Articles Posted in Automobile Accidents

So far, Toyota has recalled more than 7 million vehicles over faulty gas pedals and floor mats. The auto maker has also stopped production and sales of eight models, including its top-selling Camry and Corolla models. The first Toyota recall was issued last year after an auto accident in California killed a highway patrol officer and three members of his family. The officer was in a loaner Lexus and the defective floor mat in the car allegedly caused the accelerator pedal to become jammed. The car accelerated out of control at 120 mph, crashed, and caused four fatalities.

Toyota officials say they have come up with a fix for the gas pedals, which has been approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The problem with the gas pedals was that the pedal mechanism could become worn and harder to depress or it could get stuck in a partially depressed position, thus causing sudden or unintended acceleration.

Toyota engineers have been working to insert a spacer in the pedal mechanism in order to increase the tension in a spring and reduce the risk of the gas pedal sticking or staying down. The auto maker has also come under quite a bit of criticism for failing to act quickly on unexpected acceleration issues related to the faulty floor mats. Federal officials say Toyota has known about the problem with the mats since 2007 and has still done nothing to fix it.
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Two people in Yakima, Washington, were hospitalized with injuries after a DUI car accident in which officials say the suspect was also speeding.

According to a news report in the Yakima Herald-Republic, a 44-year-old man driving a Ford Aerostar was speeding south on Martin Luther King Boulevard when he tried to pass a Dodge Caravan. The Ford van then crashed head-on into a Ford Mustang driven by a 23-year-old woman. The woman was seriously injured and sustained multiple leg and ankle fractures. The suspect was also injured and was taken to a Seattle hospital, but was later arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. Officials are also considering vehicular assault charges.

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious crime in Washington State. According to the Revised Code of Washington Section 46.61.502, driving under the influence is when “a person is guilty of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug if the person drives a vehicle within the state.” It is also illegal to drive with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher.
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A 60-year-old man from Spokane was killed in a pedestrian accident after he was struck by a car while crossing a street. According to a KHQ news report, the man was walking across Division near the 9600 block in an unmarked crosswalk when he was struck by a southbound car. The injured pedestrian was transported to a Spokane hospital where he later died. The driver remained at the scene, but officials say he is likely to face charges.

Washington State law requires motorists to yield right-of-way to pedestrians walking in marked or unmarked crosswalks. According to the Revised Code of Washington Section 46.61.235 (1): “The operator of an approaching vehicle shall stop and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian or bicycle to cross the roadway within an unmarked or marked crosswalk when the pedestrian or bicycle is upon or within one lane of the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or onto which it is turning. For purposes of this section “half of the roadway” means all traffic lanes carrying traffic in one direction of travel, and includes the entire width of a one-way roadway.”
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A Washington couple was injured in an auto accident after their pickup truck and trailer rolled over on the Interstate 82 near Prosser, Washington. According to a news report in the Yakima Herald-Republic, a 64-year-old man was driving a 2002 Ford pickup towing a 37-foot trailer. He lost control of the vehicle rolling both the pickup and the trailer on the inside shoulder of the highway. The man and his wife both suffered injuries and were taken to the hospital, but it is not clear whether they sustained serious injuries. Both were wearing seatbelts. Washington State Patrol officials say the driver’s inattention may have caused or contributed to this accident as well.

In any rollover auto accident, it is also important to look into whether an auto product defect, design defect or mechanical malfunction may have caused or in any way contributed to the accident. The auto maker or the manufacturer of the defective product could be held liable for the injuries and damages, if so. If a vehicle defect is suspected in an auto accident, it is important to preserve the vehicle so it can be examined carefully for product defects, malfunctions or other evidence. Experienced Seattle personal injury attorneys will almost always suggest that, if possible, photos are taken of the accident in order to document the scene.
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A woman was injured in a Spokane car accident after her vehicles struck a deer on U.S. Highway 2 near Bear Lake, The Spokesman-Review reports. Washington State Patrol officials said the accident occurred at Westwood Avenue after the woman who was driving on the highway hit a deer. The extent of the woman’s injuries is not clear.

According to a recent news report, deer versus vehicle collisions in Washington State have increased by 15 percent just in the last five years. According to statistics released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), there are about 1.5 million deer versus vehicle collisions every year in the United States. These types of auto accidents cause more than 150 fatalities each year and typically occur in the months of October, November and December. In fact, the chance of a vehicle striking a deer is 1 in 516, according to deer claims data from 2007 and 2008 provided by State Farm Insurance.

Any Seattle personal injury lawyer will tell you that these accidents should not be taken lightly. Motorists – be it car drivers or motorcycle riders – should take every possible precaution to avoid deer collisions. Here are a few safety measures you can take to avoid colliding with deer. First, always be aware of deer crossing signs. These are usually placed in active deer areas. When you are traveling at night, be sure to use the high beam to light up the road ahead. Remember, deer are most active between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Also, deer tend to travel in groups or herds. So if you see one, stop, because there may be others following.
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A 44-year-old woman suffered critical injuries in a Washington train accident after her minivan was broadsided at a crossing by a train traveling at 48 mph. According to an Associated Press news report, the woman had just dropped off a child in an elementary school when the accident occurred. She was transported to a local hospital.

According to the Federal Railroad Administration, in 2006 alone, train accidents caused 909 fatalities and 8,244 injuries nationwide. Railroad employees, passengers in other autos at railroad crossings, passengers aboard trains, or pedestrians walking on or near railroad tracks are among those injured in these dangerous train accidents. Sometimes, these collisions happen because of the fault of other drivers. But very often, these accidents occur due to the lack of safety features at these street-level train crossings or when the safety features such as crossbars or lights fail to work at the crossings. These types of accidents could also occur as a result of the train operator’s error.
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Three people sustained injuries in a rear-end car accident on the Highway 502. The accident occurred when an eastbound 2003 Mazda pickup stopped to turn left into a driveway when the vehicle was struck from behind by a Nissan Altima. The driver of the pickup truck sustained head injuries while the other driver and his passenger sustained head and neck injuries. Washington State Patrol blames the accident on speed and inattention and cited the driver of the Nissan Altima for speeding.

Rear-end auto accidents are usually caused as a result of carelessness. However, victims of such accidents are very often left with severe back, neck or head injuries that require continued treatment and medical expenses. Recently, The Bernard Law Firm obtained a $91,000 settlement for a Kirkland Washington woman who was rear-ended in Mill Creek. She was a professional body builder who was forced to quit competitive body building due to neck, back and right wrist strain that required surgery and lengthy hand therapy.
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Jaguar Land Rover North America is recalling 4,001 Land Rover and Range Rover vehicles because of possible airbag defects, which might prevent the front passenger airbag from deploying in the event of a car accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), these affected 2010 Range Rover models may experience airbag lamp illumination on the instrument cluster. The NHTSA report states: “This warning lamp may clear on each subsequent ignition cycle. The passenger airbag will be disabled when the airbag warning lamp is illuminated as a result of this defect and the passenger airbag warning disable lamp in the overhead console will also illuminate.”

The deployment of the passenger side airbag may fail to occur in case of a car accident. This could cause devastating personal injuries and even death to the passenger. When this recall begins, Land Rover dealers will update the vehicles’ restraint control module with the integrated diagnostics system tool with updated software.
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A 58-year old Seattle man was killed in a pedestrian accident after he was struck by a pickup truck while attempting to the cross Benson Highway in an unincorporated area of Kent. According to a news report, the man was not in a crosswalk when he tried to cross the five-lane highway. Washington State Patrol officials said the driver of the 2000 Toyota pickup truck could not stop in time to avoid colliding with the man.

This is apparently the second pedestrian-car collision in the last seven weeks along the Benson Highway. A 22-year-old woman was killed in October when she tried to cross the highway to catch a bus. That pedestrian was not in a crosswalk either. Officials say it is not illegal to cross the highway, but pedestrians must yield right-of-way to vehicles when they are not in a crosswalk. Officials say that pedestrians should use a crosswalk when crossing any street, especially at night time when visibility is greatly reduced.
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Washington State Patrol officials are looking for a driver who they say caused a fatal car accident and then left the scene of the crash in Whatcom County. According to a KGMI news report, the car struck and killed and pedestrian on Blaine Road south of Lynden-Birch bay Road. Witnesses described the car as a dark-colored sedan. Authorities believe that the car may have front-end damage.

Leaving the scene of any traffic accident is a serious crime in Washington State, especially if another individual has been seriously injured or killed. According to the Revised Code of Washington Section 46.52.020: “A driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in the injury to or death of any person or involving striking the body of a deceased person shall immediately stop such vehicle at the scene of such accident or as close thereto as possible but shall then forthwith return to, and in every event remain at, the scene of such accident until he or she has fulfilled the requirements of subsection (3) of this section; every such stop shall be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary.”
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