Personal Injury Lawyers

Baltimore Car-Sharing Motorists at Risk

Car sharing services have become increasingly popular in Baltimore, Ellicott City, Clarksville and surrounding areas. The prevalence of these services exists because drivers can make money by offering rides and passengers can find affordable and convenient transportation. While this may seem like a great system, a personal injury lawyer knows that there are some significant risks for those using a car sharing service.taxi-bubble-sign-1442111-m

Liability Issues with Car Sharing

Both passengers and drivers face big risks when they participate in ride or car sharing services like Lyft or Uber. Drivers are at risk of being sued if they cause a crash, for which they may not have adequate insurance coverage. Passengers are at risk of getting hurt in a collision and not being able to find an appropriate defendant to take legal action against in order to recover full compensation.

Forbes recently took a close look at who can be held legally liable after an accident happens when a driver is operating his vehicle as a de facto taxi. The companies that facilitate this process are generally going to be immune from liability.

These companies typically work by providing an app that people download. The app then connects passengers with drivers. The car sharing company does not employ the drivers, and it is not responsible for the driver’s actions. Instead, the drivers are independent contractors. Further, the car sharing company will typically make passengers sign a release of liability promising not to hold the company accountable if a problem happens or something goes wrong.

Because of the liability release and the fact that the driver is not an employee, passengers are not able to pursue a damage claim against the company after a crash. In most cases, neither are other motorists, pedestrians or bicycle riders who may be harmed by a careless car-sharing driver. Not only does the independent contractor relationship protect the company, but the Communications Decency Act may provide protection as well. The car sharing companies claim to provide an informational service only, and are thus not accountable for what the individual drivers do.

If the company cannot have a claim made against it when a driver is careless, pursuing a case against the driver is typically going to be the only option for injured victims. Sometimes, however, the driver does not have insurance coverage for the crash or the coverage is insufficient.

Many private insurance companies, including State Farm, have declined to provide auto insurance coverage for ride sharing services. Geico also will not cover motorists who drive for these types of services. SF Gate recently reported on leaked memos showing that Geico is very strict with making sure no coverage is provided. Geico staff members are instructed to group reject people who will be participating in car sharing. The leaked documents also contain a script that Geico staff should use to explain to policyholders that they’ll need to get a different policy unless they can prove that they are no longer driving for Uber or any other related services.

The limitations on liability and restrictions on insurance coverage can put victims of crashes with car sharing drivers in a difficult position when it comes to recovering compensation for loss.

Accident lawyers in Baltimore, MD 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. Serving Baltimore, Ellicott City, Clarksville and surrounding areas.

Snowy Driving Increases Teen Accident Risks in Baltimore

Winter is coming to Baltimore, Ellicott City, Clarksville and surrounding areas and this is bad news for drivers as the risk of a crash increases significantly when there is snow on the ground. While all drivers are at greater risk of getting into an accident when there is ice on the roads, teen drivers especially face significant dangers of getting into a traffic collision. winter-in-poland-1445158-1-m

A personal injury lawyer knows that teens are always more likely to become involved in a collision than older drivers. During the winter months, this risk is exacerbated. As the weather gets colder and the storms start brewing, now is the time for parents to talk to their kids about safe winter driving.

Helping Teens Avoid Winter Driving Collisions

Teenagers who get their license are at the greater risk of getting into a crash during their first six months of driving. According to Drive Steady, the risk of a crash during the first year of having a license is 10 times greater for a teen than for a more experienced driver who has had a license for longer. Many factors contribute to the higher risk of teen collisions, including inexperience; an inability to recognize hazards and respond appropriately; and overconfidence in driving abilities. All of these are big issues during the winter when teens may think they can handle snow and ice but really may make wrong choices that could directly lead to an accident.

Parents can help to mitigate the risk by taking some basic steps. Brand Connection has suggested a few things that parents can do to try to help their kids stay safe as they go into their first winter as licensed drivers. Parents should:

  • Get in some snowy driving practice. When there is snow or ice on the ground for the first time, parents should go with their kids to a parking lot where there is a lot of space. Parents can have their kids spin the car out in order to learn how to get back into control of the vehicle when it is sliding. parents can also go over safe braking and how to recognize when there is black ice on the ground.
  • Limit the time that kids drive when there is snow and ice. Sometimes, teens have to drive even if the weather is bad. When the trip is not absolutely necessary, though, parents should just say no to getting behind the wheel if there is ice on the ground or a storm predicted. Kids can wait to take non-essential trips until after the roads have been cleared.
  • Enroll their sons or daughters in a class designed to teach winter driving skills. Such classes are frequently offered at schools and as part of local driving education programs.

Car accidents remain a leading cause of fatalities for teens. By taking some extra precautions as bad weather arrives, parents may be able to reduce the chances that their sons or daughters will become involved in a collision during the cold weather months.

Accident lawyers in Baltimore, MD 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.  Serving Baltimore, Ellicott City, Clarksville and surrounding areas.

Baltimore Crash Risk Slashed by Avoiding Distraction

While most motorists know it is dangerous to use phones or other electronics when they should be focusing on the road, drivers continue to reach for their phones.

Some drivers also use voice control systems under the mistaken belief it will be safer if they keep both hands on the wheel. a-car-key-with-lock-2-879310-m

In light of more new evidence regarding the dangers of distracted driving, it is more important than ever for every driver to simply commit to staying focused on the road. If a driver isn’t paying attention and causes a collision, a personal injury attorney can help victims whose lives are forever altered by the crash.

Drivers Should Never Focus on Anything Other Than the Road

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has published several new studies underscoring some of the high risks associated with driving while distracted. One focused on the use of hands-free or voice-controlled devices. That study found the use of these devices may not actually be safer and may, in fact, be more of a distraction as compared with the use of handheld phones.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) also published a comprehensive report about distracted driving risks. The report highlighted some of the dangers associated with phone use in the vehicle. For example, a driver who is reaching for a cell phone, dialing a phone or answering a call is at three times greater risk of a crash than someone who is not doing these things. When talking is factored in, a driver on a cell phone has a 17 percent greater risk of a collision.

Not only do drivers on phones have delayed reaction time, they also suffer from inattention blindness. Essentially, this means even when they see objects or obstacles on the road, their brains do not process them because their focus is on their phone call or manipulation of electronic devices. Drivers are not nearly as effective at multi-tasking as they may believe.

While IIHS did review the risks of distracted driving, the National Safety Council (NSC) interpreted the IIHS rather critically, finding it downplayed the true extent of the danger. One point made by the NSC was IIHS reported 12 percent of crashes in 2012 involved distracted driving. In reality, that number is likely higher, the NSC argues, because many people who are involved in accidents do not tell law enforcement they were using their phones. Because “distraction” is not easily proved by investigators, it’s less likely to make it onto an official report, which means it’s vastly under-reported – a fact IIHS failed to note.

Another problem was the IIHS assertion that during the same time period as the number of texting drivers increased, the number of traffic accident deaths declined. This could be interpreted to mean texting has not had a big impact on the number of collissions. The reality is the death toll has gone down because of improved safety features – not because texting isn’t deadly.

With every new study confirming that driving distracted is dangerous, drivers need to make a new commitment that they truly will be serious about preventing distracted driving crashes by staying 100 percent focused on the road ahead.

Accident lawyers in Baltimore, MD 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.  

Halloween Pedestrian Safety a Concern in Birmingham

For kids out trick or treating in Birmingham, Halloween night is supposed to be a time to dress up in a fun costume and get candy. Unfortunately, between 1990 and 2010, a total of 115 kids have lost their lives in pedestrian collisions on Halloween night. This data comes from a recent study conducted by State Farm in which more than four million accident records were reviewed. The statistics from Halloween night reveal that the number of kids killed on October 31 in pedestrian crashes was more than double the number of fatalities on other nights of the year. While there are normally an average of 2.6 pedestrian crash deaths among children daily, there are 5.5 kids killed in pedestrian crashes on Halloween night. halloween

A personal injury lawyer knows that the majority of the collisions on Halloween night occur in the middle of the block, as opposed to at intersections. Consumer Reports indicates that this might occur because kids run out into the middle of the road from in between parked vehicles. If drivers are not paying careful attention, they could strike and kill a child. Drivers need to be focused on the road on Halloween when more kids will be out, and parents need to talk to their children about Halloween safety.

Halloween Safety Risks for Kids

Sixty percent of accidents on Halloween night occur between the hours of 5:00 PM and 9:00 PM, with the vast majority of crashes happening specifically between 6:00 and 7:00. Kids between the ages of 12 and 15 account for the highest number of fatalities (32 percent). Kids between the ages of five and eight account for the second highest number of fatalities (23 percent).

Safe Kids Worldwide suggests that children under the age of 12 should not trick-or-treat or be out alone at night. This is good advice, but unfortunately the high number of deaths among older kids and teens suggest that kids within this older age group face risks as well. Unfortunately, young adult drivers out on Halloween are also likely to be involved in deadly pedestrian crashes. In fact, around 33 percent of deadly collisions that killed children on Halloween were caused by drivers between the ages of 15 and 25.

Safe Kids Worldwide has tips for drivers of all ages to help reduce the risk of pedestrian accident fatalities on Halloween. Drivers should:

  • Be aware of the added risks of children, especially before 9:00 PM and as the light starts to change and visibility is reduced.
  • Slow down, especially in residential neighborhoods. It is imperative to be on the lookout for children.
  • Avoid distracted driving. While using electronic devices is always high-risk, driving distracted could be even more dangerous on Halloween when a child could dart into the road at any minute.

Kids and parents can also do their part to help avoid the risk of Halloween collisions. Kids should wear brightly colored costumes whenever possible to make it easier for drivers to see them. Putting reflectors on trick-or-treat bags can also be helpful in reducing the risk of a pedestrian accident occurring.

Accident lawyers in Birmingham, Alabama 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.

Montgomery Drivers Should Follow the Golden Rules of Driver Safety

Officials from the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (F.I.A.) were nearly injured or killed in a recent motor vehicle collision, according to the New York Times. The F.I.A. is the parent organization of road clubs throughout the world and is the organization responsible for overseeing the motor sports industry. The F.I.A. officials were stopped on the side of the road changing a tire when they noticed a vehicle barreling towards their rental car. They were able to get out of the way just moments before the back of the rental vehicle was struck. cars

A personal injury attorney knows that if the driver who hit the stopped rental car on the side of the road had been paying more careful attention and surveying the road before him, the incident may have been avoided. According to the New York Times, looking ahead for potential road obstacles is one tip provided by professional drivers who are members of the F.I.A. The F.I.A. has also prepared more advice for motorists to help reduce the number of deadly accidents occurring.

The 10 Golden Rules for Road Safety

The F.I.A. views the number of motor vehicle collisions as similar to a worldwide epidemic of disease. Each year, around 1.3 million people are killed in traffic collisions worldwide and another 50 million people get hurt in accidents. By 2020, estimates suggest that there will be around two million people killed in traffic accidents every single year.

Many of these collisions are caused by bad driving, and could be prevented if drivers followed basic safety rules. The F.I.A. has identified 10 Golden Rules for motorists to follow including:

  • Always buckling their seat belts, both when driving and when riding as a passenger.
  • Always wearing a helmet when riding a motorcycle, bicycle or other similar type of vehicle.
  • Checking both tire pressure and tire tread regularly to ensure that the vehicle’s tires are properly inflated and not too worn. Worn or under inflated tires can lead to a blow-out that results in a collision. Most cars today have sensors and drivers are alerted when the tires need air, but tires should still be checked manually on a periodic basis.
  • Respecting the rules of the road whenever motorists are behind the wheel operating their vehicles.
  • Driving sober at all times and never getting behind the wheel after consuming drugs or alcoholic beverages.
  • Staying focused on the road at all times. Motorists should avoid distractions such as cellular phones and other electronic devices.
  • Avoiding driving while fatigued. Drivers should get sufficient rest and should stop their vehicles and pull over when they become too tired to drive safely.
  • Showing other motorists courtesy and respect at all times when on the road.

Ironically, the New York Times reports that the F.I.A. officials had a trunk full of brochures with the 10 Golden Rules on them at the time when their accident occurred. If every motorist would make a commitment to follow these rules, hopefully collisions could be reduced and more people’s lives could be saved.

Accident lawyers in Montgomery, Alabama 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

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. Traffic Watch: Can Collision Warning Systems Save Lives?

Drivers continue to operate their vehicles when they are distracted, despite numerous warnings alerting them to the dangers of cell phones and other devices that steal focus from the road. Many carmakers are responding to this dangerous trend by including collision warning systems in their vehicles. While these warning systems could perhaps help prevent some accidents, not all systems are created equal. Further, drivers should not become comfortable with the idea that their car will stop for them.

No amount of technology can substitute for common sense and safe driving. When a driver makes a dangerous choice and endangers other motorists on the road, he must be held accountable for the harm caused. Accident lawyers in Washington, DC at the Mike Slocumb Law Firm should be consulted by victims of collisions for help pursuing a damage claim.

Collision Warning Systems And Accident Prevention

According to the New York Daily News, a forward collision warning system uses radar beams, cameras, and/or laser beams to scan the road ahead of the vehicle. If the system believes that the vehicle is coming too close to an object at an unsafe speed, it can alert the driver and it will either ready the braking system for full power or it will automatically cause the vehicle to brake.

Most systems will automatically apply the brake to slow a vehicle or to stop it from colliding with an object in front, while a minority of systems only warn the drivers. It is also more common for the car to first warn the driver and then apply the brakes, although some systems will stop the car without first alerting the driver that there is an obstacle.

Forward collision warning systems usually work when the car is traveling at a speed of 30 miles per hour or less, although some newer systems will even activate the braking system when the car is going as fast as 50 miles per hour. If the vehicle is going above this speed, generally only a warning will be issued as the car slamming on the brakes would be extremely dangerous.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is currently trying to respond to consumer confusion caused by so many different technologies in collision avoidance. The IISH rates systems as basic, advanced or superior and is establishing a classification system that will help consumers better understand how the different collision avoidance systems work.

An IISH spokesperson has said that it is clear the technology is helping to avoid crashes and is helping to reduce speed and thus lessen the severity of collisions where an accident cannot be avoided.

However, there is a danger that drivers may become too reliant on this technology and that it may make some motorists feel safer driving while distracted. Collision avoidance systems may malfunction if sun, rain, snow or fog prevents the devices from seeing in front of the vehicle. Further, not all systems can detect pedestrians and cyclists, of which there are many in the Washington D.C. area. Even with collision avoidance systems in place, drivers need to remain vigilant and ensure they act responsibly to say safe on the roads.

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

Distracted Driving in Alabama Target of April Enforcement Efforts

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has scheduled an $8.5 million ad campaign and a week of stepped-up enforcement for texting and cell phone bans. The slogan the NHTSA is pushing is “U Text. U Drive. U Pay.”

The National Safety Council (NSC) is also conducting its own campaign during Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The NSC’s efforts focus on informing people that hands-free devices are dangerous, despite popular beliefs to the contrary. Victims injured by a driver using a hands-free device or otherwise distracted by a phone can get help making a motor vehicle accident claim from a Mobile texting accident attorney.

Drivers Misinformed About Hands-Free Devices

The campaign to inform drivers about the myth of hands-free devices is an important one because many drivers don’t know the truth. Cars.com reports that around 80 percent of drivers think that hands-free phones are safe. These drivers may use voice-to-text programs as well as talking on their phones using Bluetooth or other hands-free systems.

When drivers do use hands-free systems to complete electronic tasks in the car, around 70 percent say they do so for safety reasons. The NSC hopes to inform these drivers that they aren’t any safer and may actually be taking a bigger risk. Studies have shown that a voice-to-text program makes sending or receiving a text more distracting for drivers than just holding the phone to type or read the text.

Furthermore, the brain is not able to multitask effectively, and studies have shown you end up switching your focus from the phone to the road and back again when you are talking or listening on a call. You don’t do this very well, and you miss as much as 50 percent of the visual information outside your windshield. This makes sense, since the area of your brain devoted to visual activity is 1/3 less active when you’re on the phone (even using a hands-free kit), compared to when you are not multitasking.

Still, about nine percent of all drivers at any given time are using hands-free devices on the road. These drivers aren’t breaking any laws. Although USA Today reports that 12 states have complete bans on handheld phone use and 43 have bans on texting, no state has banned hands-free systems. Drivers thus may be unlikely to ever find out that what they are doing in their cars is risky until it is too late and they get into a collision. The NSC’s campaign hopes to increase awareness.

Drivers need to avoid any type of use of electronic devices, even if they have a hands-free kit. Most safety experts urge a complete federal ban of cell phone use in vehicles, but this is not likely to become law anytime soon. Until it does, it is up to drivers to voluntarily make the right choice and exercise appropriate care behind the wheel.

Accident lawyers in Mobile can help if you have been injured in an Alabama traffic accident. Contact the Mike Slocumb Law Firm at 1-800-HURTLINE.

Traffic Accidents in Mobile a Higher Risk for Teens with Passengers

A Mobile traffic collision recently claimed the life of one teenager and forever changed the lives of five others, who authorities say were seriously injured.

Investigators say the six teens were all in the same car shortly after midnight on a Sunday when the young driver, for reasons yet unknown, left the roadway and slammed into a building. One of the youths was pronounced dead at the scene. Police say speed was likely a factor in the crash.

Our Mobile accident attorneys are aware of extensive research pointing to the fact that the more teen passengers are in a vehicle driven by a teen driver, the higher the likelihood of a crash.

Study finds teens with passengers more likely to crash

In fact, one study conducted by Texas A&M Transportation Institute and released last year revealed that 15-to-17-year-old drivers are nearly eight times more likely to be involved in a deadly crash when they are carrying two or more teen passengers. This was based on 10 years of national traffic data. This represents a 30 percent increase during that time frame.

In Alabama, the graduated driver’s license program limits the number of passengers that novice drivers can have in a car at any one time. For those with a Stage I learner’s permit, new drivers can only operate a vehicle when a parent, legal guardian or licensed driver older than 21 is in the front passenger seat. A driver with a Stage II restricted license may not have more than one passenger in the vehicle who is not a parent, legal guardian or family member.

The National Safety Council notes that the most dangerous time in a teen driver’s life is during the first year that he or she has a license. In fact, nothing kills more teenagers than car crashes. Some 4,700 people die every year in crashes involving teen drivers, with passengers accounting for 1,200 of those and occupants of other vehicles accounting for 1,120. Pedestrians, cyclists and other non-occupants account for 400.

These points are especially relevant in March, at the height of the spring break season, as teens and young college students will be flocking to the Gulf Coast. Mobile is an ideal spot, though we fully anticipate many of our youth will also be traveling nearby to the Florida panhandle.

Many spring break celebrations incorporate alcohol. When you factor in binge drinking with inexperience behind the wheel, the consequences are often fatal.

The Alabama Department of Public Safety has said that it expects heavier-than-usual traffic, particularly to southern Alabama, in the months of both March and April due to spring break. The agency urges parents to discuss with teens ways to make safe driving a top priority.

Other important rules of the road include:

  • Always wearing a seat belt;
  • Focusing on the road, and avoiding distractions, such as texting or calling someone on your cell phone.
  • Limit the number of teen passengers in your vehicle.
  • Obey speed limits and other traffic safety laws.
  • Limit your night time driving.
  • Never drink or use drugs prior to getting into a vehicle. Make sure your teen knows he or she can always call you if they find themselves in a bad situation.

Accident lawyers in Mobile can help if you have been injured in an Alabama traffic accident. Contact the Mike Slocumb Law Firm at 1-800-HURTLINE.

Mobile Car Accident Prevention Goal of Federal V2V Proposal

In recent weeks, dozens of people have been injured and several others killed in Alabama car accidents, mostly attributed to icy roads or other inclement weather conditions.

The Montgomery car accident lawyers at The Mike Slocumb Law Firm know that while drivers may be unable to control the weather, they most certainly can control their reaction to it. In far too many of these cases, crashes occur because one or more drivers failed to reduce their speed and maintain an adequate distance from other vehicles.

Today, there is renewed hope that perhaps the toll won’t be nearly as high in years to come, following the recent announcement by officials with the National Highway Safety Association that it plans to press forward with vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology requirements for light vehicles.

The technology works by essentially allowing cars to “talk” to one another, exchanging basic information regarding their position, speed, direction of travel and braking activities. That information can then be translated automatically by other vehicles, which would then automatically react.

This information is traded so quickly – 10 times per second – that it could be extremely valuable in sudden, inclement weather conditions, when visibility is low and drivers don’t have much time to react.

Among the victims in recent crashes, according to Alabama State Troopers:

  • A 64-year-old Birmingham woman killed on an icy Alabama 5  when struck by another vehicle around 11 a.m.;
  • A 29-year-old man and a 2-year-old girl killed on Alabama 14 when icy conditions caused him to collide with another vehicle on the Lay Bridge;
  • A 22-year-old active Air Force airman killed in a Montgomery car accident.

Whether V2V technology would have prevented any of these crashes is unknowable, but collision prevention is the key goal of this emerging technology. The NHTSA’s  finalized report  on a year-long pilot program using the technology on 3,000 vehicles in Michigan is expected within the next several months. So far driver clinics conducted by the agency indicated high rates of customer acceptance and favor. Many of the participants have said they would like to extend their use of the V2V technology.

NHTSA’s Acting Administrator David Freeman was recently quoted as saying the devices have the potential to “significantly” reduce the number of motor vehicle crashes and injuries in decades to come.

The technology equips vehicles with the ability to gather data from 360-degrees. The information collected alerts the driver to a potentially hazardous situation. The current applications don’t  automatically operate steering or braking, but the NHTSA is exploring that as a future option.

For now, a good example of the way the system works is this: A driver is trying to determine whether it’s safe to pass another vehicle on a two-lane road. If he misjudges, he potentially risks a head-on collision if he can’t see around the vehicle in front of him. With V2V technology, the driver can detect a possible threat from hundreds of yards away, even if the other vehicle can’t yet be seen or heard by the motorist.

The agency hasn’t announced any plans to require V2V on commercial vehicles, but it has held discussions as recently as last summer on the issue.

If you have been involved in an Alabama crash, contact the Mobile car accident lawyers at Mike Slocumb Law Firm at 1-800-HURTLINE or visit www.slocumblaw.com.