Auto Safety: Automatic Emergency Braking

Now Available on More Models and Makes

Car Safety Lawyer Nashville
By Tokumeigakarinoaoshima (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

At Stillman and Friedland we make a living by doing our utmost to help people receive fair compensation from traumatic injuries. From the client’s perspective and ours—as we have said numerous times—it is better to avoid accidents than to suffer long-lasting injuries, even with a good lawyer fighting for you.

Today we are passing on some good news about the expanded availability of automatic emergency braking systems, or AEB. (This is not to be confused with an anti-lock braking system, a valuable safety feature which prevents skidding.) In past posts we have extensively discussed smart innovations which improve driving safety. An AEB system uses a vehicle-mounted camera and computer system to detect vehicles, objects, or people in the roadway ahead of the driver. The system will automatically apply the brakes to prevent a collision if the driver fails to do so:

More and more, auto manufacturers are opting to develop or acquire these systems. Manufacturers can then offer advanced safety features as factory-installed options. While they add to the purchase cost of the vehicle, they will probably add to the re-sale value. Obviously, there is no way to put a price tag on the safety value for you and your passengers.

Recently, Consumer Reports published an update on expanded AEB installation in new-model vehicles. As CR points out, a large part of the increase in the availability of high-tech road-scanning systems is due to guidelines from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) which seek to have these systems in place on all new vehicles sold in the U.S. by 2022. The NHTSA, in conjunction with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety developed the installation guidelines. The initial impetus to mandate ABS for all light vehicles came from consumer groups, and the guidelines were in place early last year. However, at the end of last year, a suit was filed by the same consumer groups, arguing that the mandate had no teeth.

As lawyers, we understand that sometimes the only way to get the results you want is to file suit and push the issue. On the other hand, we feel that the demand for and purchase of these systems ultimately rests in the hands of the consumer. We expect that this technology, like other technologies, will only improve and become less expensive with time. The increased use of self-driving vehicles will also ease acceptance of this technology. As cost decreases and new car buyers see a clear benefit to having the AEB system, the market will move closer and closer to 100% installation in all new cars, even without legislation.

Here is another point to take away: Safe driving is also ultimately in the hands of drivers, whether in private or commercial vehicles. These devices are useful in making you a safer driver, but do not mitigate all dangers on the road. In previous posts we have cited the statistics on dangerous driving. Reckless and impaired driving on the part of unlicensed and uninsured drivers is a prime danger on the roads. Most of these drivers are not going to be using the latest technology to prevent crashes. AEB devices are designed to keep you from plowing into something in front of you—but cannot keep someone else from rear-ending or sideswiping you.

Ideally all drivers should drive competently and use the best tools on the market to help them do so. In reality, there are no guarantees when others fail to act responsibly. Ultimately, if you become a victim of reckless driving, your best recourse will be a lawyer who can maximize your financial recovery.

At Stillman and Friedland, our goal is to do our best to get you fair compensation—because we care.

Prescription Drugs Lead to Addiction and Death

Yearly Drug-Related Death Toll Overtakes Road Accident Stats and Peak AIDS Deaths

In a recent post, Stillman and Friedland noted that deaths due to drugged driving have overtaken drunk-driving numbers. In this post, we will take a look at drug deaths overall. Today, drug deaths now outnumber road deaths. In fact, yearly drug death statistics have now surpassed the peak yearly death rate from the AIDS epidemic (51,000), with 52,404 drug deaths in 2015:

Prescription Drugs Overdose

Tennesseans are directly impacted by this lethal wave of addiction and death. We took a look at the statistics available at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to see how our state is affected. From 2014-2015, the death rate in Tennessee jumped 13.8%, one of the U.S.’s higher rates of increase. Total overdose fatalities in 2015 in Tennessee were 1,457, or about 22 deaths per 100,000.

What drugs are causing these deaths? At current rates, you may know already from personal experience, but here the Chicago Tribune lays out the facts:

“Heroin deaths rose 23 percent in one year, to 12,989, slightly higher than the number of gun homicides, according to government data released Thursday.

“Deaths from synthetic opioids, including illicit fentanyl, rose 73 percent to 9,580. And prescription painkillers took the highest toll, but posted the smallest increase. Abuse of drugs like Oxycontin and Vicodin killed 17,536, an increase of 4 percent.”

Americans consume about 80% of opioids manufactured world-wide. Heroin deaths are linked to prescription abuse: 80% of heroin users started out using opioid pain medications which require a doctor’s prescription. We have a problem that we must solve, because at these rates no American will remain untouched.

We hope that the leveling of prescription drug deaths reflects the start of consumer pushback against pill-pushing doctors. However, it is also possible that tightened control over the dispensing of opioid prescriptions has pushed more addicts toward cheaper and easier-to-obtain illegal drugs.

As personal injury attorneys, we have seen that accidents may cause long-term pain and suffering. While we understand that people want pain relief, we have seen that the use of opioids:

• Does not solve the underlying cause of the pain
• Creates its own new and potentially lethal set of problems

We hope that patients and families are becoming more informed and elect to restrict heavy pain medication to the immediate post-trauma period in hospital. If your pain is not manageable with over-the-counter painkillers, you need to go back to your doctor or physical therapist, or get a new one.

Another strategy which you can use in tandem with OTC pain meds is to try an anti-inflammatory diet. Stress-reducing tactics, including gentle exercise like yoga and walking are also beneficial. While pills may be the easy way out, that “out” may become more permanent than you or your loved ones would ever choose.

We work hard to get our clients fair compensation. It is up to the doctors and other health practitioners to work to provide real treatment to help their patients, but patients must also demand better and more comprehensive solutions, not just an opioid prescription that numbs them and may ultimately kill them.

Motorcycle Safety Month Tips and Pointers for Riders

Motorcycle Safety Lawyer
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Motorcycle Safety Month Is Here
Best Pointers for Riders

In a recent post, Stillman and Friedland gave you basic tips on sharing the road with motorcyclists, as well as offering pointers for rainy-weather cycling. In today’s post we will examine more safety basics to keep motorcycle enthusiasts safe on Tennessee’s roads.

Consumer Reports suggests that you choose a motorcycle that fits both your riding skills and your body size. They caution that returning cyclists will find much more power and speed than they expect in smaller models with innovative, performance-boosting technology.

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) has tips for gear as well as rules of the road. Firstly, dress to add a protective layer and protect your skin. Secondly, dress for visibility. While you may feel like riding in a t-shirt and shorts on a hot day, or wearing chic black at night, neither of these choices enhance your safety. These days, protective gear doesn’t have to mean wearing heavy layers of leather during the hot summer months. Many motorcycle outfitters offer strong and breathable clothing that fully covers your arms and legs. Another option is to add body armor that protects you where you want fuller coverage. For example, you may opt for a spine guard, or torso armor. Knee and shin guards are a good idea as well. Remember that one of the biggest problems motorcyclists have is that they are less visible on the road. To add visibility, choose reflector-enhanced clothing and gear for night time use, and bright colors during daylight hours.

Once you are dressed for the road, check out your motorcycle to make sure it is in top riding condition. Only if all technical problems have been taken care of are you ready to hit the road. Don’t forget to check tire safety—make sure your tires are properly inflated, because under-inflated tires mean slower response time. Hand-in-hand with tire upkeep is servicing your braking system. An anti-lock braking system is the latest in braking features, if you are in the market for a new bike.

The last thing you need before you get on your bike is a good helmet and eye protection. If you don’t wear a helmet with a visor, choose safety goggles that will keep bugs and debris out of your eyes. If you have taken a spill on your bike, or you’ve had it for more than five years, it is time to replace your helmet. The helmet is a combination of a hard outer protective shell and a padding liner that absorbs shock. It also reduces wind noise so you can be more alert to your environment. Both visors and safety goggles protect and enhance vision so you can scan the road and anticipate possible changes in traffic and road conditions.

While a helmet is your most important piece of safety gear, follow these tips for your best protection:

• Ride while alert and pro-actively scan the road to avoid accidents.
• Always keep in mind that cars may not be aware that you are sharing the road.
• Keep a safe stopping and avoidance distance so you have more time in case the vehicles ahead of you brake suddenly.
• Check the forecast before you head out. Weather is a major factor in road conditions, and the most dangerous time to be on the road is when rain begins to fall, and oil and and dust combine to make for a slick road surface.

Stillman and Friedland wish you a pleasant and safe summer on the open road!

Drugged Driving Now Causes More Fatalities Than Drunk Driving

Infographic Courtesy: GHSA.ORG

According to the latest available statistics, drugged drivers now comprise the highest number of driver fatalities. Drugged drivers represent 43% of fatalities, as opposed to drunk drivers who represent “only” 38% of fatalities. Together, these DUI cases make up 81% of all driver fatalities, as determined by data amassed from all available drug and alcohol tests for driver fatalities.

As Stillman and Friedland have reported previously in this blog, DUI statistics reflect the population of drivers that do not drive responsibly. The recent change is mostly in the choice of substance used, not in the overall fatality numbers. Nonetheless, it is worth noting that while drunk driving has declined somewhat, largely through the influence of public awareness campaigns, many people still seem to have no problem getting behind the wheel after using one or more drugs. Organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (M.A.D.D.) and Federal and state authorities have done good work in raising awareness of the dangers of drunk driving. As drugged driving has increased, advocacy groups and government have shifted their focus to take on drugged driving as well.

With states considering various forms of legalization, making marijuana more “legitimate” does not translate to better accident rates. In 35.6% of cases, marijuana is the substance found in drugged driver deaths. That translates to more than 15% of total fatalities. No other substance is represented above 10%, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data.

Another challenge, in addition to the growing acceptance of marijuana use, is the challenge of authorities in dealing with the multi-faceted aspects of drugged driving. Law enforcement easily recognizes and detects drunk driving through patterns of behavior and straightforward blood alcohol testing. However, the use of a wide range of substances and varying patterns of response to these drugs challenge law enforcement and require an entirely new set of skills as well as testing procedures. Add to that the fact that many drugged drivers are using more than one substance at a time, and you begin to understand the complexity of the challenge for law enforcement.

It is worth mentioning that a subset of the drugged driving issue is the use and abuse of prescription drugs. In addition to painkillers, other substances, including anti-depressants, can impair your driving skills. If you are taking a new medication, review the side effects and do not drive if the drug impacts your driving.

The challenges of detection in determining drug use may mean that the drugged driving phenomenon is underestimated. Therefore, tests may not detect, and therefore reflect the full number of cases in which drugged driving results in driver fatalities. As we noted in the beginning of this post, the “43% of drivers” fatality statistic is derived from data collected from all available drug and alcohol tests for driver fatalities. While these statistics are probably representative, state-by-state variations in testing results and reporting prevent us from getting a clearer picture of the phenomenon and from seeing the results of marijuana legalization as well.

On the other hand, some argue that substances may show up in blood tests as trace amounts days after use, meaning that their actual influence is negligible. Perhaps the drugged driving phenomenon is overestimated, and we should continue to keep our focus on the role of alcohol? This is M.A.D.D.’s position — focusing on drunk driving while pointing out that drugged driving is also dangerous.

Confused? We think it is important to have a coordinated national approach to drugged driving which would include:

• Standardization of testing and reporting
• Advocacy against drugged driving, whether recreational or prescription use.

The result would be better, more detailed information to use in determining policies for prevention, and public awareness. Anti-drugged driving advocacy should be part of the campaign against drunk driving.

It is abundantly clear that driving while mentally impaired presents a danger not only to drivers, but to everyone on the road. In the meantime, the basics for better safety have not changed:

• Drive sober
• Drive defensively
• Educate kids about the dangers of drunk and drugged driving

Our main challenge is to create awareness and promote responsible use of all substances which impair mental acuity.

Distracted Driving Awareness: Turn Off Phones While Driving

Distracted Driving Lawyer Tennessee

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, in an effort to reduce car accidents and injuries on Tennessee roads. Stillman and Friedland are asking you—have you been reducing distractions while driving? Since so many of us spend hours on the road daily and weekly, we get comfortable using the car as an extension of our living space. However, unlike time at home or in the office, driving requires constant concentration. An AAA poll indicated that these days 80% of drivers feel endangered on the road by others who are driving distracted. This fear has risen with increased use of cell phones. The most distracted and vulnerable are inexperienced teen drivers, who have the highest likelihood of texting and driving.

A study cited by the AAA notes that when switching attention from a non-driving activity back to the road, the “latency” phase may be as long as 27 seconds. What that means is that the driver has effectively relinquished his or her chance to react and avoid an accident. If you are traveling at just 30 mph, you can travel nearly 400 yards in that time. At freeway speeds around 60 mph, the distance is doubled, and a 15-second latency period has about the same effect as that nearly 30 seconds at the slower speed. Those lost seconds represent more than enough time and space to cause an accident. Most accidents happen in much less time—think of an instance in which swerving or braking suddenly kept you from rear-ending the car in front of you. You probably reacted in under 5 seconds.

While phones are major culprits for younger age groups, other behaviors are just as dangerous. Think about these as “non-driving activities”, because anything that you do that is not “just driving” means that the driver is, in effect, absent. As you can imagine, we see many cases where not having those crucial few seconds to react may cause death or months of pain and injury to oneself and others, and may result in criminal charges as well as costs and court time for the negligent defendant.

Have a look at activities that can be deadly and destructive while driving, and see if you need to change your habits:

Distracted Driving Attorney Tennessee
Infograph Credit: dmv.org

All three types of distractions take your focus away from the road. Many non-driving activities involve a combination of different types of distractions. Notice that texting has all three types of distraction, which is why it is so problematic. Shaving or putting on make-up involves both manual and visual distractions. Eating, adjusting your radio or music, and reaching for items in the car take away from your manual operation of the car as well as your visual focus.

Waze and GPS are great for getting you to your destination, but if you keep looking at the device you might not “arrive alive”. Set the device and acquaint yourself with your route before you get going, and follow the voice commands instead of reading the map while driving.
Don’t forget that people are also distracting. Trying to deal with kids acting up is both a visual and a cognitive diversion when you look to see what is going on, and get stressed dealing with squabbles. For teens, fewer passengers in the car mean fewer accidents. Never let your teenager play chauffeur for more than one friend at a time. Statistics consistently show that the more kids there are in the car, the higher the chance that an accident will occur.

The old adage “keep both hands on the wheel” is good advice to keep you in “just driving” mode. Remember that when you are behind the wheel, other activities can wait until you arrive at your destination. Save multi-tasking for when you are not driving. Delegating communications to a passenger is another option.

As personal injury attorneys, our business is helping those who are suffering because of others’ failure to focus on driving safely and responsibly. We urge you to look out for yourself and others not only during April, but all year round.

Because we care…

Stillman and Friedland
Tennessee Accident Attorneys

Why You Need a Car Accident Attorney: Case Basics

Do Insurance Companies Work To Help You?

Car Accident Insurance Tennessee
Public Domain Image: US CBP

As personal injury attorneys, Stillman and Friedland work all the time with insurance companies, negotiating to get the best compensation for their clients. While clients see insurance companies as service providers, it is important to remember:

• Insurance companies make money primarily by receiving premium payments and investing funds, and
• Insurance companies lose money by paying claims.

While the ins and outs of the insurance business are slightly more complex than those two basic statements, this is the reality that all our clients deal with when trying to receive compensation for injuries. Obviously, the insurance companies must provide a service in return for payment, but if they can keep overall claims payments lower, their profits will be that much greater. More money in your pocket means less in theirs.

In most cases, your attorney is trying to get a personal injury settlement from the other party’s insurance company. However, in quite a few cases, a client will be facing his or her own company. How does that work? In cases where a client is injured by a reckless or negligent uninsured driver, and the client had the foresight to purchase uninsured motorist insurance, the attorney will be pursuing a claim against the client’s own insurance company.

Tennessee, as we have discussed in previous posts, is one of the top 10 states for uninsured motorists in the U.S. With 20% of Tennessee motorists illegally driving without car insurance, that means one in five cars on the road carries no insurance. New penalties for driving uninsured introduced at the beginning of 2016 include a tripling of the fine to $300 and having the car impounded. In addition, the new statute makes it a misdemeanor to provide invalid (false or expired) insurance documentation. A new state computer system and compliance requirements for insurance companies will aid police and state troopers so they can verify insurance coverage.

Despite putting more teeth into the laws, we have yet to see any resultant reduction in rates of uninsured driving. Again, as we noted in a previous post, these drivers have higher accident rates, and rarely have assets which could be liquidated to provide compensation in lieu of insurance. This is why we always recommend that clients purchase high-limit uninsured motorist coverage.

While uninsured motorist coverage is your best bet, clients must recognize that they are now in an adversarial position vis-à-vis their own insurance provider. To pursue a successful claim, they must keep the following pointers in mind:

• Allow the attorney to be the sole contact to the insurance company
• Provide honest and complete information about prior injuries
• Use health insurance to cover medical expenses; your attorney can negotiate discounts on bills and increase the amount of the settlement that you keep.
• Seek consistent medical treatment for as long as needed, beginning in the immediate aftermath of the accident, and continuing treatment as recommended by your health care providers.

Remember, an experienced attorney knows your case’s value and the usual rate of financial recovery for your case. At Stillman and Friedland, we are here to offer expert advice and make sure that you get not the minimum insurance companies offer, but the settlement you deserve.

For your reference, we have included the relevant portions of the Tennessee amendments to the law regarding uninsured motorists:

SECTION 3. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 55-12-139(c)(2), is amended by deleting the language “one hundred dollars ($100)” and substituting the language “three hundred dollars ($300)”.

SECTION 4. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 55-12-139(c)(3), is amended by adding the following language as a new subdivision: A violation of subdivision (c)(1) is a Class A misdemeanor [Note: This means the perpetrator may be sentenced to up to one year in prison], if a person acts to demonstrate financial responsibility as required by this section by providing proof of motor vehicle liability insurance that the person knows is not valid.

SECTION 5. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 55-12-139(c), is amended by adding the following language as a new subdivision (4): (4) If the driver of a motor vehicle fails to provide evidence of financial responsibility pursuant to this section, an officer may tow the motor vehicle as long as the officer’s law enforcement agency has adopted a policy delineating the procedure for taking such action.

As always, feel free to contact our office regarding the above information or anything else related to personal injury/auto accident cases. We are here to help.

Because we care…

Getting a Jump on Motorcycle Safety

Motorcyle Accident Lawyer Tennessee
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Stillman and Friedland would like to remind you that May is Motorcycle Safety Month. In this post, we will give you tips to so you can get a head start on sharing the road safely with motorcycle riders. Spring weather brings out more motorcycle enthusiasts as weather conditions improve. Let’s review some basic safety information from the National Safety Council:

While motorcycles are only 3% of total vehicles on the road and less than 1% of total road traffic, motorcyclists accounted for 15% of all traffic deaths and 18% of all occupant deaths in statistics available in recent years. One reason for this is obvious — without the protective shell of a car or truck, riders are directly exposed to collisions. Other reasons for increased fatalities among motorcyclists are higher rates of alcohol consumption and speeding. Older riders are more vulnerable to fatal crashes, and the age of motorcycle riders has gone up as more Baby Boomers continue to enjoy the open road. For other drivers on the road, smaller, less visible motorcycles present a challenge, but excessive speed and delayed or poor response due to intoxication add even more risk.

Your challenges as a driver are:

• Awareness: be prepared to respond to unexpected motorcycle traffic
• Avoid distraction: Keep fully focused on the road
• Check your blind spots before turning or changing lanes
• Observe the rules of the road: Do not violate motorcycles’ right-of-way

Motorcyclists:

While it is still rainy, here are some great pointers for safety and visibility that also apply for better weather:


Video: Competition Accessories

Keep in mind these essential points as you ride more with better weather:

• Always wear a safety-certified helmet
• Keep your headlight on at all times
• Be “road aware” for changing conditions such as potholes, rain or debris
• Never forget that you are barely visible for most drivers; ride to avoid surprising drivers
• If you are coming back to motorcycling, even after a hiatus of several months, carefully review the rules of the road—consider a review course to brush up
Baby Boomers, ride cautiously if you are “new again”. Older riders make up 35% of motorcycle crash fatalities.
• Be sure of your skills and doubly cautious before taking passengers on your bike.

Stillman and Friedland hope that you will take time to review basic road safety with motorcycling in mind. Whether you yourself ride a motorcycle, or are just sharing the road, it is a good idea to keep these precautions in mind and share them with other drivers in your family, especially younger and newer drivers.

Road Safety Innovations for Cyclists

Bicycle Accident Attorney Tennessee
Photo: Bill Branson (Photographer) [Public Domain Image]

Stillman and Friedland hope you are enjoying the increasingly warm weather. Despite spring showers, the pleasant weather between rainy spells draws many Tennesseans out for outdoor activities, including cycling.

In today’s post, we will take a look at cycling safety statistics and technology options for Davidson County. Our county rates second in recent years for injuries and fatalities, while Shelby County has had on average the highest rate of cyclist injuries and fatalities in Tennessee. In 2015, the latest year for which we have statistics, 86 people were injured while riding in Davidson County; thankfully, there were no fatalities.

Personal Responsibility: As we have discussed previously, each and every rider should equip him- or herself with a properly fitting and safety-tested cycling helmet, reflective gear, and a clear understanding of the rules of the road. We cannot stress enough the importance of awareness and watching out for traffic on the part of cyclists and drivers. Failure to do so is the leading cause of cycling accidents.

State and Local Safety Provisions: The state of Tennessee has designated cycling trails, but as noted on the website, “All roads suggested are regular roads of the state, county and city highway systems and are used by trucks and cars with no special lanes provided for bicycles.” Cyclists and drivers should exercise caution in these mixed-use areas.

Bicycle Safety Attorney Nashville
Nashville Public Works
Luckily for residents of Davidson County, the county is moving forward to mark bicycle lanes. Another bonus for cyclists is the insertion of green “Bike Boxes”, an intersection stopping zone for cyclists. A NIH study shows that bicycle lanes have multiple benefits, including safety, personal fitness and reduced pollution. The study found that using resources for “bike lanes are more cost-effective than the majority of preventive approaches used today.”

While bicycle lanes with separation barriers are preferred by cyclists, lane markings are a great start to improve cycling safety. The greater the number of miles installed, the greater the increase of cyclist ridership and its associated benefits. New York City installed 45.5 miles of bicycle lanes and it is projected that the resulting increase in ridership was over 9%.

An Australian study also advocates creating bicycle lanes to “reduce crash risk for cyclists”. The same study also found that improving safety at intersections with solutions and technologies was a major goal for improving road safety. Davidson County’s Bike Box is an infrastructure solution that aims to promote better traffic awareness for both cyclists and drivers.

Other technologies include adding smart signs that read the road and detect cyclists. These smart signs light up when cyclists are detected, alerting drivers to the presence of cyclists on the road.

Stillman and Friedland wish you a healthy and safe start to spring.

Because we care…

Mobileye: New Technology Increasing Road Safety for You

Mobileye
Image by Mobileye via YouTube

Stillman and Friedland always have an eye out for the latest road safety developments, to help prevent road accidents. This week’s big news is the acquisition by Intel of Israeli firm Mobileye, the latest and largest buyout of Israeli hi-tech by a major American firm. In addition, Intel will be moving its automotive division to Israel to further develop vehicle safety systems and driverless technology.

One current commercially-available Mobileye system is a combination product which is an add-on to your car. Powerhouse research and development have yielded technology which uses both alerts and automatic overrides to improve road safety. This product is an initial step in autonomous navigation; the Mobileye acts as a co-pilot to the driver, pointing out dangers on the road.

Mobileye has been marketed in Israel as a product which helps seniors drive better, especially those with limited focus and poor night vision. However, it has multiple features which help all drivers, especially these days when distracted driving has become a major cause of accidents, injury and fatalities. Mobileye is a great tool to prevent collisions. The dash-mounted unit alerts the driver with both visual and audio warnings when:

• You are too close to the car in front of you
• You have exceeded the speed limit (the system actually reads speed limit signs on the road)
• You have drifted out of your lane without signaling a lane change
• Pedestrians bicycles, or motorcycles are in your path
• Also, your high-beam headlights are dimmed automatically when cars approach in the oncoming lane.

Obviously, the capability of Mobileye to “read the road” is essential to hands-free, self-driving car technology. Another feature is the capability to utilize crowdsourced data, similar to Waze traffic information. Combining camera feeds with real-time road conditions data means the system has both reactive and anticipatory capabilities. The self-driving option will be available as factory-installed feature, and auto manufacturers are already working with Mobileye.

Here is what that looks like on the road as Mobileye’s co-founder and CTO sits in the driver’s seat with his hands off the wheel and his eyes off the road as the car goes down the highway.

It looks a bit scary, but we will get used to it, as more and more of these cars will be in use in the next two-to-three years. In the end, removing the human error from driving can make us all safer, and reduce the rate of accidents. Readers of this blog will appreciate that this technology will reduce potentially lethal car and trucks accidents. In fact, we hope the biggest initial use will be by commercial and trucking firms.

Looking ahead for you, Stillman and Friedland wish you safe journeys, wherever you go—no matter who or what is doing the driving.

What Is The Value of a Truck Accident Case?

Truck Accident Lawyer NashvilleIn our three-part truck accident series, Stillman and Friedland offered key information on avoiding accident and injury by steering clear of trucks and hazardous situations. In this post we will examine how to maximize your financial recovery in the unfortunate event that you or a loved one are involved in a truck accident.

In review, two components are essential in pursuing your case successfully. The first, which we covered in a previous post, is experience. For truck accident cases, only an attorney with depth of experience can get you the best financial settlement. An inexperienced attorney may miss getting important data, and that may mean that you get less compensation than you deserve.

The second is speed of acquiring information. Truck accidents differ from car accidents in that driver data are often available in the form of company records, but often these records must be obtained as soon as possible after the collision, before they become difficult to obtain. Such records include data on vehicle maintenance, driver hours, training, and many more details involving safety.

Why is truck driver data so important? In car crashes, financial recovery is generally based on the amount of medical treatment, pain and suffering, and lost wages. In truck crashes, policy limits are higher, and in addition, if improper company compliance with rules and regulations is found to be a factor in the crash, the value of your case could be even higher.

The level of cooperation and early assistance from trucking companies is usually poor, and you will need help with property damage to your car, and a rental car while your car is not drivable, or being repaired.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck crash, our advice based on years of experience, is to immediately find an attorney deeply familiar with these cases.

Stillman and Friedland are committed to act swiftly and compassionately on your behalf and to maximize the financial recovery that you deserve.