BMW Recalls 1.3 Million Vehicles Due To Electrical Issue

According to Forbes online
and many other news outlets, BMW is recalling 1.3 million cars
worldwide because the battery cable cover in the trunk might be incorrectly
mounted. Based on this defect, BMW says the electrical system can
malfunction, meaning the vehicle could fail to start, or in the worst cases,
the system could char or catch fire.

The BMW car recall affects 5-series and 6-series
models built between 2003 and 2010, the company said. BMW says fewer than 1
percent of those cars have encountered a problem, and it doesn’t know of any
accidents, injuries or fires.

This has been a trend the past few years with
many foreign car makers. Toyota, of course, issued a massive recall due to
issues with a faulty accelerator.  Lexus also had a smaller sized defect
recall a year ago.

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Consumer Reports magazine published an article this month
about a study prepared by the Governors Highway Safety Associated (GHSA), which
concluded that speed related car accident fatalities have been on the rise the
past seven years. Despite substantial decreased in alcohol related fatalities
(down 24% since 1985) and traffic fatalities due to not wearing a seat belt
(down 57% since 1985), traffic fatalities due to excessive speeding has been on
the rise since 2005.  According to the study there have been 12,000 traffic fatalities due to speeding over the last 10 years.

This is an area of
traffic safety that I have not discussed on this blog very much in the past.
The main focus by the government (and this blog) over the past few years has
been on distracted driving and state and federal bans on texting and driving.
Has the government dropped the ball on the dangers of excessive speeding. In
Illinois, I would have to say not entirely. It is important to point out that
starting in 2011 in Illinois if a driver plead guilty or was convicted for
speeding 30 miles per hour over the speed limit, it was considered a
misdemeanor and Court supervision was not allowed. These tickets are often
amended to make them supervision eligible, but regardless, Illinois has made
some steps to curb excessive and dangerous speeding.

What does the GHSA
recommend to decrease speeding related traffic fatalities?  Below is a
list of recommendations:

States should: 

  • Look into speed concerns through aggressive driving
    enforcement, since the public believes it’s a more serious threat to
  • Target speed enforcement in school and work zones, as
    this has higher public support and viewed as less controversial.

NHTSA should: 

  • Sponsor a national high-visibility enforcement campaign
    and support public awareness efforts to address speeding and aggressive
  • Promote best practices in automated enforcement
    strategies. Only 14 states allow automated speed enforcement and only two
    allow it everywhere in the state.
  • Sponsor a National Forum on Speeding and Aggressive
    Driving to bring experts together to develop a plan and share information.
If you or someone you love has been involved in a Chicago car accident or a Chicago traffic death then call Chicago personal injury attorney Aaron Bryant for a free consultation at 312-588-3384 or go to the firm website at 

What Can Be Done To Limit Distracted Driving Accidents?

 There was an interesting
article in the 
Chicago Tribune’s business section this week
that asked the question: has technology become so overwhelming that is it
causing a collision course between commerce, consumers and government. This is
an interesting question as we live in a society of social networking that can
all be accessed at any time through our smart phones.  As the article
suggests and numerous studies I have revealed, distracted driving can be just
as dangerous as drinking and driving. The next question is, what can the
government due to protect drivers from distracted driving accidents if it is
just as dangerous as drinking and driving?  The suggestion I have made
over and over is to enact stricter penalties for those guilty of texting and
driving when personal injury is involved. How can drivers take the texting ban
laws seriously if there are no repercussions? If people realize that they could
possibly go to jail or face heavy fines and community service for causing a
serious distracted driving accident, then they may think twice about picking up
their phone while in the car.

The article mentioned
that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is meeting in Chicago
next week to discuss 
proposed voluntary guidelines for minimizing the distractions
of in-car navigation and other built-in technology systems.  One proposal
would be to require technology in cars that disables built-in phone
calling, texting, emailing, Web surfing and other distracting devices unless
the car is parked, and it would not allow information to be typed into a
navigation system in a moving vehicle.  That would definitely be a start
but could be costly for the automakers and consumers.  It is good to the NHTSA
is taking these issues seriously.

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New Illinois Law Permits Bicyclists & Motorcyclists To Ride Through Red Lights In Limited Circumstances

A new Illinois law that
went into affect on January 1 of this year allows bicycle and motorcycle riders
to drive through red lights in limited instances. The Alton Telegraph reported
last month that the purpose of the bill was to help motorcycle and bike riders
move out of potentially dangerous intersections sooner.  

Rep. Dan Beiser (D-Alton), who sponsored the law, said it allows bikers to go
through a red light if they wait a reasonable amount of time without it turning
  Governor initially issued an amendatory veto of the
measure because he wanted to have specified a set amount of time that the
vehicles must wait. That veto was overturned by the House and Senate to enact
the bill. Since that time a new bill was introduced in the House which would
require motorcycle and bike riders to wait 120 seconds before proceeding
through a red light.

I don’t
see a problem with this new bill although it seems to have been pushed through
more for convenient purposes rather than safety. I think the new bill requiring
120 seconds makes more sense as there could be a lot of room for interpretation
when determining what a “reasonable period” of time should be before
proceeding through a red light.

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or someone you love has been injured in a Chicago motorcycle accident or a
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Secretary LaHood Delays Vehicle Back-Up Camera Requirement

I wrote few weeks ago about the federal requirement on U.S. automakers to install rear-view cameras on all new vehicles. This was a law that President George W. Bush lobbied hard for and signed into law in 2008.  NPR reported today that Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood sent a letter to legislators asking for a delay on this federal requirement. Specifically, LaHood stated in his letter that further research needed to be done before requiring installation of this technology in all new vehicles.

There is a lot of debate going on in Washington about this regulation. Of course, Republicans are harping about the added costs to the auto industry rather than taking into account the lives that could be saved or, at the very least, avoiding serious injuries to pedestrians. I stated in the beginning, and still feel this way, that it may be a little too burdensome to require these cameras on all new vehicles. I do believe though that they should be installed on all trucks and vans. My reasoning is that the rear line of vision is much further for trucks and vans, which makes it much easier to miss a young child that may dart behind one of these types of vehicles. We will have to wait and see until the end of the year to find out if this requirement will be fully implemented or if there will be changes.
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