A new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards is expected to save 2,400 pedestrian injuries per year. Under the new standard, motor vehicle manufacturers have until September 1, 2019 to equip their hybrid and electric vehicles with a system that emits an audible noise under certain conditions to help alert pedestrians to the vehicle’s presence. Specifically, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 141 will require both electric and hybrid vehicles with four wheels and a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 lbs or less to make an audible noise when traveling in either forward or reverse at speeds up to 19 mph or 30 kilometers. Continue reading
Can you name that quote? It was the foul-mouthed and very funny Jackie Gleason as Sheriff Buford T. Justice in Smokey and the Bandit. If for some reason you are unaware of this iconic movie also featuring Burt Reynolds, Sally Field and Jerry Reed, the basic story line is that Jerry Reeds’ character, Cledus “Snowman” Snow is a tractor-trailer driver and he is trying to get a load delivered in record time. Burt Reynolds, the Bandit, has the job of diverting attention from the speeding Snowman and his illegal Coors beer cargo. By luring Sheriff Buford T. Justice and other police to chase him in his Pontiac Trans Am, Bandit permits the Snowman to speed down the highway without the interference of any Smokies. Continue reading
If you have kids, you probably have mixed emotions about them getting their driver’s license. Jubilation because they can run to the grocery store for you, get themselves to sports practice without you having to leave work early, etc. But it can also be a terrifying time and with good reason. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens.
Recently, Mercury Insurance released a list of 2016 model year vehicles that had both good safety ratings and were inexpensive to insure. Based on these criteria, the winners were: Subaru Outback, Kia Sportage, Dodge Dart, Kia Soul, Honda HR-V EX, Hyundai Tuscon, Honda Fit , Honda CR-V LX, Hyundai Elantra GT, VW Golf Sportwagen SW. I know. I can hear some of you already: “There is no way I am buying my teenager a brand new car”. I get it. Our two older kids did not get new cars either. The good news is you can do this same type of comparison yourself for used cars. Continue reading
Now wait just a minute, I am not going to talk politics. I am going to talk about disclosure and hindsight. Whatever your opinion on Hillary Clinton, most people think it was a mistake for her not to have disclosed that she was suffering with pneumonia. Day in and day out, we counsel our clients on disclosure and here are some thoughts on the issue:
- What you think is important is not what everyone else thinks is important. HRC said she did not disclose the pneumonia because she did not think it was a big deal. But, she is not the decider of what is a big deal in an election. That is the voters’ job. The same is true of litigation: the ultimate decider is the jury. So we tell our clients that everything needs to be viewed through the eyes of jurors.
- Non-disclosure almost always does more harm than disclosure. Because some hubbub had already been made about her health, HRC probably thought it would be better keep her pneumonia diagnosis to herself and her camp, take some antibiotics, solider on and avoid providing any fodder to Trump, the media, etc. This is not an unreasonable position on its face. The problem comes when the information comes out anyway. With HRC, her stumble or collapse (depending upon your political affiliation) outed her illness. As a result, the focus is now two-fold: her health and her transparency. The same is true in injury litigation. Let’s say you have a prior back injury that you think is unrelated to the current back injury you received in a recent tractor-trailer accident and so you decide not to tell your lawyer or the other side about it when they ask you under oath. Let me be clear: this is a horrible plan. The other side is going to have full access to your medical and pharmacy records and the power of a subpoena. Defense lawyers get paid a lot of money by the hour to find things that hurt your case. A good defense lawyer will leave no stone unturned and when they find it you, just like HRC, will have two problems: the old injury is now known and your non-disclosure has now also created a credibility or transparency issue for the jury. Recall point 1; the jury gets to decide what is important and if you win.
In Nashville and all over Tennessee, more people are using bicycles as their preferred form of transportation. Unfortunately, more bikes on the roads translates to more biking accidents. So far this year, there have been 189 bicycle accidents in the State of Tennessee. Of those 189, 169 involved injury and 2 were fatal – the others were property damage only. Nashville is not the only city struggling with a rising number of bicycle accidents so numerous entities have been studying safer alternatives. Continue reading
The good news: the economy continues to improve and gas remains cheap. The bad news: this could mean more traffic deaths especially during the 100 Deadliest Days. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, last year traffic fatalities rose 7.7% to 35,200 — the highest since 2008. Many experts attribute the increase in accidents and fatalities to an improved economy combined with low gas prices as these lead to more drivers out on the road for reasons other than the daily commute. And with more drivers on the roads for weekend plans, vacations and the like, there is simply an increased likelihood for accidents. Continue reading
The 100 days after Memorial Day are generally regarded as the most dangerous for teenage drivers. It makes sense, right? Kids are not in school so they are running the roads – headed to the mall, the pool, a friend’s house, etc. Did you know that teenagers are four times as likely to be in a crash than an adult? Six teenagers (ages 16-19) will die everyday in car accidents and nearly a quarter million teenagers will need emergency medical treatment because of car accidents. These statistics are terrifying but here are 10 things you can do to help keep your teenage driver safe: Continue reading
Memorial Day is a day to remember and be grateful for those brave men and women who have died while serving our country in the military. It is also the unofficial start of summer. Beach trips, parades, lake outings, pool parties and barbecues are on a lot of folks’ agenda. Here are ten safety tips to help keep your weekend fun and injury-free: Continue reading
According to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security statistics, there were 1,579 pedestrian accidents last year. But, there were actually many more because the State’s statistics do not include pedestrian accidents that occurred on private property, which means parking lots (where lots of pedestrian accidents occur because of the unavoidable interaction between cars and pedestrians). For the first quarter of this year, there have already been 378 pedestrian accidents, so we thought we would share some tips to help avoid being a pedestrian accident statistic: Continue reading
The summer driving season is just around the corner. Time for vacations, trips to summer camp and the like. Gas prices are expected to remain low. In fact, the federal government is expecting gas to be at its lowest since the summer of 2004. So, the roadways will likely be busy and, unfortunately, dangerous. Here are a few tips for making sure you and your family stay safe including one you might not know.
- The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security offers licensed Tennessee drivers the ability to add emergency contacts to their driver’s license online. So, if you are involved in an accident, emergency workers can quickly contact your spouse, parents, legal representative, etc. If you are unconscious, this could save valuable time in a medical emergency as your contact could provide medical history, information on any medications you are taking, etc. In addition, not only will your loved ones be alerted to the emergency quicker but they can begin helping quicker. For instance, maybe at the time of the accident you were on your way to pick up your daughter from school, if your spouse is quickly alerted to the accident, he could get someone to your daughter promptly. The process is simple. Just go to www.dl.safety.tn.gov. The 7th star on the page is a link for Manage Emergency Contacts. Click it, fill out the requested information and hit submit. Now, your emergency contacts are linked to your driver’s license number.
- Register your vehicle and your tires with the manufacturer so that you are kept updated on any recalls. Last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration oversaw a record number of recalls. If your vehicle and tires are not registered, the manufacturer cannot notify you directly. Vehicles and tires are only recalled if there is a safety defect or if they fail to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. So, recalls are serious business. At www.nhtsa.gov, you can search to see if there are any recalls affecting your vehicle, tires, child safety seats, etc. You can also sign up for safety alerts.