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Month: April 2016

Automatic Emergency Braking Systems to Become Standard

Automatic Emergency Braking Systems to Become Standard

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety made a promising and historic announcement on March 17, 2016 that 20 automakers are making a commitment to include automatic emergency braking as a standard feature on virtually all new automobiles by September 1, 2022.

Automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems have been shown to be effective in the prevention of crashes and in reducing the severity of crashes that cannot be avoided by using on-vehicle radars, cameras or lasers to detect a potential collision, warn the driver and apply the brakes automatically if the driver fails to do so. This unprecedented commitment of automakers was made possible following a challenge made to the auto industry by the NHTSA and IIHS in September 2015 encouraging them to voluntarily adopt and make standard the AEB system in new vehicle models.  

By coming to a proactive agreement, these life saving brake systems will be made standard an estimated three years sooner than they would be if they were individually put through a formal regulatory process by each automaker. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has estimated that those three years will prevent up to 28,000 crashes and 12,000 injuries.  

The automakers committed to implementing the AEB system are Audi, BMW, FCA US LLC, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Land Rover, Kia, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Tesla Motors Inc., Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo Car USA. Consumer Reports will also be assisting the NHTSA and IIHS in the process of monitoring the progress of automakers toward meeting the AEB goal.

The automatic emergency braking systems will be made standard on light-duty cars and trucks that have a gross vehicle weight of 8,500 pounds or less by the September 1, 2022 deadline and on larger trucks with a gross vehicle weight between 8,5001 pounds and 10,000 pounds no later than September 1, 2025.

Fatigue in Taxi Drivers Under Scrutiny

Fatigue in Taxi Drivers Under Scrutiny

A closer look is being taken at data collected from taxi cabs and car services that shows how long drivers are spending behind the wheel during a given workday. This comes on the heels of an accident in November that took place in Manhattan, when a New York City taxi driver struck and killed a pedestrian after working more than 15 hours.  

Regulators say that the driver of the cab was not in violation of a rule implemented in 1990 that prohibits drivers from driving for longer than 12 consecutive hours because he reported taking breaks throughout the 15 hour period he was working. But taxi regulator were prompted by the accident to take a closer look at available trip data for taxis in the interest of proposing new, tighter rules meant to limit the amount of time drivers can be behind the wheel and might address the time required for breaks and in between shifts to help reduce the danger of driver fatigue.

This issue has been addressed in other branches of transportation as well, with regulations for bus and subway drivers already in place that limit the maximum time for one workday, as well as requiring a set amount of time off between shifts.  

Taxi drivers across the U.S. have cited the success of car service apps like Uber and Lyft as their reason for having to work longer hours to make up for fare they are losing to the less regulated private services. As a result, fatigue in taxi drivers is on the rise. The attorneys at Gordon & Doner have seen the effects of accidents caused by driver fatigue and they know this is an issue that deserves attention. If you have been injured in an accident that was the fault of a driver who should not have been behind the wheel, we urge you to seek professional legal counsel to seek the damages that are your right.

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