roads while traveling for the Thanksgiving Holiday:
– Make sure the vehicle is in good working order with a full tank of gas, check the tire air pressure and make sure the windshield fluid is full. Clean the vehicle’s headlights, taillights, signal lights and windows;
– Be sure you have blankets, water and other necessities in case of an emergency;
– Make sure everyone in the vehicle is buckled up;
– Don’t drive impaired. Designate a driver who won’t drink;
– Be well rested and alert. If the driver is tired, stop and get some rest;
– Give full attention to the road. Avoid distractions such as cell phones;
– Observe speed limits – driving too fast or too slow can increase the chance of being in a collision;
– If traveling long distances, make frequent stops and rotate drivers if necessary;
– Be respectful of other motorists and follow the rules of the road.;
– If car trouble develops, pull off the road as far as possible;
– Plan your trip before you leave. Traffic is likely to be the most congested on interstates, but sometimes taking an alternate route that may look like a longer trip, may be the best way.