Thanks to current population awareness of environmentally-friendly "green-living" choices, there is a major push for electric vehicles right now. Money is pouring into the technology and research and development necessary to make these vehicles a viable purchasing option for consumers. One of the major safety concerns surrounding electric cars is the lack of noise they produce. Pedestrians and other drivers complain that electric vehicles are so quiet, you don't even know they're there.
A study conducted by the University of Calfornia at Riverside concluded that electric cars had to be 40% closer to a pedestrian before they were detected, in comparison to a car with a standard combustion engine. This poses a serious safety risk when pedestrians are looking to cross the road. Bicyclists also rely heavily on audible clues to discern traffic flow around them. Many of us don't realize how much we use these audible clues until they're not available.
The latest news of a TriMet bus accident that killed two young women and injured three others, sheds light on the increasing rates of bus accidents that injure pedestrians. As a Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer, I have seen an increase in the frequency of bus accidents involving pedestrians over the last few years. In this particular instance, the bus driver struck the pedestrians while making a left-hand turn. Even though the pedestrians had the right-of-way to cross the street, they ended up pinned underneath the Municipal bus.
So far, reports have shown that bus driver Sandy Day was not talking on her cell phone, text messaging, intoxicated, under the influence of drugs, tired or inexperienced. More than likely, the driver had difficulty seeing the pedestrians since it was late at night and they may have been in her blind spot. The father of one of the victims made a statement saying, "These bus drivers just got to pay attention," said Sale. " Too many people are getting in accidents."
Only a week ago, a San Francisco man died after being pinned between two Municipal Railway buses. A Utah woman is luckily to be alive after a turning bus struck her in a crosswalk last summer. She suffered life-threatening injuries, including brain damage, and her life will never be the same again. These tragic stories are becoming all too common. In our firm, Tacoma personal injury lawyers have fought for the rights of many pedestrian victims. Sadly, many of these accidents could have been avoided if bus drivers were more cautious of pedestrians, and if pedestrians were more aware of the dangers presented by buses and their blind spots.
In our opinion, there's many changes that should be implemented to avoid accidents like this from happening in the future. One of the best things we can do is to make buses and other vehicles have a protected left hand turn signal so that they must wait for the green-arrow before turning. Also, passing a law that buses that prevents buses from initiating a right-hand turn on a red light would help. Both of these ideas would keep buses from interfering with pedestrians who have the right-of-way to cross the street on a green light. A simple and inexpensive fix would be to implement signage at crosswalks on bus routes that serve to educate pedestrians of the dangers of turning buses.
California State uses technology that notifies pedestrians when a bus approaches. To avoid accidents resulting from pedestrians stepping into the street to get the attention of approaching buses, many cities are starting to adopt blinking lights that signal to bus drivers that people are waiting. Improving mirror placement on the sides of buses will help drivers to recognize when pedestrians are located in their blind spots. Right convex mirrors allow drivers to view their entire front bumper which alleviates head-on collisions while audible turn signals notify pedestrians when a bus is turning.
At the Law Offices of Kirk Bernard, we hope that when all these ideas are combined, they can drastically reduce the incidence of bus accidents involving pedestrians. While they won't bring back the loved ones that have already been lost, these practices can prevent more people from becoming victims of these horrific accidents in the future.
According to reports made by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), product manufacturers Simplicity and Graco cribs issued recalls for multiple models of their baby cribs due to a malfunction in the hardware that holds the components together. The hardware for the mattress' tubular support frame has been known to fail and become detached. This then creates a void where small children can become trapped, strangled, and possibly suffocate or fall out of the crib.
This issue seems to be isolated to the product models where one side of the crib drops down to allow a caregiver to easily extract the child. So far 99 accounts of the failed mattress frames have been noted. In one of those instances, a one-year-old boy suffocated after becoming entrapped between the mattress and crib frame. All other failures resulted in minor injuries such as scrapes and bruises.
This recall targets roughly 217,000 Graco cribs in two dozen different models. Simplicity is no longer in business, after nearly all of their models have been recalled. Their products have been linked to 13 child deaths since 2005. Many of these cribs were available for sale at major retail outlets such as Target, Walmart and Babies R Us.
We understand how much faith you put into the products you purchase for your children and it can be horrifying to find out those items can cause serious injury or death. As a product liability lawyer, the Law Offices of Kirk Bernard has dealt with many cases regarding faulty products that have led to the injuries of small children. These products range from car seats, strollers, baby carriers and slings. If your child has been injured as a result of a defective product, we recommend that you contact an experienced, reputable attorney that can advise you on your legal rights. For more information on this recall, you can visit the CPSC website here.
As lawmakers attempt to crack down on the practices of the world's largest financial institutions that led to our current financial crisis, the Security and Exchange Commission has filed fraud charges against Goldman Sachs and it's Vice President Fabrice Tourre. The basis of this case rests on the allegations that Goldman Sachs misled their clients to invest in a mortgage product that was designed to fail. The big question at hand now, is whether this is just the tip of the iceberg and if more charges will be filed against other financial institutions as well.
Renowned hedge fund company, Paulson & Co., was an integral player in developing this subprime product in conjunction with Goldman Sachs. Paulson was granted the opportunity to personally choose the subprime mortgages that would be available in this product, dubbed Abacus. Then, knowing that these mortgages were doomed to fold, Paulson shorted the investment and waited to cash in on their failure.