Category Archives: Product Liability

What Is Crashworthiness?

Every car manufacturer has certain safety standards that their cars must meet in order to be sold on the market. One of the most commonly tested safety standards is called crashworthiness, which refers to the ability of a structure to protect its occupants upon impact.

How Is Crashworthiness Determined?

The two main aspects of crashworthiness are structure and restraint. A quality structure has several parts. First, there needs to be a strong occupant compartment that will protect passengers from being crushed. Second, vehicles need to have crumple zones, where the force of impact can be absorbed by crushing parts of the vehicle other than the occupant compartment. Third, vehicles need to have a strong side structure that can manage the force exerted from a side impact. Lastly, a quality structure includes a strong roof. A strong roof should not collapse, especially in the case of a vehicle rollover.

Vehicle restraints also play an important role in bolstering the crashworthiness elements mentioned above. Seatbelts and airbags can greatly reduce the severity of car accident injuries and even prevent death. Seatbelts have been legally required in all cars since 1968, and it is estimated that seatbelts save 15,000 lives each year.

Crash Testing

Vehicles undergo extensive crash testing to determine their crashworthiness. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests frontal crash protection, side crash protection, restraint systems, rollover, and child safety, among others, to categorize vehicles into four crashworthiness safety categories: good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration also tests vehicles for crashworthiness and assigns star ratings on a one-to-five numerical scale, with five stars indicating the highest possible safety rating. Through the New Car Assessment Program, consumers can compare the crashworthiness ratings of different vehicles to ensure they make an informed decision before buying a car.

Auto Products Liability Attorneys

When a vehicle fails to adhere to safety standards, it can cause devastating injuries and even death. Roof crush, side impact, and restraint failures are all ways a vehicle can fail to keep its occupants safe. If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident, you need the experienced attorneys at Craft Law Firm to evaluate the incident and to determine whether your car failed to meet mandatory industry safety standards, causing your injuries. Call us today for a free consultation.

Share Button
Posted in Product Liability | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Honda Pilot, Other Midsize SUVs Fail Crash Test

Only two out of nine midsize SUVs evaluated earned a good rating in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) small overlap front crash test. The small overlap test replicates a front-end motor vehicle collision with another vehicle or an object such as a tree or utility pole. In the test, 25 percent of a vehicle’s front end on the driver’s side strikes a rigid barrier at 40 mph. [READ MORE]

Share Button
Posted in Product Liability | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Combi Child Seats Recalled

Three models of Combi child seats are being recalled due to failure to comply with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for strength requirements.  The harness webbings on the affected models fail to meet the minimum breaking strength requirements.  During an accident, your child may not be adequately restrained.  [READ MORE]

Share Button
Posted in Product Liability | Tagged | Leave a comment

Michelin Recalls 1.3 Million Tires

One of the largest tire manufacturers in the world, Michelin North America Inc., announced Saturday it is recalling 1.3 million tires — including some used on Ford Motor Co. trucks — after receiving reports of tread separation causing rapid air pressure loss that could lead a driver to lose control of the vehicle and even result in a crash. The tire recall includes tires in use throughout the United States. [READ MORE]

Share Button
Posted in Product Liability | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Holiday Auto Travel Safety Tips

The Thanksgiving holiday is among the busiest long-distance travel periods of the year. During the six-day Thanksgiving travel period, the number of long-distance trips increases by 54%. 43 million people are expected to travel 50 miles or more this holiday and 91% travel by car or other personal vehicle, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. [READ MORE]

Share Button
Posted in Product Liability | Tagged | Leave a comment

Bridgestone Recalls 1.2 Million Truck and Bus Tires

Bridgestone has voluntarily recalled 1.2 million truck and bus tires.  The Japanese-made tires are suspected to have abnormalities in the inner liners that could cause slow leaks and tire failures.

A recall in Japan was announced November 7, 2013. The next day, Bridgestone announced that 2,600 of these recalled tires had been sold in Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, and Guam. [READ MORE]

Share Button
Posted in Product Liability | Tagged , , | Leave a comment