Truck Accidents due to Overfatigue

Posted by on May 31, 2013 in Automobiles | 1 comment

Even under the best of circumstances, the trucking industry has a tendency to overextend its resources to boost profits. In an economic crisis, truck drivers and their employers alike turn to increasing mileage in the shortest possible time in order to keep afloat. This can lead to a higher risk of truck accidents because of speeding and driver fatigue. Big rigs, or 18-wheelers, in particular are a menace to other motorists when drivers engage in risky behavior because of the sheer size and weight of the vehicles. Overfatigue has been identified as the leading cause of truck accidents on Wisconsin highways.

Because of the nature of the industry, the tendency is to sacrifice safety for productivity. Federal and state lawmakers attempted to curb this tendency, at least in terms of driver fatigue, by implementing regulations on the number of hours a commercial vehicle (CV) driver can legally put in, and how much rest is required.

However, both drivers and their employers routinely circumvent these regulations by falsifying log records on their rest and work hours. Inevitably, this will lead to catastrophic accidents that may well expose drivers and trucking companies to criminal charges as well as personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits.

But proving that there was negligence involved that led to driver over-fatigue is not at all easy unless an immediate investigation is carried out at the scene of an accident. This will ensure that evidence is preserved and that the circumstances of the incident are properly documented. Personal injury lawyers are especially adept at ensuring that the interests of victims of trucking accidents are protected. Contact a truck accident lawyer immediately if you or someone you know is ever involved in a truck accident where the driver was negligent. You need legal representation in your area in Wisconsin to ensure that you have a good case against those who caused you serious pain and suffering.

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When Air Bags Go Wrong: Auto Defect Injuries

Posted by on May 29, 2013 in Automobiles | 1 comment

Cars today are chock full of improvements that Henry Ford probably never even imagined back in the day. Chief among these improvements are safety features such as airbags. And yet airbags are frequently the cause of product recalls because they have been found to be defective. A defective airbag can cause serious injury when it goes off prematurely, fails to deploy, or deploys with excessive force. This is ironic considering that it was designed to prevent injury, not cause them, leading to a personal injury or wrongful death claim.

This type of auto defect is a serious problem for both manufacturers (because of potential civil litigation) and motorists, and there is no real way to detect them until an accident happens. By then, it is usually too late.

The airbag is a cushion or envelop made of a synthetic fabric that is rapidly inflated using sodium azide, a compound that expands into nitrogen gas when it is ignited. The airbag unit is attached to an electrical circuit which is triggered by a sensor when conditions for its activation are met. The time it takes to activate and inflate an airbag is about 1/20th of a second.

In the US, the airbag sensors are configured to activate when a vehicle decelerates at a rate of 23 km/h or more. The sensor is also generally set to activate when a vehicle is on fire and reaches a temperature between 150 and 200 degrees centigrade to prevent the airbag unit from exploding.

Airbags are to be found in most vehicles today, and some cars have as many as four units in various areas. While its effectiveness as a safety feature is high, when an airbag is defective, it can have dire consequences, especially for young children. It seems prophetic that seven fatalities in the first vehicles in the US that were equipped with airbags were attributed to its presence. If you were injured due to a defective airbag, consult an auto defect lawyer to redress your personal injury. Recovering some damages would cushion the effects of serious injuries.

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