January 31, 2011

Toyota recalls nearly 1.7 million vehicles

Toyota is recalling “nearly 1.7 million vehicles around the world for various defects that may cause fuel leakage - the latest in quality control woes for the Japanese automaker.” (Y Kageyama, AP Business, 1/25). Unfortunately for Toyota, this is yet another problem that the manufacturer must face.

The recall affects several models including “the IS and GS Lexus luxury models in North America and the Avensis sedan and station wagon models in Europe.” According to Toyota, no accidents directly related to the defects have been reported but they have received nearly 300 complaints world wide.

As a car and truck accident lawyer in Chicago, I always encourage consumers to act quickly and monitor any vehicles recalls that may affect their vehicles.

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January 31, 2011

Side air bags to be improved to protect motorists

New cars and trucks will “have larger and stronger side air bags to prevent motorists from being tossed out of their vehicles in rollover crashes.” (K Thomas, AP, 1/31).

The Transportation Department says the new requirements aim to protect motorists in rollovers as more than 8,000 people were killed in rollovers in 2009. As a car and truck accident attorney, I am excited about the Transportation Department’s prediction that “the changes to the air bags are expected to prevent nearly 400 deaths and nearly 500 serious injuries every year.”

Car manufactures will phase in the changes beginning in 2013 and all new cars must have the new air bags by 2018.

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January 17, 2011

Chrysler recalls trucks and SUVs

Chrysler recently recalled “nearly 150,000 trucks and SUVs to address several problems, including steering, air bag issues and the potential for trucks to stall.” (Washington AP, 12/30).

In order to address these issues, “Chrysler is conducting three separate recalls to fix the problems. The first one covers about 22,000 Dodge Ram trucks from the 2008-2011 model years to address steering problems. The second involves about 65,000 2009 model year Dodge Journey SUVs to fix side air bags that might not deploy. The last includes about 57,000 Dodge Ram 1500 trucks from the 2011 model year to fix components in rear axles that could cause the trucks to stall.” Chrysler has also set up a hot line where owners with questions can call - (800) 853-1403. As always, the National Highway Safety Administration website is a reliable source of recall information.

As a Chicago personal injury attorney, I encourage all consumers to stay up to date on recalled vehicles and have their vehicles fixed quickly to avoid preventable injuries.

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January 9, 2011

A Record Year for Heatstroke Deaths

As a Chicago personal injury attorney, I am saddened by this story, and hopeful that the dim statistics will change in the future. Despite “repeated efforts to alert parents and caretakers about the dangers of leaving children and infants in automobiles on even moderately warm days,” heat stroke deaths continue in distressingly large numbers. (P. Stenquist, NY Times Wheels, 12/22).

Safety advocacy group KidsAndCars.org, reported 49 vehicular heatstroke deaths this year in the United States. Sadly, this is a record high number. The deaths occurred in two primary situations: first, when children were left inadvertently in parked cars; and when children played in unlocked cars. The dangerous of unlocked cars have certainly been underestimated.

As a car and truck accident lawyer, I join KidsandCars.org in urging the legislature to take action and encouraging parents and other caregivers to be extraordinarily careful.

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January 5, 2011

CDC: Seat belt use reaches 85 percent

Recently, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention released encouraging statistics regarding seatbelt usage. As a Chicago area personal injury lawyer, I am thrilled by the news that seatbelts are used by “nearly six in seven U.S. adults.” (Atlanta AP, 1/14).

To put the results in perspective, 85 percent of adults said they wore seatbelts, which is up four percent from 2002, but is a dramatic increase from 1982 when only 11 percent of adults wore seatbelts. The first state law requiring seat belt use was passed after 1982, which kicked off the trend.

The CDC also reported Tuesday that there has been a marked “ decline of more than 15 percent in non-fatal vehicle crash injuries from 2001 to 2009. The government previously reported traffic fatalities fell in 2009 to 33,808, the lowest number since 1950.”

All statistics are pointing in the right direction, thanks, in large part, to the laws passed to make our highways safer.

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