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How to Avoid an Auto Accident with a Self-Driving Car

Although the technology is still relatively new, self-driving cars are now a reality on some roads and the number of them out driving will be increasing in the coming years. But what effect will self-driving cars have on your chances (in your human-driven vehicle) of being in an auto accident?

A recent report from a US consulting firm, McKinsey & Company, claims that self-driving cars could end up reducing traffic fatalities by some 90%. “By midcentury, the penetration of AVs (autonomous vehicles) and other ADAs (advanced driver-assistance system) could ultimately cause vehicle crashes in the US to fall from second to ninth place in terms of their lethality ranking among accident types,” the report concludes.

Auto Accident

The predicted drop is attributed to taking human emotions and errors out of the equation. Self-driving cars have sensors that can recognize what is going on around them much better than a human driver ever could. This allows the vehicles to react to what other vehicles are doing in a quicker and much more dispassionate way.

The Transition and The Impact on Auto Accidents

A major problem – and one that is already emerging despite the miniscule number of self-driving cars now on the road – will be the transition from human-driven vehicles to self-driving vehicles, a transition that could involve an initial increase in the amount of accidents on the roads. This is because of the awkward interaction between human drivers and their robot counterparts.

The problem – at least so far – is that while humans tend to treat traffic lights, speed limits and other road signs as guidelines that can be stretched depending on how heavy traffic is and if there are any police officers around, self-driving cars follow the rules of the road to the max at all times. In other words, self-driving car will always be driving at or below the speed limit, they will always stop fully for stop signs, etc.

So while many people worry that self-driving vehicles will be loose cannons out on the road, the reality is that they are much more cautious than your average human driver. And as more humans come into contact with that cautiousness, some fear that it will turn humans against the technology – even more so than they already are.

“If the cars drive in a way that’s really distinct from the way that every other motorist on the road is driving, there will be in the worst case accidents and in the best case frustration,” said Karl Iagnemma, chief executive officer of self-driving software developer NuTonomy. “What that’s going to lead to is a lower likelihood that the public is going to accept the technology.”

So if you see a self-driving car on the road, be prepared for them to follow the rules of the road to the letter.

If you have been in an auto accident, whether with a self-driving vehicle or a human-driven one, contact the experienced accident attorneys at Fetterman and Associates or call 561-845-2510 for a consultation.

Additional Reading:

What You Need To Know About Vehicle Defects That Cause Car Accidents

How to Spot a Dangerous Driver and Avoid a Car Accident

What You Need To Know About Vehicle Defects That Cause Car Accidents

Most car accidents are caused by driver error, but in some instances, vehicle defects can also lead to devastating car wrecks.

The problem of course is that unless a car manufacturer issues a recall, it is impossible for drivers to know whether or not their vehicles are defective, which means that when the defect occurs, it will do so without warning.

Car Accidents

Therefore it is important for you to know some of the more common vehicle defects, so that you can have your car inspected to ensure that nothing is amiss.

Defective Tires Can Lead To Car Accidents

Defective tires are an ongoing problem, typically due to tread problems that can cause a tire to fail as you are driving, which can lead to a rollover or a chain reaction accident.

In fact, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), defective tires lead to 33,000 car accidents and more than 500 fatalities each year.

And sadly, there have been too many instances in which manufacturers failed to contact drivers about defective tires that had been recalled, leading directly to fatal car wrecks.

Airbag Defects 

The recent Takata airbag recall highlighted the problem that occurs when airbag are not properly made, leading to the possibility of deadly injuries if those airbags deploy during a collision.

Two common types of airbag defects are airbags that won’t deploy in a collision, and airbags that deploy at the wrong time, which could seriously injure or kill a driver or passengers.

Brake Defects 

Brake defects often cause serious accidents, because they usually occur when you are trying to brake in traffic, and can lead to rear-end accidents.

Common types of brake defects include brakes that are prone to overheat, brakes that lock, which prevents you from pressing down, and brakes that slow your vehicle’s forward progress, but fail to bring it to a complete stop.

Brake defects can also result from a slow leak that eventually compromises the pressure in the brake line, which affects proper brake function.

Getting Justice From a Third Party 

When you suffer injuries from a car accident caused by a manufacturer’s defect, obtaining compensation is not just about getting as much money as you can; it is also about ensuring that the third party responsible is held accountable for their negligence. But you must hire an experienced law firm to successfully pursue this type of claim, which is why you need the team of Fetterman & Associates, PA on your side. We have the resources to fight on your behalf, and we have a track record of winning settlements. Please contact us today for a free legal consultation.

Additional Reading

3 Things You Should NOT Do After an Auto Accident

Do You Need a Car Accident Attorney?

How to Spot a Dangerous Driver and Avoid a Car Accident

A lot of the time, those who are involved in a car accident don’t see it coming, or at least they don’t see it coming until it’s too late. But there are many times when erratic and dangerous drivers will make themselves known to others around them and it’s important to know the signs to be on the lookout for.

Swerving Can Lead to a Car Accident

The most obvious sign of a dangerous driver is an inability to control their car or stay in their lane. Often these drivers are drunk or in some other way inebriated. In 2015 over 10,000 people died in car accidents caused by drunk driving, which is nearly 1/3 of all car accident-related deaths in the U.S.

Car Accident

If a car has trouble staying in their lane, do what you can to avoid them. Either slow down to allow them to stay well in front of you or get by them if you can do so safely. If they are being a clear danger to those around them, call the local police and alert them to the situation.

Speeding

We’ve all been there: you’re driving down the highway and you see someone coming up fast behind you. They switch lanes and fly past you at an excessive speed. If you hadn’t been looking in your rear view mirror and had decided to get in that lane yourself, how hard would it have been for them to slow and avoid ramming into the back of your car?

Drivers who speed greatly reduce their reaction time. When the weather is bad this problem becomes exponentially worse. People driving at excessive speeds should be avoided on the road.

Distracted Drivers

If a driver is swerving or going slower than all the other traffic on the road, they could very well be inebriated; but they could also be distracted. When we drive we usually keep our eyes on the road, but we often catch a glimpse in slowed traffic situations to see what some drivers around us are up to. If you see someone on their phone or eating or swinging their head around to talk to someone in the back of the car – especially while the vehicle is moving – they are someone to be avoided if at all possible.

Tailgating

Again, we’ve all been there: you look at your rearview mirror to see another vehicle as close as they can get to being in your trunk. They are riding your bumper, making it much harder for them to stop if you need to stop. We instinctively want to get away from these people because even being hit at a low speed will damage your car, lead to possible injuries and entail the long process of calling the police, cataloging the scene and exchanging insurance information.

Besides, most people just don’t want someone in what they consider their personal space, whether it be your person or our vehicle.

If you do get into a car accident however, contact the experienced accident attorneys at Fetterman and Associates for a free evaluation.

Additional Reading:

What is a Parent’s Legal Liability for Car Accidents that Involve their Child?

5 Reasons Your Airbag May Not Deploy

Here Are the 3 Most Common Mistakes People Make After a Car Accident

You can’t anticipate being involved in a car accident, and when it does happen, it can affect your decision-making skills.

And that lack of clear thinking can lead you to make some mistakes that could end up complicating a legal claim in the future.

Car Accident

So to ensure that you protect your rights after you’re involved in a car accident that was not your fault, here are three things you should be mindful of, to avoid making a mistake that can hurt your potential for a claim.

Not Taking Pictures After a Car Accident Is a Mistake

Make sure that you take as many pictures as you can of the accident scene. In fact, you may even want to take video of the scene as well just to ensure that you capture as many details as possible.

This can be vital when your lawyer needs evidence to prove that the accident was not your fault.

Not Getting Immediate Treatment If You’re Injured Is a Mistake

It’s a huge mistake to wait hours or days to seek treatment after a car accident causes an injury, because the lawyer for the party that caused the accident can claim that you were not seriously injured because you delayed visiting a doctor.

Seek treatment even if you believe that your injury is minor, because some injuries are only detectable through an X-ray or some other type of medical examination.

Talking To Other Driver’s Insurance Company Is a Mistake

In the aftermath of a car accident, some insurance companies like to talk to those involved in the wreck while they are still at the scene.

While it is fine for you to call your own insurance company, never agree to talk to the other driver’s insurance company on the phone.

The reason is that you are not likely to be thinking logically, and anything you say to that insurance representative can be used against you later when you pursue a claim.

After you’ve talked to your own insurance company and obtained the other driver’s contact information, the only person you should talk to in an official capacity is the police officer that comes to take an accident report.

Let An Experienced Attorney Do the Hard Work

One of the most important things you can do after a car accident is to secure the services of an experienced personal injury firm, such as the team at Fetterman & Associates, PA. Our job is to take care of all the details that are vital to a successful claim, so that you can concentrate on recovering from your injuries. The two best ways to judge the quality of a personal injury firm is to examine its experience and the number of settlements and jury awards the firm has won. We score high on both of these criteria. Please call us at 561-845-2510 for a free legal consultation.

Additional Reading

Do You Need a Car Accident Attorney?

Understanding the 5 Common Injuries In Car Accidents

Is There a Link Between Loud Music and a Car Accident?

Loud music and young drivers go together like peanut butter and jelly, but could this combination actually cause more car accidents?

That’s more than just a theoretical question, because studies have found that teenage drivers are much more likely to engage in distracted driving habits such as talking on a mobile device, chatting with a passenger, eating, texting while driving, and even watching videos on a built-in screen.

Car Accidents

All those activities distract drivers by either taking their eyes off the road, taking their hands off the wheel, or forcing their brains to shuttle between tasks, which lowers concentration levels.

But what if loud music was just as distracting, because of its effects on hearing and concentration?

Why Loud Music Could Cause a Car Accident?

Loud music could keep drivers from hearing audio cues around them such as sirens and horns as well as visual signs.

But loud music doesn’t just affect a person’s hearing, it also affects concentration, because listening to a song forces your brain to perform two activities simultaneously.

And studies have found that the brain does not multitask, but in fact, when presented with two activities, it shuttles rapidly between the two, decreasing focus and concentration on each task.

Loud music can also increase the number of aggressive driving behaviors amongst teen drivers.

A study found that after listening to loud music on their playlists, teens in the survey exhibited driving behaviors that included aggressive driving, unsafe lane changes, and speeding.

In fact, all 85 teens in the study were responsible for a minimum of three driver safety mistakes, and 17 of them were so distracted by the music that their driving instructor (who was part of the study) was forced to take over steering or braking to avoid a car accident.

Young drivers are inexperienced, and when they are distracted, the likelihood of them causing a car accident significantly increases.

However, another study found that loud music had far less of an effect on experienced drivers, which may indicate that drivers who are less experienced and not as confident in handling unexpected occurrences on the road are also more likely to be distracted by factors such as loud music or talking on a mobile phone.

Recovering From a Car Accident

Loud music can easily be classified as a type of driver distraction, and distracted drivers are among the most dangerous on the road. If you have suffered injuries in a car accident resulting from distracted driving, you need the experience of a personal injury lawyer such as the team at Fetterman & Associates, PA. We have a track record of winning settlements, and we are not afraid of going to court to obtain justice on your behalf. Please call us today for a free consultation at 561-845-2510.

Additional Reading

How Can I Avoid a Distracted Driving Accident?

Why Do So Many Palm Beach Car Accidents Happen At Red Lights?

Highway Safety: 5 Tips to Avoid Truck Accidents

It is a no-brainer that truck accidents can cause rather devastating and lasting injuries.

truck accidents

According to a report issued by the United States Department of Transportation, close to 3,964 people died and over 95,000 were injured in crashes that involved commercial and other large trucks in the year 2013. However, like most other accidents, truck accidents can be prevented. Listed below are a few tips to avoid truck accidents.

Driving Tips to Help Prevent Truck Accidents

Once you have managed to pass the driving training program and your company gives you the keys to drive your own rig, you are bound to be faced with a set of challenges. This is why we have put together a few pointers that will help you start out on your own as a solo driver.

  • Move Slowly: You are now a professional truck driver. But, this doesn’t mean you can start racing on the roads. The very first rule is to take your time and to do whatever you are doing not just methodically, but also safely. Whether you are pulling in or out of a yard, coming or going from a quick truck stop, or backing your truck into a loading truck – move slowly.
  • Be Thorough and Double Check: Ensure that you have covered all your bases and there is absolutely nothing that you are forgetting while backing out or executing a wide turn – even on a highway. Even experienced truck drivers often fail to check blind spots and conduct a complete circle check. Keep your eyes glued to your entire vehicle while reversing on a highway to be sure there are no obstacles.
  • Do not Trust Your Spotter Blindly: If you have a spotter, remember that 9 out of 10 times, he is watching only one part of your truck. It is likely that he is not looking out for overhead clearance or watching your front right corner. Though his intentions may be good, it is best that you do not trust him blindly. Get out of your truck every now and then to have a look for yourself, especially if you are blindsiding in, when there is the risk of a truck accident.

Driving Tips for Other Vehicles

Most commercial trucks have larger blind spots than a traditional passenger vehicle. Though it is not possible to totally avoid blind spots, you must make an effort to limit your time in a blind spot, when the risks of a truck accident are high.

Most experienced truck drivers are very cautious when turning. But, if you are driving in a blind spot for a very long time, the driver may not know you are there. If you think you are in a blind spot, look for the truck’s mirrors. If you cannot see the person behind the wheel, it is likely that he cannot see you too.

Trucks also need a lot more time to slow down due to their size. If you pull in right in front of a truck on a highway and brake, the driver may not be able to bring his vehicle to a halt to avoid a rear end collision. When you change lanes on a highway, be sure to communicate with the truck driver sharing the road of your intentions, and also check your blind spot before you merge.

It takes just a little common sense to avoid careless accidents. But, accidents do happen. If you or somebody you know has been in a truck accident and sustained grievous injuries, be sure to contact a reliable and solid truck accident attorney at Fetterman & Associates to discuss your case. Call us at 561-845-2510 today for a free consultation.

Additional Reading:

Truck Accidents: Who is Liable?

Accident with a Truck: How Much Can You Sue?

What is a Parent’s Legal Liability for Car Accidents that Involve their Child?

All kids make mistakes. A general rule that is in place is that the law doesn’t allow individuals who are injured by the negligent actions of a child to seek compensation from the child or from their parents. However, if the child causes an injury because of willful misconduct or engages in certain types of dangerous activities when an accident takes place, the guardian or parent may be considered legally responsible for the property damage or injury that results from the negligent conduct of their minor child. Car Accidents

The most common example of this type of event is when a minor child causes a traffic accident.

Florida’s Law Related to Car Accidents Involving Minors

In the state of Florida, a guardian or parent who verifies the driver’s license of a minor may be held financially liable for any injury that is caused by the minor during the accident. There is no limit on the total amount of recovery that can be sought. However, to establish that a parent or a guardian is liable for the negligent conduct of the minor, the victim of the accident has to establish that all of the elements of negligence are present. Specifically, this means that the accident victim has to prove that the negligent action of the minor resulted in the accident and caused the resulting injuries.There is no type of requirement that the parent or the guardian was negligent in supervising the minor.

Serious Car Accidents Involving Teens

An example of an accident that involved a minor driver is when seven people suffered injuries during a single vehicle accident. According to the report, the driver of a SUV was a 14-year-old who was driving six passengers. The teen tried to change lanes but did not see the driver in the other lane. The teen tried to fix the mistake and overcorrected. At this point, he lost control of the SUV and spun out of control. The SUV wound up hitting a highway barrier nearby.

All of the people inside of the vehicle, including the driver, were injured in the accident. According to the aunt of the boy, he was allowed to drive to practice before getting his license and it wasn’t his first time behind the wheel.

What To Do if You are Injured in a Car Accident Involving a Minor

If you are ever involved in a car accident with a minor driver, then you may be able to receive monetary compensation for the injuries and damages that occurred as a result. At this point, it is best to hire a personal injury attorney who has experience with these types of cases to determine what your rights are and who is liable for the accident that occurred.

If you have questions or need more information, contact the attorneys at Fetterman & Associates by calling 561-845-2510. Qualified legal representation can ensure your rights are protected and that you receive as much monetary compensation possible for the injuries you sustained.

Additional Reading:

Texting and Driving May Become a Primary Offense in Florida

Understanding the 5 Common Injuries in Car Accidents

Accidents that May Result in Traumatic Brain Injuries

Every year, approximately 2.6 million people suffer because of some type of brain injury in the United States. There are several reasons for this type of injury, including a tumor, stroke, trauma or another illness. Of those 2.6 million victims, 52,000 die each year due to a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and more than five million who have suffered this injury require some type of ongoing assistance in handling day to day tasks.

Accidents leading to TBI

Not only are TBIs dangerous because they can result in death, but they can also be associated with a number of serious symptoms, some that persist for several years after the injury has occurred. As a result, brain injuries are an extremely serious health concern and everyone needs to know what dangers they pose.

If you or someone you love is a victim of a TBI, you should contact a personal injury attorney for help. They can review your case and determine if you have grounds for a lawsuit.

Some of the most common accidents that result in TBI injuries are found here.

Car Accidents

When you are involved in a vehicle accident, your vehicle will stop abruptly. This can cause those inside the vehicle to be thrown the opposite way they were originally traveling. This type of violent action can cause individuals to hit their heads on anything in the vehicle, such as the center console, windows, steering wheel and dashboard.

Motorcycle and Bicycle Accidents

Riding a motorcycle or bicycle is much more dangerous than being in a traditional passenger vehicle. This is because motorcycles and bikes don’t offer very many safety features. Instead, a rider is left out in the open and exposed to the elements. This means the rider’s head may potentially hit the pavement if they are thrown from the bike.

Slips and Falls

If a person slips and falls, they are going to become a victim of gravity. This is what will determine the part of the body that takes the main force of the blow. If the individual falls on a hard surface, then their head may strike it and result in a TBI. This is a serious concern for everyone, but especially the elderly and small children since these individuals are the ones who are least stable while on their feet.

Boating Accidents

Boating and vehicle accidents are similar in how they occur. The impact will result in those inside the boat being thrown in the opposite direction of the way they were heading. A head injury may also occur on a boat because of the back and forth rocking motion in the water.

If you have suffered a TBI, or someone you love has been a victim of this injury, it is imperative that you contact a personal injury attorney for help right away. They can review the facts of your situation to ensure your rights are protected. Learn more about TBIs and the damage they can cause by contacting the personal injury attorneys at Fetterman & Associates by calling 561-845-2510.

5 Reasons Your Airbag May Not Deploy

 5 Reasons Your Airbag May Not DeployModern airbag technology has received credit for preventing millions of severe injuries and saving countless lives. While airbags are considered one of the most important safety features on vehicles today, if there are defects in the manufacturing process or in the design, it may result in them failing or not deploying properly when they are needed most.

If an airbag fails to deploy when a crash occurs, the passengers and driver don’t have anything to protect them from a severe impact against a window, the steering wheel or some other part of the vehicle. As a result, they may face the very real risk of severe or fatal injuries.

If you or someone you love has suffered an injury after a car accident when an airbag didn’t deploy when it should have, you may have the right to seek compensation for damages if the airbag failure was caused by a defect. It is best to hire a personal injury attorney to help you file a lawsuit and to review the facts of your situation.

Additionally, getting to know the reasons why an airbag may not deploy in a crash can be beneficial.

The Type of Collision

The type of accident that occurred can play a major part in whether the airbags deploy. Depending on where your vehicle is hit, the airbag sensors may not be triggered. This can happen if frontal airbags don’t fire in certain rollover collisions, or during a rear or side impact crash. According to information from the NHTSA, the actual location where the crash occurs is a better indicator of whether or not an airbag was supposed to deploy than the vehicle’s speed or the damage sustained.

Defective Airbag Sensors

If the impact of a crash should have triggered the deployment of an airbag but didn’t, it is possible that the sensors failed to detect the actual impact, which resulted in the airbag not deploying. This may be the result of manufacturers that did not properly design, install or test the sensors, in addition to failures in the software or the calibration of the firing threshold. In some situations, there may not have been enough sensors to detect the crash, which can result from cost-conscientious manufacturers who put profits above safety.

Defective Electrical Components

If an airbag sensor functions properly, they should trigger deployment when a crash occurs. An airbag failure may result from defective electrical components or a faulty wiring design. This often occurs when a collision occurs where one or several airbags deploy, but others don’t.

Wiring is Severed

Some researchers have discovered that airbag failures may occur when a manufacturer chooses to route the wires through other areas, making them more at risk of being severed when a crash occurs.

Defects in the Airbag Modules

A defect in the airbag module may also prevent an airbag from deploying when it should. There are situations when the airbag module doesn’t respond, which can be because of manufacturing defects or inherent design issues, in addition to improper quality checks or control.

If you need more information about car accidents and air bag defects, contact a personal injury attorney. Additional information can be found by contacting the attorneys at Fetterman & Associates, PA by calling 561-845-2510.

Truck Spills are a Leading Cause of Accidents and Injuries

Truck spills may occur at any time on the roads in Florida. Due to the nature of the shipping industry, materials are moving to and from Florida on a regular basis. If you suffer an injury because of a truck spill accident, then you may be entitled to receive monetary compensation. Accidents and injuries are made worse if the truck is carrying dangerous or hazardous materials.

Cause of Accidents and Injuries

Here you can learn several tips to minimize the injuries you may suffer if you are involved in a trucking accident that results from a spill.

Avoid the Accident by Following Proper Safety Protocol

While there is no way to predict when a trucking accident or spill may occur in Florida, providing plenty of room between you and the truck is a good way to avoid serious injuries. Doing this may reduce the injuries you suffer and may even help save your life.

There is no question that being involved in a truck accident can be quite devastating. If you are driving too close to a big truck, you may not be able to get out of the way fast enough if the truck does spill, jackknife or engage in any other type of possibly dangerous activities. Also, if you get too close to a truck, the driver won’t be able to see you in their mirror, which may be extremely risky.

Report Dangerous or Erratic Driving

There are several trucks on the roads in Florida that have numbers on the back of them. This is to allow other drivers to report them if they aren’t obeying the rules of the road. If there is a phone number present and you see a truck weaving in traffic, or engaging in some other type of dangerous behavior, then you should report the driver.

If an accident occurs because of a driver’s negligence, you may be able to recover monetary compensation for the losses you suffer. It is best to retain the services of a trucking accident attorney if this happens.

Drive Predictably

When you drive in a predictable way, it will be much easier to avoid an accident. Be sure that you always pass on the left of a truck and that you maintain a safe speed. If a truck looks like it is turning, then you should not try to pass. Large trucks make extremely wide turns.

How to React to Truck Spills on the Road

Extremely devastating trucking accidents in Florida occur after a truck spills the contents of what it was carrying. Regardless of if it is chemicals, shipping materials or logs, a spill can result in a multiple vehicle accidents and severe injuries for everyone involved.

The most important thing you can do right after an accident like this occurs is to get off of the road and contact the authorities. It is also a good idea to contact a personal injury attorney if you have suffered any injuries.

If you need help or are ready to schedule a consultation, contact the personal injury attorneys at Fetterman & Associates by calling 561-983-4584.

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