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ARCHIVES: May 2019

Recalled Cars Still Being Sold by Used Car Dealers

Columbia, SC Car Accident Lawyers weigh in on the sale of recalled cars being sold by used car dealers. Although car dealers are warned not to sell new cars that are under an open recall, there is nothing stopping them from selling recalled used cars. A plaintiff is suing General Motors and FJH Cars, the dealer that sold him the vehicle, after the ignition switch failed, allegedly causing him to go off the road and crash into a tree. The plaintiff is blaming the two companies for putting him in harms way, arguing they knew the vehicle was under recall for defects the day that he bought it from them.

What is a Safety Recall?

A safety recall is issued when a vehicle does not meet safety standards or when a defect is found. These safety defects are normally not found until consumers begin to complain to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The recall system was created in 1966, and since then, the NHTSA has issued over 300 million recalls.

After a Safety Defect is Found

After a safety defect is found and a recall is issued, it is the manufacturer’s responsibility to contact the owners of the vehicles affected. Once contacted, the owners can bring the vehicle in for free repairs at any authorized dealer.

In 2015, AutoNation, the largest dealership chain in the country, announced that it would stop selling openly recalled cars. This announcement received positive reactions. However, less than two years later, the company rescinded its announcement due to the difficulty acquiring enough parts to fix the widespread Takata airbag recalls.

National Independent Automobile Dealers Association

The National Independent Automobile Dealers Association is an industry group for used car sellers. According to them, a shortage in parts can make it impossible to fix certain cars that have been recalled. The industry encourages members to check for recalls and to disclose that information to buyers. However, they do not require members to fix defects before selling them to buyers.

Checking for Recalls

In order to check if your car is on a recall list, you will need your vehicle’s identification, or VIN number. After you have it, you will want to enter it in the NHTSA’s online search lookup.

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Represent Those Injured While Operating a Recalled Vehicle

If you or someone you love has been injured while operating a recalled vehicle, you have options. The Columbia car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. represent victims injured while operating a recalled vehicle. Our lawyers work hard to get you the compensation and peace of mind you deserve. For a free consultation, contact us online or by phone at 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780.

We proudly represent injured accident victims across South Carolina, including those in the communities of Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.

Expedited Use of Autonomous Vehicles

Columbia, SC Car Accident Lawyers weigh in on the expedited use of autonomous vehicles. Newly released estimates from the National Safety Council (NSC) show that each year for the last three years at least 40,000 Americans died in car accidents. The NSC has kept records regarding traffic fatalities since 1921. The data is collected every month from all 50 states plus the District of Columbia.

In 2018, around 40,000 people died in car wrecks and about 4.5 million suffered serious injuries. The head of the NSC declared these numbers far too high given the amount of new auto safety technology that exists. He said that there needs to be a commitment to implementing technology advancements and creating a safer driving culture in the U.S.

Autonomous Vehicle (AV) Technology Promises to Eliminate Human Error

The vast majority of car wrecks are caused by human error and many see the advent of autonomous vehicles as the solution. The President and CEO of Securing America’s Energy Future (SAFE) likened AV technology to a vaccine that needs to be deployed as soon as possible to save more lives. He said that through use of driver-assist and crash-avoidance technologies, approximately 9,900 lives could be saved every year. He cited research done by the Boston Consulting Group that showed that car crashes could be reduced by 28 percent simply by implementing the advanced safety technologies already available.

Driver Behavior a Significant Factor

Fatalities in 2018 were 14 percent higher than numbers from four years ago. While the NSC does not publish data regarding the causes of accidents, pedestrian deaths were up in 2017 and distracted driving was a factor in eight percent of crashes. The Council concluded that driver behavior is likely a significant factor in the consistently high number of fatalities over the past three years.

Seven states plus the District of Columbia experienced at least a 5.8 percent rise in fatalities. They included Florida, Hawaii, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon and Pennsylvania.

Consumers Have Already Accepted Advanced Driver Assistance Systems

Many cars already come equipped with advanced driver assistance systems. These technologies include back-up cameras, now mandatory in all new cars in the U.S., brake assist, lane keeping warning systems, and blind spot notification. Many drivers welcome these technologies and more such as parking assistance. As the public becomes comfortable using advanced safety technology systems, the next step is the move to fully automated vehicles. Fleets of autonomous vehicles are already being tested in Las Vegas, and safety groups are pushing for policymakers to implement AV technology to reduce car accident fatalities.

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Help Injured Victims of Car Accidents Obtain Compensation

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident that was the result of the negligence of another person, you may be eligible for compensation. The experienced Columbia car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. will review your case for free and help you determine the best legal strategy for maximum compensation. Call 800-531-9780 today or contact us online.

With six convenient locations throughout the state, we represent clients across South Carolina, including those in the communities of Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.

Training Young Truck Drivers to Avoid Injuries

Columbia Workers' Compensation Lawyers weigh in on training young truck drivers to avoid injuries. The laws regarding what age someone has to be in order to obtain a driver’s license vary by state. In South Carolina, those who are age 17 or older are eligible for a full, unrestricted license. However, federal law forbids commercial license holders under the age of 21 from hauling freight across state lines. Congress is currently considering a bill to reduce that age to 18.

The DRIVE-Safe Act

The Developing Responsible Individuals for a Vibrant Economy Act (DRIVE-Safe Act) proposes that commercial motor vehicle drivers under the age of 21 be allowed to drive for interstate commerce once they complete an apprenticeship program, as defined in the bill. The legislation is timely, given the national shortage of truck drivers. According to a report by the American Trucking Association, the industry would need to hire approximately 90,000 truckers per year for the next decade to meet growing demands.

Proponents argue it will help solve the shortage, but critics of the bill express concern over the public safety implications of allowing young drivers – who lack experience and have higher fatal crash rates than adults – to drive commercial semi-trucks across state lines.

Young Drivers Require Training

If the bill is passed, it will provide job opportunities to many young adults and potentially solve the shortage problem. However, employers will also have to provide training to ensure that these new workers are prepared to handle the hazards associated with the trucking industry.

Many also point to the additional training that is necessary to ensure that young truck drivers not only know how to drive safely, but also know how to properly move, lift, and interact with their environment.

Truck Driver Apprenticeship Program

The bill proposes that commercial drivers under age 21 complete an apprenticeship program, which is defined as a 120-hour probationary period followed by a 280-hour probationary period. Each probationary period is designed to train the worker on certain areas of competency, such as:

  • Complying with hours of service (HOS) rules
  • Coupling and uncoupling procedures
  • Evening driving
  • Fueling procedures
  • Interstate driving
  • Lane control
  • Light city traffic
  • Maneuvering in close quarters
  • Navigation
  • Permits
  • Pre-trip inspections
  • Rural two-lane driving
  • Safety awareness
  • Speed and space management
  • Turns (right and left)
  • Weighing loads, weight distribution, and sliding tandems

Once they have completed the apprenticeship program under the tutelage of an experienced driver, their employer must determine whether they are adequately competent in all the areas listed in the DRIVE-Safe Act.

Restrictions on Young Drivers

The bill restricts apprentices from transporting hazardous materials during the 120-hour probationary period. During both the 120- and the 280-hour periods, apprentices must go no more than 65 miles per hour both while manually pressing on the gas and while operating under adaptive cruise control. They may also only operate commercial motor vehicles that have:

  • Automatic/automatic manual transmissions
  • Active braking collision mitigation systems
  • Forward-facing event capture

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Represent Injured Truck Drivers

If you were injured in a trucking accident, contact a Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. We represent injured workers throughout South Carolina from our six offices located conveniently throughout the state. For a free consultation, please complete our online contact form or call us at 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780.

We proudly represent injured workers across South Carolina, including those in the communities of Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.

Can a Crash Victim Experience Post-Accident PTSD?

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers discuss post-accident PTSD.Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is most commonly associated with war veterans. However, PTSD can happen to anyone who has undergone a traumatic event, including car wreck victims. As the American Psychological Association has noted, among non-military individuals, car accident victims are most likely to present symptoms of PTSD. For this reason, every person who has experienced a vehicle collision needs to understand their risks when it comes to developing PTSD.

What Is PTSD?

Unlike a broken nose or a bruised rib, PTSD cannot be seen after a car accident. Therefore, it is a completely invisible injury that may not make itself known for days, weeks, months, or even years after the event.

PTSD does not happen to every car accident victim, but it does happen routinely to many. Because the car crash is so intense, it causes a fight-or-flight adrenaline rush and reactions. Yet often, the brain becomes so overwhelmed that it cannot shut off the resulting behaviors. Put simply, someone who suffers from PTSD feels like the trauma is happening over and over again, which can interfere with everyday enjoyment.

Symptoms of Post-Accident PTSD

How do you know if you or someone you care about has PTSD after being in a car accident? You might notice some of the biggest indicators of PTSD.

  • Numb feelings. Many PTSD sufferers report feeling like they are in shock all the time. They see the world as something out of their reach, because they no longer feel a connection with others. Their emotions are completely out of touch and buried.
  • Hallucinations and recollections. One of the most troubling aspects of PTSD is that it can cause the victim to recollect the accident again and again. Not surprisingly, undergoing the psychological feeling of being in a crash all the time is jarring and depressing.
  • Sometimes, a PTSD sufferer will develop new phobias, such as the need to avoid certain places; or compulsive behaviors, such as the need wash their hands a certain number of times after using the restroom. The behaviors give them stability, even as they reduce their healthy ability to respond to normal situations.
  • PTSD post-accident victims may feel like the world is out to get them. They may display hyper-vigilance and stay up at night, concerned about what is happening. They may not be willing to get behind the wheel of the car, or take any type of transportation, for fear of a repeat of their collision. 

Treatment for Post-Crash PTSD Sufferers

The good news for any person who has been in a wreck and subsequently diagnosed with PTSD is that treatment is available. Usually, treating PTSD involves some type of psychological therapy, and may even include temporary or permanent prescription medications to ease symptoms. With time and patience, PTSD victims can regain hope, wellness, and personal enjoyment.

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Work With Post-Accident PTSD Victims to Recover Damages

Recovering from PTSD can be a slow, expensive process. A Columbia car accident lawyer can help you or your family member recover damages to help pay for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering related to post-crash PTSD. Call Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. at 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780 to arrange a free consultation to discuss your situation. You can also submit an online inquiry.

We are proud to serve individuals and families across South Carolina, including those in the communities of Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.

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