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Greenville Personal Injury Law Blog

Why the '5 for Drive' is important for young drivers

It is natural for parents to worry about teen drivers; especially when they first receive their license. For teens, a newly acquired license is like a freedom card. However, this lease on freedom is fraught with hazards. Teen drivers are the most likely (on average) to be involved in a crash. Also, car accidents are the number one killer of children aged 15-20.

Because of these ominous statistics, it is important for parents to establish clear rules for driving. This post will identify the “5 for Drive” safety standards as established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

New technology may allow cars to read a driver's eyes

The passing of Labor Day is an important time for automakers. Essentially, it is a time when the newest models grace showrooms and later models begin to get phased out. Many automakers are featuring state-of-the –art crash avoidance systems, including lane integrity warning systems, proximity warning systems, and park assist systems.

These advancements are described as the first steps in what will eventually become autonomous (self-driving) cars. Another potential safety advancement has to do with technology that can read a driver’s eyes to determine if he or she is fatigued or distracted enough to be a danger to other drivers. The technology is currently being tested and developed by General Motors. 

Things you should never do after an accident

Labor Day weekend is poised to be a busy time for drivers on North Carolina highways. It is the unofficial end of summer since kids of all ages are going back to school. (The official end of summer is on September 22). Regardless, thousands of drivers are going to be on the road between Friday morning and Monday afternoon. When the number of cars on the road increases, so do the chances of being in an accident.

Should this misfortune occur, there are a number of things you should avoid doing; especially in an effort to preserve your legal rights. This post will highlight a few.

Why motorcycle helmets are more than just headgear for riders

A motorcycle helmet is more than just headgear to a rider. It is an expression of uniqueness and identity. It is an embodiment of one’s persona, and possibly catnip to the ladies. But above the notoriety and sense of cool that comes with a helmet, it must be effective. It has to protect the rider’s head in the event of an accident. After all, motorcycle riders don’t have the added protection of a steel cage that people in cars have. The only protection between a rider’s head and the pavement is the helmet.

Because of this, it is critical that riders wear certified motorcycle helmets when they ride. 

Hyundai fined for not recalling cars subject to brake defect

Yet another automaker is facing stiff fines stemming from an auto defect that was not addressed in a timely manner. Earlier this summer, American automaker General Motors was fined $35 million for allegedly concealing an ignition switch defect that has lead to millions of cars being recalled.

This time, it is Korean automaker Hyundai under scrutiny. According to an ABC News.com report, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has fined Hyundai $17.35 million for reportedly failing to disclose a brake line defect. Essentially, the brake lines on 2009 through 2012 Genesis models could become corroded, which could have led to potential brake failure. The automaker is alleged to have told car owners to change their brake fluids upon repair instead of issuing a recall. 

Why auto insurance may be so expensive

Many of us believe that we pay too much for auto insurance. Given the likelihood that a driver will be in a serious accident in his or her lifetime, it is a wonder why our monthly insurance premiums continue to climb. Nevertheless, a recent study released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration may shed some light on this mystery.  According to federal researchers, the total costs associated with auto accidents is nearly $1 trillion per year.

The study took into account the costs stemming from nearly 33,000 deaths from auto accidents, 3.9 million non-fatal crashes and 24 million damaged vehicles in 2010.

Selfies while driving could lead to terrible consequences

During the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer, there is an increased emphasis on preventing distracted driving accidents. After all, more teen drivers are on the road since school is out, and the longer summer days will attract more drivers. Even with the overriding concern about distracted driving, social media platforms are chock full of selfies that people are taking while driving.

Just peruse the hashtags that correspond with the act of taking pictures while behind the wheel, including: #smilingwhiledriving, #sundaydrive, #drivingtowork, and #stuckintraffic.

GM expands recall to midsize vehicles

It has been the summer of discontent for General Motors. Not only has the automaker had to pay a $35 million fine for failing to address ignition switch problems in small cars in a timely manner, it was recently reported that GM knew about similar problems in midsize vehicles for more than a decade and reportedly did not address those issues either.

The ignition switch issue involves the potential for keys to slip from the “run” position to the “accessory” or “stop” positions. This could cause the engine to shut down unexpectedly and cause power steering to fail and prevent airbags from deploying. The problem is attributable to at least a dozen accidents and deaths, although investigations of past accidents may change given the recent revelation of how many vehicles were affected. 

Tracy Morgan seeks damages from Wal-Mart after crash

In the latest development with the Tracy Morgan accident, he and three others have filed a personal injury lawsuit against Wal-Mart. The driver of the truck that crashed into his limousine van nearly six weeks ago was employed by the retail giant. It has been reported that the driver had been awake for more than 24 hours prior to the crash, and had been behind the wheel for quite some time. He reportedly had to travel more than 600 miles from his home in Georgia to pick up the truck in Delaware before heading on to New Jersey. 

What accident investigations can reveal

The North Carolina Highway Patrol reported seven fatal accidents in the state that occurred over the Fourth of July holiday weekend. They included crashes occurring on N.C. 41 just west of Lumberton, U.S. 220 south of Madison, U.S. 21 south of Yadkinville and in Alamance County.

While the various crashes are likely under investigation, authorities in the crash in Alamance County believe that excessive speed was a possible factor in the accident. Also, the woman who lost her life reportedly was not wearing her seatbelt, given that she was ejected from the vehicle. 

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