NTSB Urges Auto Safety Technologies Be Made Standard on All Vehicles

The increasing use of auto safety technology has appropriately been credited for lowering the number of persons being killed in accidents across the country. Now, the National Transportation Safety Board has joined Fremont car accident lawyers and safety groups in calling for these safety technologies to be made standard equipment on all vehicles.

The National Transportation Safety Board’s call came during a news conference recently, where the Board released its annual Most Wanted list of safety improvements. Every year, the Board releases a wish list of safety improvements that it wishes to see in several fields, including transportation, and pipeline and workplace safety.

This year, most of the items on the list are related to highway safety. The list features a federal mandate that would require auto safety technologies like lane departure warning systems, adaptive cruise control and other technologies to be made standard equipment in all passenger vehicles as well as commercial vehicles. The Board is looking not just at lane departure warning systems and collision warning systems, but also at speed limiting technologies and tire pressure monitoring devices.

The National Transportation Safety Board’s wish list for 2013 also includes measures that would end distractions while driving. The Board correctly acknowledges that it is coming across an increasing number of accidents and near-miss incidents caused by distracted motorists, truck drivers, bus drivers as well as pilots.

The Board wants these technologies to be made mandatory, because that would automatically result in a drop in their cost. When technologies become more easily available, they become cheaper and more accessible to the public. As more motorists drive vehicles that come with these safety technologies, it will translate into a reduction in the number of accidents, and more lives saved per year.

Judge Grants Class-Action Status to Costco Discrimination Lawsuit

A judge has granted class-action certification status to a gender discrimination lawsuit against Costco Wholesale Corporation. The lawsuit alleges that the company engaged in gender-based discriminatory practices.

The lawsuit, which has been filed by 3 female employees of Costco, says that the promotion system at the company is designed to affect women negatively. Women who seek promotions to the positions of general manager and assistant general manager find that they are not encouraged to apply for these positions, because these positions are not posted to them.

California employment lawyers believe that this lawsuit comes as a disappointment to Costco, which had been relying heavily on the fact that the Supreme Court threw out the Wal-Mart gender discrimination case in 2011. Last year, the US Supreme Court ruled that there were simply too many women involved in the Wal-Mart case to be included in a class action case. The Costco lawsuit was put on hold until the decision in the Wal-Mart case came.

Last year, a federal appeals court had ruled that the lawyers for the Costco workers had to follow the standard set in the Wal-Mart ruling. The lawyers then came back with a new proposal that would limit the number of employees in the class action to those who sought promotion to assistant general manager and general manager positions.

A US District judge in San Francisco has now decided to grant class-action certification to the Costco case. According to the ruling, the company seems to offer many explanations for the kind of gender disparity that the plaintiffs are accusing it of, but none of these explanations challenge the fact that these policies are in effect across the company, and have a negative effect on women who seek promotion.

Study Shows Drowsy Driving Risks Underestimated

The findings of new research released by the National Safety Council finds that drowsy driving continues to remain an underestimated cause of fatal accidents among young drivers. These drivers are aware of the dangers of driving under the influence, but seem to treat similar risks with drowsy driving, very casually.

The researchers analyzed the responses of young drivers below the age of 30, to the risks of driving under the influence and driving while sleepy. They found that while most of the young motorists in the study were very aware of the dangers of driving under the influence, and the high risks of accidents involving the use of alcohol, they believe that driving under the influence of fatigue was actually understandable. In other words, while drunk driving was a complete no-no, drowsy driving was tolerable.

Those findings are quite disturbing to Fremont car accident attorneys, because both drowsy driving and drunk driving contribute to accidents involving young drivers. Additionally, young drivers may be at a much higher risk of sleep-deprivation compared to older drivers. In fact, according to the study, drivers of this age group who took long highway trips were much more likely to be sleep deprived than drivers in other age groups.

Part of the reason for this casual attitude towards drowsy driving is the lack of initiatives to target the dangers of driving while fatigued. While there are several campaigns targeting seat belt use and drunk driving, there are few initiatives aimed at encouraging motorists to put off driving if they are sleepy. That is why you have so many drivers who believe that it is okay to drive while they’re close to dozing off, even though they believe that it is not okay to drive after you’ve had a few drinks.

Trials Promise New Hope for Spinal Cord Injury Victims

California car accident lawyers and families of persons who have suffered a spinal cord injury can look forward to a series of new spinal cord injury trials that are expected to begin in the month of September.

The trials will use transplanted nerve cells from other sites of the person’s body, in order to help coax the injured neurons to grow. The Food and Drug Administration recently approved the trials. This the first time that trials like these are being conducted anywhere in the world.

The trials are the result of nonstop work by the Miami Project to cure Paralysis, a foundation that was established by NFL Hall Of Famer Nick Buoniconti and his injured son, Marc. Marc suffered severe spinal cord injury during a football game in 1985, and has since been completely paralyzed. However, his foundation has continuously pushed for these trials.

Recently, Miami Project to cure Paralysis doctors announced that they had received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to begin phase 1 clinical human trials. The trials will involve a new technique in which nerve cells from the leg of the patient will be transplanted into the injured site. The researchers believe that the transplanted nerve cells will coax the injured neurons to grow, restoring some sensation function to the legs. For a person to be eligible for the trial, he must have recently been injured, and must have suffered a spinal cord injury that has left him with no sensation or movement in his lower limbs.

Obviously, it is a little too early to get very excited about these trials. The trials are basically phase 1 clinical trials and will mainly focus on understanding how safe these techniques are, rather than how effective they will be. However, there is reason to hope that the trials will yield substantial successes as they proceed.

New Website for John N. Kitta & Associates

We have launched this new version of our website for John N. Kitta & Associates.

Our new site includes valuable information on many legal topics, including:

Although our new site may have more bells and whistles, we want to assure you that we haven’t changed how we do business.

  1. We will never take your case for granted and we will always be transparent about legal fees.
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For the legal representation you need, call (510) 797-7990 to speak with your Alameda County Attorney John N. Kitta.

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