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Stamford CT Personal Injury Law Blog

Just how deadly are vehicle rollover accidents?

Hopefully none of our readers in Connecticut or elsewhere has ever been involved in a rollover accident while behind the wheel. For those who have experienced this type of vehicle crash, we hope that the consequences to you and loved ones were insignificant and did not result in any adverse safety outcome.

A fortunate ending to a rollover crash is, sadly, far from being routine for such accidents across the country. A question-and-answer primer on rollover accidents authored by a national insurance organization reveals just how dangerous such accidents can be.

Teen drivers: risks and recommendations, Part 2

The fatal crash rate for 18-19 year-old drivers is far higher than it is for drivers 20 and older.

And it’s approximately three times higher for 16-17 year-old motorists than it is for older teens.

That makes the nation’s youngest drivers a comparative nemesis on the nation’s roadways -- both to other motorists and to themselves.

We remarked in our immediately preceding blog post (please see our entry dated December 9) that teen drivers pose an especially outsized risk to other drivers on Connecticut and national roadways because of a defining trait that they can do very little about -- the lack of judgment and experience that owes to their age.

Teen drivers: Risks loom large for this demographic

We obviously love our children unconditionally and, yes, we worry about them as they grow up and learn to deal constructively with life’s challenges and opportunities.

One endeavor that definitely does spell challenge and opportunity in uppercase fashion for our children as they enter their teenage years is driving.

That subject resonates strongly with millions of parents across the country, including in Connecticut. Moms and dads can easily recollect their first days behind the wheel, fully appreciating now -- years if not decades later -- that the freedom of the road was and always will be tempered by road risks that must be appreciated and responded to safely.

NHTSA, air bag maker Takata spar over recall expansion, deadline

We last visited the story centered on a global air bag manufacturer’s massive problems regarding defective product offerings in our November 18 blog entry, noting therein that a Connecticut legislator was demanding a federal criminal probe of Japan-based Takata Corporation.

In fact, U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) went far beyond that demand, calling additionally for a nationwide recall of all vehicles using Takata air bags.

That is a lot of product, given that many global auto manufacturers use Takata air bags. Reportedly, many millions have already been recalled.

Truck safety the focus of evolving on-board technologies

It’s hardly surprising that, notwithstanding positive safety-related news in the commercial trucking industry, principals in that realm are strongly fixated on safety-enhancing technologies that seek to mitigate the dire crash outcomes so commonly associated with big commercial rigs.

Such conveyances are truly giants on the road, and the actual and potential dangers associated with them are eminently clear every time a driver turns the key and steers a tractor trailer or other massive 18-wheel truck onto a state or national roadway.

Connecticut drivers of passenger vehicles can certainly appreciate the risks posed by such gargantuan-sized vehicles, given the many commercial trucks that routinely crisscross the state.

Pedestrian accidents: multiple sources, obvious vulnerabilities

Human bodies are wondrous instruments often defined by impressive strength and flexibility. At the same time, they are fragile, being immediately vulnerable to injury from myriad sources.

Take motor vehicle accidents involving pedestrians, for example. One would readily expect that the outcome in such collisions is almost exclusively one sided, and statistics strongly support that, for obvious reasons. In a media analysis of pedestrian accidents, this National Highway Traffic Safety Administration-authored information is supplied: In an average year, close to 5,000 pedestrians die after being struck by motor vehicles.

When extrapolated to a daily rate, that sadly equates to almost 14 pedestrian deaths nationally.

Nationwide, a yearly concern: protecting seasonal workers

Are you searching for an indicator of how busy Black Friday and the remainder of the upcoming holiday season will be for retail activity in Connecticut and nationally?

Here’s some relevant input from an international outplacement consulting firm: According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., the approximately 786,000 seasonal hirings last year in the retail industry will be outpaced significantly this winter season.

That means many things, of course, with myriad ancillary effects of a salutary nature being felt in many industries when consumers are confident and employers add to payrolls.

Distracted driving: Is this going to be a permanent scourge?

The federal government has been dangling a carrot in front of states in the form of money earmarked for distracted driving campaigns, but no state appears hungry enough to take a bite.

Except for Connecticut, that is. Connecticut is the only state in the country that has qualified for two years running to receive federal funding grants that the national government is awarding for the purpose of combating dangerous driving behaviors.

The U.S. Congress has set the bar high for states seeking to make a claim on government largesse, with federal administrators being sufficiently impressed thus far only with Connecticut’s traffic safety efforts.

Sen. Blumenthal calls for criminal probe of air bag maker

For obvious reasons, air bags are supposed to deploy in every instance in a safe and predictable manner that protects drivers and passengers in motor vehicle accidents. Air bags are manufactured according to specifications arrived at after rigorous testing. Regulators examine them for quality assurances, with consumers ultimately having a good-faith expectation that the products work as advertised.

Sometimes they don’t.

And when they don’t, outcomes can be flatly tragic. That is clearly apparent in a review of the sad saga relating to faulty air bags manufactured by the Japan-based supplier Takata. Deaths have been reported from shrapnel expelled during bag deployment that has struck motorists and passengers.

With Thanksgiving nearly here, it's time to revisit some safe driving tips

It may seem hard to believe, but the Thanksgiving holiday is now less than two weeks away. That means people are now busy finalizing their travel plans and looking for ways to ensure all of their work is finished so that they can get a head start on the roads, which are going to be very busy this year thanks the extra long weekend and the now low price of gasoline.

Before getting behind the wheel, however, drivers need to be aware that the Thanksgiving holiday is a notoriously dangerous time of the year to be navigating the roads and highways not just here in Connecticut, but across the nation.

Indeed, the National Safety Council, the nonprofit organization "with the mission to save lives … through leadership, research, education and advocacy," recently released its projections for car accident injuries and fatalities over the Thanksgiving 2014 holiday, and they are truly eye-opening.

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