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Man dies in four-vehicle accident on the Beltline Overpass

Posted on Friday, April 3rd, 2015   

The Paducah Police Department in Kentucky has reported that 41-year-old local Jose Posadas has lost his life on Monday, March 16 at a Nashville, Tennessee hospital after being involved in a four-vehicle accident on the Beltline Overpass.

According to preliminary investigations of police and eyewitness accounts, Posadas was heading west on the Beltline Overpass and had been weaving in and out of the centerline in his van when he collided with an oncoming Jeep Wrangler. A pickup truck then crashed into a sport utility vehicle after trying to avoid the collision between Posadas’ van and the Jeep Wrangler; the truck came to rest on top of the SUV.

Those involved were rushed to a local hospital. Posadas died in the accident. The conditions of those driving the Jeep Wrangler and the SUV have not been released. The fourth driver, who had been operating the pickup, was not harmed in the incident.

Tennessee Dept. of Transportation uses quips to warn drivers

Posted on Monday, December 8th, 2014   

Tennessee drivers were given a small request by officials from the state Department of Transportation: “Keep your eyes on the road and your head out of your apps,” the Tennessean reported on November 14.

Around 60 digital interstate designs all over Tennessee display different messages to motorists using the highways, informing drivers about recent accidents, road conditions, and special events that may cause traffic to be congested.

The signs also post driving tips and values such as wearing seat belts, avoiding drinking while driving, and preventing distracted driving.

Some displays, including those that tell of traffic fatalities within the state, sparked debates regarding the appropriateness of the program. The recent figures are usually posted on a Friday, confronting motorists who use the highways for long trips back and forth.

If you have been the victim of a personal injury accident, such as motor vehicle crashes, product defects, or unsafe premises in Tennessee, our attorneys at Pohl & Berk, LLP, may be able to fight on your behalf. Call our offices today at (615) 277-2765 to begin taking action.

Honda failed to report more than 1700 injuries

Posted on Wednesday, November 26th, 2014   

A recent audit revealed that Honda failed to report 1729 injuries or deaths directly related to design flaws or manufacturing errors in their vehicles, Car and Driver reported on November 25.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began requiring mandatory accident reports in 2000 to increase oversight and to potentially identify any distressing patterns of performance failures. Honda only reported 900 incidents from 2003 to 2014. The executive vice president of Honda attributed the underreporting to a data entry error, noting that the 1729 missing case reports did not have dates entered in the appropriate field. However, some critics like Allan J. Kam, a former NHTSA lawyer, believe this to be an intentional and systematic cover-up.

Honda will likely face severe fines, especially in light of other recent, high-profile reporting mismanagements. Like Honda, GM, Takata, and Trinity Industries have been accused of covering up major safety concerns regarding faulty ignition switches, airbags, and guardrail heads, respectively.

Tire blow outs proving fatal to uninformed drivers

Posted on Thursday, November 20th, 2014   

Many drivers are completely unaware of the condition that their tires are in or how to examine this. Tires in poor condition are, unfortunately, at high risk for blowing out, a roadway emergency that can be fatal if a driver doesn’t handle the situation properly. If a driver is traveling at high speeds and has a tire blow out, they are instantly thrown into one of the most dangerous and deadly situations a driver can face. In fact, around 535 people die each year in the 2,000 tire blow out accidents that occur annually.

However, what is more concerning is how uninformed drivers are when it comes to safely responding to a tire blow out. A driver’s natural instinct is often to slam on the brakes and jerk the steering wheel, which can quickly lead to a devastating accident.

In order to safely handle a front tire blow out, a driver should focus on maintaining their speed, keeping a solid grip on the wheel, steering in the direction of the failed tire, and then braking once they have stabilized the car. Once the car is stabilized, the driver should pull to the side of the road when it is safe to do so.

In order to avoid these dangerous accidents, however, drivers are encouraged to take all available precautions to prevent a blow out in the first place. As such, drivers are encouraged to replace tires when they become worn or are too old, and should make sure to always maintain safe tire pressure.

SUV collision with semi-truck killed two teens, injured two

Posted on Monday, November 17th, 2014   

Two teenagers were killed while two others were seriously wounded when the SUV they rode in was struck by an oncoming semi-truck, WKRN-TV Nashville reported on November 3.

According to preliminary investigations made by the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the teenagers were headed northbound on Highway 109 when they tried to turn left at the flashing yellow light on the Old State Highway. The driver of the oncoming semi-truck, who was not injured, said it was too sudden for him to stop, and their vehicles collided.

Passengers 16-year-old Austin Osborne and 16-year-old Kayla Perdue were killed instantly upon contact. The 16-year-old driver, Justin Lemmonds Jr., and passenger 17-year-old Caitlyn Taylor were both taken to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center for treatment of their injuries.

Police authorities concurred with the driver of the semi-truck that the accident appeared to be unavoidable.

All four students were part of the Portland High School bowling team, and the school is currently grieving the deceased.

Fatalities continue to rise from defective Takata airbags

Posted on Friday, November 14th, 2014   

Amid civil and criminal investigations, Honda has disclosed a fifth death caused by metal shrapnel from an exploding Takata airbag, this time in Malaysia. The unnamed woman died July 27 while driving a 2003 Honda City compact car. Honda found out a month later and reported it to the Japanese government on Sept. 10 but didn’t publicly release the information in the United States until this week. It’s the first acknowledged death outside the United States, prompting an expanded recall of 170,699 vehicles in several countries around the world. So far, about 14 million vehicles have been recalled worldwide, including 11 million in the U.S.

News of the latest death follows revelations by two former Takata employees that Takata conducted secret tests on the airbags in 2004—four years earlier than it has said it first conducted tests—after learning of an Alabama woman injured by a ruptured airbag. The employees told the New York Times that Takata’s vice president for engineering, Al Bernat, requested they retrieve 50 airbags from scrapyards for tests done after hours with only key personnel involved. Inflators in two of the airbags cracked and seemed on the verge of exploding. The whistleblowers say engineers were so alarmed they immediately began developing prototypes to fix what they thought was a welding issue. But three months later, they were ordered to stop their work and destroy all data and videos related to the tests. They were also told to throw the tested airbags in the trash. Bernat explained away the results, saying the two ruptured inflators came from vehicles that had been exposed to weather that corrupted them.

Takata has danced around since the world learned of the defective airbags. It has claimed that its problems with the propellant that fuels its inflators were fixed by the early 2000s, but documents show the company continued to be plagued by quality control problems in the late 2000s, and some consumer complaints involve vehicles as new as model year 2010. Many of the recalls focus on vehicles in areas with high humidity, but all vehicles are sometimes exposed to humidity. Takata hasn’t even given a concrete reason for why the inflators rupture—at varying times, it has blamed excessive internal pressure, two different propellant manufacturing processes, and exposure to moisture.

Honda, which has been quietly recalling vehicles since 2008, has also provided shifting answers to what it knew and when. The automaker dismissed the 2004 Alabama incident as an anomaly and didn’t report it to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Regulatory filings show Honda has been aware of other injuries since at least 2008 and confirmed deaths since 2009—the year a teenage girl died after a parking lot fender bender and a mother died in front of her children on Christmas Eve—but didn’t report them to NHTSA until 2011. Two other deaths have been linked to airbag explosions, including a woman whose neck injuries were so severe that police first investigated it as a homicide, believing someone had slashed her throat.

The hidden injuries and deaths and the shady explanations by Takata and Honda prompted an outcry from congressional leaders. Takata confirmed this week that the U.S. Attorney’s Office has served it with a subpoena after two senators demanded that the justice department open a criminal investigation: “If the reports [of secret testing] are true, the company must be held accountable for the horrific deaths and injuries that its wrongdoing caused. These allegations are credible and shocking–plainly warranting a prompt and aggressive criminal probe,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) in a letter. The House Energy and Commerce Committee is also rumored to be planning a hearing that has yet to be announced.

NHTSA—which is under fire for failing to promptly investigate this defect and the GM ignition switch defect—has also opened investigations into both Honda and Takata, ordering them to produce documents by the end of this month.

Hidden tire codes could save your life

Posted on Wednesday, November 12th, 2014   

A warning has been issued about tire safety to drivers across the country. Tire aging poses a serious threat, as old tires could rip apart at any minute and put any driver in a life-threatening situation this holiday season. However, tires actually possess a hidden code that could save drivers from a tire blowout due to old tires. Very few people know about this hard-to-find code, but when car owners are examining the condition of their tires, this hidden number could potentially save them from life-threatening car accidents.

Unfortunately, even tire shops and companies are often unable to locate this code. Sean Kane, president of Safety Research and Strategies, thinks “in terms of informing customers, [the code is] terrible. It doesn’t work, no one would know that’s a data code.”

Why the negative opinion? Well, tires are actually marked by an 11 character number, followed by 4 digits that signify the week and year they were manufactured. Kane believes this code is unrecognizable, and lobbied the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to switch to a standard date featuring the month and year that the tires were manufactured, which is far more recognizable to consumers.

“Tire aging represents an invisible hazard,” says Kane. Major vehicle manufacturers like GM, Ford, and Chrysler currently urge drivers to replace tires six years after their manufacture date. However, drivers are often completely unaware of how old their tires are, and this code could be a life-saving way to alert drivers that their tires are getting old and should be changed.

“Tires can become brittle, crack and break apart like a rubber band,” says Kane. The NHTSA also found as many as 90 fatalities and 3,200 injuries associated with tire aging from 2005 to 2007. Ultimately, tire age could be the difference between a smooth trip and a fatal crash for drivers. If drivers are more aware of a readable code on the tires, they could save themselves by replacing their tires when necessary.

Nashville minivan-pickup truck collision injures two

Posted on Friday, November 7th, 2014   

Both drivers were injured when a minivan and pickup truck collided on Hamilton Church Road in south Nashville’s Priest Lake Community, WKRN-TV Nashville reported on November 5.

According to the Metro Police, the minivan and pickup truck collided around 8:15 a.m. when they both swerved into the eastbound lane in a futile attempt to avoid a collision. The drivers of both vehicles were immediately taken to local hospitals for treatment of their injuries, and both are expected to survive.

Witness Cindy Clopton said this accident is one of the many crashes that happened frequently along this stretch of the road, and noted that local officials should do something about the frequency of accidents happening in the area. However, Councilman Robert Duvall said that his office had not received any major complaints about accidents there.

If you were hurt in a car accident in Nashville due to the negligence of other people, such as reckless motorists, manufacturers of defective vehicles, or negligent government bodies who fail to maintain roads, the attorneys at Pohl & Berk, LLP, may be able to help. Call our offices at (615) 277-2765 today to learn about your options for legal recourse.

Hampshire Pike two-vehicle accident injures three

Posted on Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014   

On September 15, a two-vehicle crash near the intersection of Hampshire Pike and Old State Road in Columbia, Tennessee injured three individuals including a Hampshire Unit School high school senior.

According to firefighter Brian McCandless, a pickup truck and a Jeep Cherokee collided head-on at around 7:18 a.m.

Eighteen-year-old Shayla Yeager was operating the Jeep east on U.S. Highway 412 when she tried turning left onto Old State Road, causing the collision with the pickup truck. Hampshire residents Philip and Janet Griffith were inside the truck, according to a report from the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

The report noted that one of the vehicles was found in the creek by the police who responded to the crash, which is currently being investigated by local authorities.

Vehicular accidents happen regularly in the United States. Should you get hurt in such an accident in Tennessee, trust only the attorneys of Pohl & Berk, LLP to help you pursue financial compensation from those who are responsible for your costs and injuries. Call our offices today at 615-277-2765 to learn more.

Allstate says Knoxville safest for drivers in southern region

Posted on Thursday, September 4th, 2014   

According to Allstate Insurance Company’s 2014 report, which is a part of the tenth annual “Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report,” Knoxville, Tennessee holds the number one spot for the best drivers in the southern. The average driver here has the possibility of being in an auto collision once in 11.1 years.

Knoxville got the #27 safest spot among America’s 200 largest cities.

The “southern” region comprises Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, and Mississippi. The report takes into consideration factors such as collision frequency, population, population density, and precipitation.

Fort Collins, Colorado took the title for being the best driving city in the whole country for the fourth year in a row. The average driver in the area has the possibility of suffering from a collision once in every 14.2 years, which is 29.6% less possible than the national average of once every 10 years.

Road conditions, automotive defects, and negligent actions of other drivers on the road are among some of the factors why vehicle accidents happen. If such an accident happens to you while you are in Tennessee, talk with our attorneys at Pohl & Berk, LLP by dialing (615) 277-2765 so we can help you learn more about possibility pursuing compensation.

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