The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the report on motor vehicle crash injuries occurring in the U.S. in 2012. The report tallies the total cost of these accidents and lays out ways to improve motor vehicle safety in the future. The October 2014 report is entitled Costly but Preventable, highlighting the CDC viewpoint that car and truck crashes are entirely preventable if proper care is taken. Reducing accidents to zero is a lofty goal, but certainly a worthy one. All drivers should take the time to consider what safety improvements they could make to reduce the potential of a crash.
Determining whether or not a person drove drunk is relatively simple. Banning people from texting while driving is straightforward, if not always easy to enforce. Stopping people from drowsy driving may prove a significant challenge. The National Transportation Safety Board is holding a forum to tackle the issue of tired drivers this week. The goal is to reduce the injuries and fatalities caused by drivers who are suffering from fatigue behind the wheel.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than one-quarter of all motor vehicle crashes are rear-end collisions. The NHTSA first revealed those numbers in an attempt to encourage the implementation of a certain type of safety technology - forward collision avoidance systems. The numbers could also be used to support a new type of technology being tested for use on semi-trailers - a new form of rear underride guard.
According to industry insiders, new car buyers are increasingly interested in built-in technology that keeps a driver connected to the outside world. The dashboard "infotainment" system is a major selling point for some new cars, particularly those favored by younger drivers. Unfortunately, that technology could be contributing to injuries and deaths in distracted driving accidents. A recent study looked at several pieces of voice-activated technology and the impact each had on a drivers' attention. The study supported previous findings that even hands-free technology presents an unsafe level of distraction for a driver.
Punitive damages are awarded alongside actual damages in cases where the defendant's conduct was marked by malice, recklessness or dishonesty. Punitive damages are generally for situations where one party acted in a reprehensible manner. A Montana case involving the deaths of three people has led to a $73 million punitive award against the defendant, Hyundai Motor Co. The jury originally ordered $240 million in punitive damages, but the order was reduced by the District Court. Hyundai is expected to appeal.