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Defective Airbags are Dangerous for Springfield Drivers

In 2012, airbags prevented an estimated 2,213 motor vehicle traffic accident fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Without these airbags, thousands more people would die or suffer serious injury. Unfortunately, airbags can sometimes malfunction and fail to provide the protection drivers and passengers expect. cardashboard

A personal injury lawyer knows when airbags do not work as they should, the manufacturer of the airbag or the vehicle that it is in can be held legally liable for any resulting consequences.

Product liability laws impose strict liability, which means manufacturers are to blame even if negligence cannot be demonstrated, as long as the product defect was the direct cause of injury. Manufacturers need to act quickly to ensure they remove any vehicles with defective airbags from the market and promptly replace the broken safety devices.

Takata Responsible for Recall of More Than Eight Million Vehicles

According to CNN, a company called Takata has manufactured defective airbags that  explode and cause vehicle passengers to be hit with chunks of metal. So far, at least four deaths and dozens of injuries have reportedly been blamed on defective Takata airbags. Takata manufactures these airbags for vehicles made by 10 different vehicle brands.

One of the auto makers for which Takata produces the safety devices is Toyota.  Officials with Toyota recently announced it will handle a shortage of replacement airbags in a way many safety experts are decrying. Toyota has sought and obtained permission from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to simply remove the airbags from vehicles.  The plan is a temporary fix until more parts become available. The passenger airbag will be taken out of the affected vehicles and a sticker will be placed on the dash warning that there is no airbag in place and that people should not use the passenger seat until the vehicle is fixed.

However, the executive director for the Center for Auto Safety has expressed a belief this is not the right approach to take to protect consumers. Without an airbag, there will be significantly more risks of death or serious injury if a crash happens. Not everyone will follow the warnings on the sticker or bring their vehicle back in in a timely manner to have the airbag reinstalled. Since the airbags do not explode in every situation, it may be better for the airbags to stay in the car and at least have the chance of providing protection as opposed to a guarantee there will be no life-saving safety device if a collision occurs.

The right response in this situation is difficult to determine, and the manufacturer has created a risk to consumers no matter what by putting a defective airbag into vehicles. The manufacturer should be held accountable if anyone is harmed as a result of the problems with the Takata airbags.

Consultation with an experienced injury lawyer is the first step for crash victims.

Missouri accident victims should contact the offices of Tolbert Beadle and Musgrave LLC at 1-800-887-4030. Serving  Springfield, Columbia, Jefferson City, Joplin and throughout Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri & Oklahoma. 

More Teen Drivers Education Would Reduce Springfield Collisions

Many parents concerned about teen driver safety are focused on whether their kids know how to respond in dangerous situations or how to drive defensively but not aggressively. In addition to concerns about basic driver safety, there are frequent worries about whether young people have enough experience to drive well and have enough insight to make smart decision like refraining from driving drunk. texture---tires---hdr-1031065-m

While all of these issues are serious matters, there is another concern about teen driver safety as well. A personal injury lawyer knows that many young people do not know how to maintain their vehicles correctly and would not recognize a problem with their vehicle that makes the car unsafe to drive. In particular, there are far too many teen drivers who simply do not understand the need to check their tires regularly or who do not know the process for ensuring that their tires are safe.

Teens Need to Learn More About Tire Safety

According to Health News Digest, only 16 states require a driver’s education curriculum to include information on maintaining tires. Only seven states require that a driver’s education curriculum include vehicle maintenance and tire information.

When teens do not learn about tires during their driver’s education programs, they may have no information or they may learn minimal details about tire care from their parents. In one survey, around 3/4 of teenagers said that they had learned how to take care of their tires from lessons that their parents taught them. Unfortunately, only around a third of parents said that they know about how to take care of tires and feel comfortable with their own knowledge of tire maintenance. This means you have parents teaching their kids something that they themselves frequently do not know.

A lack of understanding about tire safety is a big issue because a blowout could be deadly or could lead to an accident that causes serious injury. An estimated 12 percent of the 2.2 total motor vehicle collisions that occur in the United States involve some type of vehicle tire problem. This means that around once every two minutes, a problem with a tire contributes to causing a potentially dangerous motor vehicle crash.

If driver’s education courses provided better and more comprehensive information to teens, around 300,000 car crashes each year involving inexperienced drivers could likely be prevented. Unfortunately, it seems things are moving in the opposite direction from providing more driver’s education as some schools are cutting driver’s ed programs or reducing funding because of budget shortfalls.

The sad thing is, it would not take much to teach teens about how to effectively check their tires. One simple test is called the “penny test” and involves putting a penny into the treads of the car’s tires. If Lincoln’s head can be seen when the penny has been put into the tire, the tread is too worn and it is time to get the tire looked at and replaced.

Teens should also regularly check tire pressure to ensure it is within the manufacturer recommendations to reduce the risk of a blowout accident.

Missouri accident victims should contact the offices of Tolbert Beadle and Musgrave LLC at 1-800-887-4030. Serving  Springfield, Columbia, Jefferson City, Joplin and throughout Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri & Oklahoma.