Archive for the ‘Motor Vehicle Accidents’ Category

Toyota Finally On Track to Fix Recalled Gas Pedals

After nearly a week with no word about the defective accelerator pedal, Toyota announced on Monday, that they would begin to ship parts to dealers and begin training staff to perform the repairs. Many dealers, frustrated with Toyota’s delays and lack of information have promised consumers to work round the clock to make the repairs.

The repair, which should only take about a half an hour, involves installing a steel shim in the pedal assembly which should eliminate the excess friction between the two pieces of the accelerator mechanism. Toyota claims that this friction is what causes the pedal to either stick in a depressed position or to return slowly to the idle position. The faulty gas pedal only includes parts manufactured by CTS Corporation in Elkhart, Indiana. The recall on the floor mats can be fixed at the same time. Although, Toyota asks that owners wait for a recall letter before contacting their dealer for appointments, some dealers plan to contact every buyer of a recalled model to explain and schedule the repair.

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Toyota Halts Sales of Camrys and Corollas. Is Your Toyota Safe?

In an unprecedented move, Toyota suspended sales of eight of its recalled models including two of its most popular models, the Camry and Corolla. Additionally, Toyota has shut down production at five of its manufacturing plants as the company assesses the damage and comes up with a game plan.

From Toyota’s website:
“Helping ensure the safety of our customers and restoring confidence in Toyota are very important to our company,” said Group Vice President and Toyota Division General Manager Bob Carter. “This action is necessary until a remedy is finalized. We’re making every effort to address this situation for our customers as quickly as possible.”

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Toyota Recalls 2.3 Million Vehicles for Faulty Accelerator Pedal

After months of consumer complaints and at least four deaths, Toyota announced a recall of approximately 2.3 million cars that may potentially have a faulty accelerator pedal.

Recently, there have been reports of gas pedals sticking in an accelerated position. Toyota claims this is a rare occurrence that occurs when the pedal mechanism becomes worn and becomes harder to depress, slower to return to its original position and at worst, stuck in the partially depressed position.

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Drivers Will Now Have the Ultimate Distraction While Driving: The Internet

Between talking on cell phones, texting (now illegal in Colorado), eating, personal grooming, adjusting ipods and other dangerous behaviors, drivers will now have the ultimate gadget to compete for their attention while behind the wheel.

Automakers and technology companies have teamed up to provide consumers with the ultimate distraction – a full functioning, internet connected computer on car dashboards.

Last week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, car makers unveiled their “infotainment” systems, featuring a 10-inch, high definition screen on the dashboard capable of showing videos, 3-D maps and web pages. Audi and Ford are among the forerunners that will have cars available later this year with in-dash computers.

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Denver Ranks 13th Least Courteous City in National Road Rage Survey

During our daily commute in Colorado, it’s not unusual to witness or be engaged in an incident of road rage.

An aggressive driver is weaving in and out of traffic and angers another driver already frustrated and tense from increasingly heavy traffic congestion. They engage in a cat and mouse game at 80 miles per hour.

A driver distracted while talking on a cell phone abruptly cuts into your lane with no signal almost causing a collision.

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Colorado Bans Texting While Driving

It’s official. Today House Bill 09-1094 goes into effect, banning texting while driving. It also makes it illegal for teens to use their cell phones while driving.

We’ve all done it – sending a quick text to our spouse on the way home, checking our email on the way to the office, reading tweets from our favorite celebrity while behind the wheel. And we tell ourselves its okay – it’ll only take a second. I can text and drive at the same time. I was only reading my text messages – I wasn’t typing anything – that isn’t dangerous. And the excuses and justifications go on and on.

According the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) there were an estimated 955 fatalities and 240,000 accidents caused by drivers using their cell phones in 2002. Those numbers are likely much higher today. As part of their study, NHTSA recommended further study of the dangerous behaviors of multi-tasking while driving. This research still has not occurred.

A study by The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) equated texting while driving to driving the length of a football field at 55 miles per hour with your eyes shut! This study asserts that of all of the driving distractions, text messaging was the most dangerous and was over 20 times riskier than driving while not using a cell phone. Texting caused the longest period of a driver’s eyes off the road with 4.6 seconds over a 6-second interval, which equates to driving the length of a football field at 55 mph without looking at the road.

Colorado Governor Bill Ritter signed House Bill 09-1034 earlier this year in Fort Collins, Colorado, where 9-year Erica Forney was killed in November 2008. While riding her bicycle, she was hit by a car that drifted into the bike lane by a driver who was distracted while talking on a cell phone. As of December 1, 2009 it is illegal to text, email and tweet while driving. Drivers under the age of 18 are banned from any cell phone usage. The new law does have provisions for emergency usage.

While some feel that banning texting doesn’t go far enough to keep Colorado drivers safe on the roads, at least it’s a start. In the future, supporters would like to see all Colorado drivers who talk on a cell phone while driving to be required to use a hands-free device.

Suspect in Fatal DUI Crash Behind Bars Again

Sandra Jacobson is back in jail again after being arrested for driving with a suspended license. Her license was suspended in early January 2009, over two weeks before the she caused the crash that killed Kathy Krasniewicz 54, and Kate McClelland, 71.

Jacobson is accused of losing control of her truck and sideswiping a taxi headed to Denver International Airport (DIA) and causing the crash that killed the two Connecticut librarians.

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DUI Fatality Rate Continues to Drop

Recent statistics on fatalities involving drunk drivers show that the number of people killed in alcohol related crashes since 2002 are declining. But, what we need to remember is that these statistics are not just numbers on a graph. These statistics represent a person – someone’s loved one, whether they are family, friend, neighbor, co-worker or an acquaintance.

Unlike contracting cancer or some other terminal illness, fatalities caused by a drunk driver are 100 percent preventable. Drunk driving is a choice. You cannot choose to get or not get cancer. You cannot choose to have or not have a heart attack. But you can choose to drive drunk.

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Illegal Drivers Cause One Quarter of Traffic Deaths in Colorado

Most of us have at least one parking or speeding ticket in our driving careers. We get assessed points against our licenses, pay our fines and promise not to do it again. But, according to a Denver Post article, there may be about 225,000 illegal drivers in Colorado. These illegal drivers caused nearly one-fourth of all traffic deaths in Colorado last year.

In 2008, Colorado saw 548 people killed in motor vehicle crashes, and of those, 130 of these fatalities (24 percent) involved illegal drivers. According to the auditors’ report, only seven other states had a higher rate of fatal crashes involving illegal drivers last year.

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Driven to Distraction – Saving Time But Costing Lives

With the tightening economy and many jobs at risks, workers are feeling more and more pressure to be productive. One of the ways, especially for who spend most of their work day on the road, is to turn their cars into traveling offices. Equipped with laptops and BlackBerrys, a busy salesperson or entrepreneur is never out of touch. They have the means to respond to any crisis at their fingertips. Truckers, plumbers and delivery drivers can now receive instructions and directions to their next assignment in route. Productivity for those on the road is just a touch away.

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