Monday, January 7, 2013

Automobiles: Keeping your Family Safe

1.    What should you do if you think a defective product caused an injury?

If you think that you may have a potential products liability claim, the first thing you should do is contact an attorney as soon as possible to evaluate your case.  The more time that passes the harder it will be to conduct a thorough investigation of what happened.  Important evidence may be lost or destroyed.  An experienced attorney will know what evidence is important to preserve in this type of case. 

2.    How can you keep your family safe?

Safety is obviously a top priority in choosing the right vehicle for you and your family.  Some important systems to look for in vehicles include: electronic stability control (ESC), advanced side airbags, rollover bags, laminated glass, pre-tensioners, and good tires.


With rollover crashes claiming about 10,000 lives every year and a multitude of catastrophic injuries, rollover prevention has become a priority in vehicle safety.  Choosing a vehicle equipped with an ESC system can help reduce rollovers.  These systems use microprocessors and sensors, “to determine when a vehicle is beginning to skid and to automatically engage the brakes or individual wheels, and often to also modulate acceleration, to help stabilize the vehicle and bring it back under the driver’s control.” Advocates are supportive of ESC since these systems are more effective than human corrections because ESC can interpret “the information, in most cases, before the average driver or even the above average driver can sense the problem.”  

Side Airbags

Though most vehicles are now equipped with side airbags, you’d be surprised to learn that some cars, family minivans and other SUVs still do not offer side airbags behind the first row. Unfortunately, this is a widely unrecognized safety issue, and, as a result, misled or uninformed owners and renters of cars alike are being affected. This is also an area of product liability litigation where claims are simply being missed. People are being catastrophically injured in side-impact car accidents where the rear-seated occupants sustain head or neck injuries because there was no side-impact airbags. Verify that your vehicle is equipped with side airbags. You will help to ensure the safety of everyone with you.

Laminated Glass

Even though windshields must be made out of laminated glass, there is no equivalent requirement for side and rear windows.  Side and rear windows are often made out of tempered glass, which is much easier to penetrate than laminated glass. The majority of cars only have laminated glass in the windshield; however, there has been an increase in the use of laminated glass in other windows.  Choose a vehicle that is equipped with laminated glass in all windows.

Understand the Importance of Pre-Tensioners

          Although pre-tensioning technology has existed for years, it has only recently been incorporated as a vehicle safety feature, making it a possible defect claim for non-inclusion of this technology.  These systems sense a possible collision “seconds in advance and activates pre-crash measures.” When these systems sense a possible collision, they activate the tension in the seat belt system to hold the occupant in place.   Some advanced systems, like the Pre-Safe system found in Mercedes Benz S-Class sedan since 2003, move a seat from a reclined position to an upright position just before the impact.  

Check Your Tires Before – And During - A Road Trip

Maintain proper tire inflation.  Tire failures can be caused by a variety of factors, including: under or over-inflation, poor maintenance, tire aging, or a design or manufacturing defect.  The key is to maintain proper tire pressure, which can be tricky in the summertime as heat causes the air inside the tire to expand and overinflate.  In an overinflated tire, the center section of the tread balloons outward, focusing weight on the center of the tire.  Conversely, driving on underinflated tires causes the sidewall to bulge and wear unevenly, reducing tire life and potentially leading to a sudden tire failure. 

Additionally, make sure you have good tread.  Tires with inadequate tread which have been driven past their useful life and that are overly worn can fail without notice and lead to a rollover or catastrophic accident.  Tread naturally wears down over time, and, tires with uneven tread wear or minimal remaining tread should be removed and replaced. Keeping a watchful eye can lower your risk of a tire failure and prevent needless tragedy.

 Some informative and helpful consumer protection Websites include: - Similar

You +1'd this publicly. Undo

Offering information for consumers: recalls, scams, complaints, and reports about consumer problems. - Similar

You +1'd this publicly. Undo official U.S. Government website, including recalls from various Federal Agencies. ... When you're buying and using products, safety comes first. - Similar


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