The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is proposing a new regulation requiring all new vehicles have a brake-override system installed that would allow drivers to stop their vehicles should their brakes fail. The proposal comes in the wake of an August 2009 car accident in San Diego in which an off-duty highway patrolman caused the deaths of four people while driving a borrowed car with an accelerator pedal caught under a floor mat. This accident led Toyota to recall over ten million vehicles for faulty accelerator pedals.
The proposal would go into effect in September 2014, and the ultimate aim of the proposal is to prevent issues that cause brake failure, such as the sticking or floor entrapment of accelerator pedals and the malfunction of the accelerator’s control system. The regulation would require that all vehicles currently on the road be installed with an override system that would stop the vehicle when the brakes and accelerator pedals are pressed at the same time.
The best way for motorists to avoid problems such as the sticking of accelerator pedals is by simply performing routine maintenance on their vehicles and checking to see that their accelerator pedals are not stuck down by mats or other objects. Brake override systems are gradually becoming more prevalent in vehicles, with manufacturers such as Ford and Chrysler installing them in almost all of their new vehicles, so these systems are a useful tool for keeping motorists out of danger.
In the event of a traffic accident, monetary damages are available to any motorist injured by the negligence of another motorist. Generally, courts will award monetary damages to plaintiffs for any physical or mental injuries suffered as a result of the accident. Damages awarded in negligence actions include damages for lost wages, physical and mental injuries, and for any medical bills incurred from the accident.
If you or someone you love has suffered injury due to the negligence of another driver, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. A personal injury lawyer can assess your case and help you get the compensation for your injuries you deserve.
Source: Detroit News, “NHTSA proposes making brake-override standard,” David Shepardson, April 13, 2012