Posts Tagged ‘vehicle accident reconstruction’

NHTSA Releases Its Latest Crash Statistics

NHTSA released its latest crash data statistics in two separate publications. The first is titled “Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities for the First Nine Months (Jan-Sep) of 2015” . This document provides a “statistical projection of traffic fatalities for the first nine months of 2015.” The report estimates that 26,000 people lost their lives in motor vehicle traffic accidents in that time period. This is an estimated increase of 9.3% when compared to the same time period in 2014. During the first nine months of 2014, there were an estimated 23,796 deaths. The second document is titled simply “Quick Facts 2014 (DOT HS 812 234).” The purpose of this document is to provide a quick reference sheet covering the most commonly asked questions relating to motor vehicle traffic accidents and fatalities.

Debate Over Seat Belts on Buses

On Feb. 4, 2015, H.B. 2582 was introduced in the West Virginia House of Delegates. This bill states, “Beginning July 1, 2015, the state board of education shall install seat belts in school buses over a five-year period, until all school buses are outfitted with seat belts, which seat belts shall meet the standards set and approved by the Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc.” The bill was referred to the House Committee on Education and then the House Committee on Finance. This bill was reintroduced during the 2016 legislative session on Jan. 13 of this year. It was then referred to the House Committee on Education. The head sponsor of the bill is Delegate Nancy Peoples Guthrie, D-Kanawha. Other sponsors of the bill are Delegates Linda Longstreth, D-Marion, Dana Lynch, D-Webster, Larry Rowe, D-Kanawha, Isaac Sponaugle, D-Pendleton, and Andrew Byrd, D-Kanawha. Mark R. Rosekind, the administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Adminstration (NHTSA), talked about seat belts on school buses in a speech he made in November 2015 at the 41st summit of the National Association for Pupil Transportation. “The NHTSA has not always spoken with a clear voice on the issue of seat belts on school buses. So let me clear up any ambiguity now: The position of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is that seat belts save lives. That is true whether in a passenger car or in a big yellow school bus. And saving lives is what we are about. So NHTSA’s policy is that every child on every school bus should have a three-point seat belt. School buses should have seat belts. Period,” Rosekind said. Rosekind also said in his speech that the NHTSA will launch a series of research projects to study the safety benefits of seat belts, and it will contact governors of the states that require seat belts to nominate participants to give recommendations on how to start a nationwide “seat belts on school buses” movement, which will study how to overcome financial difficulties associated with installing seat belts on school buses. The big question in this debate is whether seat belts on school buses will help or hurt students. From 2004 to 2013 there were 340,039 fatal motor vehicle traffic crashes and 0.4 percent, or 1,214, of these were school transportation-related. A total of 1,344 people, or an average of 134 people a year, were killed during this time period nationwide in school transportation-related crashes, according to the NHTSA. Of the people who died, 8 percent were occupants of school transportation vehicles and 71 percent were occupants of other vehicles. California, Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York and Texas are the only states that have some type of seat belt law for school buses, according to the National Conference of State Legislators’ website. The NHTSA has done research about seat belts on school buses. What do officials think in the Marion County area about installing seat belts on school buses? “The school buses themselves, the frame is reinforced steel built for safety purposes,” said Chad Norman, administrative assistant in charge of transportation. “They have found that the cabin that students sit in, with the high seat in front of them and the high seat in back of them, actually prevents major injuries. “In the event that we have a situation, students could exit quickly without being belted in and the driver having to come and actually unbelt each one of the students.” The concern about students being belted in is that in certain situations, like a rollover accident, or a bus entering water, the seat belts “could present a safety issue,” Norman said. Once the NHTSA has conducted its research, “it’ll be interesting to see what their studies show — first determining if it is indeed a need,” Norman said. School buses have other features that offer safety, according to Ron Schmuck, transportation supervisor for Marion County Schools. “The floors of the bus sit high enough and the seating compartment is above where most accidents are happening. An accident would happen under the floor due to the height of the buses. It lessens the impact of any passengers on it,” Schmuck said. Some Marion County bus drivers are also against installing seat belts on buses. “They would be a dangerous weapon,” Roger Stover, a bus driver for 41 years, said, referring to students hitting each other with the seat belts. “If we have to evacuate that bus in a hurry for some ungodly reason, it’s going to present a problem, especially with the little ones. I’m strictly against them,” Stover said. “If a bus would be in an accident that the bus would be on its side or its top, the latch (of the seat belts) isn’t coming off. Now you’re going to have to cut every child loose. Especially if there is a fire on the bus, you couldn’t get them all off,” said Terry Markley, a bus driver for 20 years in Marion County. The NHTSA has done research about seat belts on school buses that concludes there may be some benefit to using lap/shoulder belts. In 2002, the NHTSA presented a report to Congress that concluded that using lap belts has “little, if any, benefit in reducing serious-to-fatal injuries in severe frontal crashes.” “The use of combination lap/shoulder belts, if used properly, could provide some benefit on both large and small school buses. Lap/shoulder belts can be misused if children put the shoulder portion behind them. NHTSA’s testing showed that serious neck injury and perhaps abdominal injury could result when lap/shoulder belts are misused. Assuming 100 percent usage and no misuse, lap/shoulder belts could save one life a year,” the NHTSA said in the report.

DOT announces increase in 2015 roadway deaths

NHTSA 02-16 Friday, February 5, 2016 Contact: Gordon Trowbridge, 202-366-9550, Public.Affairs@dot.gov The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today announced its latest estimate of traffic deaths, which show a steep 9.3 percent increase for the first nine months of 2015. The news comes as the agency kicks-off its first in a series of regional summits with a day-long event in Sacramento, Calif., to examine unsafe behaviors and human choices that contribute to increasing traffic deaths on a national scale. Human factors contribute to 94 percent of crashes according to decades of NHTSA research. “For decades, U.S. DOT has been driving safety improvements on our roads, and those efforts have resulted in a steady decline in highway deaths,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “But the apparent increase in 2015 is a signal that we need to do more. The safety summits that NHTSA is kicking off today in Sacramento will provide us with new approaches to add to the tried-and-true tactics that we know save lives.” NHTSA estimates that more than 26,000 people died in traffic crashes in the first nine months of 2015, compared to the 23,796 fatalities in the first nine months of 2014. U.S. regions nationwide showed increases ranging from 2 to 20 percent. “We’re seeing red flags across the U.S. and we’re not waiting for the situation to develop further,” said Dr. Mark Rosekind, NHTSA Administrator. “It’s time to drive behavioral changes in traffic safety and that means taking on new initiatives and addressing persistent issues like drunk driving and failure to wear seat belts.” The estimated increase in highway deaths follows years of steady, gradual declines. Traffic deaths declined 1.2 percent in 2014 and more than 22 percent from 2000 to 2014. Today’s summit in California is the first in a series of cross-cutting regional summits being held across the country, capped by a nationwide gathering in Washington, to gather ideas, engage new partners, and generate additional approaches to combat human behavioral issues that contribute to road deaths. These summits will address drunk, drugged, distracted and drowsy driving; speeding; failure to use safety features such as seat belts and child seats; and new initiatives to protect vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists.

NHTSA Announces National Recall of Takata Airbags

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today announced it is calling for a national recall of vehicles with certain driver’s side frontal air bags made by Takata. This decision is based on the agency’s evaluation of a recent driver’s side air bag failure in a vehicle outside the current regional recall area and its relationship to five previous driver’s side air bag ruptures, all of which are covered by existing regional recalls.   The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) urges owners of certain Toyota, Honda, Mazda, BMW, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Chrysler, Ford and General Motors vehicles to act immediately on recall notices to replace defective driver-side airbags.  Included in the list of manufacturers are some of the premium lines of vehicles such as Acura, Infiniti and Lexus.  Currently, there are over seven million vehicles involved in these recalls, which have been announced as far back as 18 months ago and as recently as Monday.  NHTSA’s message comes with urgency, especially for owners of vehicles affected by regional recalls in the following areas: Florida, Puerto Rico, limited areas near the Gulf of Mexico in Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and Louisiana, as well as Guam, Saipan, American Samoa, Virgin Islands and Hawaii.   “Responding to these recalls, whether old or new, is essential to personal safety and it will help aid our ongoing investigation into Takata airbags and what appears to be a problem related to extended exposure to consistently high humidity and temperatures. However, we’re leaving no stone unturned in our aggressive pursuit to track down the full geographic scope of this issue,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator David Friedman.   Consumers, who are uncertain whether their vehicle is impacted by the Takata recalls, or any other recall, can contact their manufacturer’s website to search for recalls by their vehicle’s VIN.  Or they can visit NHTSA’s website at SaferCar.gov where they can search for recalls by vehicle year, make and model.  Owners that have been contacted by their manufacturer should make arrangements for the repair.   The numbers cited for potentially affected vehicles below are subject to change and adjustment because there may be cases of vehicles being counted more than once. Owners should check their VIN periodically as manufacturers continue to add VINs to the database   BMW: 627,615 total number of potentially affected vehicles 2000 – 2005 3 Series Sedan 2000 – 2006 3 Series Coupe 2000 – 2005 3 Series Sports Wagon 2000 – 2006 3 Series Convertible 2001 – 2006 M3 Coupe 2001 – 2006 M3 Convertible   Chrysler: 371,309 total number of potentially affected vehicles 2003 – 2008 Dodge Ram 1500 2005 – 2008 Dodge Ram 2500 2006 – 2008 Dodge Ram 3500 2006 – 2008 Dodge Ram 4500 2008 – Dodge Ram 5500 2005 – 2008 Dodge Durango 2005 – 2008 Dodge Dakota 2005 – 2008 Chrysler 300 2007 – 2008 Chrysler Aspen   Ford: 58,669 total number of potentially affected vehicles 2004 – Ranger 2005 – 2006 GT 2005 – 2007 Mustang   General Motors: undetermined total number of potentially affected vehicles 2003 – 2005 Pontiac Vibe 2005 – Saab 9-2X   Honda: 5,051,364 total number of potentially affected vehicles 2001 – 2007 Honda Accord) 2001 – 2002 Honda Accord 2001 – 2005 Honda Civic 2002 – 2006 Honda CR-V 2003 – 2011 Honda Element 2002 – 2004 Honda Odyssey 2003 – 2007 Honda Pilot 2006 – Honda Ridgeline 2003 – 2006 Acura MDX 2002 – 2003 Acura TL/CL 2005 – Acura RL   Mazda: 64,872 total number of potentially affected vehicles 2003 – 2007 Mazda6 2006 – 2007 MazdaSpeed6 2004 – 2008 Mazda RX-8 2004 – 2005 MPV 2004 – B-Series Truck   Mitsubishi: 11,985 total number of potentially affected vehicles 2004 – 2005 Lancer 2006 – 2007 Raider   Nissan: 694,626 total number of potentially affected vehicles 2001 – 2003 Nissan Maxima 2001 – 2004 Nissan Pathfinder 2002 – 2004 Nissan Sentra 2001 – 2004 Infiniti I30/I35 2002 – 2003 Infiniti QX4 2003 – 2005 Infiniti FX35/FX45   Subaru: 17,516 total number of potentially affected vehicles 2003 – 2005 Baja 2003 – 2005 Legacy 2003 – 2005 Outback 2004 – 2005 Impreza   Toyota: 877,000 total number of potentially affected vehicles 2002 – 2005 Lexus SC 2002 – 2005 Toyota Corolla 2003 – 2005 Toyota Corolla Matrix 2002 – 2005 Toyota Sequoia 2003 – 2005 Toyota Tundra

GM recalling 524,000 vehicles in two new recalls

General Motors Co. recently announced that it is recalling more than ½ million vehicles in two new recall campaigns — including 290,000 U.S. SUVs for loose nuts that have been linked to three crashes and two injuries. 1)    GM said Friday the recall would include approximately 290,000 Cadillac SRX (MY 2010~2015) and Saab 9-4X (MY 2011~2012) SUVs in the United States to make sure the rear toe link adjuster bolts are properly tightened.  GM said the loose nuts could result in the toe adjuster link separating which could lead to a crash. Dealers will inspect for the condition and, if necessary, will install a new link assembly. Unsold vehicles are to be checked for proper torque before being sold. GM is aware of three crashes and two injuries as result of this condition. 2)    GM also said it is recalling nearly 90,000 Chevrolet Spark models (MY 2013~2015) in the U.S. because rust can cause the secondary hood latch striker to stick in the open position. If the primary latch is not closed, the hood could open unexpectedly. The affected vehicles, imported from South Korea, were manufactured with a secondary hood latch that may prematurely rust at the latch pivot causing the striker to get stuck out of position and preventing the striker from properly engaging the hood latch. GM told NHTSA in March it learned of three incidents in the United Kingdom of the hoods opening without warning. GM said it had 10 warranty reports of the problem in the United States but is not aware of any crashes or injuries as a result of this condition. The new recalls means GM has issued approximately 70 separate recalls in 2014, affecting approximately 26.5 million vehicles in the United States and 30 million worldwide.

Bosch Releases CDR Version 14.1

Bosch Releases CDR Version 14.1 On October 6th, 2014 Bosch CDR (Crash Data Retrieval) announced the release of its latest software version, 14.1.  The new software adds airbag module imaging support for select 2015 vehicles sold in the US and Canada.  Select vehicle “black boxes” can now be accessed via the DLC (Diagnostic Link Connector) or by directly connecting to the vehicle’s Airbag Control Module (ACM).  The select vehicles which are now supported include: BMW / MINI / Rolls-Royce (MY2015, US Market) – BMW 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 series – BMW X3, X4, X5 and X6 – MINI – Cooper Hardtop, Convertible, Coupe, Countryman, Paceman and Roadster – Rolls-Royce Ghost and Wraith Ford / Lincoln (MY2015, US/Canada Markets) – Ford Escape and Expedition – Lincoln Navigator Honda / Acura (MY2015, US/Canada Markets) – Honda Accord 4Dr and FHEV – Honda Crosstour and CR-V Mazda (MY2015, US/Canada Market) – 2015 CX-9 and Mazda5 Mercedes-Benz / smart (MY2014-2015, US/Canada Markets) – MY2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class EV – MY2015 Mercedes-Benz C, CLA, E, G, GLA, M & S – Class vehicles – 2015 Mercedes-Benz SL & SLK – 2015 smart Toyota (Various MY2001 – MY2015, European Market) – Lexus CT200h, ES, GS, IS, LF-A, LS, LX, RX – Toyota 86, Auris, Avalon, Avensis, Ayg, Celsior, Corolla, Corolla Verso, Dyna, ES/Camry, Harrier, Hilux, Ist, LandCruiser/Prado, Prius, Ractis, RAV4/Vanguard, Toyoace, Verso-S, Yaris Toyota (MY2015, US/Canada, Australia Markets) – Lexus GS, LS & NX – Scion xB – Toyota Avalon, Camry, Highlander, RAV4, Tundra The Bosch CDR system supports select airbag modules for vehicle as far back as 1996.  To see if the pre-crash data from your vehicle’s airbag module can be downloaded please see the BOSCH CDR Coverage List. Veritech engineers utilize the Bosch CDR system as an important tool to aid in performing vehicle accident reconstructions.  Airbag modules are capable of recording valuable pre-crash information, such as vehicle speed, brake application and seatbelt usage, but are not capable of telling the entire story.  Accident reconstruction engineers must still consider all of the available physical evidence, along with the ACM data, in to order to properly reconstruct an accident.  Veritech Consulting Engineering employs Professional Engineers who are specifically trained and certified in the use of the Bosch CDR system and have performed numerous accident reconstructions utilizing airbag module information.  Click on the following link for more information on “black box” technology.

Veritech Expands Accident Reconstruction Capabilities

PRESS RELEASE Engineers at Veritech Consulting Engineering expand the firm’s competencies in the newest accident reconstruction technologies including Crash Data Retrieval analysis and Heavy Vehicle EDR use. Castle Rock, CO – Veritech Consulting Engineering continues to stay on the forefront of technological advances in accident reconstruction techniques through ongoing training and certification programs. Two of the principal engineers at Veritech completed advanced data analysis courses in the fourth quarter to keep the firm on the leading edge of motor vehicle accident reconstruction technology.