Chemical Propellant Linked to Exploding Airbags Used by Takata

October 29, 2014

Airbags in motor vehicles use a propellant to inflate the airbags in the event of a motor vehicle crash, but Takata airbags has been using a chemical propellant, to inflate their airbags, that has been the cause for a recall of nearly 8 million vehicles. The problem with the Takata airbags is that to make their airbags inflate, they are using a dangerous chemical, aluminum nitrate, which can cause injury and death. When the airbags inflate and explode, they, cause shrapnel and other debris to enter the vehicle and can cause injury and death to the driver and passengers. To date, the use of Aluminum nitrate in the Takata airbags has been linked to at least four deaths and a number of injuries.

Takata airbags are mostly used by the automobile manufacturer Honda, and so far all the deaths associated with these airbags have been linked to Honda vehicles. Other vehicle manufacturers have had to make recalls, as well, but Honda has had the majority of the recalls associated with the use of Takata airbags.

To date, Takata is the only company that uses Aluminum nitrate as an airbag propellant. This chemical, though efficient at inflating the airbags in the speed needed to respond to a vehicle collision or impact, reacts negatively to moisture. This negative reaction to moisture, in turn, increases the power of the chemical reaction, and therefore; causes the airbags to explode. The explosion causes debris and other particles to enter the vehicle cabin and can hurt the driver and passengers in the vehicle. As stated, previously; four people have died as a result of using Takata airbags, to date.

The chairman of Takata Corporation, which was founded in 1930, is Mr. Shigehisa Takada. Earlier this week, Mr. Takada publicly apologized for the defective airbags. He said the company has put aside about $28 million dollars to pay for the recalls, in addition to the almost $70 million already spent.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched a campaign to raise awareness about the risk of the Takata airbags, specifically in areas with warmer climates, such as Florida, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and the Gulf of Mexico. The NHTSA has urged owners of vehicles with Takata airbags to seek immediate repairs. Therefore; all vehicle owners with Takata airbags need to have their vehicles repaired, especially those in warmer climates, as they are more seriously affected, due to higher moisture levels and the reaction that causes with the chemical Aluminum nitrate used by Takata airbags.

Motorcycle Safety In the State of Maryland

October 6, 2014

Driving a motor cycle takes skill and concentration. In the state of Maryland, there are voluntary courses that riders can take, in order to get the proper training and strategies to operating a motorcycle. These courses are offered to new, as well as, experienced riders. Since the MVA’s Motorcycle Safety Program began, over 100,000 people have learned to ride motorcycles. The criteria for the MVA Motorcycle Safety program, meets and exceeds the standards established by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.

Maryland residents under the age of 18, who want to apply for a motorcycle license, however, need to complete either of the two motorcycle safety courses offered by the MVA. One is the Basic Rider Course and the other is the Alternate Basic Rider Course. In these courses, riders learn special skills and mental strategies necessary to ride a motorcycle responsibly. They also learn awareness of motorcycle safety and state laws.

In the program riders are given certain safety tips. Some of which are:

  • Make ones’ self visible. This means wearing riding gear that makes you more visible in traffic in addition to providing protection in the event of a crash. Wear bright colors and reflective strips/decals at night.
  • Ride with your headlights on and in areas where you can be seen easily. Do not ride in a vehicle driver’s blind spot. If you can’t see them, they can’t see you.
  • Give yourself ample space and time to react.
  • Always use your turn signals as well as hand signals, I possible. Avoid weaving in and out of traffic lanes and flash your brake lights when you are slowing down and before stopping.
  • Be Non-aggressive and cooperative. Share the road with other drivers.
  • Make sure and wear the proper gear when riding your motorcycle, which should include, over the ankle boots, gloves, protective jacket, pants and a helmet with a face shield or protective glasses.

Therefore; if you are involved in a motorcycle accident, first seek immediate emergency treatment and then contact a Washington, D.C. motorcycle accident attorney to help you handle your claim. Our office is open Monday-Friday 8 am-5:30 pm, but we are always available by phone and email.

“Move Over Law” to Include Tow Trucks as of October 1, 2014 in Maryland

September 22, 2014

The state of Maryland has passed a new traffic law which states that a driver is required to move over a lane when passing a stopped emergency vehicle. This means that if for example: A police officer is on the far right lane and is flashing its lights, every motorist in the far right lane should move one lane to the left, if not they can and will be ticketed. It is referred to as the “Move Over Law” and it is intended to provide police and other emergency responders a bit more of a safety margin when they’re at work on highways and major roadways. This law in particular took effect in Maryland in 2010, but many drivers are unaware and therefore being ticketed for this infraction. As for Virginia, the law took effect in 2002 and the District of Columbia has yet to implement such a law.

In Maryland the exact language of the law is the following:

“Drivers approaching an emergency vehicle using signals while stopped on a highway are required to make a lane change, if possible, into an available lane not immediately adjacent to the emergency vehicle. If mobbing to another lane is unsafe, the driver must slow to a “reasonable and prudent speed, given the current conditions on the highway.”

Emergency vehicles are considered to be those operated by law enforcement agencies, vehicles of rescue squads and fire departments, Maryland emergency medical services, state vehicles responding to oil or hazardous material spills and ambulances of all types. As of October 1, 2014, this law will also include tow trucks.

The violation is considered a primary offense. This means that you do not have to be doing anything else illegal to be stopped by police. The fine is $110 and one point on a driver’s license. However; if the violation contributes to an automobile accident, the fine increases to $150 and three points. If however the violation contributes to a fatal automobile accident or one where there is a serious injury, the fine is $750 and three points on a driver’s license.