NTSB Recommends Total Ban On Cell Phones In Vehicles

I wrote last week about the drastic increase of drivers who texted behind the wheel.The National Highway Traffic Safety (NHTSA) administration found these text and drive results among U.S. drivers through various studies.

These findings appeared to have sent a serious jolt throughout the federal government, as the board dedicated to keeping highways and roads safe – – the National Highway Safety Board – – has recommended a complete ban on cell phone use while driving. The only exception would be in case of emergencies.  The government (in my opinion rightfully) believes that texting and driving is an epidemic similar to drinking and driving.  According to the NHTSA there were 3,092 roadway fatalities last year involved distracted drivers. Though they believe the number may actually be higher. Federal officials have taken to calling phone use behind the wheel “the new DUI.”

This type of restriction is going to face serious opposition I believe from both Republicans and Democrats. There will also be strong opposition from each state as they will argue that it is an issue they can legislate themselves.  Personally, I think it will be difficult to justify a complete ban on cell phone use for drivers as so many people rely on their phone for business purposes. Yet it appears that the government studies are correct in asserting that texting and driving is an epidemic similar to drinking and driving. As I mentioned last week, until people recognize the potential consequences of texting and driving (similar to not wearing a seat belt or driving while drunk), then people will continue to type on their phones while driving. How do we change this mentality?  For now it will take time, but just like drinking and driving laws, the local, state and federal governments need to enact stiffer penalties. 

If you or someone you love has been injured in a Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury attorney Aaron Bryant for a free consultation at 312-588-3384 or go to the firm website at www.blgchicago.com

NHSTA Issues $16 Million Against Toyota

Toyota, who has been receiving criticism from both the public and federal government for several months, received another thorn in its’ side. National Highway Safety and Transportation Administration (NHSTA) Secretary, Ray LaHood, announced yesterday that they were issuing a $16 million fine against Toyota for its’ sudden acceleration and sticky pedal problems. This comes on top of hundreds of wrongful deathpersonal injury and class action lawsuits filed throughout the country.

“Toyota failed to live up to its legal obligations,” said Transportation Secretary LaHood.

“Worse yet, they knowingly hid a dangerous defect for months from U.S. officials, and did not take action to protect millions of drivers and their families.”

This is not good news for Toyota, which seems to be facing scrutiny on a daily basis. The good news is that Toyota will hopefully take the steps to correct the acceleration and sticky pedal problems in their vehicles.

Read the entire article from the New York Daily News here.
If you or someone you now has been involved in a Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago accident attorney Aaron Bryant for a free consultation at 312-588-3384.

NHSTA Announces Studies Focused On Unintended Acceleration

The federal government continues to dig deeper into allegations of Toyota’s unintended acceleration problems.  On March 30, NHSTA chairman Ray LaHood announced two (2) new studies that are being undertaken to investigate this problem. The National Academy of Sciences, will examine the broad subject of unintended acceleration and electronic vehicle controls across the entire automotive industry. Second, NASA engineers with expertise in areas such as computer controlled electronic systems, electromagnetic interference and software integrity to help tackle the issue of unintended vehicle acceleration in Toyotas.

“We are determined to get to the bottom of unintended acceleration,” said Secretary LaHood. “For the safety of the American driving public, we must do everything possible to understand what is happening. And that is why we are tapping the best minds around.”

Secretary LaHood has also asked the U.S. Department of Transportation Inspector General (IG) to review whether NHTSA’s Office of Defect Investigation (ODI) has the necessary resources and systems to identify and address safety defects as it moves forward.

Both studies – from the National Academy of Sciences and from NHTSA – will be peer reviewed by scientific experts. The total cost of the two studies is expected to come to approximately $3 million, including the cost of purchasing cars that have allegedly experienced unintended acceleration to be studied.

I will be interested in hearing the results of these studies and how they will affect future wrongful death and class action litigation. And more important, how the results can be used to make vehicles safer.

Click here to read the entire press release.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a Chicago car crash or Chicago truck accident, then call attorney Aaron Bryant for a free consultation at 312-588-3384.