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Springfield Seniors at Risk of Traffic Accidents

Taking steps to prevent senior driving crashes is something that every older person should do if he or she plans to get on the roads. Family members of senior citizens living in Springfield, Columbia, Jefferson City and surrounding areas should also be aware of the risks that are associated with people driving once they are too old to do so safely. nursing home

Older Driver Safety Awareness Week, which is held each December, provides insight into some of the different things that older people and their families should do in order to reduce the chances of an accident happening. This annual safety focus is well-timed with year-end holiday events, which remain a great time to tackle the problem of senior driving head-on. Many families get together for the holiday season, giving young people a chance to observe older family members and to broach the delicate subject of senior driving dangers.

Preventing Crashes By Senior Drivers

Senior drivers are generally safe drivers, as they typically travel the speed limit, often avoid driving at night or in bad weather, and generally refrain from texting or talking on the phone when they drive. However, a personal injury lawyer knows that sometimes people who get older continue to drive even after it is no longer safe for them to do so. Many older people keep driving because they don’t realize their limitations have made it unsafe, or because they are afraid of giving up their independence and autonomy.

One way to prevent the problems associated with senior driving is to make sure that older people get proper screening before getting a new license. According to Insurance News, as many as seven in 10 seniors responding to a recent survey said that they were in support of a requirement that people aged 75 and older renew their license in person. The seniors interviewed were all 65 and older, and most also said they would support a law requiring a physical exam or medical screening for a driver aged 75 or up.

Everyone ages at different times and different rates, though, so these screenings would not catch every situation where someone is unsafe to drive. Older Driver Safety Awareness Week provides recommendations to seniors and their family members for reducing the risk that someone will continue driving when he or she has gotten too old. The suggestions made include:

  • Discussing the issue of senior driving as a family. Older people and their younger relatives should talk about the issues including the dangers of driving too long and the other opportunities for transportation once it has become unsafe for a senior to drive.
  • Creating a plan for the future. Seniors may feel more comfortable admitting they cannot drive any longer if they know there is a plan in place for how they can get around and continue to remain members of their community once they stop operating a vehicle.
  • Exploring adaptive or assistive devices that can make driving easier for seniors, which could make it possible for older people to continue driving for a longer period of time.

These are just some of the different things that can make a difference in reducing crash risks. During this holiday season, those with older relatives need to assess carefully whether the senior in their life can still drive and, if not, what can be done.

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. 

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.