Articles Posted in Stalled or Stopped Cars

Google has been hard at work developing self-driving cars, which they hope will be available to consumers in the not too distant future. Technically speaking, Google is not building a car, but an automated driving system, which can be added to an already existing vehicle. In the future, it is likely the technology will be integrated into the car during the design process.

brokencar.jpgHowever, as this driverless car technology is still very much in the design phase, there are bound to be some problems. According to a recent feature fromTech Crunch, there have been 11 car accidents in the past six years involving Google’s driverless cars. In all of these accidents, Google has conducted detailed investigations, and it seems that in all 11 accidents, Google blames the human driver for the crash.
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Johnston-Forbes v. Matsunaga, an appeal heard before the Supreme Court of Washington, involved a plaintiff (“Plaintiff”) who was a professional golfer. Plaintiff played in a golf tournament and was headed back to her hotel room, along with her family. Plaintiff was sitting in the middle of the backseat with her two young children in car seats sitting on either side of her.

1390432_traffic_light.jpgThe car was stopped at a traffic light when it was rear-ended by a car driven by Defendant. That evening, Plaintiff said she was experiencing pain in her neck and back. Eventually, the pain in her back ceased, but the pain in her neck continued.

Plaintiff had an MRI performed four years after the accident that revealed that she had a herniated disc in her neck. She was never able to return to the LPGA pro golf tour.

At trial, Plaintiff sued Defendant, seeking both general and special damages. Special damages are those for which an exact amount can be established, like medical bills, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. Defendant did not deny liability for hitting Plaintiff but denied that Defendant’s negligent driving caused her injuries.

As our Winston-Salem attorneys who represent car accident victims understand, in some cases, a Defendant will admit that they engaged in negligent conduct that caused the accident. When a Defendant submits to the court on the issue of liability, there will be a trial just on the issue of damages. In other words, the defendant admits that the accident was his or her fault but disagrees about the amount of money, if any, that should be awarded to the plaintiff.
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Motorists throughout North Carolina may have noticed an increase in the number of Department of Transportation (DOT) trucks on roadways during last month. News & Record reports that weekend service for Incident Management Assistance Patrol (IMAP) was extended to several counties starting the first weekend of November to help response time to a car accident in Greensboro, Asheville and elsewhere in our area.
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Motorists who run into trouble on roadways during weekend travel now have another option for assistance thanks to the department. Asheville car accident attorneys know how important response time to an accident is. Not only does it help quicken medical attention directed to accident victims but it can also get vehicles involved in an accident moved off the roadway to eliminate the risk of another accident caused by a rubbernecker interested in the scene of an accident.

Before November, IMAP was available only through the week. Now the bright yellow trucks are canvasing interstates and highways on weekends and offering assistance to stranded motorists and helping to report accidents to authorities. IMAP patrols are now be available from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays in Davidson, Randolph, Guilford, Alamance, Forsyth, Davie, Orange and Rowan counties. The trucks will be monitoring Interstate 40, U.S. 29, Interstate 85 and U.S. 52 among others.

The purpose of IMAP is to assist motorists who have broken down or have been involved in an accident while managing the flow of traffic so that heavily traveled roads don’t become backed up for miles or completely shut down for hours. The service is free and has several benefits for travelers. Not only is there a faster response time to idle motorists but emergency services and personnel can be coordinated and offer rescue services much quicker.

Motorists should not confuse IMAP drivers for law enforcement officials. IMAP drivers only assist at the scene. They are not the authorities involved in an investigation. Motorists should also be careful of knowing who to look for. IMAP drivers wear uniforms, carry identification stating they are NCDOT personnel and drive yellow trucks with a logo imprinted on the side. Unmarked vehicles stopping to assist that don’t meet these criteria do not work for IMAP and should be approached with caution. If an IMAP truck drives by your disabled vehicle they are probably already responding to a different call or accident.

To view maps of roadways covered in your area, click on the city links found below.

Greensboro
Winston-Salem
Charlotte
Asheville

In 2009, there were roughly 63,000 stops to help stranded motorists. Motorists who see a yellow DOT truck should remember to slow down and move over to reduce the risk of another car accident as you pass by the scene.
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On Thursday afternoon, two York County Sheriff’s deputies were hurt in a car crash near Charlotte. According to media reports, the two had stopped to help the driver of a truck that had stalled in traffic on I-77. As one of the deputies was outside the patrol car and the other still in it, an SUV rammed the car from behind. Both of the deputies, as well as the driver of the SUV, were transported to area hospitals for treatment.

Law enforcement officers are always concerned when they have to stop on a road, or even on the side of the road, with traffic flowing by. Other motorists find themselves in that same dangerous situation if their car breaks down or an accident forces them to stop. If their car can manage it, motorists are generally told to pull over to the side of the road before stopping. Once parked on the side of the road, some people believe that the safest course is to remain in the car while waiting for help. However, the “Highway Road Tips” posted by the North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety advise otherwise: if motorists are involved in a crash or have other problems that force them to pull over to the side of a road, the driver and any passengers should all leave the car though the passengers’ side, move off the road, and stand away from the car. That way, they would be out of the path of drivers who might veer onto the shoulder and hit the stationary car.
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