view our case results read client reviews

Personal Injury Blog


Buying Safe Used Cars for Teen Drivers

Monday, July 21, 2014

Parents, who are looking for used cars to buy for their teenage driver, have a number of criteria that they need to keep in mind. Teenage drivers have some of the heaviest accident risks, and in fact, for drivers between the ages 15 and 19, accidents are the leading cause of fatalities.

Many Burbank parents prefer to buy used cars because they want their teen to have a chance to learn driving skills, and practice on a used car, before he buys a new car. However, many older cars, which are the kind of cars that are found on most used car lots, do not come with highly sophisticated safety features. With all the focus on forward collision warning systems and adaptive headlights, parents are very often concerned that a used car may not keep their child safe. Their budget doesn't allow them to buy a new car, either.

What should parents do? There are a number of criteria that you can keep in mind while buying a used car to keep your child safe, while staying within your budget. It is not necessary that a safe car should come with a high price tag. There are several vehicles available on the used car market for under $20,000, with excellent ratings for head restraints, side crash protection, as well as head protection to protect from injuries in rollover crashes.

If you can't find a car in your budget that includes these safety features, Burbank car accident lawyers recommend buying a midsize or larger car like a minivan or SUV. Look for the maximum number of safety features that you can include on your budget. If you are buying an SUV however, shell out extra money for an electronic stability control system because these cars are most prone to rollovers. Look for cars that have lower horsepower to discourage speeding, and cars with the highest ratings in your budget.

Quarter of Recalled American Cars Are Not Fixed

Sunday, July 13, 2014

As many as 25% of all recalled automobiles in the United States are not fixed, which means that millions of cars continue to be operated even though they contain potentially dangerous defects.

In many cases, people are not even aware of recalls. Manufacturers make it a point to contact car owners, and mail them recall notices. However, many consumers in Thousand Oaks dispose of this mail, believing it to be junk mail. That means a motorist may not even be aware of any recall involving his vehicle and could be at risk of an accident.

Even when a motorist is aware of a recall, he may not necessarily believe it involves a serious problem. The growing number of recalls in the auto industry is one of the reasons for this. When people are exposed to a seemingly large volume of recall alerts, they are less likely to believe that the recall affecting their vehicle is a serious problem. They, therefore, choose to simply ignore the recall, with possibly dangerous consequences.

According to Carfax, the numbers are really serious. There are as many as 36 million cars currently traveling on American roads that have been recalled, but not yet fixed. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the average completion rate for recalls in the United States is approximately 75%. But in the case of older cars, the numbers are much lower. Owners of older automobiles may be much less likely to become aware of a recall, or to take the car in when there has been a recall.

Automobile manufacturers have begun to understand the scope of the problem here. They are working on their own to boost recall response. For instance, Chrysler Group recently began using a system that involves e-mail and phone calls to remind customers to increase recall response rates. As a result of those strategies, the company’s recall response rates shot up to 80%. Other automakers are also experimenting with similar strategies.

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.

Feds Must Keep Non-Compliant Trucking Companies off the Road

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Truck drivers who drive beyond the maximum permissible work hours, may be at risk of fatigue, and this is significantly increases their risk of being involved in a potentially devastating truck accident. The federal administration must do more to take companies that allow, and even encourage, drivers to violate Hours of Service rules in this manner, off the road.

That advice came from outgoing National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman. According to Hersman, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration must do more to ensure that companies that do not comply with the Hours of Service regulations, are penalized, and even shut down if they continue to violate the rules. The outgoing NTSB head expressed her frustration, that in far too many cases, trucking and bus companies were being forced off the road only after their violations resulted in a serious accident, and not before.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration must increase oversight over companies that have violated Hours of Service rules, placing them under a stringent process of monitoring to ensure that they don't break the rules. Companies that violate rules must be penalized heavily to ensure compliance. Unfortunately, all of this remains on paper, and in practice, far too many commercial motor carriers are allowed to continue breaking rules placing them as well as motorists on the road at serious risk of being injured in an accident.

Driver fatigue is a major contributor to trucking accidents, and is widely believed to be a highly underestimated factor in tractor-trailer and semi rig accidents in the United States. That's because a driver who dozes off at the wheel causing an accident, is highly unlikely to admit that he dozed off which makes accurate recordkeeping more difficult. The actual number of accidents related to driver fatigue may be much higher than the official statistics show.

Senior Accident Rates on the Decline

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The increasing number of senior motorists has not, fortunately, translated into a higher rate of accidents and injuries involving these motorists. According to new data that was released recently by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the number of accidents and injuries involving senior drivers is actually on the decline.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety report, senior motorists in the United States are now much safer than they were just a few years ago. Thanks to increased auto safety technology, that not just reduces the risk of accidents but also minimizes the risk of injuries or fatalities in an accident, senior drivers are much more likely to return safely home when they are out driving.

There have been a number of concerns voiced recently by geriatric safety experts that the increasing number of senior drivers, who drive well into their 70s and 80s, could increase the risk of accidents involving these motorists. However, the Insurance Institute study found that accident rates involving 80-year-old senior motorists have actually shown some of the steepest declines.

According to the data between 1997 and 2012, fatal accident rates involving licensed senior drivers fell approximately 42% for older drivers. Among middle-aged drivers between the age of 35 and 54, the rates fell by 30%. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study found that the rates of accidents for senior drivers declined at a much higher speed than the rates of accidents involving motorists in the 35 to 54 age category.

Although driving conditions for senior citizens are much better now than they were a few years ago, it is important for loved ones to monitor the driving skills of senior drivers, and look out for signs of impaired driving skills.

Office Locations

21900 Burbank Boulevard
Third Floor
Woodland Hills, CA 91367-7418

P: 818-992-2919
F: 818-992-2940

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.