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Peoria Personal Injury Law Blog

Recall Issued for Zimmer Biomet Shoulder Implant

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a Class 1 recall for the Zimmer Biomet Comprehensive Reverse Shoulder Humeral. This is the most serious type of recall. It is only issued when continued use of a product poses a risk of serious injury or death.

What to do if your car catches fire

Vehicle fires happen more frequently than you might think. And when they do, serious injuries and death can occur. The National Fire Protection Association notes that in 2015, there were more than 174,000 vehicle fires in the U.S., and these resulted in 445 deaths and 1,550 injuries.

Why is a vehicle fire so dangerous? One of the reasons is the incendiary and explosive potential of gasoline. Just one gallon of gas has as much explosive power as several sticks of dynamite. And just one drop of gasoline on a hot surface can spark a conflagration. In a split second, a car can become a blazing inferno.

Securing cargo the focus of truck inspection blitz

Between June 6-8, according to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, the International Roadcheck inspection blitz will be looking at commercial trucks from Illinois and throughout the country with a focus on cargo securement. These will be North American Standard Level I inspections. These are the most thorough inspections available, and they examine both the truck and the driver. While cargo securement is already a part of them, the hope is that the additional emphasis will bring truck drivers' attention to its importance.

The CVSA has also released a list of tips for greater security that drivers can use. It suggests inspecting tie-downs for damage and ensuring that cargo is secured.

Autonomous cars and product liability

Illinois motorists may have heard that autonomous cars will eventually replace vehicles that are driven by people. This will lead to changes across a number of industries including automobile insurance. While drivers are usually liable in accidents when they are negligent, with self-driving cars, the focus will shift to manufacturers, contractors and software developers.

For example, accident investigations, which currently look at issues such as whether a driver was careless or ran a red light, may instead look at software failures or whether safety technology worked as it should have. Autonomous vehicles may be vulnerable to tampering by hackers, and this could also result in accidents.

Remote control tech could let truck drivers drive from home

Technology companies are working hard to make autonomous trucking viable. If successful, trucks traveling the highways of Illinois might be operated by truckers based at home or in an operations center. The co-founder of one such company, Starsky Robotics hopes to improve working conditions for truckers and allow them to enjoy more time at home.

Starsky Robotics has been developing its remote control system to overcome the challenges faced by autonomous vehicles when navigating the final mile to delivery a load. A remotely based driver could steer a truck into a terminal using data sent from cameras and sensors installed on the autonomous truck. The company's co-founder described it as a boring video game for operators.

Complacency among drivers may contribute to rising crash rate

The chief executive of the National Safety Council discussed the rising roadway fatality rates at a press conference on Feb. 15. According to an estimate from the advocacy group, the number of traffic deaths in Illinois and across the U.S. surged to 40,200 in 2016. This was the first time the rate has gone above 40,000 since 2007.

The stronger economy and affordable gasoline prices are believed to have contributed to the trend of rising fatality rates, according to NSC. However, the chief executive says that last year's 6 percent rise in deaths cannot be fully rationalized by only a 3 percent rise in miles traveled by U.S. drivers. NSC survey findings suggest that complacency on the part of motorists could be an additional factor in the upward trend.

What to do when you are in a car accident

Car accidents are a fact of life. No one likes to think about them, but they happen. If you drive enough, it is very likely that you will wind up in at least one at some point during your driving career. The key to handling the situation well and getting back on your feet again is knowing what to do when disaster strikes. That way, you have a plan from the moment of impact, and you also know how to access legal help and other resources to help you recover costs related to the crash.

Drivers report dangerous behavior behind the wheel

Illinois drivers in the 19-to-24 age group may be among the most dangerous drivers although people in all age groups admit to dangerous driving behaviors according to a survey by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. However, in some cases, millennials were twice as likely as other age groups to say that certain dangerous driving behaviors were acceptable or to engage in those behaviors themselves. For example, 12 percent of millennials versus 5 percent of other age groups said that it was acceptable in a school zone to drive 10 mph above the speed limit.

The study also found that across all age groups, what people believed did not necessarily reflect how they behaved behind the wheel. For example, nearly all the drivers surveyed agreed that going through a red light when they could have stopped was unacceptable. However, 35 percent said in the previous month, they had run a red light. More than 78 percent said that it was unacceptable to read a text or email while driving, but about 40 percent said they had done so in the past month.

Study finds truckers with poor health more apt to crash

Illinois residents who drive a truck for a living or who know someone who does might be interested in a study that showed how the risk of accidents quadruples for commercial truck drivers who have three or more health issues, compared with healthier ones. The study was conducted at the University of Utah School Of Medicine.

Researchers involved in the study took into account several factors regarding commercial truck drivers. Examining the medical records belonging to roughly 50,000 commercial truck drivers, they found that of that amount, more than a third had at least one health problem linked with poor driving skills, including diabetes, lower back pain and heart disease. The researchers then considered the crash history of the truck drivers and learned that those suffering with at least three flagged medical conditions were more prone to have been involved in an accident.

Truck driver training rule delayed

Illinois drivers may be interested in learning that a truck driver training rule that was set to go into effect on Feb. 6 was delayed by the Trump administration. The agency responsible for implementing the rule has postponed its effective date until March 21 so that it could be reviewed, potentially delaying it even further.

The rule would require people applying for commercial driver's licenses, or CDLs, to take a core class curriculum taught by certified trainers listed on a national registry. In addition to the class curriculum, trainees would also have to undergo behind-the-wheel training, though there is no minimum requirement. The first draft of the rule did include a 30-hour minimum, but this provision was removed from the rule's final draft. The national registry would still have to be established, and once it is, trainees would only be able to receive their CDLs by taking classes taught by trainers that are listed on the registry.

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