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NHTSA: Number of GM-Related Fatalities Likely Higher Than 13

Sunday, May 25, 2014

General Motors continues to claim that 13 people were killed in accidents that were directly related to defective ignition switches on several of its automobile models. However, the exact number has been up in the air. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration believes that the number of fatalities related to the defective ignition switches is probably much higher than 13.

It's a declaration by the federal agency that has triggered vociferous criticism against the NHTSA's failure to quickly investigate the defective ignition switches on the GM models, and pressure the company to announce a recall earlier. In fact, when the first reports of the ignition problems on several GM models became known, it appeared that the death tally was around 300. Later the number was found to be false, and General Motors claimed that 13 people had been killed in such accidents.

Now, the federal agency says that it believes more than 13 people were killed in such accidents. According to some safety advocates however, the actual number is probably closer to 100.

This brings us to the question - why did the federal agency delay taking action against the automaker for so long? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is the federal regulatory agency that is charged with identifying and monitoring reports of defects in automobiles, and making sure that defective automobiles are off the road. That clearly has not happened in this case. The General Motors recall of defective vehicles includes more than 2 million cars, and as the scope of the scandal has grown, the number of accidents and fatalities has increased from the initial federal tally of six deaths and 22 accidents, to 31 accidents and 13 fatalities.

General Motors Recalls More Vehicles Linked to Seat Belt, Airbag Defects

Sunday, May 11, 2014

After recalling more than 2.7 million vehicles this year alone, General Motors has announced yet more recalls. The latest round of recalls is linked to potential air bag and seat belt defects. A total of 2.4 million vehicles are being recalled in this round.

General Motors is already set to break the record for recalls in 2014, with more than 2.7 million recalls recalled earlier for a number of flaws. An overwhelming majority of those cars were recalled for a potentially deadly ignition switch defect. That defect has already been linked to at least 13 fatalities caused in more than 40 accidents across the country.

The new recall is linked to potential seat belt defects that could cause the front seat belt to detach from the car during an accident. It is a serious problem, and one that has the potential to cause injuries or fatalities. The automaker has ordered dealers not sell any new or used models of these vehicles until repairs are made to these vehicles. The vehicles that are included in this recall include the Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia and the Saturn Outlook.

Meanwhile, General Motors is also facing multiple lawsuits from persons who sustained injuries and loved ones of those who died in accidents involving its defective cars. The problem is it does not seem that the General Motors recall marathon is over yet. Owners of these vehicles can look forward to many more recalls in the weeks ahead.

If you own a General Motors car, visit the company's website to see whether your car has been included in the company's recent recalls. The company has begun the process of informing its car owners about these recalls, but some of those letters have not yet gone out.

Medication Use Amplifies Accident Risks for Senior Drivers

Friday, May 02, 2014

Side effects from medications can increase the risk of accidents for senior motorists in Burbank. An overwhelming majority of senior motorists are on at least one medication and many of them are on more than one medication. That means that many of them may be at risk of driving while drowsy, fatigued, incoherent, confused, disoriented, or suffering from other side effects.

Financial difficulties, and decimated pension plans have forced many seniors to postpone their retirement plans. Many of them continue to remain in the workforce, which means more numbers of them driving. According to an AAA Foundation study, older motorists are much more likely to suffer from a medical condition, and take medications to manage these. The use of multiple medications is very high among this group of motorists. More than 90% of senior motorists are on some prescription medication, and two- thirds of those are on more than two medications.

However, senior motorists show a strong and admirable tendency to self -police their own driving. Those who use medications or had a medical condition were much more likely to report that they had reduced their daily travel with more than three- quarters of drivers above the age of 65 admitting to this. Many of them also drive for fewer days each week, and also avoid driving at night when it is much riskier to drive.

Senior motorists must discuss their medication plan with their doctors, and ask for alternatives to medications that increase the risk of impaired driving. Be clearly aware of the kind of side effects that are linked to the prescription drugs that you are on. Try to restrict your driving to the daytime, or take routes that are less busy.

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From our offices in Woodland Hills, California, Freeman & Freeman, LLP, provides legal advice and representation for clients in communities throughout the state, including those in Burbank, Glendale, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, Tarzana, Santa Clarita, Agoura Hills, Reseda, Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Northridge, Granada Hills, Pacoima, Panorama City, North Hollywood, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Lancaster, Palmdale and Alhambra.