Toyota's vehicle safety problems have become something like an automotive soap opera, with the manufacturing giant issuing record recalls, paying the largest fine ever, seeing its market share drop and becoming the target in over 200 lawsuits.
Toyota's ongoing problems have focused a national spotlight on traffic safety concerns, with Congress, federal regulatory agencies, consumer advocates and a troubled public all weighing in.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, approximately 37,000 people will die on U.S. roads this year. While improvements to vehicle technology could help reduce that number in the future, there are steps you can take today to help keep you and your passengers safer when traveling.
- Perhaps the most important thing you can do is buckle up. Wear your seatbelt and insist that all your passengers do too.
- Minimize distractions: don't use your cellphone for texting or talking while behind the wheel. Research shows that texting while driving can be more dangerous than drinking and driving.
- Don't drink alcohol before driving. Alcohol was involved in nearly one-third of all fatal car crashes in 2008, helping to kill more than 12,000 people.
- Watch your speed. About one-third of all traffic fatalities involve driving while exceeding the speed limit.
- Know your vehicle and what to do in case of an emergency. For example, if your vehicle begins to accelerate suddenly, shift into neutral, apply the brakes and pull off the road.
- Keep your tires inflated at proper levels. Also check to make sure that your tires are not balding.
- Stay aware of your surroundings, including traffic in front of you and on your sides, as well as upcoming traffic signs and signals and potentially hazardous weather conditions.
In Case of a Crash
If there has been a crash and you or a family member has been injured due to the other driver's negligence, you should contact an Illinois personal injury attorney. A personal injury lawyer can help determine who is liable for the personal and property damage by using accident reconstructionists, for example.
For injured car crash victims, there are medical bills that need to be paid, often compounded by a loss of wages or even the inability to earn a living. Pain and suffering are also an unavoidable component of injuries sustained in vehicle collisions.
Contact a Chicago personal injury attorney who can assess the facts of your case and help you use the law to receive compensation for the damages you have suffered.