Personal Injury Lawyers

GM Safety Recalls Highlights Risk for D.C. Motorists

General Motors has been fined the largest amount in history for failure to report a safety defect and respond to government agency investigations in a timely manner. The car company will pay $35 million to the federal government. GM has also entered into a consent agreement in which the company will turn over the results of internal investigations to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and will overhaul its internal system for dealing with safety issues.

Clearly, GM needs to do something to improve safety and this settlement may provide the impetus the car company needs. GM has recalled more vehicles so far in 2014 than the company has sold in the U.S. since 2009. The company has had safety problems linked to 12 deaths and 46 injuries.

When an accident occurs and a vehicle defect may have caused or contributed to injury, victims or family members need to consult a personal injury lawyer. There may be multiple parties who are to blame and who must compensate crash victims, including the car company as well as drivers whose negligence played a role in causing the accident.

GM Recalls a Record Number of Vehicles

CNN recently reported that GM had recalled more cars in 2014 than in the history of the company. This was even before recent news from Auto News that another 30,000 Saab convertibles were being recalled as a result of a problem with seat belts failing to properly retract.

Some of the recalls were related to problems with the ignition switch. The switch could turn from “Run” to “Accessory” unexpectedly as a person was driving. As a result, this would end up turning off the power-steering, the car’s engine and the air bags. It was this defect that allegedly caused accidents that took lives and injured countless motorists.

GM may have been aware of the problems with the ignition switch as early as 2001. Yet, although the car company is required to notify the NHTSA and instituted a recall within five business days of identifying a safety defect, GM did nothing for years.

Tahoes, Sierras and Silverados were also reportedly recalled because of problems with the steering.

Car manufacturers have a responsibility to the public not to let problems like these occur. Consumers should also do their research so they make smart choices about the vehicles that they buy. Safer Car is a good resource for consumers who are shopping for a car to buy. At this site, consumers can access information on:

  • Crash test ratings for both new and used vehicles.
  • Notices of safety recalls and investigations.
  • Complaints and defects identified in certain vehicle models.
  • Car seats.
  • Car safety features and technologies.
  • Tire safety issues including tire ratings and maintenance tips to keep tires in good shape and reduce the risk of blow outs.

Consumers can sign up for free recall alerts on their phones so they are notified right away if a problem is identified with a car they are driving.

A personal injury attorney in Washington, D.C. can help if you have been injured in an accident. Contact the Mike Slocumb Law Firm at 1-800-HURTLINE or visit http://www.slocumblaw.com.

D.C. Cyclists and Drivers Share Busy Washington Roads

Bicycle riders and drivers are competing for road space on busy urban roads and the outcome has not been good. A lot of D.C. drivers have complaints that bicycle riders are not playing by the rules or sharing the roads in a safe way. In fact, just recently, the Washington Post published several articles criticizing a variety of different bicyclist behavior.

Bicycle riders, on the other hand, are understandably concerned that the roads don’t remain very safe for them. The death toll rose for pedalcyclists according to a recently released report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the majority of bike riders who lose their lives are killed in urban areas.

Bicycle riders and drivers need to respect each other’s rights on the road and avoid high-risk behaviors that could increase the chance of a crash and injuries occurring. If someone does get hurt, the victim or his family members should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney for help.

Drivers Have Complaints About Bike Riders as Bicyclist Death Toll Rises

The Washington Post has raised the many concerns drivers in the city have with bicycle riders. One issue is that bike riders have had miles of bike lanes added throughout D.C., which can result in the loss of other essential services motorists need in cities, like parking spaces where elderly church parishioners used to park. Bicycle riders in the district are now also asking for a bike elevator to help them get up a steep hill.

There are accusations that many bicycle riders ride the wrong way in these bike lanes, putting people at risk. Bicycle riders may also be riding on sidewalks, which creates a hazard for pedestrians who need to walk in these same areas.

Bike riders want to be treated the same as drivers and are expected to obey the same rules of the road, including stopping at traffic signals and stop signs. However, some bicyclists are not following these rules. In other cases, bikers may follow the letter of the law but may not be very considerate. Bike riders, for example, sometimes ride up to the front of a line of traffic that is stopped at the red light and then all of the drivers are forced to wait for the bicyclist to pass when the light turns green.

Another major concern is that bicycle riders sometimes ride at night and with no lights. This makes it hard for pedestrians and drivers to see them coming and increases the chances of a collision occurring.

These are legitimate concerns, but bike riders also have the right to complain that the roads are not meeting their needs. The NHTSA’s recent report indicates that the number of bicycle accident fatalities increased six percent between 2011 and 2012. A total of 69 percent of bicycle-rider deaths occur in urban areas compared with just 31 percent of fatalities in rural areas. In total, 726 bicycle riders were killed over the course of 2012, which meant bike riders made up two percent of all driving fatalities. There were also another 49,000 bike riders injured, which was also two percent of all injuries.

A personal injury lawyer in Washington, D.C. can help if you have been injured in an accident. Contact the Mike Slocumb Law Firm at 1-800-HURTLINE or visit http://www.slocumblaw.com.