Texas Couple Sues Goodyear After Motorcycle Crash

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Posted on 31st March 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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A Texas couple is suing Goodyear Dunlop because they allege that a D250 Radial motorcycle tire was defective, making them crash and suffer severe injuries. http://www.prweb.com/releases/motorcycle_accident/motorcycle_tires/prweb3777974.htm

Martin Stricker of Brownwood, Texas, was riding his Honda GL 1800 Gold Wing with his wife Loretta on the back on US 67 south of Abilene, Texas, when the motorcycle’s rear tire “suddenly and without warning deflated,” according to the lawsuit.

During the Aug. 8, 2008 accident the motorcycle slid sideways, flipped over and ejected Stricker and his wife.

The personal injury lawsuit also names as defendants Honda Motor Co. and Woods Fun Center of Austin, Texas, which sold Stricker the bike and the tire. The suit alleges that Woods replaced the used tires on the motorcycle with tires they claimed were new, when in fact the rear tire was six years old. There was a defective bead in the tire, which caused it to deflate, the suit claims.

For more on lawsuits related to improper installation of tires, go to http://car-accident-rain.com

Cooper Tire Must Pay Out $32.8 Million in Fatal Minivan Rollover Accident


Posted on 24th March 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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A jury has awarded $32.8 million in damages against Cooper Tire & Robber Co. in a case involving a fatal minivan rollover in Iowa.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aMqqH8qA8F2Y# A jury in Des Moines, Iowa, found that Cooper was liable for the accident, which involved a Chrysler minivan that had Cooper tires on it. The panel determined that the tire that was on the minivan wasn’t “state of the art” when it was designed and made. Lawyers for the plaintiffs maintained that the tire was defective.

Cooper Tire plans to appeal the large jury verdict. The tire maker defended its tires as safe, blaming its failure on its “long-term underinflated operation.”

The Grand Voyager minivan, owned by plaintiff Achol Deng Meiwan, had gotten a nail in it, for some time. The nail was still in the tire after the accident.

The van was filled with co-workers from the Swift & Co. meatpacking plant in Marshalltown, Iowa.

The jury awarded Ivan Toe, a 39-year-old woman who became a paraplegic from the accident, $28.4 million. Her children are to receive $65,000.

The estate of a woman who lost her life in the accident, Assata Karlar, 28, will get $649,000. Her husband will receive $420,000, with their five children awarded more than $1 million.

Cooper Tire must also pay punitive damages of $1.5 million.

Alaska Winter Tire Bills Faces Tough Road

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Posted on 6th March 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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A bill that would have required Alaska residents to use winter snow tires has received a stormy reception in the Far North. http://www.tirebusiness.com/subscriber/headlines2.phtml?cat=1204552929&headline=Alaska+legislator+seeks+support+for+bill+mandating+winter+tire+use&id=1267799240#

The bill, sponsored by Rep. John Harris, R-Valdez, had one hearing before the Transportation Committee of the Alaska House of Representatives Feb. 19.

But Valdez has postponed a second hearing that had been set for Feb. 25 on the bill, which has drawn phones calls, FAXs and letters to the editor from its opponents. Harris is trying to rally support for the legislation.

The bill mandates that Alaska drivers either have studded tires or those with a mountain-snowflake symbol between Dec. 15 and March 15, starting Dec. 15, 2011.

During the first hearing, one presentation said that about 90 percent of Alaska residents use all-weather or summer tires in the winter, even though studded tires cause a 10 percent decrease in winter road accidents. In 2007 some 6,600 auto accidents, or 63 percent of the accidents in Alaska that year, took place in the winter.

Worn, Mismatched Tires Likely Lead to SUV’s Rollover


Posted on 18th February 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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We’ve made a crusade of warning the public of the care that must be taken with their tire placement, and here’s another incident that bears us out.

Authorities in Port Saint Lucie, Fla., were blaming mismatched tires on an SUV with causing the vehicle to roll over, ejecting several children. Luckily, the victims didn’t sustain any critical injuries. See http://www.cbs12.com/news/lucie-4724233-port-turnpike.html

In the accident, a man was driving his 1997 Ford Explorer with five kids, all younger than 13, on the Turnpike.

His right rear passenger tire blew, he lost control of the SUV and it rolled over several times.

Three of the children were thrown out of the vehicle. They were hospitalized, but did not sustain any serious injury.

Authorities said that the tire that failed was a different brand than those on the SUV’s other three wheels. And the front left tire was badly worn and needed to be changed.

The main cause of accidents on the Turnpike are worn-out and under-inflated tires, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. To that list we would add having uneven tread between front and back tires, with the better tires on the front. See http://car-accident-rain.com for more information.

Alaska Mulls Making Snow Tires Mandatory


Posted on 17th February 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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Better tires? Sounds like a great idea, right. Well not if they put the new tires on only the front. See http://car-accident-rain.com All tire manufacturers agree that it is extremely dangerous to have newer tires on the front of a vehicle than on the back.

Alaska lawmakers are weighing whether to require state residents to install winter tires on their vehicles from mid-December to mid-March.

The bill also permits the use of studded tires, as well as name-brand tires that the Alaska Department of Public Safety deems acceptable.

The Alaska Legislature’s transportation committee had a hearing on the tire bill Tuesday, when a proposal to bar the use of cell phones by drivers was also discussed.

At the hearing tire company officials said that most winter accidents and deaths in the far northern United States and Europe are caused by problems with turning. We wonder why they didn’t raise the issue they all agree about with respect to assuring that if only two tires are replaced, they must go on the back. This rule would apply even more so for snow tires. Remember, the natural inclination would be to put the snow tires on the front of a front wheel drive car.

Toronto Maple Leaf GM’s Son Killed in Indiana Crash


Posted on 8th February 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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The son of Brian Burke, general manager of the NHL Toronto Maple Leafs, and another youth were both killed in a head-on crash with a truck in central Indiana Friday. http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/Leafs+Burke+killed+accident/2529702/story.html

Brendan Burke, 21, of Canton, Mass., and Mark Reedy died when the car Burke was driving skidded on ice and hit a truck on Highway 35 near Economy, Ind. The accident took place about 70 miles northeast of Indianapolis. Reedy was an 18-year-old Michigan State University freshman studying engineering.

A heavy snowfall made roads slippery and Burke’s 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee hit a 1997 Ford truck head-on.

Burke attended Miami University in Ohio and had a job with the school’s hockey team.

His death brings into question whether his father will go through with plans to attend the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver Feb. 12.

In a press release, the Maple Leafs said, “We are saddened to report that Brendan Burke, the youngest son of Toronto president and general manager Brian Burke, succumbed to injuries he suffered in an auto accident earlier today in Indiana. The family asks for privacy at this very difficult time.”

As we have said repeatedly on this blog, fully understanding what happened in this accident requires an inspection and investigation of the relative tread on the tires on Burke’s vehicle. If the tires on the front were newer than those on the back, this might be what caused the skid. For more information on potential liability of non-drivers in skidding accidents, see http://car-accident-rain.com

Researchers study ‘personality traits’ of cars


Posted on 6th July 2009 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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Just a reminder, if you replace only two of the tires on your car, the new tires go on the back.

Attorney Gordon Johnson

BILL KACZOR,Associated Press Writer

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The butterfly decals on the front bumper, flowers in the dashboard vase and lime-green paint job only confirmed Dennis Slice’s perception of a Volkswagen Beetle parked in a lot at Florida State University.

Slice, a shape analysis researcher, said the narrow body, wide-eyed circular headlights, tall windshield and curve of the bug’s hood match the facial features of a smiling woman or child.

“This is the classic cute car — not dominant, not aggressive,” said Slice, an associate professor of scientific computing at FSU. “I don’t think anyone could be mean to someone else in a Volkswagen Beetle.”

Slice and fellow researchers at Austria’s Vienna University, where he’s a guest professor, are exploring the widely held belief that cars project personalities because they look like human faces when viewed head-on.

Cartoonists, for instance, long have drawn anthropomorphic cars with toothy grills that grinned or frowned and headlights that winked or blinked. The creators of the recent animated film “Cars,” though, used windshields for eyes. They were afraid headlight peepers would have given racer Lightning McQueen and other denizens of Radiator Springs a snakelike appearance.

Three cars parked near the Beetle offer examples of the opposite end of the personality spectrum. A Mitsubishi Eclipse, Ford Mustang and Dodge Charger each practically ooze testosterone.

Their low, wide stances, long hoods, gaping grills and relatively narrow headlights give each of these sporty models a look that’s consistent with the facial features of an adult male, Slice said. Each projects a mature, dominant, aggressive and powerful personality.

“This is a car that’s ready to take care of business,” he said standing in front of the Eclipse. “You don’t want to mess with this car.”

Slice and his Vienna colleagues hope their work one day may help designers determine what parts of a car, such as the headlights, grill or windshield, they can change — and how — to project traits that make cars more appealing to different kinds of customers.

They’re taking the emerging field of shape analysis, or morphometrics, in a new direction. Most other applications have been biological or medical. For example, researchers are trying to determine if bone shapes can be used to help identify the age, gender and race of unknown human remains and how variations in facial features affect the fit and function of respirators.

The idea of seeing faces in inanimate objects is part of a survival instinct that goes back to prehistoric times, Slice said.

Facial features offering clues about a person’s sex, age, emotions and intentions helped early humans “know whether the guy that just stepped out of the bushes is going to take your head back for a trophy or invite you to lunch,” Slice said.

Those identifications are so important that people also tend to see faces even where they don’t exist.

“If you get it wrong and you see a face in a cloud or a stone or a mountain or some burnt toast then you might be frightened a little bit, but it’s no real cost to you,” Slice said. “But if you should ever miss a face and that person wants your head, then that’s a serious omission.”

Slice said future research may look at whether cars’ personalities relate to drivers’ habits and interactions.

“Possibilities are if you see an aggressive car in your rear view mirror you may be more like to pull over and yield to it,” he said. “By the same token, if you see a submissive or more immature car trying to get into traffic you may be more likely to yield to it and help the innocent little car get into traffic.”

Another question is whether drivers have the same personalities as their cars.

Slice got a bit of anecdotal evidence in the parking lot from Gwen Oliver, a custodial supervisor at Florida State, after telling her that her black Eclipse is dominant, aggressive, powerful and “ready to take care of business.”

“I am. Everything you said, I’m like that,” Oliver told him after she briskly walked over to see why he was interested in her car. “I’m aggressive, I’m straightforward and I’m outgoing and I believe in getting the job done.”


Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.