DC Metro Area Personal Injury Law Blog

Safety Tips for Driving in April Showers

Posted in Automobile Accidents, Truck Accidents

In most parts of the country, April is the beginning of the rainy season. Although the April rains bring dormant trees and flowers back to life, the rain can also create hazardous driving conditions.

According to the National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey completed by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), the federal agency responsible for compiling crash statistics throughout the U.S., rain or snow was the “critical pre-crash event” for approximately 4.4 percent of all collisions on the nation’s roadways in 2008.

Two million injury collisions rock U.S. roads and freeways each year. That means that almost 90,000 people are injured in an average year as a result of a collision caused, at least in part, by dangerous road conditions resulting from rain or snow.

While you may not be able to control the weather, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your passengers during the rainy season, including:

  • Replace windshield wipers – if you do not have a clear view of the roadway, you dramatically increase your chance of being involved in a collision.
  • Check tires – bald and/or poorly inflated tires cannot grip the roadway, increasing your chance of losing control of the vehicle. To check your tire tread, insert a quarter upside down between the groves on a tire. If you can see above Washington’s head, it is time for new tires.
  • Use lights – turn on your headlights – not fog lights – when it starts to rain. Not only may this help you see better, but it will make your vehicle more visible to oncoming traffic. Also, be sure to always use turn signals to alert other vehicles of your intention to slow down and turn.
  • Do not use cruise control – cruise control works fine on dry roadways; however, it can increase the possibility of losing control of the vehicle on wet pavement. Furthermore, cruise control limits a driver’s options in an emergency.
  • Keep your distance – tailgating is dangerous under the best of road conditions, but it is even more dangerous on a wet roadway, where you need more room to come to a safe stop.
  • Slow down – the key to avoid hydroplaning is to slow down when there is water on the roadway. Hard braking and sharp turns should also be avoided when possible.

Keep these simple tips in mind this spring to significantly decrease your chance of being involved in a collision.

Please get in touch with our Washington D.C. personal injury attorneys today for further information about your potential auto accident case.  Construction happens frequently in the spring as well. Learn how to protect yourself: National Work Zone Awareness Week: Expect the Unexpected

Quantifying the Dangers of Distracted Driving

Posted in Automobile Accidents

The month of April is designated as “Distracted Driving” month each year in the United States in an effort to bring awareness to the very real dangers of distracted driving.  “Distracted driving” is broadly defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as “driving while doing another activity that takes your attention away from driving.” Although distracted driving has always been a contributing factor in motor vehicle collisions, the number of collisions blamed on distracted driving has increased exponentially in recent years due, in large part, to the increased use of hand-held electronic devices. Here are some worrying statistics:

• 3,154 people were killed in 2012 as a result of crashes involving distracted drivers.

• 424,000 people were injured in 2012 in a distracted driving crash.

• In a CDC distracted driving study, 69 percent of drivers in the United States ages 18-64 reported that they had talked on their cell phone while driving within the 30 days before they were surveyed, compared to only 21 percent of drivers from the United Kingdom and 59 percent in Portugal.

• 31 percent of U.S. drivers ages 18-64 reported that they had read or sent text messages or email messages while driving at least once within the 30 days before they were surveyed, compared to 15 percent in Spain and 31 percent in Portugal.

• Nearly half of all U.S. high school students aged 16 years or older text or email while driving, according to a CDC study.

• Over 150 billion text messages are sent in the U.S. every month.

• At any given moment, approximately 660,000 people are using a handheld electronic device while driving across the U.S.

• 10 percent of fatally injured drivers under the age of 20 were reported as distracted at the time of the crash.

• A driver’s eyes are off the road for an average of five seconds when texting. If you’re traveling at 55 m.p.h., that is like driving the length of a football field blindfolded.

The dangers associated with distracted driving are very real, which is why both the federal government and most state governments have enacted laws aimed at reducing the use of cell phones and other distractions while driving. Texting while driving, for example, is illegal for operators of tractor-trailers and other large trucks. As of 2015, 14 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands prohibit all drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving, and 38 states prohibit cell phone use while driving for novice drivers.

Texting while driving laws are even more common — 45 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands all ban text messaging for all drivers.

Please consider calling our Washington D.C. car accident attorneys about your recent crash. Here’s a more detailed survey of the dangers of distracted driving: AAA Research Reveals Distraction & Teen Crashes More Serious than Previously Believed

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Posted in Automobile Accidents, Child Safety

Picture of Salvatore J. Zambri

Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, founding member and partner

April is being promoted by the National Safety Council as Distracted Driving Awareness Month.  As part of the campaign, NSC provides educational material on its website in various formats, including posters, handout sheets, webinars, and infographics.

According to NSC studies and statistics, “eighty percent of American drivers believe hands-free devices are safer than using a handheld phone. But that is just not the case. More than 30 studies show hands-free devices are no safer because the brain remains distracted by the conversation. When talking on a cell phone, drivers can miss seeing up to half of what’s around them, such as traffic lights, stop signs and pedestrians.​”  It is estimated that 1 in 4 crashes involve cell phone distraction, handheld or hands-free.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, “hands-free features in dashboards actually increase mental distraction.” The Texas A&M Transportation Institute studies also revealed that: “using voice-to-text is more distracting than typing texts while driving and drivers who text with their hands or voice (using speech-to-text systems) keep their eyes on the road less often and have reaction times twice as slow.” Additional results from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute are listed below:
  • “Driver response times were significantly delayed no matter which texting method was used. In each case, drivers took about twice as long to react as they did when they weren’t texting. With slower reaction times, drivers are less able to take action in response to sudden roadway hazards, such as a swerving vehicle or a pedestrian in the street.
  • The amount of time that drivers spent looking at the roadway ahead was significantly less when they were texting, no matter which texting method was used.
  • For most tasks, manual texting required slightly less time than the voice-to-text method, but driver performance was roughly the same with both.
  • Drivers felt less safe when they were texting, but felt safer when using a voice-to-text application than when texting manually, even though driving performance suffered equally with both methods.”

As part of the Distracted Driving Awareness promotion, the National Safety Council offers a Focused Driver Challenge,with a request that those who take the challenge complete a pledge to drive cell free and post it on their Facebook page. As incentives, weekly drawings for prizes are included.  Last year, Facebook was inundated by millions of people who took the “Ice Bucket Challenge” to help raise awareness and donations for ALS. Perhaps this will be the year that millions of people flood Facebook by taking the Focused Driving Challenge and pledge to drive cell free.

Distracted driving, especially among teens, has become a much more serious driving issue in recent years.  As part of my volunteer community service program, I give free presentations to area schools about distracted driving in an effort to teach young people the importance of driving carefully and to empower them to be sure they do not allow others to drive while distracted, at least not while they are in the car.

If you, your child’s PTSA, or your child’s school would like to know more about my presentation, please contact me.

About the author:

Mr. Zambri is a board-certified civil trial attorney by the National Board of Trial Advocates and a Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. The association recently named him “Trial Lawyer of the Year”.  Super Lawyers recently named him among the “Top Ten” lawyers in the Metro Area (out of more than 80,000 attorneys). He has been rated by Washingtonian magazine as a “Big Gun” and among the “top 100″ lawyers in the entire metropolitan area. The magazine also describes him as “one of Washington’s best–most honest and effective lawyers” who specializes in personal injury matters, including automobile accident claims, premises liability, product liability, medical malpractice, and work-accident claims. He has successfully litigated multiple cases against truck and bus companies, the Washington Metropolitan Area transit Authority, and other automobile owners.  His law firm, in fact, has obtained the largest settlement ever in a personal injury case involving WMATA.  Mr. Zambri has also been acknowledged as one of “The Best Lawyers in America” by Best Lawyers (2014 edition) and has been repeatedly named a “Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyer magazine (2014) — national publications that honor the top lawyers in America.

If you have any questions about your legal rights, please email Mr. Zambri at szambri@reganfirm.com or call him at 202-822-1899.

Six Common Dangers for Children In and Around Cars & How to Prevent Injury

Posted in Child Safety

Picture of Salvatore J. Zambri

Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, founding member and partner

As parents, we make every effort to keep our children safe in the car, ranging from our choice of family vehicle to car seat selection to even having an expert check the car seat installation. Perhaps overlooked in our efforts are even more dangers that we should note. Safercar.gov has identified six common dangers that even the most careful parents can overlook and some valuable prevention tips. In light of the importance of this advice, we have reproduced the complete listing of those dangers and the recommendations from safercar.gov in their entirety.

Many children are are killed or seriously injured in backover incidents.

Prevention Tips:

  • Teach children not to play in or around cars.
  • Supervise children carefully when in and around vehicles.
  • Always walk around your vehicle and check the area around it before backing up.
  • Be aware of small children-the smaller a child, the more likely it is you will not see them.
  • Teach children to move away from a vehicle when a driver gets in it or if the car is started.
  • Have children in the area stand to the side of the driveway or sidewalk so you can see them as you are backing out of a driveway or parking space.
  • Make sure to look behind you while backing up slowly in case a child dashes behind your vehicle unexpectedly.
  • Roll down your windows while backing out of your driveway or parking space so that you’ll be able to hear what is happening outside of your vehicle.
  • Teach your children to keep their toys and bikes out of the driveway.
  • Because kids can move unpredictably, you should actively check your mirrors while backing up.
  • Many cars are equipped with detection devices that provide rearview video or warning sounds, but they cannot completely take the place of actively walking around your car to make sure children are safely out of the way. Do not rely solely on these devices to detect what is behind your vehicle.

Seat belt entanglement occurs if a child is not properly restrained in the car or is able to reach an unused seat belt.

Prevention Tips:

  • Do not let children play in or around cars.
  • Never leave a child unattended in or around a vehicle.
  • Always ensure children are properly restrained.
  • Teach children that seat belts are not toys.
  • Be aware that some seat belts have a retractor that locks if pulled all the way out.
  • If a child has an unused seat belt within reach:
    • Buckle unused seat belts. Pull the seat belt out all the way to the end without yanking. Then, feed the excess webbing back into the retractor.
    • If a child seat is installed with LATCH, consider completing the steps above before you install the child seat. Always consult your child seat and vehicle owner’s manual for installation instructions.

Heatstroke is now one of the leading cases of death among children.

Prevention Tips:

  • Never Leave a Child Alone in a Car
    • It’s never OK to leave a child alone in a car, even for a few minutes, and even if the car is on.
    • Opening windows will not prevent heatstroke.
    • Heatstroke happens even on cloudy days and in outside temperatures below 70 degrees.
    • Don’t let kids play in an unattended vehicle.
  • Look Before You Lock
    • Always check the back seats of your vehicle before your lock it and walk away.
    • Keep a stuffed animal or other memento in your child’s car seat when it’s empty, and move it to the front seat as a visual reminder when your child is in the back seat.
    • If someone else is driving your child, or your daily routine has been altered, always check that your child arrived safely.

    Take Action if You See a Child Alone in a Car

    • Don’t wait more than a few minutes for the driver to return.
    • Don’t worry about getting involved in someone else’s business—protecting children is everyone’s business.
    • “Good Samaritan” laws offer legal protection for those who offer assistance in an emergency.
    • If the Child Is Not Responsive or Is in Distress, Immediately:
      • Call 911.
      • Get the child out of the car.
      • Spray the child with cool water (not in an ice bath).
    • If the Child Is Responsive:
      • Stay with the child until help arrives.
      • Have someone else search for the driver or ask the facility to page them.

    Hide and seek can become a deadly game of trunk entrapment, heatstroke or asphyxiation if children are left unattended around a car.

    Prevention Tips:

    • Teach children that vehicle trunks are for cargo, not for playing.
    • Always supervise your children carefully when in and around vehicles.
    • Check the trunk right away if your child is missing.
    • Lock your car doors and trunk and be sure keys and remote entry devices are out of sight and reach of your kids.
    • Keep the rear fold-down seats closed/locked to keep your children from climbing into the trunk from inside your car.

    Power windows can cause serious injuries or strangulation of children.

    Prevention Tips:

    • Never leave your children alone in a vehicle for any reason.
    • Teach your children not to play with window switches.
    • Teach your children not to stand on passenger door arm rests.
    • Properly restrain your children in car seats or seat belts to prevent them from accidentally activating power windows and sunroofs.
    • Look and make sure your kids’ hands, feet, and head, are clear of windows before raising the windows.
    • Never leave the key in the ignition or in the “on” or “accessory” position when you walk away from your car.
    • If available, activate the power window lock switch so that your children cannot play with the windows.

    If you leave a child alone in a motor vehicle, whether the engine running or not, it doesn’t take long for a child to unintentionally set your car in motion.

    Prevention Tips:

    • Teach children not to play in or around cars.
    • Supervise children carefully when in and around vehicles.
    • Keep vehicle locked when unattended.
    • Never leave keys in the car.
    • Engage your emergency brake every time you park.
    • Verify whether or not your vehicle has a Brake Transmission Safety Interlock (BTSI) by reading the owner’s manual.

    Many children are injured every year in preventable accidents around vehicles. If you have questions about this issue or others concerning the safety of your children, please feel free to contact me.

    About the author:

    Mr. Zambri is a board-certified civil trial attorney by the National Board of Trial Advocates and a Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. The association recently named him “Trial Lawyer of the Year”.  Super Lawyers recently named him among the “Top Ten” lawyers in the Metro Area (out of more than 80,000 attorneys). He has been rated by Washingtonian magazine as a “Big Gun” and among the “top 100″ lawyers in the entire metropolitan area. The magazine also describes him as “one of Washington’s best–most honest and effective lawyers” who specializes in personal injury matters, including automobile accident claims, premises liability, product liability, medical malpractice, and work-accident claims. He has successfully litigated multiple cases against truck and bus companies, the Washington Metropolitan Area transit Authority, and other automobile owners.  His law firm, in fact, has obtained the largest settlement ever in a personal injury case involving WMATA.  Mr. Zambri has also been acknowledged as one of “The Best Lawyers in America” by Best Lawyers (2014 edition) and has been repeatedly named a “Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyer magazine (2014) — national publications that honor the top lawyers in America.

    If you have any questions about your legal rights, please email Mr. Zambri at szambri@reganfirm.com or call him at 202-822-1899.

     

     

     

 

National Work Zone Awareness Week: Expect the Unexpected

Posted in Automobile Accidents, Truck Accidents

Picture of Salvatore J. Zambri

Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, founding member and partner

As road construction and repair  season nears, the U.S. Department of Transportation has launched an initiative for National Work Zone Awareness Week, as noted by road signs along many commuter routes.  This year’s theme, “Expect the Unexpected,” emphasizes that drivers should be prepared for changes, including reduced speed limits, narrowed, shifted or closed lanes, and workers on or near the road. “The 2015 theme was the original theme used 15 years ago in the national event that was created to focus attention on work zone safety and work zone workers. Since the creation of the national campaign by FHWA, ATSSA and AASHTO, the number of work zone fatalities has dropped significantly.”

National Work Zone Awareness Week – sponsored by federal, state and local transportation officials at the beginning of construction season each spring –raises awareness of safety measures taken on roads all over the country. Typically, work zone crashes occur when drivers fail to obey posted speed limits, fail to adapt to changing road conditions, or use cellphones while driving.”

“As the temperatures climb, thousands of highway workers nationwide are heading back to work to improve America’s roads,” said Anthony Foxx, U.S. Transportation Secretary. “To keep them safe, we owe them our full attention when driving through work zones so please avoid distractions like cellphones and obey posted speed limits.”

Hundreds of fatalities occur each year in work zones, of which 23% were attributed to drivers speeding in a work zone. We should always be focused on the road when driving, but the next time you see bright orange highway construction signs, try to be extra vigilant–it could save someone’s life.

About the author:

Mr. Zambri is a board-certified civil trial attorney by the National Board of Trial Advocates and a Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. The association recently named him “Trial Lawyer of the Year”.  Super Lawyers recently named him among the “Top Ten” lawyers in the Metro Area (out of more than 80,000 attorneys). He has been rated by Washingtonian magazine as a “Big Gun” and among the “top 100″ lawyers in the entire metropolitan area. The magazine also describes him as “one of Washington’s best–most honest and effective lawyers” who specializes in personal injury matters, including automobile accident claims, premises liability, product liability, medical malpractice, and work-accident claims. He has successfully litigated multiple cases against truck and bus companies, the Washington Metropolitan Area transit Authority, and other automobile owners.  His law firm, in fact, has obtained the largest settlement ever in a personal injury case involving WMATA.  Mr. Zambri has also been acknowledged as one of “The Best Lawyers in America” by Best Lawyers (2014 edition) and has been repeatedly named a “Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyer magazine (2014) — national publications that honor the top lawyers in America.

If you have any questions about your legal rights, please email Mr. Zambri at szambri@reganfirm.com or call him at 202-822-1899.

Basketball: Not as Safe as it Seems

Posted in Child Safety, Consumer Safety

It’s March Madness time, and fans everywhere are watching their favorite basketball teams tear up the court. However, few people realize the risks associated with this popular sport.

When most people think of concussions and traumatic brain injury in contact sports, football or hockey comes to mind. Unfortunately, football is not the only sport capable of causing these serious conditions. In fact, according to CBS News, a Pediatrics Magazine report from 2010 showed that 375,000 children were sent to the emergency room with injuries related to basketball each year. The same report also found a 70 percent increase in basketball-related traumatic brain injuries over the last ten years.

CBS News also reports that researchers are now taking steps to better understand the risks basketball poses to the brain. At the University of New Haven, players on the men’s basketball team now wear headbands equipped with Triax head sensors. These sensors collect data about the g-forces associated with any hits players take to the head. These data are then transmitted to computer software that stores and manages them. Using these data, the trainers can determine which players took hits to the head during the practice, as well as the strength of each hit. When the season is complete, data will be transmitted to the Sports Legacy Institute for further review.

To prevent complications from traumatic brain injury on the court:

• Know the signs of concussion, which may include headache, nausea, dizziness, balance problems and sensitivity to light.
• Have a professional evaluate any known head injury immediately.
• Allow a person who has suffered a concussion to rest, both physically and mentally, before returning to his or her normal activity.

Is your child involved in contact sports? Understanding concussion risks is important: Comprehensive Pediatric Concussion Guidelines Released by Canadian & US Pediatric Emergency Medicine Researchers.

With Millions of Vehicles Remaining at Risk of Malfunction, Honda Reaches Out to Owners

Posted in Automobile Accidents, Defective Products

As pressure on the Takata Corporation increases, Honda Motor is doing what it can to encourage owners to bring their vehicles in for repairs. The cars in question are equipped with malfunctioning airbags that have been linked to at least six deaths worldwide, according to the New York Times. At this point, only 14 percent of the affected vehicles have been effectively repaired.

Honda’s campaign to increase the number of repairs involves a number of channels, including social media, radio and newspapers. The company has focused its campaign on customers in locations with high humidity, where the risk of malfunction is likely highest.

Poor customer participation isn’t the only obstacle Honda faces as it replaces the faulty airbags. The parts needed to repair the recalled vehicles are in short supply. Some customers have even waited weeks for the parts to arrive. Honda maintains that it is utilizing all available parts, as well as making efforts to supplement the needed parts in the near future.

If you have been involved in an accident and you suspect that malfunctioning vehicle parts played a role:

• Check whether the part has been recalled. If a recall was issued but you were unaware of it, you may still be entitled to compensation from the manufacturer.
• Call a qualified Washington D.C. auto accident lawyer. He or she can help you decide how to proceed.

Our Washington D.C. auto accident attorneys would be happy to provide a free and thorough consultation about your recent accident and possible case. Call or email use today for more information.

Car accidents, which may result from faulty parts, are a leading cause of traumatic brain injury: March is Brain Injury Awareness Month.

AAA Research Reveals Distraction & Teen Crashes More Serious than Previously Believed

Posted in Automobile Accidents, Child Safety

Picture of Salvatore J. Zambri

Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, founding member and partner

By this time, most everyone realizes that distracted driving is inherently dangerous. Many people even acknowledge that teen drivers are the most likely offenders. Today, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released their comprehensive research of crash videos of teen drivers. According to the 1700 in-vehicle crash videos of the six seconds leading up to a crash that were analyzed by researchers, distraction was a much greater factor than previously estimated from police reports.  NHTSA previously estimated that 14% of all teen driver crashes were attributable to distraction.  The results of the AAA Foundation analysis of  the crash videos showed that distraction was a factor in 58% of all crashes studied, including 89% of road-departure crashes and 76% of rear-ear crashes.

“Access to crash videos has allowed us to better understand the moments leading up to a vehicle impact in a way that was previously impossible,” said Peter Kissinger, President and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “The in-depth analysis provides indisputable evidence that teen drivers are distracted in a much greater percentage of crashes than we previously realized.”

The most common forms of distraction leading up to a crash by a teen driver included:

  • “Interacting with one or more passengers: 15 percent of crashes
  • Cell phone use: 12 percent of crashes
  • Looking at something in the vehicle: 10 percent of crashes
  • Looking at something outside the vehicle: 9 percent of crashes
  • Singing/moving to music: 8 percent of crashes
  • Grooming: 6 percent of crashes
  • Reaching for an object: 6 percent of crashes”

Researchers found that drivers manipulating their cell phone (includes calling, texting or other uses), had their eyes off the road for an average of 4.1 out of the final six seconds leading up to a crash. The researchers also measured reaction times in rear-end crashes and found that teen drivers using a cell phone failed to react more than half of the time before the impact, meaning  they crashed without braking or steering.”

Teen drivers have the highest crash rate of any other group in the country. In 2013, police-reported crashes indicated that about 963,000 drivers aged 16-19 were involved in crashes, resulting in 383,000 injuries and 2,865 deaths.

Most states now have graduated driver licensing (GDL) requirements as well as cell phone use and passenger restrictions for teen drivers. In addition, parents need to set strict ground rules for teen drivers relating to distraction.

As I have previously stated and continue to believe, while it may be convenient to convince yourself that multi-tasking is not so difficult, driving should never be mixed with any other activity. Every year I give presentations to area schools about distracted driving in an effort to teach young people the importance of driving carefully and to empower them to be sure they do not allow others to drive while distracted, at least not while they are in the car.

If you, your child’s PTSA, or your child’s school would like to know more about my presentation, please contact me. I of course do not charge a fee for my presentation, as it is part of my volunteer community service program.

About the author:

Mr. Zambri is a board-certified civil trial attorney by the National Board of Trial Advocates and a Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. The association recently named him “Trial Lawyer of the Year”.  Super Lawyers recently named him among the “Top Ten” lawyers in the Metro Area (out of more than 80,000 attorneys). He has been rated by Washingtonian magazine as a “Big Gun” and among the “top 100″ lawyers in the entire metropolitan area. The magazine also describes him as “one of Washington’s best–most honest and effective lawyers” who specializes in personal injury matters, including automobile accident claims, premises liability, product liability, medical malpractice, and work-accident claims. He has successfully litigated multiple cases against truck and bus companies, the Washington Metropolitan Area transit Authority, and other automobile owners.  His law firm, in fact, has obtained the largest settlement ever in a personal injury case involving WMATA.  Mr. Zambri has also been acknowledged as one of “The Best Lawyers in America” by Best Lawyers (2014 edition) and has been repeatedly named a “Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyer magazine (2014) — national publications that honor the top lawyers in America.

If you have any questions about your legal rights, please email Mr. Zambri at szambri@reganfirm.com or call him at 202-822-1899.

 

Does a Vehicle Recall Mean Emergency? Sometimes, But Not Always.

Posted in Consumer Safety, Defective Products

Picture of Salvatore J. Zambri

Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, founding member and partner

Practically every day in the news, we learn of another vehicle recall. During the first nine months of 2014, there were over 500 automaker recalls, which affected more than 50 million vehicles. How does the average consumer sift through all this information to determine which recalls are actually safety issues and which are minor enough to delay a repair?

After manufacturers notify NHTSA about a recall, they have 60 days to notify vehicle owners. However, owners may contact their dealership in the meantime for a replacement appointment, without waiting for the official notification. Consumer Reports recently published guidelines for determining whether a recall should be cause for worry. Although some recalls are for nuisance factors, if the recall involves a key operating component, such as acceleration, brake, steering, suspension, or fuel systems, you should contact the dealership right away. If you are not sure of the potential danger, call the dealership and ask.

However, vehicle owners do not have to wait for a recall if they believe their car has a safety defect. They can file a complaint directly with the automaker and the government by contacting safercar.gov or by calling 888-327-4236.

About the author:

Mr. Zambri is a board-certified civil trial attorney by the National Board of Trial Advocates and a Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. The association recently named him “Trial Lawyer of the Year”.  Super Lawyers recently named him among the “Top Ten” lawyers in the Metro Area (out of more than 80,000 attorneys). He has been rated by Washingtonian magazine as a “Big Gun” and among the “top 100″ lawyers in the entire metropolitan area. The magazine also describes him as “one of Washington’s best–most honest and effective lawyers” who specializes in personal injury matters, including automobile accident claims, premises liability, product liability, medical malpractice, and work-accident claims. He has successfully litigated multiple cases against truck and bus companies, the Washington Metropolitan Area transit Authority, and other automobile owners.  His law firm, in fact, has obtained the largest settlement ever in a personal injury case involving WMATA.  Mr. Zambri has also been acknowledged as one of “The Best Lawyers in America” by Best Lawyers (2014 edition) and has been repeatedly named a “Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyer magazine (2014) — national publications that honor the top lawyers in America.

If you have any questions about your legal rights, please email Mr. Zambri at szambri@reganfirm.com or call him at 202-822-1899.

How Apps Like BACTrack and Services Like Uber Are Changing the DUI Prevention Landscape

Posted in Automobile Accidents, Uncategorized

Super Bowl Sunday witnessed a surge of DUI activity and arrests – a development that defense attorneys, police officers and public officials anticipated. While Seahawks fans gnashed their teeth and New England cheered, officers across the city (and state and country) set up dragnets and checkpoints to flag down dangerous drivers and get them off the roads.

BACtrack, a breathalyzer attachment that connects with smartphones, cited an average of .091% blood alcohol content (BAC) levels among DUI drivers arrested on Super Bowl Sunday in 2014. That’s roughly the same average BAC as officers typically find among drivers on holidays like St. Patrick’s Day, New Year’s Eve, and Valentine’s Day. BACtrack defines the months from December to March as “drinking season” because they witness “the highest occurrence of days with an average BAC above .06%, the level at which the negative effects of alcohol often begin.”

The popular ride share company Uber, in collaboration with MADD, reported that, “nearly 300,000 people drive drunk every day.” The report, which authorities released right before the Super Bowl, found that the number of DUI driving accidents has decreased substantially in Uber markets: “In California… drunk-driving crashes fell by 60 per month among drivers under 30 in the markets where Uber operates.”

The information from BAC tracking apps — along with the increased use (and ostensible effectiveness) of Uber — indicates an increase in the general public’s DUI awareness. Both Uber and BACtracker offer smartphone apps, transforming mobile devices into valuable tools for maintaining the public safety. In conjunction with DUI checkpoints and educational campaigns, these tools can make drinking safer and less likely to lead to injuries (during future Super Bowl weekends and beyond) as well as raise awareness of critical DUI-related challenges and solutions.

Call our Washington D.C. car accident attorneys about your recent crash to determine whether you might be able to obtain compensation for your injuries and damages.

Drivers who get behind the wheel while intoxicated are not the only threats to motorists. What if, for instance, your car is defective? Learn more here: How to Handle Difficult-to-Replicate Auto Issues: Do You Think You Have a Defective Vehicle?