Practice Areas Menu

Rochester Legal Issues Blog

Drivers expect too much from ADAS, says IIHS study

In New York, many drivers are becoming dangerously complacent because they believe that their advanced driver assistance systems can take over for them behind the wheel. The fact is that all ADAS on the market allow for level two automated driving. Whereas level five allows for fully automated driving, level two requires drivers to operate their vehicles in the same way they always do, or should do: fully engaged and alert to their surroundings.

ADAS include features like forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking and lane departure alert. They can greatly help in preventing accidents on highways and even in parking lots. Yet some automakers are falsely advertising the potential of these systems. For example, it was said that the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class was "self-driving." Mercedes-Benz had to pull the ad on that because it was misleading.

Steering wheel injuries in car accidents

Car accident injuries can add a substantial inconvenience to your life for months or even years. They can limit your mobility and make it difficult to work, which, in turn, makes earning money a challenge.

While there are many potential sources of injury in your vehicle, the steering wheel poses a unique risk. Despite its importance in getting you from point A to point B, it can become extremely hazardous if someone crashes into you.

New car features are effective in preventing crashes

The results of a study from J.D. Power may confirm what many New York drivers think about new car safety features: namely, that these features really are effective in preventing crashes. Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, as these features are called, can help save the lives of those who use them in addition to the lives of others on the road.

In the study, more than half of the respondents said that ADAS helped prevent at least one crash in the first 90 days of owning their vehicle. Blind spot alerts proved to be effective for 49% of the respondents. These alert systems are connected to sensors that detect cars in blind spots. Automakers still charge for this feature, but this is because car owners are willing to pay for it.

Researchers urge attention to rear seat safety

Overall, people in New York are safer than ever before when they get behind the wheel of a car. Safety technologies like airbags or automatically tightening seat belts save lives, allowing people to walk away from car crashes that would have taken their lives in past years. Still, many people are severely hurt and killed in car accidents, and even improved technologies do not provide equal benefits for everyone. For example, many experts note that most of these advanced safety options are only available in a car's front seat. Rear seat passengers have seen little improvement to their safety, even with the advances in recent decades.

In many cases, people in the back seat are inherently safer in certain types of crashes. However, rear-end or side-impact collisions can be just as or even more dangerous to people in the rear. More people are using the rear seats as well. While the back of a car is often used to transport cargo or pets, the growth of ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft mean that more people are sitting in the back when they travel. Studies show that people using these services are also less likely to wear their seat belts than people in private cars.

Types of distractions that lead to car accidents and injuries

One of the most important tasks motorists have is to stay alert while operating their vehicles. However, many drivers in New York find driving a menial task and look to their cell phones and mobile devices to occupy their minds during commutes. The dangers of distracted driving are real, yet many motorists remain blissfully unaware and ignorant of how much of an impact a distracted driving collision can change their lives. 

Distracted driving does not just involve electronic devices. It also encompasses any activity that prevents drivers from focusing on the road. Here are the most common types of driving distractions that lead to auto collisions and injuries. 

Truck accident cases are often complex

Getting into a car accident in New York or elsewhere can be a traumatic experience. Even if there are no injuries, drivers must deal with police reports, insurance claims and even lawsuits. However, getting into a collision with a large truck can be even more complicated.

Commercial trucks are much heavier than passenger vehicles, which means they tend to cause more damage, injuries and deaths when they are involved in accidents. This also means that any ensuring insurance and legal claims will be more complex. In addition, establishing the ownership of commercial trucks can be tricky because not all truckers own their own rigs. Instead, some drivers lease their trucks from their employer or are involved in rent-to-own plans, which can make it hard to determine legal liability.

How to prove driver negligence

Residents of New York who have been injured in a car accident should be aware of the factors that help a court determine whether another driver can be held responsible for a wreck. This is referred to as negligent driving, and while negligent driving has a broader definition in the minds of many people, it has a specific legal definition. Knowing how negligence is legally defined can help an injured person decide whether the court might consider his or her case.

First, for the court to determine that a driver's negligence resulted in personal injury, there needs to be reasonable evidence that he or she was not exercising care at the time of the accident. For example, perhaps the other driver was texting while driving or swerving in and out of his or her lane. Failing a breath test is another example of failure to exercise reasonable care. Other examples include following another vehicle too closely, failing to follow traffic laws, speeding and failing to wear prescription eyeglasses.

Summer’s “100 Deadliest Days” a dangerous time to be on the road

As a New York motorist, you may find that navigating the state’s roadways is often easier during the summer months when you do not need to contend with ice, snow and similar highway hazards. Regrettably, though, summer brings with it its own driving risks. Some of those risks involve sharing the road with the influx of teenage drivers who take to the roads once school lets out.

The time period in which teenagers are most likely to be out on the roads, between Memorial Day and Labor Day each year, is such a dangerous time to drive that AAA calls it summer’s “100 Deadliest Days.”

Some cars deadlier than others

In 2017, 37,133 Americans were killed in traffic accidents across the nation, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The accident rate is high even though new vehicles sold in New York and elsewhere have more air bags and accident avoidance technology than ever before. However, a report by iSeeCars.com found that some vehicles are racking up more fatalities than others.

The car search site analyzed statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Fatality Reporting System and discovered that 14 vehicles manufactured between 2013 and 2017 have crash rates at least two times higher than the national average, which is 2.6 fatalities per 1 billion driven miles. Many readers won't be surprised to learn that these vehicles are all subcompact cars or sports coupes.

Safe driver week aims to reduce speeding

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speeding contributes to 94% of motor vehicle accidents throughout New York and the rest of the U.S. In order to try and curb this problem, law enforcement personnel throughout the country will participate in Operation Safe Driver Week July 14-20. During the event, officers will be focusing on speeding commercial and passenger vehicles.

Advocates from the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance believe that greater awareness of this problem by law enforcement and other drivers can help prevent many of the fatalities that occur every year from speeding. While traffic citations are very unpopular among the public, they do have an effect on driver behavior. In 2018, nearly 17,000 passenger vehicle drivers and 1,900 commercial motorists were issued tickets for speeding.

Speak With One Of Our Attorneys Today About
Your Unique Situation.