Safety

Ford Explorer Added to Safety Watch List Over Exhaust Leaks

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Exhaust leak

Ford Explorer Added to Safety Watch List Over Exhaust Leaks

The Safety Institute released its quarterly vehicle safety watch list and 2015-2016 Ford Explorer has taken the number three and number six spot on the list due to reports of exhaust leaks. The 2015-2016 Ford Explorers have been the subject of a 2016 investigation by the NHTSA for carbon monoxide leaks in the SUV’s cabin. Over 2,800 complaints have been filed. Among them, police departments reporting their police interceptors caused at least 5 officers to lose consciousness.

Topping the list for the fourth quarter in a row, the 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokees continue to be a concern as related to confusing gear shift operation.  After a 6 month investigation, Fiat-Chrysler recalled these vehicles for over a design flaw that did not alert the driver when the door was opened that the vehicle was not in PARK. This allowed the driver to exit the vehicle while it was still in gear leading to many injuries and over 100 reported accidents. Included in this recall is the 2012-2014 Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300. The 2012 Chrysler 300 is number 7 on this watch list for this same reason.

Each quarter, the Safety Institute releases a list of the top 15 vehicles to watch with regards to safety concerns. The list is compiled by researching public data in addition to consumer complaints filed with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration database.

The Safety Institute is sponsored by Ken and Beth Melton in memory of their daughter, Brooke Melton. Read more about their wrongful death case against GM here.

Read the Safety Institute press release here.

If you have been injured in an accident involving any of the vehicles mentioned on the Watch List, please contact our office immediately. Let us help you get justice!

Inclement Weather: Portable Generator Safety Tips

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inclement weather safety tips

Inclement Weather: Portable Generator Safety Tips

Hurricane season and the extreme winter weather is upon us and the use of portable generators drastically increase with the weather conditions. Both the USCPSC and the NSC have issued statements with regards to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if portable generators are not used properly. When it comes to inclement weather, portable generator safety tips should be followed:

  1. Read the label. In 2006, the USCPS fought to include carbon monoxide warning labels on portable generators.
  2. Never use indoors. Although you might be tempted to run your generator inside so you can power certain electronics, the carbon monoxide emitted from the engine can be deadly. This includes operating a generator inside your garage.
  3. Follow 20 feet rule. Keep your portable generator 20 feet from your home. If that means stocking up on extra long extension cords, please do so.
  4. Use outdoor extension cords. Make sure extension cords are the grounded type and keep uncoiled and flat during use.
  5. Prepare for weather. The powerful voltage of the generator means not operating in wet conditions. That may sound impossible during hurricane season, but take the time to prepare early by providing the proper cover and placement to run the generator safely should you lose power. Never run a portable generator that is in or has been submerged in water.

These 5 portable generator safety tips will help you stay safe while you maintain power in your home during inclement weather. Be prepared before the storm hits!

Source: National Safety Commission

Litigation Pushes Ski Boat Manufacturers to Safer Designs – Safety Research & Strategies Inc.

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The Cooper Firm In The News

Litigation Pushes Ski Boat Manufacturers to Safer Designs

By Sean Kane, Safety Research & Strategies Inc.

3 years ago a young boy lost his life while enjoying a day on the lake with his family. 7-year-old Ryan Batchelder, along with 5 other members of his family were out on Lake Rabun when their boat, a Malibu Bowrider manufactured by Malibu Boats, dipped under its own wake and took on water, tossing Ryan and another family member overboard.  To correct the flooding issue, the driver put the boat in reverse. Still in the water, Ryan became entangled with the propeller and died from drowning and loss of blood. It’s a tragic story. A story we believe should have never happened if the Malibu Bowrider had been properly designed and tested.

Sean Kane with Safety Research & Strategies Inc. has more details about this potential design flaw. Read the full investigative story here.

The Cooper Firm is currently representing the Batchelder family to investigate and identify this potential product defect. In addition to seeking justice for their son Ryan, they hope to save more families from experiencing this type of tragedy.

Safety Tips for Solar Eclipse Viewing

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Solar Eclipse Safety Tips

Safety Tips for Solar Eclipse Viewing

NASA estimates more than 300 million people across the United States could witness the total solar eclipse on Monday August 21st. Although the partial eclipse is visible across the continental United States (a phenomenon that hasn’t happened in 99 years), there are 14 states that have the potential to view a total eclipse, where the moon completely covers the sun. Viewing this eclipse means looking directly at the sun which could damage your eyesight pretty significantly.

Here are a few Dos and Don’ts for safely viewing Monday’s eclipse:

  • DO NOT stare directly at the sun until total eclipse occurs (should last approximately 3 minutes).
  • DO purchase approved eclipse viewing glasses. Make sure they are certified with a designated ISO 12312-2 international standard and that the manufacturer’s name and address are printed somewhere on the product.
  • DO NOT use ordinary glasses, binoculars, telescopes, or unfiltered camera.
  • DO create a pinhole projector. All sunlight to stream through a pinhole in a piece of paper onto a makeshift screen (often a second piece of paper). You will see the eclipse through the shadow the moon is creating on the sun.
  • DO NOT allow children to view eclipse unsupervised.
  • DO watch real-time coverage of the event on NASA television here.

 

Amazon recently announced a recall of many eclipse safety glasses falsely claiming to be safe for total eclipse viewing. It’s better to be safe than sorry. If you purchased viewing glasses on Amazon for next week’s eclipse, read the story here to make sure your glasses aren’t part of the safety recall.

For additional information and resources, visit NASA’s eclipse website here.

Autonomous Driving: When Truck Tailgating is a Good Thing

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TCF_AutonomousDriving

Autonomous Driving: When Truck Tailgating is a Good Thing

By: Doreen Lundrigan

Autonomous driving vehicles have been in the news more recently. As such, our future is looking much more ‘Jetsons’-like. While smart car technology is being implemented and placed in new cars, full automation is still many years away.

What is much more current and expected to be on the roads this year are partially automated tractor-trailers. Two companies are in the forefront of this technology, Peloton Technology and Omnitracs. Peloton develops active safety systems and is focused on bringing safety, efficiency, and data intelligence to the trucking industry. Omnitracs is a truck fleet management software company. Together, they are working on platooning.

Autonomous Driving - The Cooper Firm Blog

 

‘Platooning’ is when several trucks drive in close proximity to one another, approximately 30-50 feet, to leverage aerodynamics and save fuel. The trucks are coupled electronically and the close distance minimizes drag. The first vehicle serves as the leader with each successive truck in the platoon connected and controlled autonomously by the lead truck.

The two biggest advantages that platoons have over autonomous vehicles is that there is always a driver in a vehicle ready to take control at a moment’s notice, and they generally use technologies already in production and widely available. Those technologies include collision mitigation. A driver in a trailing vehicle could pull his vehicle out of the platoon at any time and all remaining vehicles would automatically close the gap between vehicles. Ultimately, they hope to be able to use the technology by having only a driver in the lead truck.

At first the trucks will travel in convoys of two and additional trucks will be added into the platooning once the public adapts to this new technology. Using the two-truck convoy will allow motorists to become used to the platooning. If a driver is inclined to slide their vehicle between two trucks less than 50 feet apart, the trucks will be programmed to broaden the gap.

This is the first step towards fully autonomous vehicles and will save fuel and change the trucking industry. Companies are working hard to develop self-driving cars, but that is still in our future.

 

NHTSA Investigates Jeep Liberty for Safety Malfunction

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NHTSA Investigates Jeep Liberty for Safety Malfunction

The NHTSA (National Highway Transportation Safety Administration) is currently investigating nearly 105k Jeep Liberty vehicles due to a possible safety system malfunction that could affect the proper release of the vehicle’s airbags.

The investigation is a result of more than 40 complaints regarding the 2012 model year (Jeep retired the Liberty model in 2012). The complaints centered around a detected malfunction of the Occupant Restraint Controller safety computer. The ORC computer is designed to detect when the vehicle crashes so it can deploy airbags accordingly. Drivers noticed the airbag warning light becoming enabled under normal circumstances. The light turns off when the computer is replaced which indicates a malfunction. No injuries have been reported.

FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) announced it is fully cooperating with the investigation.

If you or someone you know have been injured in an auto-accident, please contact us today for a complimentary case evaluation.

Source: The News Wheel

Mazda Announces Double Recall for RX-8

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mazda rx-8 recall

Mazda RX-8 Announces Double Recall for RX-8

Mazda North American Operations announced a double recall of nearly 100k RX-8 vehicles for model years 2004-2008.

The first recall applies to model year 2004 of the RX-8 and affects approximately 35k vehicles. The ball joint socket on the front suspension lower control arm may crack and cause a separation of the ball joint and socket. Should this happen, the vehicle could lose steering control, increasing the risk of a crash and injuries.

The second recall, and the larger of the two, applies to model years 2004-2008. Nearly 70k RX-8s are included in this recall. Mazda states that heat from the engine and exhaust may cause the main fuel pump to crack which could cause a fuel leak, increasing the risk of a fire.

Both recalls are expected to begin July 30th 2017. Owners may contact Mazda customer service at 1-800-222-5500 for more information.

If you or someone you know have been injured in an accident, please contact us today for a complimentary case consultation.

Source: Mazda

 

How Do I Know If My Car Has A Recall?

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How Do I Know If My Car Has A Recall?

There’s a handful of ways to know if your car has a recall. The first, and really the most important, way that you need to know, is you can look at a government website called safercar.gov and they will tell you clearly if there is a recall that applies to your vehicle. They’ll also tell you if it’s a safety related recall.

Most people buy used cars and most people don’t know that when you buy a used car, they can sell you the car without disclosing to you that a recall service hasn’t been performed.

Sometimes you’ll get recall notices in the mail, but don’t count on this. Don’t count on being able to receive all this information effectively through the mail because a manufacturer may or may not know about you. That’s especially true if you’ve bought a used car.

Last, and the most important thing people need to realize about recalls, is just because you don’t have a recall on your vehicle, doesn’t mean that it’s safe. If you are injured by something in your vehicle and you don’t see a recall posted online, that doesn’t mean what happened was right.

When you come to a firm like us and we take your case, the recalls that happen, happen as a result of the work of this firm. Make sure you know what is going on with your vehicle and make sure you know whether a recall has been performed or whether you need to go take care of one.

What does Product Liability mean?

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What does Product Liability Mean?

Product liability means you prove that a product is defective and that a defect has caused an injury or a death. It’s different than an ordinary case because you need experts, engineers, and especially reconstruction experts. You need all of these technical experts to be able to tell you:

“Yes, the product is defective.”

and

“Yes, this defect caused this accident and this injury or death.”

So, it’s a complicated area of the law which requires certain legal knowledge on behalf of the lawyers who handle those cases. It also requires an ability on behalf of those lawyers to hire the right experts to prove the case, ultimately to a jury if that’s required. In many cases, this expert presentation in a trial can cost literally hundreds of thousands of dollars because of the technology that’s needed in order to present those kinds of cases.

Have a potential product liability case? Contact us today.

What new safety features help prevent auto accidents?

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What New Safety Features Help Prevent Auto Accidents?

Car companies over the last twenty years have focused on safety features and technologies that can help prevent accidents. For example, there’s electronic stability control in cars. So, when someone begins to lose control of their car, the technology in the car keeps them under control. There’s also anti-lock brake systems in cars now. More recently you have computer technology where you have automatic braking system that if you come up to a car and you don’t recognize it, the car will brake on its own. Or when you change a lane the car will tell you, “You’re changing a lane. Get back into your lane.”

All of this technology is critical because it prevents accident. It keeps people from even needing the airbags or the seat belts because the accidents never happen. What we have found over the years is companies unfortunately don’t put that technology into the cars they should, and, so, we’ve had cases where an accident has happened when it never should have because the safety technology was not used in that car when it should’ve been used, which would’ve prevented the accident.

If you or someone you know have been catastrophically injured in an accident, please contact us today.


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