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car crash 31 articles

Alabama family receives $40 million in defective seatbelt case

A Mobile County, Alabama, jury has awarded $40 million to the family of a teenage girl who was killed when the seatbelts in her vehicle failed to restrain her in a 2004 car crash. The wrongful-death lawsuit was filed against Kia, Kia Motors America, and Korean seatbelt manufacturer Celtrion for failing to recall vehicles that they knew had a very dangerous safety defect. On July 4, 2004, the victim was driving the 1999 Kia Sephia that her father had given to her for her 16th birthday just weeks before the crash. Before he gave the vehicle to his daughter, the ... Read More

Wrongful-death suit involving Mazda seatbelt may proceed, Supreme Court rules

In a unanimous decision that surprised many across the political spectrum, the U.S. Supreme Court gave a wrongful-death lawsuit the green light to proceed against Mazda Motor Corp. The decision by the Supreme Court, which became conservative and corporate-friendly by a majority in 2006, offers some hope that the little guy suing a big corporation in America still has some chance for justice. The lawsuit was filed by the parents of a girl named Thanh Williamson, who was killed when the lap belt she wore in the backseat of a 1993 Mazda minivan failed to secure her during a head-on ... Read More

Unhitched trailer kills young couple on South Carolina interstate

A South Carolina couple was killed in a tragic chain-reaction crash after a trailer became unhitched from a pickup truck on I-85 Southbound, according to Spartanburg, South Carolina’s WPSA. South Carolina State Troopers said that the accident occurred near mile marker 23 in Anderson County, about 6 miles north of Anderson, South Carolina. Thirty-four-year-old Sajid M. Pirani of Spartanburg was driving a 2000 Honda minivan with his wife Shirin Sajid Pirani, 33, and their two children, ages 6 and 3, in the back seat. Witness Johnny Estrich told WSPA that he noticed “something strange about the pick-up truck pulling the ... Read More

Safety researchers say texting bans may be causing accidents

Although U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has been working furiously to make texting behind the wheel illegal in all 50 states, a study conducted by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HDLI), an affiliate of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), suggests the anti-texting laws are not yet helping to drive down accident rates. In fact, according to HDLI, evidence collected in four states (California, Louisiana, Minnesota, and Washington) where texting bans have been adopted reveal that the new laws are actually associated with a slight increase in the number of traffic collisions. Researchers compared their findings to collision-related insurance ... Read More

The trucker’s cab: America’s most dangerous office?

Every day, 15 American workers leave for work but never return home. On-the-job deaths have declined significantly in the United States in the last few years, but the rates are still unacceptably high, especially for commercial truck drivers. To help drive down the number of on-the-job fatalities, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) urges motorists and businesses to focus on driving safety. Any number of safety hazards may abound in the typical workplace, but for professional drivers, the highway is a workplace and their truck is an office. And the highway is a dangerous place. Most on-the-job deaths, regardless ... Read More

Nonprofit group on tour teaching defensive driving to young drivers

Driver’s Edge, a nonprofit, teen-oriented driver’s education group based in Las Vegas, Nevada, recently paid a visit to Pelham, Alabama, to teach about 350 young drivers ages 15 to 21 some defensive driving techniques that might one day save their lives. According to The Birmingham News, Driver’s Edge travels the country providing lessons free of cost to young drivers. The program, which is fully sponsored by Bridgestone Tires, teaches the drivers how to maintain control of a fishtailing car by laying off the brakes and focusing on where they want the vehicle to go. A professional driver accompanies the student drivers, ... Read More

Most work-related deaths occur behind the wheel

Every day, 15 American workers leave for work but never return home. On-the-job deaths have declined significantly in the United States in the last few years, but the rates are still unacceptably high. To help drive down the number of workplace fatalities, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) urges motorists and businesses to focus on driving safety. Safety hazards may abound in the workplace, but the majority of on-the-job deaths occur on the road. Utility workers, emergency responders, law enforcement officials, truckers, postal workers, construction workers, farmers, and many others all rely on transportation as part of their workday, ... Read More

Jury awards athlete’s family $131 million for defective seat belt, rollover

Nearly ten years after the death of 22-year-old Brian Cole, whose life was cut short when he was thrown from a 2001 Ford Explorer in an accident, a Mississippi jury has awarded the man’s family $131 million in damages. The verdict is the largest award ever against Ford Motor Co. in a lawsuit involving a Ford SUV. Cole was a former Meridian High School standout and top New York Mets baseball prospect when he was killed on March 31, 2001. According to the plaintiffs’ lawsuit, Cole was driving home to Mississippi on I-10 after spring training in Port St. Lucie, ... Read More

Car crash injuries cost $99 billion-plus per year in U.S.

A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found the annual cost of medical care and productivity losses associated with motor vehicle crash injuries exceeds $99 billion per year in the United States, with direct medical care accounting for $17 billion. Despite great improvements in traffic safety in recent years, the costs related to traffic accidents amount to about $500 per licensed driver in the U.S. The CDC study, published in the journal Traffic Injury Prevention, breaks down the one-year costs of fatal and non-fatal crash-related injuries, with 71 percent ($70 billion) associated with motor vehicle ... Read More

Toyota probe turns from sudden acceleration to sudden stalling

Just as the nation’s fixation on Toyota’s sudden acceleration problem started to fade, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced it would intensify its investigations of another safety concern: sudden stalling. Drivers of Toyota Corolla and Matrix cars have filed more than a thousand complaints with NHTSA and Toyota alleging their vehicles suddenly lost power while in motion. The problem has been reported in 2005, 2006, and 2007 model year Corollas and Matrixes. In March, amidst the controversy surrounding Toyota’s widespread sudden acceleration defect, NHTSA received a letter from Toyota’s regulator manager Chris Santucci requesting a meeting with regulators to ... Read More