Important Vehicle Recall Update and What Consumers Need to Know

Auto manufacturers are recalling more vehicles than any other time in U.S. history. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 46 million cars have been recalled so far this year. The problem is many drivers have no idea that their cars are under recall. According to the NHTSA, 1-in-5 cars that are on the road are under some type of auto recall. The Takata airbag recall accounted for more than 37 million recalls after the defective airbags caused 23 deaths worldwide over recent years. Thousands of individuals were injured due to these defective devices, as well. As a result, the U.S. Department of Transportation launched a website called Airbag Recall to keep drivers updated on recall notices. The following vehicle recalls have been issued in the last year: 8 million recalls for cruise control problems; 4 million recalls due to loose steering wheels; 350,000 transmission shifter recalls; and 123,000 power steering recalls. Federal law dictates that auto manufacturers send written notification to all car owners if a recall is issued for their specific vehicle. While this written notification is legally required, it does not always make its way the current car owner. If ownership has transferred or someone has moved, the auto manufacturer may not have the most recent information for the owner. It is helpful if a potential purchaser reviews the car’s history before buying the car. Many different sites and apps exist to allow for a quick search, including CarFax. By entering the license plate or vehicle identification number (VIN), the owner or purchaser can get all of the recalls that exist for the...

Summer Months are the Deadliest for South Florida Teen Drivers

Car accidents are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States, and unfortunately, it is just when the summer begins that the majority of these accidents happen. Teens are out of school and on the road, spending more time with their friends. According to a study released by AAA, as well as accident data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the dates that have the highest number of car accident fatalities are June 10, July 4, July 9, August 8, and August 14. AAA has even dubbed the stretch between Memorial Day and the start of the school year the “100 Deadliest Days.” For teen drivers, as well as their parents, it can help to be prepared and be safe on the roads this summer.  Here is a list of summer driving safety tips to remember: Practice, practice, practice. Driver’s education can only do so much to get teens ready for the road. Driving is an enormous responsibility. That extra road practice with a parent can go a long way. It is recommended that the teen’s parents continuously monitor the progress their teen driver is making on the road. Make sure that they are still exercising the safety tips taught in driver’s education and following the rules of the road. Be a Good Example: Your teen is also watching how you Make sure that you are ‘walking the walk’ when it comes to safe driving behaviors. Follow the rules of the road, keeping your hands on the wheel and not texting while driving. Parent-Teen Driving Agreement: Parents should put these expectations and guidelines...

Steps to Take Following a Parking Lot Accident

Car accidents do not just happen on highways. In fact, many reported accidents are the result of parking lot fender benders. While speeds tend to be slower in a parking lot, the damage can be costly.  Many parking lot accidents tend to involve hit-and-runs. Certain steps should be taken to protect your rights if you are involved as a driver or a pedestrian in a parking lot accident.  Call for Help. Do not hesitate to call 911 if you believe anyone was injured following the accident. If the accident was a hit-and-run, calling 911 can help obtain valuable evidence and protect you in the event a police report is needed to submit a claim.  Remain Calm. Emotions run high when it comes to any type of car accident. If the person who hit you or your car is present, tensions can rise and situations can quickly escalate. However, responding in anger will not help the situation. Remain calm and call the police.  It is also important to take down the contact information and statements of anyone who witnessed the accident.  Stay Where You Are. It is extremely important that everyone involved in the accident stay at the scene until the authorities clear them to go.  In Florida, it is the law.  Leaving the scene of an accident can bring an additional charge, especially if injuries or vehicular damage was done.    Never Apologize or Admit Fault. It can be a knee jerk reaction to want to say, “I’m sorry” after an accident, but whatever you do, never admit fault. Conversations should be limited, giving the other person insurance and...

AEB – The Most Significant Vehicle Development since the Seat Belt

  The Volvo XC90, first sold in the United Kingdom in 2002, is well-known for its safety features. In the over 50,000 cars sold, zero casualties have been reported with the vehicle. In fact, this car could easily be dubbed the safest car in the world. According to Thatcham Research, an independent laboratory, the Volvo XC90 is the safest car it has ever tested. What is the reason for the car’s outstanding record in safety? The car has a number of important safety features, including camera and radar systems to help warn drivers about oncoming dangers on the road. However, what really makes the car’s safety features stand out is its use of Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB). What Is the Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) System? The AEB is a collision avoidance system that has been installed in a number of vehicles that allow the car to automatically detect when a collision is about to occur. The device provides an initial warning to the driver when there is an imminent risk of a collision or the car can also autonomously stop by braking, steering or both, to avoid hitting another vehicle or object. The AEB utilizes cameras, radars or lasers to detect oncoming danger. According to Thatcham Research, the AEB is being heralded as the most significant vehicle development since the seat belt. For the most part, the AEB systems are known as “forward-looking,” which means that the system prevents crashes when one car “rear-ends” or runs into the back of another. These types of accidents are commonly known as fender benders, happening in the normal course of travel. These...

Driverless Uber Death Reveals Autonomous Cars Will Not Solve the Biggest Problem with U.S. Roadways

Driverless Uber Death Reveals Autonomous Cars Will Not Solve the Biggest Problem with U.S. Roadways A recent death involving a pedestrian and self-driving Uber car has shed light on safety issues with U.S. roadways. In March 2018, 49-year-old Elaine Hertzberg was crossing a street in Tempe, Arizona, when she was struck by an autonomous car, resulting in her death. While advocates for these driverless vehicles believe the new technology will result in improved traffic safety, others believe that the new technology glosses over pre-existing problems that already make roadways unsafe for pedestrians and others. Experts at the World Resources Institute claim that self-driving cars are a “Band-Aid” solution. This past year, the number of pedestrian deaths in the U.S. stayed steady at a 25-year peak for the second year in a row. Over all, across the nation, 34,000 people die in car accidents a year. Cities, like Washington DC and New York City, that are more pedestrian-oriented have had fewer traffic fatalities per capita, seeing only about two to three deaths on the road per 100,000 residents. However, other large cities that are not so-pedestrian friendly, such as Los Angeles Atlanta, and Miami have a significantly higher rate of traffic fatalities per capita. There are underlying issues that need to be addressed with our roadways. Lowering Traffic Speeds: Lower speed limits reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries for a number of reasons.  One being, driving at very high speeds can result in driver’s having tunnel vision.  Driving at lower speeds allows drivers to have a wider field of vision and they are more likely to notice others on the road,...

The Types of Auto Accidents Most Likely to Raise Your Insurance Rates

The Types of Auto Accidents Most Likely to Raise Your Insurance Rates  An auto accident can hurt you and not just in terms of physical damage to your vehicle and bodily injury. Many times, even after a minor ‘fender bender,’ you may realize your auto insurance rates have increased, sometimes drastically.  Certain types of car accidents are more prone to increase insurance rates than others, and it is important to know what insurance companies look for when making that determination. Factors Considered When it comes to making a determination on how your insurance rates will be affected following a car accident, insurance providers will look to many different factors surrounding the driver’s background. These factors include the person’s driving record and whether other claims have been made in the past. In terms of claims, normally an accident that has a claim of at least $500 is considered a chargeable accident. Some look at $750 as a threshold amount in terms of damages. Insurance companies will also review police reports after an accident to determine exactly what happened, the circumstances surrounding the accident, what caused it, and assess fault. All of these factors will be considered when making a determination on rates. Accidents Resulting in Injuries If the car accident resulted in an injury to someone else, the insurance company will end up paying for the costs, such as property damage, loss of wages, past and future medical expenses for whoever was injured, etc. Because the costs associated go up when another person is injured, the insurance company may end up increasing your insurance rates to off-set their losses.  Accident...
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