New Texas Law to Prevent Children From Being Left in Hot Cars

baby boy inside of a car

This summer three kids in Texas alone have passed away after being left in a hot car. This is more than any other state and lawmakers are, thankfully, working on changing that.

It is a matter of minutes in the Texas heat for the inside of your car to reach temperatures that are 150 degrees or higher, and a child left inside can very easily suffer heatstroke and die. Data from KidsandCars.org says that on average, 38 kids per year die when they either get into cars on their own and can’t get out, or they are left in cars.

This is such a preventable situation and one that we must overcome. Pediatricians are now reminding moms and dads about the dangers of leaving your kids in the car and educating them on what can happen if they do. Texas law has now made it a requirement that hospitals, birthing centers and midwives share this information with parents who are taking their newborn babies home.

Admittedly, though, it is up to the parents to do the right thing and make the right choice. All parents are urged to avoid this mistake. Take them with you, it’s that simple. Visit KidsandCars.org to learn some tips that will help you remember not to leave your child in the car.

Click here for safety tips to ensure your child is not left in a hot car.

 

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How to Find Out Automatically if Your Car Has Been Recalled

Find Out if Your Automobile has Been Recalled

This past year and the first half of 2015 have been riddled with automobile recalls, especially the enormous Takata airbag recall that continues as we speak.

The following article reminds us all how important it is to keep up with these recalls to keep ourselves and our families safe. It also directs you to a program that will automatically let you know first-hand if your car has been recalled. Check it out yourself, it’s pretty neat!

An Easy Way to Keep Track of Your Vehicle’s Recalls

 

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How to Stay Safe Driving in Flood Waters

How to Drive Safely in Flood Waters

Texas has sure seen its share of rain and flash flooding this past month, and many of us are not used to dealing with flood waters. I thought this would be a great time to share some important flood safety information that you can use to keep your family safe if you venture onto the roadways.

The first thing you need to do when you hear of a flash flood in the area is move to higher ground and avoid drainages and low spots. Almost half of flash flood fatalities occur when people are in their vehicles. Avoid being in your vehicle if at all possible during flood warnings.

If you are in a vehicle navigating through flooded road, never ever attempt to drive through a flooded roadway. Maybe you’ve seen the signs on our highways that say, “Turn around, don’t drown”. It is important to heed these warnings.

Water often is much deeper than it may look because it may not be possible to see below the surface of the water to recognize that the roadway has been washed away. It only takes one to two feet of water to carry your car over the edge. Here are some other important factors to consider when you’re dealing with driving in flood waters:

  • Only six inches of water will reach the bottom of most cars and cause a loss of control and a possible stall.
  • Only one foot of water will float vehicles.
  • Two feet of rushing water will carry away most vehicles, including SUV’s and trucks.
  • Never drive around a barricade because it is there for a good reason, possible to save your life. Turn around and go the other direction.
  • Do not take short cuts or back roads. Always stick to designated evacuation routes if in place.
  • Avoid driving at night during flash floods or when areas are flooded. It is very difficult to recognize the dangers in the dark.

Of course, avoid driving while under flash flood watches or inclement weather is present. There is no destination that is important enough to reach worth risking your life. Hopefully we have seen the worst flooding come to an end here in Texas. If not, though, I hope these tips come in handy.

source: kdvr.com

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Breaking News: Takata Airbag Recall Expanded by Millions

a broken windshield in an accident, a car airbag

Japan’s three largest carmakers announced Wednesday that they are expanding an already huge global automobile recall as a result of deadly airbags made by Takata.

For months, this defective airbag issue has brewed in the auto industry as automakers search for the reason that the airbags can explode violently, seriously injuring and killing passengers by exploding shrapnel throughout the car cabin.

Wednesday’s announcement raises the number of vehicles being recalled to roughly 31 million worldwide since 2008. The Takata recalls top the largest U.S. recall list thus far.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is expected to announce soon “significant new steps” related to accelerating Takata recalls. Many automobile owners are having to wait to have their air bags replaced due to a shortage of parts from the manufacturer.

To learn more about the massive Takata air bag recall, read:

Toyota and Nissan Recall 6.5 Million More Vehicles Over Takata Airbags (NYTimes)

Japan’s three top carmakers to expand Takata air bag recalls by millions (Reuters)

Honda, Daihatsu add 5 million cars to Takata airbag recall (Automotive News)

To find out if your car is included in the recalls, visit safecar.gov.

 

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46 Million Used Recalled Cars Sold Without Being Fixed

Used Car Dangers

I read some alarming news today that you need to be aware if you are thinking about or currently driving a used car. More than 46 million used cars (one-fifth total) on the roadways in the United States have been recalled, but have never been repaired (According to a study by Carfax).

These unfixed flaws are serious enough to cause major injuries and even death.

To find out why, and if your car may be dangerous, read the Washingtonpost.com’s report on the issue.

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Important Updates on Takata Airbag Recall

Kay Van Wey fights for rights of those injured by Takata Airbags

A class action lawsuit has been filed against the Takata Corporation and Honda Motors. In this suit, plaintiffs allege that the companies covered up data and defects and allowed millions of vehicles to hit the roadway with defective airbags inside.

One of the biggest problems with the airbags is that they seem to have a design flaw that allows humidity and moisture to enter the airbag system. Since airbags use chemicals like ammonium nitrate within them, the moisture can cause critical damage that leads to an airbag explosion. The ammonium nitrate allows the airbags to inflate right away in an accident, but the defective airbags are far more dangerous, and many people may not discover this until it’s too late.

The injuries that occur from being hit with shrapnel can be devastating. These are in addition to injuries suffered from an actual crash alone. This explosion may cause both short and long term injuries, and the products have also caused fatal wounds. This is the latest in a string of recalls plaguing the auto manufacturing industry.

Government officials and agencies are attempting to crack down on the problem by exploring supposed issues sooner and making it clear that hiding information about defective products is not acceptable.

Millions of vehicles were impacted by the recent recall regarding airbags that had the potential to explode and impale drivers and passengers with shrapnel in a crash. An official lawsuit was filed in November of 2014. The lawsuit outlines attempts by the airbag manufacturors to keep the alleged defects a secret from government agencies. The lawsuit also alleges something even more troubling, however. Plaintiffs to the case believe that employees were actually instructed to destroy evidence related to defects in the airbags.

Airbags, which are a primary safety feature in vehicles, can become deadly when they don’t operate properly. The Takata airbags were installed into vehicles made by at least 10 different manufacturers, and are believed to be responsible for serious injuries. Instead of working as they are supposed to, these airbags send metal and plastic pieces flying inside the cabin of the car. According to the lawsuit, airbag makers knew about the problems with the airbags dating back to 2004 but failed to do anything about them. Meanwhile, lives have been altered forever, and some even lost.

At present, it’s not known exactly how many people have been impacted by injuries as a result of the airbags, but the defective products have been linked to at least four deaths and 30 injuries. If your vehicle is listed in the recall, you need to take action quickly so that you don’t run the risk of being seriously injured in a car accident because of the airbags.

Take your vehicle to your dealership as soon as possible if you realize that you may have the deadly airbags inside. You may want to seek the counsel of a Takata airbag attorney if you or a loved one have sustained serious injury from one of these defective devices.

 

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Common Car Accident Injuries that Can Be Prevented

Common car accident injuries can be prevented

photo credit: trp0 via photopin cc

A passenger should also learn how to cover and protect their face and head in the event that an accident does happen. Instinctively moving hands to cover the face and wrap the head, as if your arms were a helmet, may also deflect some of the impact from the accident and avoid a more serious injury.

source: CarsDirect.com

Perhaps the most obvious way to prevent injuries while riding in a vehicle is to wear your seatbelt, though many people still opt out of this. While in your vehicle, you can insist that your passengers wear their seatbelts, and this can be very beneficial.

When seatbelts are not worn, many types of serious injuries can be avoided. To find out more about the most common preventable injuries that occur to the face, brain, neck, back and lower extremeties, observe the safe practices shared at the above link.

With the most common cause for motor vehicle accidents being distracted driving, please place special emphasis on putting down electronic devices while driving, and pay close attention to the task at hand…driving. Be sure to grab my free resource in the form of a book she has authored Ultimate Guide to Texas Car Accidents. As always, do your part to stay safe out there!

Kay Van Wey shares tips for those involved in a car accident.

 

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Tips for Staying Safe on the Roadways this Winter

Kay Van Wey provides safety tips for driving on Texas roadways this winter.

During the winter the chances of getting into an automobile accident increase dramatically as a result of poor weather conditions. Awareness and education are the first steps for helping to reduce the number of dangerous accidents that happen across Texas roads in the winter.

Accidents More Likely to Happen in Winter

According to research from the Federal Highway Administration, nearly one fourth of all car accidents that happen during the year are caused in full or in part by poor weather conditions.

In addition to substandard weather conditions, an increase in holiday parties and people drinking and driving on the roads make this time of year especially dangerous for other drivers, passengers, bicyclists, and even pedestrians. Especially when it comes to drinking and driving, individuals who partake in this kind of activity become a risk to themselves and others.

All too often, the few seconds of a car accident can alter an individual’s life forever.

Safety Tips for Staying Safe on Texas Roads

The following are several tips to keep in mind as you venture out this winter on the roadways. Increased knowledge among Texas drivers can help to reduce the number of people who are hurt and killed on roadways every winter. Keep these tips in the back of your mind and share them with any newer drivers in the family, especially teenagers:

  • If roads are icy, avoid venturing out if at all possible. If you must, drive slowly and beware of black ice that is not visible from the driver’s seat. Never slam on your brakes while driving on ice.
  • Plan your trips during the day, when daylight helps increase visibility on the roads. Driving at night can increase your chances of being involved in a car accident significantly.
  • Schedule breaks during long car trips. Getting tired or distracted behind the wheel can be dangerous for those in your car and those sharing the road with you.
  • Check weather conditions if you are traveling to other states or regions. Make sure that your car is prepared to handle any weather conditions in those areas.
  • Verify that you have properly maintain your own vehicle before getting on the road. One easy example is and keeping your tires properly inflated. When a tire is underinflated or overinflated, your car becomes more difficult to handle and you instantly increase your chances of having a blowout. Changes in temperature can alter tire pressure, so check your tire pressure often.
  • Don’t engage in speeding or other reckless driving behavior. The roads are already dangerous enough during the winter, so monitor your speed and don’t take any chances with your safety.

If we are all a bit more careful this winter, serious injuries can be avoided. With distracted driving being the epidemic it has become, chances of an automobile accident occurring are increased significantly. Do your part by heading the warnings and following the safety precautions above.

photo credit: 3,000,000+ views Thank You! via photopin cc

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Child Passenger Restraint Laws Decrease Death Rate

Evidence shows that more children are buckled up as a result of child restraint laws. Still, we need to do more. There are still children who are not buckled who are seriously injured or lose their lives in car accidents. This is entirely preventable…

Here’s a video that reveals some statistics on the number of children dying in car accidents. This is one of the leading causes of death among children…

I urge you to make sure that you are always buckled in and that your children are as well.

Distracted driving is also dangerous for you and those around you.  Please take a moment and visit Just Put it Down to pledge to put your cell phone away when you’re driving. This is an epidemic…Don’t become a statistic!

For more information about what to do if you are seriously injured in an automobile accident, grab Kay Van Wey’s free resource, Ultimate Guide for Texas Car Accident Victims.

If you or your child become seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident because of the negligence of another, call Van Wey Law for a free consultation and support during a difficult time. We are here to help.

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Think Twice Before Buying a Minicar

You might want to think twice before investing in a small car to save on fuel bills, unless you are willing to risk your safety, studies show.

Cars Not Making the Grade

The Institute for Highway Safety examined 11 new minicars. Out of these 11, ten failed the trade group’s challenging new Overlap Front Test. This simulates the type of crash that happens in the real world of driving. The only small car that that just barely passed was the Chevrolet Spark. A spokesperson for IIHS believes that…

“These tiny vehicles are the worst performing group of any evaluated so far.”

This means that the Chevy Spark is the only minicar that has earned the 2014 Top Safety Pick award. This specific new crash test demonstrates what would happen if the front corner of your vehicle collided with another car or object. Vehicles that are small and lightweight are definitely at a safety disadvantage. The minicar group is just not performing as well as the other vehicle categories in the small overlap crash test.

Bigger Isn’t Always Better

However, even the category of cars one size up from these only passed 5 out of 17 models successfully. A number of larger vehicles have had difficulty passing the crash test launched in 2012. The midsize Toyota Camry has had the Top Safety Pick and its ratings revoked in recent months. Manufacturers are racing to meet the standards of additional bracing to the front of these vehicles.

Not quite so easy, though, to add additional weight to the smallest of cars…This makes them less cost effective and can throw performance off.

Even Chevy Spark Deemed Unsafe

Even with the Chevy Spark’s “acceptable” rating, the IIHS noted it still does not protect as well as a larger and heavier vehicles with a comparable rating. None of these minicars offer front crash prevention to warn the driver of a potential crash.

Life is not worth saving on fuel, though times are tough economically for many. A few more years of development are likely needed before a driver can feel safe in a minicar. With distracted driving such a prevalent problem, this combination is a death risk.

Before you decide to buy a small, fuel saving car, do your research on the safety of it. The research may be well worth your time and your life.

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