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Holding Manufacturers Accountable

Civil Penalty Against Graco

$10 Million Civil Penalty Against Graco

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recently issued a press release regarding a $10 million civil penalty being brought against well-known car seat manufacturer Graco. According to the press release, Graco will pay $3 million into U.S. Treasury and $7 million for new steps to improve child safety after failing to launch a timely recall of defective car seats.

Failing to Protect Precious Cargo

Children, babies, infants and toddlers are arguably the most precious cargo on the road. Parents and caregivers count on car seats to perform as promised. Understandably, with any type of manufacturing, things can go wrong. Mechanical and human error can account for a wide variety of potential problems in just about any manufacturing plant. This isn’t why Graco is in hot water. Graco has been slapped with the civil penalties because they failed to launch a recall as swiftly as possible.

Defective Auto Parts in 2014

Sadly, Graco isn’t the only automotive safety manufacturer to drag their feet about issuing recalls. In the last year, we’ve seen problems related to deadly ignition switches and exploding air bags. One problem after another, and each time we see manufacturers failing to take appropriate steps in a timely manner.

Holding Manufacturers Accountable

Hopefully, this multi-million-dollar civil penalty will send a message to other parts and safety seat manufacturers across the country. If you fail to protect consumers by delaying potentially life saving recalls, you will be held accountable for you actions. If manufacturers thought recalls were expensive, wait until they’re slapped with penalties for failing to comply with federal safety regulations. In the past, many manufacturers were able to somehow get a pass or slide under the radar for waiting on recalls. With more press and information availability, that’s just not the case anymore.

Dangerous Products in California

Recalls can take months, if not years to happen. Dangerous, defective and faulty products could be available to consumers in California and across the nation. If you think an auto part of child safety seat is defective, you need to report it to the NHTSA and manufacturer immediately.

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Pedestrian Killed on I-5

Pedestrian Killed on I-5

On Thursday night, multiple vehicles fatally hit a pedestrian in Interstate 5. According to NBC San Diego Channel Seven News, the incident happened just before 8:30 p.m. in the southbound lanes, near 28th Street in Logan Heights. Apparently, the pedestrian was trying to cross I-5, when he was struck multiple times.

At least three lanes had to be closed as emergency responders and law enforcement authorities worked the scene. Since several of the cars had children in them, counselors with a Traumatic Intervention Program were made available upon request. Very few details have been released about why the pedestrian was in the roadway, but he was initially believed to be transient.

The team at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. sends their deepest condolences out to his family members and friends.

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Injured ATV Rider Near Pt. Sal

Injured ATV Rider Near Pt. Sal

On Thursday afternoon, an ATV rider was injured in a crash near Pt. Sal. According to Santa Barbara’s Noozhawk, the incident happened sometime around 2:45 p.m. Apparently, the rider crashed on the side of a hill, near the northern boundary of Vandenberg Air Force Base. First responders from Santa Barbara County Fire Department and the Air Force base rushed to the scene.

Paramedics had to be hoisted to the remote location to retrieve the injured victim. The injured ATV rider was transported to Marian Regional Medical Center for treatment of moderate injuries. At this time, we don’t know the full extent of injuries involved or the rider’s current condition.

The team at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. wishes the injured ATV rider a full and swift recovery.

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The Dangers of a Rollover Crash

Dangers of a Rollover Crash

The Dangers of a Rollover Crash

Rollover accidents are among some of the most dangerous and deadly types of crashes on the road. They often occur at high speeds, in desolate locations and can leave victims with catastrophic or fatal injuries. Understanding the risk factors associated with rollover accidents and how to minimize your risk will help to keep you safe on California roadways.

Who is Most at Risk?

• Approximately 40 percent of fatal rollover crashes involved excessive speeding.
• Rollover crashes account for 33 percent of all passenger vehicle fatalities.
• You’re 75 percent less likely to be killed in a rollover crash if you’re wearing a seat belt.
• Almost three-quarters of all fatal rollover crashes occur in rural areas.
• More than 10,000 people a year are killed in rollover crashes.
• Taller, narrow vehicles, like SUV’s, are more likely to rollover.

Higher Fatality Rate

For a variety of reasons, rollover crashes have a higher fatality rate than many other types of crashes. In 2010, rollover crashes accounted for almost 35 percent of all deaths from passenger vehicle crashes. Over 7,600 people died in rollover crashes that year, and nearly 70 percent of them were not bucked up at the time of the crash. Since the majority of rollover-related fatalities (85 percent) occur in one-vehicle crashes, driver behavior is the most important factor in preventing this type of wreck.

Minimize Your Risk By:

• Avoiding panic-like steering
• Knowing proper maneuvering behind the wheel
• Knowing your tire pressure and loading limits
• Using caution on rural roads

After a Rollover Crash in San Diego

If you or a loved one has been injured in a rollover crash in San Diego, speaking to an experienced personal injury lawyer needs to be a top priority. Rollover accident are traumatic, to say the least. In addition to extensive physical injury, victims can be left with painful emotional scars surrounding the event. Whether you’re recovering from your injuries in the hospital or you’re taking care of a loved one after a rollover accident, speaking with an attorney is the most important step you can take to begin putting the pieces back together.

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Multi-Car Injury Crash in Santa Maria

Multi-Car Injury Crash in Santa Maria

On Monday afternoon, at least one person was injured in a multi-car crash in Santa Maria. According to Santa Barbara’s Noozhawk, the incident happened at about 5:00 p.m. at the intersection of Broadway and East Stowell Road. Apparently, a Volkswagen was headed eastbound in a westbound lane and struck a sedan head-on.

Three other vehicles were also involved in a crash in the lane next to the wrong-way collision. It’s unclear if any of those vehicles actually collided with the wrong-way driver or if a separate wreck occurred. As first responders were working the scene, two other collisions were reported nearby. There’s no word on the extent of injuries involved or the injured victim’s current condition.

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SUV Strikes Cyclist and Fire Hydrant in San Diego

SUV Strikes Cyclist and Fire Hydrant in San Diego

On Tuesday afternoon, an SUV struck a bicyclist before slamming into a light pole and a fire hydrant. According to ABC Channel 10 News, the incident happened in downtown San Diego, near the intersection of Broadway and Front Street. Apparently, the driver lost control of the SUV in an apparent attempt to avoid hitting the bicycle rider.

Thankfully, no serious injuries were reported. The fire hydrant was damaged in the crash and sent water gushing into the air. Additionally, traffic signals in the area had their service disrupted. Emergency responders quickly arrived on the scene. There’s no word on whether or not anybody was cited in this crash or why the SUV driver felt the need to swerve in avoidance of the cyclist.

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Tween Seat-Belt Usage Campaign

Seat-Belt Usage Campaign

Tween Seat-Belt Usage Campaign

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recently issued a press release about the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT’s) first-ever National Tween Seat Belt Safety Advertising campaign. The campaign slogan encourages parents to “Never Give Up Until They Buckle Up.” Not only is it absolutely essential for tweens to be buckled up any time they’re riding in cars, these are formative years which immediately precede driving privileges for teenagers. The NHTSA is finally recognizing the importance of targeting this age group and their parents about seat belt safety.

Unrestrained Tween Facts

• Over the past five years, 1,552 children between the ages of 8 and 14 died in car, SUV or Van crashes.
• Nearly half of those children were unbelted at the time of the crash.
• The percentage of child passengers who die while riding unrestrained generally increases with age, and is most pronounced among 13 and 14-year-olds, regardless of seating position.

Details of the Tween Seat Belt Safety Campaign

The campaign is aimed at the parents of children between the ages of 8 and 14 years old. This is a critical time for ensuring children are in the habit of always buckling up, for every trip. Tweens are just a few short years away from driving by themselves, which makes this campaign all the more important. Parents are also encouraged to lead by example. In partnership with the Ad Council, Public Service Announcements (PSA’s) will be distributed to nearly 33,000 media outlets nationwide to be played on donated airtime. Safercar.gov is also offering a variety of tips for parents and children in both English and Spanish.

After an Injury Crash

Tweens are still learning to make responsible decisions. It’s up to the adult or adults in the car to make sure they’re buckled up. It doesn’t matter if it’s a cross country road trip or a quick errand to the store, tweens, children and adults need to be buckled up for every ride. If your tween was injured while riding unrestrained in the car with another driver, you need to speak with a personal injury lawyer immediately.

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Fatal Crash Near Lompoc

Fatal Crash Near Lompoc

On Tuesday morning, there was a fatal crash on Highway 1, south of Lompoc. According to Santa Barbara’s Noozhawk, the wreck happened at about 6:20 a.m., just south of Jalama Road. This head-on collision involved two pickup trucks. Apparently, a Toyota Tacoma was headed northbound, when for unknown reasons, it crossed double yellow lines and collided with a southbound Chevrolet pickup truck.

The Tacoma driver, 32-year-old Daniel Jaime, was killed in the crash, and the Chevy driver, 33-year-old Jason Wallace, was transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for treatment of major injuries. At the time of the Noozhawk report, the cause of the crash was still under investigation. Additionally, there’s no word on Wallace’s current condition.

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City Bus Injury Crash

City Bus Injury Crash

On Thursday, a crash involving a city bus and a truck sent at least five people to the hospital. According to CBS News Channel Eight, the incident happened sometime around 11:30 a.m. at an intersection in the Midway area. Apparently, two people were trapped and had to be rescued by first responders. The roof of the pickup truck had to be cut off to free the two people.

Victims from the truck and city bus were transported to the UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest for treatment of injuries. At this time, we don’t know how the crash happened. The cause is likely still under investigation with authorities.

CBS News 8 – San Diego, CA News Station – KFMB Channel 8

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Saint Patrick’s Day Drunk Driving Prevention

Saint Patrick’s Day Drunk Driving Facts

Saint Patrick’s Day Drunk Driving Prevention

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is currently publicizing their annual Saint Patrick’s Day Drunk Driving Prevention campaign. St. Patrick’s Day is arguably one of the most dangerous holidays to be on the road. In spite of increased law enforcement presence, there are drunk drivers everywhere. Celebrations are notorious for the green beer and other alcoholic beverages. Thankfully, law enforcement agencies across California will be stepping up their efforts to keep the roadways safe too.

Saint Patrick’s Day Drunk Driving Facts

• Over the St. Patrick’s Day holiday, from 2009 to 2013, 276 people were killed in drunk driving crashes across the nation.
• On St. Patrick’s Day alone in 2013, 31 people were killed in drunk driving crashes.
• In 2013, two out of five crash fatalities over Saint Patrick’s Day weekend involved drunk drivers.
• During the post-party hours between midnight at 5:59 a.m. on March 18, 2013, 55 percent of crash fatalities involved drunk drivers.

Celebrating Responsibly

If you plan on celebrating with green beer or any other form of alcohol this Saint Patrick’s Day, don’t get behind the wheel. Buzzed driving is drunk driving too, so make sure you have a plan. Designating a driver ahead of time is a great way to make sure you have a safe ride home. Make sure you have a backup plan too, just in case your ride falls through. Your backup plan can even be as simple as putting a cab company’s number in your phone. Law enforcement officers are going to be out in full force too, so don’t risk your live, the lives or others or a potential DUI arrest.

After an Accident Involving a Drunk Driver

An auto accident involving a drunk driver can leave you in the hospital and out of work. You could be facing a lengthy recovery period and it could be months or longer until you get back to work, if you still have your job. On top of everything, insurance companies can be difficult to deal with, at best.

The whole team at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. wishes everybody a safe and Happy Saint Patrick’s Day.

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