Tag Archives: auto safety tips

Has Your Car Been Hit With A RECALL – Pt1

31 Jan

Happy New Year! We at the GoLaw Legal Network and our friends at GoPersonalInjury.com have made a resolution to share more Auto Safety Tips and Best Practices with our “digital friends” like you through our Online Social Networks.  Thanks to Dennise Burbank at Farmers Insurance near Marysville, California for emailing us at GoLaw.com this important article about Auto Safety Recalls.

What to Expect When an Automaker Finds Defects

Buying a new car doesn’t guarantee the vehicle will be without problems. Manufacturers issue recalls when an automotive defect is found that could pose a danger to drivers or passengers. In fact, 2014 was a record-breaking year for car recalls in the U.S., with more than 60 million vehicles affected by approximately 700 announcements.

The Recall Process
Any number of problems can incite a recall — from malfunctioning accelerators to defective steering parts and everything in between.

Once issues are discovered, automakers are legally required to send recall letters to the registered owner of each vehicle detailing what’s wrong, the risks posed, and where the vehicle can be serviced. The notice will also include a list of potential warning signs to help determine if a vehicle requires immediate attention.

When the problem is less serious, the automaker sends a service bulletin to dealers, notifying them of the concern and outlining how to resolve it. Often referred to as “secret warranties,” these announcements usually go unpublicized since the issues don’t pose a threat to safety.

A manufacturer who issues a recall notice to drivers or a service bulletin to dealers accepts the financial liability for the recall-related repairs as long as a designated dealership or repair site services the vehicle.

How to Stay Aware of Recalls
Before buying a car manufactured in the last 10 years, check for recalls online. Search the
recall database maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to determine if recalls have been issued or if a particular vehicle has missed necessary recall-related repairs. 

If you think your vehicle has a safety defect, report it to the NHTSA so potential safety hazards can be investigated and addressed. If the NHTSA receives enough complaints on a specific make and model, the government agency will launch an investigation.

The Law offices of Mark A Doughty can be reached by calling 530-674-1440. Mark A Doughty has been practicing law in California since 1979. He has served the people of northern California and represented them without a fee (in accident cases) unless he recovers for them. For more information, please see http://GoLaw.com.

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VIDEO: Safe Motorcycle Riding Tips

29 Jun
Watch this excellent Motorcycle “Behind the Handlebars” Safety Video by BlinkyCab on YouTube!
HOT TIPS FOR MOTORCYCLE RIDING SAFETY:
1.) DISTANCE
Always keep enough distance in front of your motorcycle and the vehicle in front of you.  It is also good to keep “Space Cushions” in the lanes to your left and right so as not to get boxed in by traffic.  Keep Safety Space around you and your bike at all times.
2.) LANE POSITION
Because a Motorcycle is smaller than a car, you have a choice of choosing between three (3) positions of your lane: left, center, and right.  Choose your safest lane position by paying close attention to traffic and your surrounding environment. Generally, It is best to avoid the center of the lane as it may be slick or slippery since that is where most vehicles leak fluids.
3.) BLIND SPOTS
Stay out of the Blind Spots of other drivers on the road.  Many vehicles have an area of the road that is difficult to see from the driver’s position.  These “Blind Spots” are usually about 45 degrees behind the driver’s left and right sides, and should be avoided by Motorcyclists.  Always make sure the other drivers on the road can see you!
4.) SHOULDER / MIRROR CHECK
Use the Shoulder and Mirror Check technique early and often to check your blind spots so that you can remain aware of vehicles driving close to you and your motorcycle. Make it a habit to check before changing lanes… EVERY TIME!
5.) SPEED
Every road has a speed limit.  Always obey the posted speed signs.  Drive Smart.  Drive Safe.  Arrive Alive!
6.) EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
Don’t get comfortable with how other cars and trucks on the road might be driving.  Always Drive Defensively.  Protect yourself at all times by staying alert and safe!
7.) UNSAFE LOADS
Unsafe Loads: Be alert for pickup trucks and Big Rigs that may have loose loads and unsecured items. A ladder or a loose box could cause a very serious collision for a motorcycle or scooter.
The Law offices of Mark A Doughty can be reached by calling 530-674-1440. Mark A Doughty has been practicing law in California since 1979. He has served the people of northern California and represented them without a fee (in accident cases) unless he recovers for them. For more information, please see http://GoMotorcycleCrash.com and http://GoLaw.com.

How Hitches Affect Rear End Collisions

28 Feb

It’s time for another one of our Driving Safety Tips from your friends at Golaw.com

Did you know that your vehicle’s Trailer Hitch has the ability to Increase the Risks of Injury to you and your occupants? The impact of a Rear End Vehicle Collision can cause painful injuries including soft tissue damage, and can be much worse on occupants if a trailer hitch is installed since it is attached directly to the frame.  Most modern vehicles are designed to protect their passengers from the impact energy of a Car Crash with “crumple zone” safety features.  However, when the hitch is inserted into the receiver so the “g forces” (Forces of Gravity increase the injuries) are transferred directly to the frame of the vehicle and the occupants bodies, there is the possibility for greater trauma since the impact could not be absorbed in the crush zones. For this same reason, it is typical to see the Property Damage be less severe with a lower cost to repair than it would have been had no hitch and ball been installed in the receiver.

As reported in the National Safety Commission Alert: “the most frequent vehicle accident (in the United States) is the rear end collision and “a vehicle equipped with a receiver hitch (tow bar) increases the risk of Whiplash by 22% if it is hit in the rear”.  According to the article: “A receiver hitch completely changes the crash dynamics.”

Continuing: “It has been shown that the occupants of the “target” vehicle will move forward at 2.5 times (or more) then that of the “bullet” vehicle. So a small 5 mph impact will send the occupants of the target vehicle flying forward at 12 – 13 mph – certainly enough force to hurt people. This change in acceleration or “Delta V” is what influences whiplash.”

Interesting Rear End Vehicle Collision facts:

  • Approximately 75% of all rear end collisions are less than 10 mph, and Low speed Rear End Collisions (less than 10 mph) accentuate the Whiplash more than High speed ones.
  • 94% of all rear end collisions occur on straight roads while 56% of all rear end crashes are straight on.
  • Only 14.2% of the people that hit you in the rear will miss your receiver hitch entirely.
  • 48% of the people that hit you in the rear – are not slowing down.
  • 80% of all rear end collisions are caused by driver inattention.
  • Women are twice as likely to end up with a Whiplash injury as Men.

The Law offices of Mark A Doughty can be reached by calling 530-674-1440. Mark A Doughty has been practicing law in California since 1979. He has served the people of northern California and represented them without a fee (in accident cases) unless he recovers for them. For more information, please see http://GoLaw.com.

Defensive Driving to Avoid Motor Vehicle Accidents (MVA’s) Part 2

30 Sep
Defensive Driving to Avoid Motor Vehicle Accidents (MVA’s) – Part 2

By: Mark A. Doughty, Esq.   www.GoLaw.com

About the author: Mark A. Doughty has practiced personal injury and auto collision law in the Northern California Sacramento Valley since 1980.  LIKE us online at http://facebook.com/DoughtyLaw or FOLLOW us at http://twitter.com/DoughtyLaw
Driving Defensively: Driving techniques to avoid accidents and fines (Part 2)


Driving defensively is an important part of safety when it comes to road travel. Read Part 1 of the BLOG from last month here. Part 2 continues below:

Although travelers worry mostly about crime, inadequate driving skills pose the greatest danger while traveling on the road. North American traffic conditions dictate driving must be taken seriously. These tips can save your life!

1. Eye Movement. Be like pilots who are taught to Scan Constantly. Scan the road then rear mirror, then the road then side mirrors. Do not fix your eyes on any one point. Instead, your eyes should be constantly moving up and down the road, to the sides, and… SCAN.

2. Avoid last minute braking, read the brake lights 3-4 cars ahead.

3. Always leave yourself an out. At all times, try to place your vehicle where your safety is not determined by other drivers. You want to be in control of your safety on the road. This means you need a place to head if danger appears. When driving, this is called looking for “space cushions,” places where you can go in order to avoid collisions. When you have a space cushion, you have already avoided an accident.

4. If you must pass another car, do not linger next to another vehicle. You should rush to its front as soon as safely possible; especially when passing large trucks or busses. You do not want to follow too closely, especially if you cannot move to the right or left if the car in front of you slows suddenly. It is fascinating (and frightening) to observe the behavior of drivers on multi-lane highways as tend to bunch up and travel in packs. Therefore, avoid the packs. Don’t be part of the herd. Hang back. Or, if you want to pass, rush ahead of the group of vehicles as soon as possible, without going so fast that you get a ticket in the process.

5. Make sure the other driver sees you, and never assume another driver will do something unless you are certain he or she will do so. On freeways—where improper lane changes are one of the most frequent causes of serious accidents—and on two-lane roads, where vehicles going the other direction are frequently passing slower vehicles—USE YOUR HEADLIGHTS. Yes, turn your lights on. This helps other drivers notice you.
In fact, you may want to use your headlights in nearly all driving situations, as do many professional drivers. In some areas, especially in Canada, this is the law. Rain and fog, too, are a time for headlights, as well as twilight. Some drivers have a very ignorant and limited view of the role of headlights or a misguided desire to conserve power, as they delay turning on car lights in the evening as long as possible. “I can see just fine!” they foolishly say. But, how well others can see them is also vitally important!

Twilight is the time of most accidents. Drivers are tired after a day of activity. Some have stopped for an after work drink (or two or three) and have impaired focus. Others, anxious to get home, rush too quickly. Help these people to see you and to avoid you. Be among the last to turn off lights in the morning and among the first to turn them on in the evening—if not driving with lights on all the time. If another driver does not seem to have noticed you, and it looks as if he might hit you, blinking the headlights may help avoid an accident. And, moving the right foot off the accelerator to be ready to brake will speed reaction time, if your best reaction is not rushing ahead to avoid collision.

You should be particularly careful at intersections when a driver approaching from a side road or already stopped at a stop sign does not seem to be looking right or left for other traffic as you approach.
The horn, by the way, is nearly useless in most driving situations as other drivers are usually too far away to hear you or their music systems are too loud.

6. Rear end collisions can be prevented or made less serious. If you do not have time to rush ahead, repeatedly lightly (so as to not slow down) step on the brake pedal when another vehicle approaches too rapidly from behind. This causes your rear red lights to blink in warning. Do this over and over, when you suspect a car coming from behind may not have noticed you. The great danger, as mentioned above, are drivers who do not look far down the road as they drive. They miss seeing slower or stopped vehicles ahead of them until the last moment. Blinking the brake lights should attract attention of these faulty drivers, and allow them time to stop, or at least decease the impacts of the collisions.

7. Use your turn signals early and often. Using turn signals, too, lessens the chance of accidents. Turn signals attract the attention of other drivers. All too often, you see signals turned on at the same time as turns or lane changes are initiated, which is not safe (or legal) driving. Making a decision at the last moment shows clearly that a driver has not been paying attention. He or she is not driving defensively. These drivers are far more likely to injure themselves and others. Using signals is far more than a courtesy; it is a key safety technique.

8. Maintain average traffic speed on freeways. A vehicle going slower than other traffic sets up too many opportunities for collisions on high-speed highways.  If a more relaxed driving pace is desired, use another type of road.

NO Stopping on freeways. Don’t be a stationary object or semi-stationary obstacle on a freeway.
Few things are more dangerous than when a car stops at the end of an entrance ramp because the driver misjudged the opportunities to enter traffic—or was just too timid. If your car breaks down on the road…pull as far to the right as possible, put the hood up to alert drivers and move all occupants to a safe position. Drivers often plow into the rear of cars parked along highways!

9. Respect the weather. Readers from cold areas know the importance of caution in icy or snowy conditions. The first rains of the season make the road very slick.

10. Stay Alert! Remember that your reaction time and driving skills deteriorate when tired or older.
The old adage that ample rest is the basis of dynamic, successful activity applies to driving as well as to every area of life. Driving without having had sufficient sleep is just as dangerous as driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Summary:
In summary, use common sense. Pay attention when driving. Look out for the other cars, be prepared and let the other driver win…That makes you the WINNER because you avoid accidents and injuries and you ARRIVE ALIVE!

Sources:

http://www.roadtripamerica.com/DefensiveDriving/Rule04.htm

http://www.roadtripamerica.com/DefensiveDriving/Drive-Safe-With-Uncle-Bob.htm

some direct quotes from http://Yahoo.com

This BLOG was Prepared for you by Mark A. Doughty, attorney-at-law who practices solely in the area of injury and accidents including motor vehicle accidents, motorcycles, trucks, vicious animal attacks and slip and fall cases. You may contact Mr. Doughty by visiting his website at http://www.GoLaw.com or call 530-674-1440

Defensive Driving to Avoid Motor Vehicle Accidents (MVA’s) Part 1

29 Aug
Defensive Driving to Avoid Motor Vehicle Accidents (MVA’s) – Part 1

By: Mark A. Doughty, Esq.   www.GoLaw.com

About the author: Mark A. Doughty has practiced personal injury and auto collision law in the Sacramento valley since 1980.  LIKE us online at http://facebook.com/DoughtyLaw or FOLLOW us at http://twitter.com/DoughtyLaw


Driving Defensively: Defensive Driving Tips for Avoiding Car Accidents

Driving defensively is an important part of safety when it comes to road travel. Just because you are a safe driver doesn’t mean that other drivers will also be. Wearing a seatbelt is the first and foremost thing anyone riding or driving in a vehicle should do. It is also important to avoid driving impaired by FATIGUE, ALCOHOL or DRUGS INCLUDING PRESCRIPTION DRUGS. Following Defensive Driving tips can help to protect you from a world or hurt or loss.

TIP # 1 – “PAY ATTENTION”

RoadTripAmerica.com reports that an estimate of 50,000 people die annually due to road related injuries. Factoring in the injuries causes the number to rise much higher. Over 22 million people are injured every year on United States roadways.  Paying attention is the number one Defensive Driving tactic listed on the RoadTrip America website. Keeping your mind alert and focused on the road can help prevent many incidents from happening. One distraction could be road rage. That distraction could linger throughout the day due to the upset feelings caused. Never let anything, including other drivers, distract you from driving safely.

TIP # 2 – “YIELD”

Another thing to remember is that there can sometimes be confusion as to who has the right way. A good Defensive Driving tip in this instance is to simply yield that right to the other person. I taught my sons: “You win by Losing when it comes to letting another driver go first.”

TIP # 3 – “REACTION TIME IS KEY”

Reaction time is key to preventing accidents and when the person driving is speeding, that reaction time decreases. In fact, reaction time decreases each time driving speed increases. With RoadTripAmerica’s calculations, if a person is driving 70 mph, the average reaction time is 115 feet (or about 7 car lengths).

Buying and using other safety devices is also important in driving defensively. Child safety seats, ABS brakes, air bags, and other devices may be optional but are invaluable when it comes to safe driving. Be sure that you not only have these devices, but that you know how to use them properly and do so each time they are used.

Keep in mind that this is not an all-inclusive Defensive Driving guide. A certified Defensive Driving course is a good idea and is just one of the many ways to be prepared and stay informed.  Come back NEXT MONTH to read the 2nd part to this article.

Sources:

http://www.roadtripamerica.com/DefensiveDriving/Rule04.htm

http://www.roadtripamerica.com/DefensiveDriving/Drive-Safe-With-Uncle-Bob.htm

some direct quotes from http://Yahoo.com

This BLOG was Prepared for you by Mark A. Doughty, attorney-at-law who practices solely in the area of injury and accidents including motor vehicle accidents, motorcycles, trucks, vicious animal attacks and slip and fall cases. You may contact Mr. Doughty by visiting his website at http://www.GoLaw.com or call 530-674-1440