Volvo's Automatic Braking System for Semi-Trucks

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Volvo Trucks Global is taking a step into the future with its new automatic braking system. The company has created a Collision Warning/Early Braking system for its trucks. This development, as detailed in Business Insider, is designed for trucks to brake automatically if they get too close to other vehicles in front of them. A sensor on the front “sees” the road ahead, and brakes the truck on its own, if it gets too close to the car in front of it. 
 
When braking, an alarm sounds and a display light activates on the dashboard, anticipating the truck’s sudden stop. The truck’s back taillights flash like hazards when the automatic braking system is in use, alerting drivers behind the truck, so that drivers behind can avoid a rear end car crash. All this for a truck carrying 40 tons of cargo!   

The primary goal of Volvo working to make automated features for semi-trucks is to increase auto safety. Hayder Wokil, Autonomous and Automated Driving Director for Volvo Trucks, said, “We are focused on solutions that can make difficult, repetitive and time-consuming tasks easier for all concerned.” The latest technological improvement will affect other drivers on the road, beyond just the truck drivers. In 2015, almost 64% of fatal crashes involving large trucks also involved two other vehicles, as found in an analysis by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). In other words, other drivers are at risk of injury or death from a semi-truck accident. Developments like automated truck brakes may improve the safety of truck crashes for all drivers. 
 
Worldwide, companies like Volvo are using trucks to minimize harvest damage that human-operated trucks create, utilizing automatic garbage trucks, and enlisting self-driving delivery trucks to bring packages to people’s doorsteps. With so many possibilities for advancement, the automated truck industry will likely see rapid growth in the coming years. It will be exciting to watch consumer fears grow into fascination, as more and more automotive companies focus on turning even the biggest trucks on the road into a safer form of transportation in the near future. 

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Volvo's automatic braking system for semi-trucks will make stopping suddenly much easier for truck drivers, helping drivers behind them avoid rear end car accidents. If you or someone you know has been involved in a truck accident, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. Our skilled attorneys can tell you if you are eligible for any compensation under Michigan law. 

Vehicle Headlight Performances Are Leaving Drivers In The Dark

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Headlights are as necessary to driving as they are for providing visual safety on roads. While many over look need for headlights during the day, they are a safety necessity during the night that can help prevent night time car accidents. With shadows dancing on the road and visibility limited to what can only be seen with car headlights, driving in the night can be dangerous. USA TODAY reported on a recent study that found something that may be even more alarming if you often drive at night: only 2 of the 37 mid-size sport-utility vehicles (SUV) offered by the U.S. auto industry have headlight packages that are considered to have “good” performance. This alarming discovery should worry drivers, as poor headlight performance can put motorists and pedestrians in danger on dark roads.

The study is actually an update to one conducted in 2016. It tests 2017's car models gradually, rating headlight performances. The results found that 11 models have “poor” headlights, 12 fall in the “marginal” category, and 12 were found to be “acceptable.” Despite the less than stellar findings, headlights on cars tested in the study have improved since 2016's test, when 12 of 21 models were labeled as having a “poor” performance, with only four having “acceptable” headlights. The only two vehicles with the best headlight performance were the Volvo XC60 and the Hyundai Santa Fe. The vehicles with the worst headlights were the Infiniti QX60, Lincoln MKC, Lincoln MKX, Dodge Journey, Ford Edge, Ford Explorer, GMC Terrain, Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, Jeep Wrangler, Kia Sorento, and the Toyota 4Runner.

A senior research engineer for the headlight performance study, Matt Brumbelow, said that cars are, “still coming up short, though things are improving. Manufacturers are responding and some of the quick fixes have already taken place.”

Some automakers have taken on the challenge of creating these quick fixes by actually designing new improvements to headlights. These include lights that swerve with the curvature of roads, while others have advocated for the switch of all headlights to the already existing adaptive-beam headlights, which “dim light aimed at oncoming motorists to reduce glare while maintaining high beams on the road ahead to ensure visibility.” Additionally, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (a group that represents major automakers) supports changing outdated US regulations in order to allow the adoption of even more technology that could greatly improve headlight performance, as already demonstrated in Europe and Japan.

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On the other hand, as shown by the headlight tests, there is still a long way to go before drivers can be guaranteed safe headlights for all vehicles. Sometimes, installation issues may prevent headlights from performing well. Other times, car owners find that manufacturers didn't aim headlights in the right direction when they were installed. Simple errors like these may lead to difficulties driving in the dark, down the road, which can in turn lead to car crashes. Working and properly installed headlights are important because, if motorists cannot see while driving at night, they may be at greater risk of being involved in an automobile crash. Headlight regulations should continue to be monitored to light the way for automakers to design the safest vehicles for consumers, no matter what time of day it is.


Headlights keep dark roads lit for drivers, allowing them to see what's ahead on the road. If you or someone you know has been involved in an automobile accident related to headlight malfunction, or has been involved in any other type of car crash, please contact The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

My Oh My! That Seat Belt Looks Good On You

There are thousands of unique accessories in the fashion world, from purses to jewelry to hats to belts; the list goes on and on. Over the past few decades, fashion has started to become more economically friendly, with old products and materials being remade into something totally different. One unusual item being used for fashion is typically found in your car: seat belts! The secure straps were initially developed to save lives in automobile accidents, but today are being used for much more. 

Source:  HARVEYS

Source: HARVEYS

Nils Bohlin, a Swedish engineer, invented the modern-day seat belt in 1959. Previously, there were only two-point seat belts, and the only people who used them were race car drivers. Bohlin was hired by Volvo to be the company’s first chief safety engineer. After Bohlin’s revolutionary invention, Volvo made the new seat belts available to other manufacturers to help increase safety in the industry. By 1968, all American vehicles were required to have the modern day seat belts. Volvo estimates that over one million lives have been saved by the seat belt from the time of its invention to the time of Bohlin’s death in September 2002. In just the United States alone, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that seat belts save over 11,000 lives in car crashes per year. 

At some point, however, seat belts evolved from only being safety devices to protect people in the event of a car accident. Today, seat belts are used as fashion accessories, an economically friendly way to change up an outfit. HARVEYS, a California-based company, makes handbags and lifestyle goods out of old car seat belts. It all started when Dana Harvey was restoring a classic car and used the leftover seat belts to make a bag for his wife, Melanie. Today, HARVEYS makes numerous purses, bags, and backpacks in endless colors and designs, using seat belts in a fun and creative way. The company’s products even extend to dog leashes, passport holders, and lawn chairs! In a statement HARVEYS said, employees “get to experience the full life cycle of a product, and that has a big effect on how (they) design...it inspires you to make quality stuff that can last a lifetime.” The repurposing of seat belts doesn’t sound very far off from the original goals of creating a safer seat belt.

Source:  Buckle-Down

Source: Buckle-Down

Another business, Buckle-Down, turns seat belts into belts and buckles that hold up pants. Custom designs allow customers to choose what they want their belt to look like, and they offer everything from Disney cartoons to sports teams to car company logos. Buckle-Down also partners with retailers such as Hot Topic, Bed Bath and Beyond, and the Disney theme parks to bring recycled seat belt belts to more people.

There is always the possibility that someone will fall in love with a seat belt fashion accessory, and as a result, use their seat belt more or help spread awareness to others about the importance of strapping in while riding in a motor vehicle. In fact, whether they are connected or not, along with the popularity of up-cycled seat belt products, seat belt usage in the US has increased steadily from 70.7% in 2000 to 90.1% in 2016. Still, there are many more lives that could be saved in a motor vehicle accident through the use of a seat belt. 48% of people killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2015 were not wearing seat belts, which is alarming considering that this safety product is not a new development. During an automobile crash, buckling up helps keep passengers safe and secure inside their vehicles. The Michigan Law Firm, PC blog has previously discussed the NHTSA's safety tips on how to wear a seat belt properly, so as to help prevent an injury or fatality in the event of a car crash. 

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Nils Bohlin likely never imagined his first seat belt becoming more than a safety precaution after its development. Smooth and sleek, seat belts offer a trendy and unique look to fashionistas looking to update their outfits. Seat belt products also help the environment by reusing old belts to make something brand new. While seat belts are continuing to be transformed today, it is important to remember to “Click It or Ticket” when riding in a motor vehicle, as your life may depend on it. 


Seat belt fashion accessories are available on the market, bringing a more attractive side to safety. However, in line with their original purpose, seat belts are an important safety measure that save lives during a motor vehicle crash. Anyone riding in a car or driving a vehicle should always wear their seat belts, because no one looks good flattened on the side of the road. If you or someone you know has been involved in a car collision, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation. 

New Safety Barriers Hope To Minimize Storefront Crashes

At least 60 times per day, cars crash into storefronts, restaurants, and businesses, sending vehicles into windows and front doors at road speeds. In fact, the Storefront Safety Council says over 4,000 people are injured and 500 people are killed each year from storefront car crashes. While many stores have safety barriers in front of them to prevent vehicles from hitting buildings, the regulations on these barriers are virtually nonexistent. Additionally, TODAY reports that there are no federal requirements for stores to have protective barriers in front of their businesses. This makes it even easier for careless drivers to run down roadblocks or to bypass sidewalks, endangering pedestrians and store workers alike. 

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Luckily, new technology is being developed that hopes to minimize storefront crashes. Traditionally, safety barriers in parking lots and in front of stores look like short yellow poles, but are basically steels pipe filled with concrete. Tests at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute show these barriers being knocked down like a bowling pin when hit by a car traveling at 20 mph, the speed of most parking lots. 

Therefore, the latest design of storefront safety barriers use stainless steel in place of concrete. These improved car crash barriers last longer, don’t rust in extreme weather conditions, and require less maintenance and upkeep. When tested by the same car on the same track as the yellow concrete barriers, the stainless steel barriers completely stopped the vehicle, traveling at 20 mph. Even when tested at 30 mph, the stainless steel barrier barely flinched, not only preventing a car from hitting people inside a nearby store, but also keeping the vehicle from running over pedestrians walking near the barriers. 

Michigan Speeding Car Accident Lawyer

28% of storefront incidents are caused by operator error, with another 28% caused by pedal errors. Simple vehicle malfunctions often set drivers up for disaster, forcing them to lose control and crash into nearby stores. Speeding through the parking lot also may cause storefront crashes. Because these crashes can happen so easily, safety barriers are encouraged to help save lives. As new technologies develop, it is up to business owners to install preventative barriers to keep employees and customers on their feet.

Speeding and careless driving may lead to serious motor vehicle accidents. Storefront crashes are not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about an automobile accident, but happen more often than people think. It is important to pay attention at all times when driving, even if only driving in parking lots, and to slow down and watch out for pedestrians. People involved in storefront crashes are never expecting to be in danger while shopping for groceries or waiting for a dentist appointment. Modern safety barriers can help prevent car crashes from happening and may protect innocent bystanders from being injured or killed in a storefront car accident.  


Speeding and careless driving frequently contribute to storefront car crashes. If you or someone you know has been injured in a automobile accident caused by a speeding driver, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. We fight for victims of speeding car crashes.

Digging Deeper Into Car Safety Features

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Thinking about buying a new car soon? You might want to do your homework on the safety features before closing the deal. While virtually every new car is proclaimed to be “the safest car yet,” there are still differing opinions on what truly makes a car safest for drivers. Confusing terminology and differing safety features that cars offer can make choosing a car difficult, and requires potential car buyers to take a closer look.

One safety feature that can cause confusion for buyers and dealers alike, is the Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) system. AEB uses sensors which are mounted on the front end of a car to detect when a driver is about to have a collision and hasn’t done anything about it, and will apply the brake system for the driver. According to The Telegraph, this technology has reduced the chances of a rear-end collision by nearly 38%. It is expected that as systems such as AEB spread and become more popular, insurance premiums will have decreased by 43% worldwide, by 2035. 

Unfortunately, there has been confusion over which variation of AEB is most effective or even what to call it. Most manufacturers don’t refer to it by the standard term, and buyers are hardly aware the technology even exists, which results in buyers not being able to ask the appropriate questions about the safety feature. 

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Making things even more confusing for consumers, is the fact that there are currently three different variations of the system: laser-based, radar-based, and camera-based. Results have shown that combined a radar and camera-based system proves to be the most effective, but due to the expensive cost of the technology, most vehicles are not being fitted for these combined features. 

For prospective car buyers, it’s important to be thorough in inquiring about the safety features of the cars they are interested in. Before looking at different car options, buyers should do research online to find information on different safety features that are offered. 


If you or somebody you know has been involved in an accident, including those caused by defective safety measures, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our attorneys are experienced in handling all types of auto accidents, and will get you the help and answers you need. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.