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Auto Accidents

Federal Agency Proposes Minimum Sound Requirements for Hybrid, Electric Vehicles

By John Page on January 18, 2013 - Comments off

Hybrid and electric vehicles are popular because of their increased gas mileage and decreased contributions to air pollution. Because they run partly or entirely on electricity, they’re also much quieter than other vehicles – a situation that has decreased noise pollution but also poses a risk for pedestrians, bicyclists, and others on the road, as many skilled Missouri auto accident attorneys know.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has responded to this danger by proposing that hybrid and electric vehicles be required to produce a certain minimum amount of noise, helping visually impaired people, pedestrians, and others who share the road identify the vehicle’s approach even if they can’t see it.

The NHTSA’s proposed rules give automakers the flexibility to develop sound systems that fit the particular vehicles they sell, making it possible that different manufacturers will soon have distinctive sounds for their vehicles as well as distinctive designs and logos. The sound systems must, however, make it possible for a person to detect the location and direction of an oncoming hybrid or electric vehicle with enough accuracy to be able to make safe decisions about whether or not to cross the street.

The NHTSA estimates that 2,800 pedestrian and bicycle accidents in 2012 resulted from the pedestrian or bicyclist being unable to hear a hybrid or electric vehicle until it was too late. The proposed rules for sound systems in these vehicles were recently published in the Federal Register, and the NHTSA is accepting public comments on them until March 2013.

 

Tips for Safe Partying this New Year

By John Page on December 20, 2012 - Comments off

New Year’s Eve is one of the most popular holidays on which to attend or host parties. Guests have a blast staying up to ring in the New Year and celebrate with family, friends, or jubilant strangers. Unfortunately, many injuries and even deaths may result from New Year’s Eve excitement that got out of hand.

If you’re planning to throw a party this New Year, here are a few ways in which you can protect your guests and help everyone ring in 2013 happily:

  • If you’re serving alcohol, plan ahead. You can help prevent a serious drinking and driving accident in MO this New Year’s by planning ahead. Avoid serving alcohol to minors, and stop serving alcohol altogether about an hour before you expect the party to end. If any of your guests appear too impaired to drive safely, contact a cab or a sober friend to drive them home, or offer them a place to “crash” for the night.
  • Prepare for bad weather. Winter storms can easily strike over the New Year. Help protect yourself and others from car accident injuries by checking the weather forecast before you head out and by packing a winter safety kit in your vehicle. If storms are forecast, consider staying home or choosing a celebration closer to home.

The auto accident injury lawyers in St. Louis of Page Law encourage all Missourians to celebrate safely this holiday season. However, if the negligence of another driver causes you harm, don’t hesitate to contact a skilled member of our legal team for assistance in getting the compensation you need to recover. Call (314) 322-8515 for a consultation.

 

Progress Continues on Federal Requirement for “Black Box” Recorders in Motor Vehicles

By John Page on December 12, 2012 - Comments off

“Black box” event data recorders (EDR) have been standard in many vehicles sold in the United States for several years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) currently requires most, but not all, passenger vehicles to have EDRs installed. The regulation may soon be expanded to cover all light vehicles, pending the NHTSA can figure out how to handle the privacy concerns.

The journey toward requiring EDRs in all vehicles completed another step recently, as the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released its review of the new NHTSA regulations. The next step in the process is for the NHTSA to release finalized regulations.

The quest to require EDRs in all passenger vehicles hit a roadblock in 2010, when Congress discussed a law requiring the devices but never passed one. Several auto manufacturers who sell vehicles in the U.S. supported the idea, but were concerned that Congress would require more complex or costly devices than were then being used.

Today, the primary concern surrounding EDRs is privacy. While the data the “black box” collects during a crash can help automakers create safer vehicles, regulations need to control for driver privacy issues, say automakers. Most car companies currently use EDR data only with the permission of the vehicle’s owner.

If you’re injured in an auto accident, the zealous Missouri auto accident attorneys at Page Law can fight with you to defend your legal rights and secure the compensation you need. Call us today at (314) 322-8515 for a free case evaluation or use our online Contact Form for assistance.

 

Department of Transportation Launches Largest-Ever Connected-Vehicle Crash Reduction Study

By John Page on December 10, 2012 - Comments off

Vehicle to Vehicle TechnologyThe U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) recently announced that it is launching the largest study to date of crash avoidance technologies that work by sending communications between vehicles to help them control their speed and distance from one another. Crash avoidance technology is key to preventing or reducing the severity of the types of car accidents commonly handled by Missouri auto accident attorneys.

The project, which is headquartered at the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) in Ann Arbor, Michigan, will use about 3,000 cars, trucks, and buses on Ann Arbor streets.

Each vehicle is equipped with wi-fi technology and sensors that allow the vehicles to communicate with one another and with surrounding buildings. The vehicles trade information to warn the drivers of upcoming hazards, such as an obstacle in the road or a vehicle approaching a blind intersection at a high rate of speed.

The vehicles have volunteer drivers, who will use them for one year while the USDOT gathers data on the usefulness of the communication technology. Currently, these cars, trucks, and buses don’t drive themselves; the drivers are still in full control of each vehicle and use information provided by the wi-fi sensors to learn more about the surrounding environment and perhaps to avoid accidents.

The purpose of the study is to examine how the communication technology works in real-world driving conditions and whether it helps real drivers commute with a higher rate of safety. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) predicts that as many as 80 percent of accidents could be avoided if every vehicle is equipped with communication technology.

 

NHTSA Study Aims to Improve “Tween” Seat Belt Use

By John Page on November 27, 2012 - Comments off

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently launched a campaign to improve the use of seat belts among “tweens,” the age group from 8 to 15-years-old. Seat belt campaigns have recently been aimed at younger children, who need safety seats, and older teens, who are driving for the first time. Now, the NHTSA is also taking aim at the age group in the middle.

Tween Seat Belt CampaignThe study involved over 14,000 students ages 8-15 as well as parents. Children were shown educational videos and other information about such tween seat belt-related issues as sitting in the back seat, remembering to buckle up, and using the lap and shoulder parts of the seat belt properly. Researchers measured seat belt use among tweens both before and after the various educational and media interventions.

The study found that, after learning about the importance of buckling up, seat belt use among tweens rose as much as 20 percent, with riding in the back seat for tweens rising 23 percent. By the end of the study, 90 percent of tweens were wearing seat belts when the driver of the vehicle was also wearing a seat belt.

Seat belt use is a simple way to prevent or reduce the risk of many types of car accident injuries. If you or someone you love is injured in an auto accident, the tireless auto accident attorneys in St. Louis at Page Law can help you fight for the compensation you need and hold any negligent parties accountable for their actions. For a free consultation, call us today at (314) 322-8515.

 

How Does My Missouri Auto Insurance Work After an Auto Accident?

By John Page on October 17, 2012 - Comments off

In Missouri, drivers are required to carry certain minimum amounts and types of auto insurance. You can also purchase higher coverage amounts and/or different types of insurance to cover certain kinds of losses, as long as your policy meets the minimum requirements.

According to the Missouri Department of Revenue, the minimum insurance types and amounts required for Missouri drivers in 2012 were: $25,000 per person for bodily injury; $50,000 per accident for bodily injury; and $10,000 per accident for property damage.

The first two amounts cover “bodily injury,” or physical injuries caused by the car accident. For instance, if your car is involved in a crash with another car, your bodily injury limits would cover injuries suffered in the accident.

Missouri Car Insurance

The $25,000 limit applies to each person, and the $50,000 limit applies to each accident. For instance, suppose one accident leaves three people injured. No one person could receive more than $25,000 of payments for injuries under the policy, and the totals for all three people combined could be no more than $50,000.

The final number, $10,000, applies to property damage. This includes both damages to vehicles and damages to other personal or real property. For instance, if a crash pushes your car off the road and into a fence, funds to fix the fence could come from the $10,000 property damage limit.

At Page Law, our Franklin County auto accident attorneys can help you understand your insurance policy, file a claim, and establish your right to benefits in mediation, settlement negotiations, or in court. Call us today at (314) 322-8515 for a free telephone consultation.

 

Drivers Avoiding I-635 Construction in Platte County Pose New Auto Accident Risks

By John Page on October 10, 2012 - Comments off

Construction sites create an increased risk of Missouri auto accidents, especially when drivers are frustrated or inattentive and don’t take proper care while driving. But avoiding those sites can also create problems when drivers try shortcuts that don’t follow traffic rules.

One such situation on I-635 in Platte County is creating problems for motorists, construction workers, and local law enforcement. Currently, the bridge over the Missouri River from Riverside into Kansas is under construction. Traffic is down to one lane, and long waits are common.

To avoid the inevitable delays caused by this project, some drivers are taking the ramp onto Horizons Parkway just before the traffic merges into a single lane on I-635. Instead of turning onto the parkway, however, these drivers are crossing the parkway and taking the on-ramp on the other side back onto I-635 – despite the fact that there are no lanes that allow drivers to do this.

Local law enforcement officials say that the maneuver is dangerous, not only because it violates traffic laws but because many drivers take the ramps at a high rate of speed. Although the trick can save a driver up to 10 minutes, it can also cause a serious accident.

Patience and attention are key skills to practice on the road, but when drivers allow their frustration or distractions to get the better of them, another person may be severely injured or even killed. If you’ve been hurt in an auto accident, the aggressive auto accident lawyers in St. Louis at Page Law will fight to hold negligent parties responsible and win the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (314) 322-8515 for a free consultation.

 

Children Face Particular Risks in Missouri Auto Accidents

By John Page on September 26, 2012 - Comments off

Children Auto AccidentsAuto accidents are the leading cause of death for U.S. children ages 3 to 14 years old, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). On average, four children in this age group lose their lives and 529 children are injured every day in a U.S. motor vehicle accident.

Children under age 15 also made up about four percent of all traffic accident deaths in 2008 – 1,347 deaths in all. They accounted for about 8 percent of injuries in auto accidents. Although the number of deaths and accidents has gone down in recent years, too many children still suffer death or life-altering injuries in crashes.

Proper restraint use is key in protecting children from the worst of auto crash injuries. One NHTSA study found that seat belts, when used with booster seats when needed, reduced the risk of death for children in cars by 45 percent and children in light trucks by 60 percent.

When children aren’t using proper seat belts or car seats, the risk of death in a crash is literally doubled: 23 percent for children in proper restraints versus 46 percent for children without proper restraints. Among the youngest children, the numbers are even more shocking: 94 percent of children under age 4 who died in a 2008 car accident were not in a proper child seat at the time.

Auto accidents can have serious consequences, especially for children. If you or someone you love has been injured in an auto accident, please don’t hesitate to call the experienced St. Louis auto accident attorneys at Page Law to learn more about your legal rights. Call us today at (314) 322-8515 for a confidential case evaluation.

 

Understanding Missouri Seat Belt Laws

By John Page on September 18, 2012 - Comments off

Seat belts are one of the best and simplest lines of defense against serious injury or death in an auto accident, especially a catastrophic accident like a rollover crash. Missouri law requires most motorists and passengers to wear seat belts.

According to Missouri state law, the following groups must wear seat belts:

  • Anybody riding in the front seat of a vehicle that has a gross weight of 12,000 pounds or less. Nearly all passenger vehicles fall into this category.
  • Children ages 4 to 15, regardless of the size of the vehicle or what seat they are riding in (front or back).
  • Anyone under age 18 who is operating a truck, regardless of the truck’s size or weight. Riding in the bed of a truck is prohibited except for certain special circumstances, like parades.

For passengers under age 16, the driver is responsible for making sure that each one is buckled up and that children who need safety seats or booster seats are using the right kind of seat in the correct way. Passengers ages 16 or older are responsible for making sure their own seat belts are fastened.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, an accident without a seat belt may be fatal even at speeds as low as 12 miles per hour. Air bags are designed to be used with seat belts; an air bag is 40 percent less effective at saving lives if a seat belt is not worn.

At Page Law, our St. Charles County auto accident attorneys will fight to help you hold any negligent parties accountable and to get the compensation you need after an accident. For a free, confidential case evaluation, call us today at (314) 322-8515.

 

Young Drivers Face Higher Risks on Missouri Roads

By John Page on September 6, 2012 - Comments off

Young drivers are more likely to suffer serious and deadly car accidents on Missouri roads, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP).

Young Driver Risks

The State Highway Patrol collects and analyzes traffic crash data in Missouri. In its 2010 analysis, the MSHP found that drivers under age 21 suffer a significantly larger percentage of the serious injury- and death-causing accidents on Missouri roads than other age groups. Specifically, the MSHP found that:

  • 26 percent of all Missouri car accidents involved a driver under age 21, and 15 percent of all fatal accidents involved a young driver.
  • In 73 percent of young driver accidents, the crash is triggered by one vehicle hitting another vehicle. About 19 percent of accidents involved a car hitting a fixed object, but about 33 percent of young driver fatalities involved a car hitting a fixed object.
  • Overall, accidents involving young drivers are more likely to occur in urban areas (63 percent). However, accidents that claim lives are more likely to occur in rural areas (76 percent).
  • Young drivers who lose their lives in accidents are more likely to be speeding (47 percent) than drinking (14 percent). Failing to yield the right of way contributed to slightly more young driver accidents than drinking (15 percent).

Young drivers’ lack of experience makes them more vulnerable to accidents, but age and experience don’t eliminate the risks of sharing the road with careless or inattentive drivers. If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, the aggressive Missouri car collision lawyers at Page Law can help. Call us today at (314) 322-8515 for a free telephone consultation.

 

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