The days following a car accident can be scary. If you’re injured, you need to plan your recovery. If your injuries will keep you from working, you’re probably going to be worried about finances. And lastly, you’ll likely be looking for an attorney to represent you. But which personal injury attorney should you choose? You’ll have a lot of options to choose from, no matter where you live. Here are 4 factors that a personal injury attorney will typically use to evaluate your claim:
Medical Treatment. One of the largest factors for any personal injury claim is an actual injury. You can’t pursue a personal injury claim if an injury hasn’t occurred. If you are injured, you must have some sort of medical treatment in order for a favorable decision to occur. Medical evidence is the most important aspect of your case. Medical records from a credible medical professional are crucial.
Time. When did the accident occur? A lot of people will start searching for an attorney quickly after their accident happens. That’s good. However, some people may wait. You shouldn’t wait too long. Timing varies from state to state, but most areas have a statute of limitations. In West Virginia, the statute is two years.
Who is at fault? The police report will play a big part in determining who was at fault in a car accident. If you’re at fault for the accident you were in, you will have a difficult time receiving compensation or arguing your case.
Have you settled? Insurance companies are notorious for under-compensating you for your Injuries. They will send you an offer that will likely be far less than you deserve. These offers can be tempting for accident victims. But if you accept the offer, you may not be able to pursue a personal injury claim.
Car accidents can be scary, but seeing an attorney shouldn’t be. We offer free case evaluations by experienced, caring professionals. If you’d like to know more about the services we offer, call us today for a free consultation. Our toll-free number is 1-877-526-3457. If you can’t talk now, fill out this form so we can contact you at a better time.
Why Are Pedestrian Deaths on the Rise?
POSTED BY Jon Corra . July 06, 2018
A recent report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) sheds new light on the increasing number of pedestrian deaths. The article mentions an increase of 46% since 2009. Further, a February 2018 article by National Public Radio stated that pedestrian deaths have reached a 25-year high for the second consecutive year. The cars we purchase are safer than ever, but more and more pedestrians are being killed and injured.
Just how bad is this issue?
The NPR article listed above stated that pedestrian deaths have been at a 25-year high for the second year in a row. What’s even more alarming is the increase from 2016 to 2017. NPR claims the year-to-year increase is 27%. In 2017, nearly 6,000 pedestrians died. According to NPR, five states: California, Florida, Texas, New York and Arizona, accounted for 43% of pedestrian deaths during the first half of 2017, despite being home to just 30% of the U.S. population. Another alarming statistic reveals that 8 of the top 10 most dangerous areas were in Florida according to the study by Smart Growth America.
Why are deaths increasing?
If you look at the increased numbers, you might assume it’s because drivers aren’t paying attention. While it’s true that distracted drivers are one reason that pedestrian deaths are on the rise, it’s not the only one. The IIHS stated that there are many reasons. Some, like distracted drivers, are obvious, but others are more nuanced.
The IIHS found that pedestrian deaths are worse in urban areas. Larger cities are dense, with more people and more cars. However, rural areas are experiencing increased pedestrian deaths due to a lack of infrastructure. Large metropolitan areas are often set up in a grid pattern. There are usually crosswalks and traffic lights at every block, making it easier and safer for pedestrians to cross. However, most suburban areas aren’t set up this way, and instead, force pedestrians to walk long distances without crosswalks or traffic lights. The long distance between crosswalks encourages pedestrians to walk across busy traffic areas, leading to more individuals getting hit by oncoming traffic.
This cause of pedestrian death was brought to national attention recently when an autonomous Uber vehicle hit a pedestrian crossing a four-lane roadway. The individual who was struck was crossing traffic in an area not designated for pedestrians. The incident also occurred at night, which brings up another issue mentioned by the IIHS. Many pedestrians are hit at night due to low visibility. The problem with visibility is two-fold. The first issue is the result of poorly lit roadways. Street lights help with visibility, but the infrastructure in most cities doesn’t include proper street lighting. The other issue with visibility involves vehicle headlights. The IIHS states that current vehicle headlights may blind pedestrians, and they don’t provide good visibility, especially at a distance.
The things we drive most destroy us.
In a situation in which a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle, the pedestrian is always at a disadvantage. However, being struck by a small economy car is much different than being struck by a crossover, SUV or truck. The way in which a vehicle impacts a pedestrian makes a big difference, as well. For instance, a small car may strike a pedestrian in the leg or the knees. A crossover, SUV or truck rides higher than a car, meaning the point of impact is also higher. So instead of being struck in the knee or leg, a pedestrian may be struck in the chest or head. An impact near your vital organs is more likely to result in a fatality. In 2018, we have more large vehicles on the road than at any other time in history.
In their report on pedestrian safety, the IIHS also mentioned increased speed as a major factor in pedestrian deaths. Speed limits nationally have increased. The IIHS suggests a way to decrease this issue is to decrease speeds. They also suggest increased use of speed cameras as a way to deter speeding. However, there is a lot of opposition to this proposal.
The general public isn’t aware of the increasing number of pedestrian deaths. The IIHS and many other outlets are working hard to make the public aware, since raising awareness is one of the best ways to tackle this problem. However, some auto manufacturers are taking things a step further. Manufacturers like Subaru are creating crash avoidance systems which can detect pedestrians. Many automakers are starting to design their vehicles to minimize pedestrian injuries. Some cars now come equipped with explosive charges at the base of the hood. If your car hits a pedestrian, the base of the hood will pop up to push the individual back up. Volvo is currently offering this on some new cars with this feature.
We need to be more careful on the road. Too many people are dying because of these accidents. If you want to know more about the services we offer, or if you’d like to sign up for a free consultation, give us a call today. Our toll-free number is 1-877-526-3457. If you can’t talk now, fill out this form so we can contact you at a better time.
Summer Holidays Lead To Many Accidents
POSTED BY Jon Corra . June 26, 2018
Many of us look forward to summer because it often means a time of relaxation. When we’re young, we get nearly three months off from school. As adults, we usually take family vacations in the summer and get to take a few days away from the office. And summer is flanked by holidays: Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer, Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer, and Independence Day is the unofficial halfway point. Many of us have fond memories of these holidays, with cookouts, road trips, and fun in the sun. However, all three holidays have one awful thing in common: they’re the deadliest holidays for impaired driving.
A recent report by CBS outlined the problem in more detail. Memorial Day weekend is the deadliest of all, with CBS reporting that motorists are four times more likely to be killed on Memorial Day weekend then they are during a non-holiday weekend. Independence Day weekend is close behind, with Labor Day holding steady in third. The single deadliest holiday is Independence Day.
Why are summer holidays so deadly?
All three holidays take place during warm months. This means more Americans are traveling for these holidays. More traveling means more people on the road. AAA estimates 39.5 million people traveled for Memorial Day this year. Fuel prices are up, but they still aren’t as astronomical as they were a few years ago. Lower fuel prices mean more people on the road, as well.
Alcohol plays a big part in all three holidays. According to the IIHS, Forty-seven percent of the deaths on July 4 and 62 percent on January 1 involved at least one driver, pedestrian or bicyclist with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08g/dL. The average across all days in these years was 35 percent for deaths in crashes involving alcohol.
It’s not just alcohol.
While the big three summer holidays are associated with impaired drivers, alcohol isn’t the only cause of fatal accidents. Many people are killed because they don’t wear their seatbelts. Also, many motorcyclists are killed during these holidays because they aren’t wearing helmets. Simply wearing a seatbelt or putting on a helmet could cut down on many of these tragic accidents.
You don’t have to drink to drive impaired. A lot of motorists will drive drowsy during these holidays too. Driving a vehicle without adequate rest can negatively impact one’s abilities behind the wheel. In 2015, over 800 people were killed because of drowsy driving. There are many factors that can lead to driving drowsy. If you’re out in the heat all day, driving long distances, and in an unfamiliar area, your driving could be impaired.
We encourage everyone to drive safely this summer. However, if you’re injured in an accident, give us a call. Our toll-free number is 1-877-526-3457. If you can’t talk now, fill out this form and we’ll call you at a more convenient time.
What To Do If You Witness An Auto Accident
POSTED BY Jon Corra . June 19, 2018
There’s a lot of information available on what to do if you are involved in a car accident, but not much information for people who witness a car accident.What to do if you witness a car accident?
Do you even have to stop if you witness a crash? Here is some helpful information you need to know:
Do I have to help?
It depends upon where you are. Most states don’t require you to assist if you witness a car accident. A lot of people believe the opposite but, if you don’t want to help, you are not required to do so by law in most states.
Should I help in an accident?
That’s up to you. However, many people are afraid to assist because of they’re afraid they’ll be held liable if they intervene. This, too, is untrue in most states. For instance, West Virginia has a Good Samaritan Law which protects citizens who intervene in an accident.
The law states that no person, including a person licensed to practice medicine or dentistry, who in good faith renders emergency care at the scene of an accident or to a victim at the scene of a crime, without remuneration, shall be liable for any civil damages as the result of any act or omission in rendering such emergency care.
So, in West Virginia, you will be protected if you help during an accident. But, What to do if you witness a car accident?
Don’t put yourself in danger
It’s good to help other but you should be in safe side first so think first and react and keep yourself in a safe zone. Don’t get panic and put some steps that encounter you in danger and difficulties. so if you witness a car accident don’t put yourself in danger.
Pull off the road as soon as it’s safe.
Turn your hazard lights on, and make sure your vehicle is in a safe position. Try not to park too close to the accident scene in case of fire or other hazards.
If the accident is severe, the occupants of the vehicles likely won’t be able to contact emergency services. Their cars may be equipped with a service like OnStar, but it won’t hurt to call 911 to be safe. Be sure to tell the operator you’ve witnessed an accident. Explain where the accident occurred, how many cars are involved and if there are any injuries.
Assist the drivers and passengers.
It’s possible the vehicle passengers may need help getting out of the car, even if they aren’t injured. Assist them if you’re available to do so safely. This process may be more difficult in modern cars. Each year cars seem to have more and more airbags. Extracting someone from the car may be more difficult with side curtain airbags and airbags found in the side of the door. Also, take extra precautions around electric and hybrid cars.
Help with hazards.
If there is a fire or another hazardous condition, do your best to help control the situation, but only if it’s safe for you to intervene. Also, it’s a good idea to keep a portable fire extinguisher in your car. It can come in handy in this situation or if you’re involved in your own accident.
Take some photos.
After the accident, the motorists might not be able to take photos of the scene. So, if you have a phone with a camera, or a digital camera, take photos of the scene. This may help later.
Give a police report.
It’s possible you’ll be asked to give a police report, even if you didn’t witness the actual accident. The police will want to know what you did when you came upon the scene, and they’ll want you to recount what you did, and how you helped the individuals involved in the accident.
An accident can be scary, even if you witness a car accident. While you are not required to help, it can make a big difference to the people involved in the wreck. Knowing what to do ahead of time can save time and possibly save lives.
If you know someone who’s been in an accident, you can help them by telling them to call Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law for a free consultation. Our firm has battled government and insurance giants for over 20 years. Our toll-free number is 1-877-526-3457. We can also communicate electronically. Fill out this form so we can contact you at a convenient time.
Major Recall For Ford Rangers, Mazda B-Series Trucks
POSTED BY Jon Corra . June 12, 2018
If you own a vehicle, there’s a good chance you’ll eventually receive a safety recall. Many recalls are important and should be taken care of as soon as possible. However, an occasional recall may be much less urgent. For instance, if you owned an early 2014 Honda Odyssey, you may have received a recall due to a misplaced model emblem. It may seem silly to take your vehicle to the dealer to have your emblem serviced, but Honda argued it could hurt resale values. So, the recall was issued. Most recalls aren’t as trivial but are instead for serious safety issues. Occasionally, a recall will be issued which stands out from the others. For instance, Ford Motor Company recently issued a recall for their 2006 Ford Rangers. This recall was different because Ford said owners should not drive their vehicle until the issue is fixed. Far worse than a misplaced badge, the Ford recall was issued due to faulty airbags.
Thousands of motorists have been impacted by the Takata airbag recall. The Takata airbag recall included 19 different automotive brands for vehicles made from 2002 to 2015. Ford, like other manufacturers, has issued a “stop driving” order due to the severity of this specific issue. Simply put, many airbags impacted by this recall won’t work in an accident. A faulty airbag can lead to injuries or even death. Ford initially recalled fewer than 3,000 trucks. However, they later added about 30,000 Ford Rangers and expanded the recall to include the Mazda version of the Ford Ranger, the B-Series truck. In the expansion of the recall, Ford mentioned they found at least two deaths related to the faulty airbags.
According to thecarconnection.com, Ford issued a “do not drive” order on the Ranger because two people were killed due to the malfunctioning airbags. In July of 2017, a West Virginia man was killed when the airbag in his Ranger didn’t inflate. In December of 2017, Ford found the death in West Virginia was similar to another accident in which the driver was killed. Both trucks had airbags installed on the same day at the same plant in South Carolina. Many people who drive different brands of cars have not had to stop driving. The website goes on to state that the NHTSA considers older vehicles located in high-humidity areas of the country a priority for repairs. Takata airbags exposed to high humidity and moisture have been found by an independent laboratory to be at a higher risk for rupturing. Therefore, Ford has issued the “stop diving” order.
If you own a Ford or Mazda truck impacted by the “stop driving” order, the manufacturers will pay to have your truck towed to a local dealership. Ford and Mazda will repair the trucks free of charge. Some dealerships will offer loaner vehicles if the repairs are expected to take longer than a day.
Aside from the issues with the Ford Rangers, 26 deaths have been linked to the Takata airbag failures. If you’ve been injured because of a faulty airbag, you may be entitled to compensation. Call us today for a free consultation. Our toll-free number is 1-877-526-3457. If you’d rather be called at a specific time, fill out this form so we can call you at a better time.
Uber Accident Leads to More Concerns About Autonomous Tech
POSTED BY Jon Corra . June 01, 2018
The popularity of peer to peer ridesharing has increased exponentially over the past several years. Services like Uber and Lyft have their share of fans, but they also have a long list of detractors.
According to personal injury lawyers, several personal injuries like sexual harassment, protests by traditional taxi drivers, or their radical price surging, are hiking with the use of Uber, in particular, has frequently found themselves in trouble lately.
At their core, Uber is actually a technology company, and they are looking at making changes to the ways that their vehicles operate. Since 2015, Uber has worked on a program to incorporate autonomous vehicles into their fleet.
According to the Pittsburgh Business Times, the first vehicles used for research were seen in May of 2015. While working with Carnegie Melon, Uber Advance technologies created a fleet of “research” Ford Fusions to be used in the city of Pittsburgh.
These vehicles were primarily used for mapping services at the time. By September of 2016, Uber unveiled their first autonomous vehicles for use by the public.
These vehicles were used in the city of Pittsburgh, and they were equipped with “safety drivers.” A safety driver, according to Uber, is in place to take control of the vehicle in emergency situations.
According to WTAE-TV, there are 20 cameras, seven lasers, and three inertial measurement units used by the autonomous vehicles.
By the end of 2016, Uber expanded their autonomous fleet to cities in California and Arizona. They also added a new vehicle: the Volvo XC90. The XC90 is an SUV, as opposed to the Fusion, which is a sedan.
By March of 2017, Uber had their first real public issue with their autonomous cars when one was involved in an accident with another car. In this case, the police investigated the accident and found the sovereign driver was at fault because the non-Uber driver ran a stop sign, then struck the autonomous Uber vehicle.
The impact left the Uber vehicle disabled and it toppled onto its right side. At the time, Uber decided to place the autonomous car program on hiatus so they could determine what caused the accident. After finding that the accident was not the fault of their car, they reinstated the autonomous program.
A year later, in March of 2018, Uber had to halt the program once again. This time, a life was lost after an accident involving an autonomous Uber is Tempe, Arizona. According to multiple reports, a pedestrian was struck by an autonomous Uber while crossing a road at night. According to Tempe Police:
49-year old Elain Herzberg was killed when the vehicle struck her
the vehicle was traveling near 40 MPH
the pedestrian was not in a designated crosswalk area
there was a driver behind the wheel of the autonomous Uber, but the vehicle was in the autonomous mode
After the accident, Uber halted the program until further investigations can be conducted. In addition to the Tempe Police department, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is also investigating the accident.
While this case is still in the early stages, many have made statements about who may be at fault in this accident. For instance, since the pedestrian was not in a designated crosswalk, many are arguing that she may be at fault.
Others are wondering why the car’s sensors didn’t detect the pedestrian. They are designed to avoid pedestrians, but in this case, they didn’t engage any type of braking system prior to impact.
Some are also faulting the safety driver who was behind the wheel of the Uber. All of these vehicles have cameras that record the driver at all times. In the moments leading up to impact, the driver can be seen taking her eyes off the road several times. It’s still early to truly determine fault, but it will be interesting to see what the investigating parties find.
As technology advances, we will likely see more cases like this in the future. Just because a vehicle is autonomous doesn’t mean that there isn’t a liable party.
If you’d like to learn more about the services we provide, please call our office for a free consultation from our West Virginia Car Accident Lawyer. Our Number is 1-877-526-3457. If you can’t talk now, fill out this form so we can contact you at a better time.
RV Tires May Be The Cause Of Accidents, Deaths
POSTED BY Jon Corra . May 16, 2018
Summer is just around the corner and, for millions of Americans, that means it’s time to go camping. While the traditional image of a camping trip involves a tent pitched under a starry sky, these days more and more people are opting for recreational vehicles. According to the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association, 8.9 million households in the United States own RVs. For many, RV travel is considered safe. However, recent reports show that a potentially deadly defect could be putting a lot of RV owners at risk.
It’s safe to assume many people don’t pay too much attention to tire brands. However, if you were playing a game like Family Feud, and you were asked to name a tire brand, you’d likely guess Goodyear due to their successful branding efforts for decades, including the familiar blimp that floats across the sky during sporting events every year. You may be surprised to learn this brand is the third largest tire manufacturer in the world, behind Michelin and Bridgestone. You may also be surprised to learn that Goodyear’s actions may have led to several accidental deaths.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration claims it has received allegations that defective Goodyear motorhome tires caused crashes that killed or injured 95 people over a decade. The allegations were revealed in an information-seeking letter sent to Goodyear by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Last year, the agency began investigating whether Goodyear’s G159 tires are unsafe. The probe began after a judge ordered the release of Goodyear data that had been sealed under court orders and settlement agreements. Lawsuits and safety advocates allege the tires were designed for delivery trucks and not for recreational vehicles that travel at highway speeds. The NHTSA states that the investigation covers about 40,000 tires made from 1996 to 2003.
Several news outlets are now sharing this news. However, one automotive website has been sharing information about the possibly defective tire for months. Jalopnik is a non-traditional online automotive news and culture journal. According to the website, there have been more than 40 lawsuits filed against the tire manufacturer as a result of the defective tire. They go on to state that Goodyear has admitted in court to receiving over 98 death or injury claims due to the G159 tire.
Jalopnik journalists bring up a good question in their article: why wasn’t an investigation launched sooner? They claim that nearly every lawsuit involved a settlement with plaintiffs which prevented the sharing of documents and findings with other plaintiffs, citing an excerpt from the NHTSA which states:
“…the data produced in the litigation was sealed under protective orders and confidential settlement agreements, precluding claimants from submitting evidence to the NHTSA.”
Jalopnik also found that Goodyear believed the tires to be safe for RV use, stating they (Goodyear) believed the tread separation was the result of user error. Goodyear believed it could be the result of underinflating the tire and/or overloading the vehicle.
The NHTSA investigation is ongoing.
Product liability claims or personal injury are common, you can get assistance from Personal injury lawyer. If you’d like to know more about this type of claim, give us a call today. Our number is 1-877-526-3457. Or, fill out this form so we can contact you at a better time.
What Is My Personal Injury Claim Worth?
POSTED BY Jon Corra . May 02, 2018
When someone meets with our Personal Injury lawyers, they often want to know what is my personal injury claim worth? While many law firms like to advertise big settlements and share how they were able to get specific clients a certain amount of money, that’s not something our firm advertises.
The main reason is that we don’t want to give anyone false hope about their case and what is my personal injury claim worth. It’s not fair to tell someone they’ll get a $100,000 settlement when we haven’t evaluated their case. The amount you will receive depends upon a lot of different factors, including:
Medical Expenses: Medical expenses that result from your injuries will play an important part in your settlement. If you have an extended hospital stay or must have multiple surgeries, this will likely result in a higher settlement. It’s also important to document any type of physical therapy that may result from the injuries.
If your injury is serious enough, you may require future medical attention, too. Your settlement should reflect any future medical expenses that may occur.
Property Damage: In most cases, property damage usually refers to something like a car that was damaged in an accident. If the car was a total loss or suffered substantial damage, the settlement should reflect the amount of damage that occurred.
Lost wages: If you’re injured in a car accident, there is a good chance you’ll miss work because of injury. If you’re off work for an extended period of time, your settlement should reflect lost wages.
Pain and suffering: This is one of the categories that can be hard to quantify. The Pain and suffering refer to any emotional stress and pain that result from an accident. Pain and suffering may be minor, but in some cases, it can include depression, anger, and even PTSD. For instance, let’s say you’re an avid jogger, but someone hits your car. The resulting injury may make it difficult for you to do something you enjoy by continuing to jog. That is also an example of pain and suffering.
Punitive damages: Punitive damages can be difficult to understand if you don’t have a background in law. Essentially, punitive damages are meant to punish the offender. For instance, if a driver willingly drives recklessly, the court may assign punitive damages. To learn more about punitive damages, read our previous blog here.
There are a lot of factors that go into a settlement. The categories above reflect just a small part of what you may receive compensation for.
Any law firm can advertise large settlements, but we like to evaluate each case on an individual basis. It’s important to keep your expectations realistic, and it’s important to know that an insurance company isn’t likely to be on your side.
If you’d like to know more about what is my personal injury claim worth or what we can do to help, call today for a free consultation. Our toll-free number is 1-877-526-3457. If you can’t talk now, fill out this form so that we can call you at a better time.
What Everyone Needs To Know About Medical Malpractice Claims
POSTED BY Jon Corra . April 26, 2018
If you watch local television for any period of time, you’ll likely see a commercial − or several − for an attorney who’d like to help you with a medical malpractice claim.
It’s difficult to understand this type of claim when you only have a 30-second commercial as a reference. Plus, a lot of these attorneys have websites that lack the specific information you may need to understand medical malpractice claims.
Below is an overview of these types of claims, and information on what you can do if you feel that you or someone you love has been the victim of medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice, like a lot of other personal injury claims, involves a form of negligence. In this case, a medical professional, doctor or hospital is responsible for the negligence.
It occurs when a negligent act or omission occurs, and the result causes an injury to a patient. The negligence may result in an error in treatment, aftercare, diagnosis, or health management.
Personal injury lawyers or Medical Malpractice attorney can help you out to claim Medical malpractice and file a case upon it.
There is a lot of confusion about what is and isn’t a medical malpractice claim. For the most part, a known complication from a surgery won’t result in a medical
malpractice claim. For instance, if you have surgery on your neck, and the pain persists after surgery, that is likely a risk of having the surgery.
If the surgeon did nothing wrong, then there is not likely a case there. A traditional medical malpractice claim must have evidence of the following: a violation of the standard of care occurred, an injury was caused by the negligence, and the injury resulted in significant damages.
There are countless examples of medical malpractice. The following list includes the most common examples:
Failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis Misreading or ignoring laboratory results Unnecessary surgery Surgical errors or wrong site surgery Improper medication or dosage Poor follow-up or aftercare Premature discharge Disregarding or not taking appropriate patient history Failure to order proper testing Failure to recognize symptoms
What should you do?
If you believe you’re a victim of medical malpractice, make sure you have proper evidence to help back up your claim. Gather your medical records from your medical provider, the hospital if you had an extended stay, and the records from your surgery if surgery is a part of your claim. A good claim includes evidence before and after the malpractice occurred.
Hiring a qualified attorney is one of the best things you can do for a medical malpractice claim. If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, it is essential that you contact a West Virginia personal injury attorney prior to the statute of limitations.
Do not leave yourself unprotected. Every patient deserves to be medically cared for with the utmost standard of care. The medical field is for healing, not undue injury.
Contact us today for a free consultation. Our toll-free number is 1-877-526-3457. If you can’t talk now, fill out this form so that we may call you at a better time.
Most SUV and Crossover Headlights Fail This New Test
POSTED BY Jon Corra . April 18, 2018
When you are in the process of purchasing your next vehicle, there’s a good chance safety will be a top priority in your selection. Modern cars are safe. They have crash avoidance systems, blind spot monitoring, and some cars even have autonomous features. However, a recent study by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety found that one of the oldest features of our cars could be making them unsafe.
Every street-legal car must have headlights. Headlights have been a part of passenger cars for more than a century, yet many manufacturers failed a recent headlight evaluation performed by the IIHS. Nearly 40 crossover vehicles were evaluated by the IIHS, yet only two completed the test with a passing score. This may seem odd to anyone with even a basic knowledge of the automotive industry due to the technology and advancements that have been made in headlight manufacturing over the years. For instance, many cars are now available with LED lights that burn brighter and use less energy than traditional bulbs. Other cars have lights that rotate with the car’s steering wheels. So, the news that so many vehicles didn’t pass the test is surprising, to say the least.
Why did so many vehicles fail?
The IIHS is known for their tough automotive tests. The organization also finds new ways to evaluate cars. The IIHS evaluated the headlights in the following manner:
During the Institute’s evaluations, engineers measure how far light is projected from a vehicle’s low beams and high beams as the vehicle travels straight and on curves. Glare from oncoming vehicles is also measured from low beams in each scenario to make sure it isn’t excessive.
The IIHS also stated that a car can be configured many different ways depending on trim level. Some may assume that a high-end model will perform better than its base counterpart, but that was not the case with the Kia Sorento. The high-end SXL trim of the Kia Sorento can be equipped with cure adaptive headlights. However, the IIHS found that the headlights failed to illuminate well on a straight stretch as well as left turns and gradual right turns. For instance, the Sorento’s low-beam headlights only illuminate a distance of 148 feet. In contrast, the Volvo XC 60, which was one of only two vehicles to pass this test, can illuminate 315 feet in the same scenario. The other vehicle that passed the test was the Hyundai Santa-Fe which, ironically, has the same parent company as the Sorento, and the two vehicles share a common platform.
Why is this important?
When you test-drove your last car, did you test it at night, or did you drive it during the day? Chances are you did the latter. Most consumers don’t test the headlights when purchasing a car. Did you know approximately half of all fatal accidents occur at night?
Keep the two cars mentioned above in mind for this scenario: the Volvo illuminates twice as far as the Kia. So, if you’re driving down the interstate at night, the Volvo will illuminate an object in the road 150 feet sooner than the Kia. So, let’s say you’re approaching a disabled car which has suddenly stopped. In the Volvo, you’ll have twice as much time to avoid the car than you would in the KIA. If you can see something sooner, you can stop sooner.
Car safety is very important. However, you cannot control what other motorists do. If you’ve been hurt in an accident, call our Car accident or Personal injury lawyers team to discuss your options. There is no upfront cost for our consultation. Our toll-free number is 1-877-526-3457. If you’d rather be called at a specific time, fill out this form so that a member of our team can call you at a time that’s best for you.