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Airbag Burns

August 3, 2012

Airbags have been a great life-saving safety measure for automobiles. However, air bags can also cause serious injuries, especially to smaller passengers. Those injuries are rare, but can be very serious, sometimes even more serious than the accident would have been if the airbags had not deployed.

Airbags deploy when an automobile crash occurs because an electronic signal tells them to deploy. A chemical reaction occurs that inflates the bag with gas in less than a second. The bags deploy at very high speeds and sometimes they deploy in accidents which occur at low speeds. Unfortunately, the rapid deployment can sometimes cause serious injuries. Also, the bag is not a soft cottony material – it is very rough canvas that can cause injuries if a person is hit hard enough by it.

Some injuries that can occur are burns – either abrasion burns, chemical burns or other burns. Abrasion burns are caused when an individual strikes an airbag at a high speed. Chemical burns can be caused by contact with the chemical that’s released when the bag deploys, which can cause eye damage or blindness. Still other burns are caused by the high temperatures reached by the gases. Those burns usually affect the chest, arms, face and hands. In rare cases, those burns can disfigure an accident victim for life.

If you have suffered injuries from vehicle air bags, call the Dallas airbag injury attorneys at the Barber Law Firm to discuss your injuries. You may be entitled to compensation from either the other driver involved in the accident or the vehicle manufacturer. Call us today at 866-986-1529.

Summer has begun and for many teens that means no school and the joys of freedom. However, summer is a particularly dangerous season for teenagers and car accidents. Surveys show that teens engage in more risky driving behaviors during the summer than during the school year. These risky behaviors lead to more teens being killed in car accidents during summer months than other times of the year.

During the summer, teens do almost 50 percent more driving, on average, than during the school year, which of course can lead to more accidents. Teens are also more likely to stay out later and to drive late at night than during the school year. About a quarter of teen deaths in car accidents occur between the hours of 9 p.m. and 2 a.m.

Teenage drivers typically drive more with other teens in their vehicles during the summer, which has been proven to be much more risky than driving alone or with another adult. Teens can be a huge distraction for one another while driving, which is why many states have changed their laws regarding who can be in the car with teens while they are driving.

Unfortunately, more teens are killed in car crashes, on average, in July than in any other month of the year. June, September and August are also months in which more teens are typically killed in car accidents than others. If you are the parent of a teen driver, take action. Set limits about the hours in which your teen is allowed to drive and who’s allowed to ride with your teen. Talk to teens about the dangers of drug or alcohol use while driving.

If your teen’s been injured in an accident, or if you have been injured in an automobile accident with a teen driver, contact the Dallas personal injury attorneys at the Barber Law Firm at 866-986-1529. Our attorneys will work hard for a fair outcome for your case. Call us today.


Earlier this week, Dallas police told the Dallas Public Safety Committee that they are intent on getting freeways opened more quickly in the Dallas area after an accident. In addition to making that a priority, they are also figuring out how to do it in a way that keeps workers safe. Another important part of the Rapid Response program will involve getting tow trucks to the scene of an accident more quickly.

As part of the new program, called “Rapid Response”, first responders are changing the set-up of equipment at wreck sites. They will be parking fire engines over several lanes to make safe working areas they call shadows. One reason for taking this approach is that in 2007 a fire truck blocked a semi-truck that was skidding from sliding into people trying to rescue a trapped driver.

During the meeting, Assistant Police Chief Tom Lawrence warned drivers to pay attention and lower speeds around accidents, which can help prevent the situation from turning worse. He said that often inattention while driving through an accident zone can cause secondary accidents, such as when people are talking on the phone or texting instead of paying attention to the flow of traffic around the accidents.

Anyone who’s been stuck on a Dallas freeway because of an accident knows how frustrating it can be and how tempting it may be to whip out the cell phone and check your email or catch up on calls. However, that can exacerbate the problem. With the new Rapid Response program, hopefully accidents will be cleared more quickly, which will lead to less frustration and wasted time by other drivers.

Have you been injured in an accident in the Dallas area? If so, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Call the Dallas accident attorneys at the Barber Law Firm at 866-986-1529 to learn more.


It’s so tragic when a highway worker gets hit by a car and killed or injured. However, it’s not uncommon – road workers have one of the highest injury and fatality rates of all occupations. In order to stay safe in work zones, keep in mind the three S’s: speed, space and stress.

First, watch your speed. It’s very dangerous, and not to mention illegal, to speed through a work zone. Maintain a consistent speed throughout the work zone. Don’t accelerate to your normal speed once it appears that you have left the work zone. Instead, wait until you see signs that say it is safe to resume your normal speed.

Next, it’s important to be aware of the space around you. Leave enough room for braking between your car and the car in front. If you become stopped in traffic, leave some distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you. If someone rear ends you, you could avoid hitting the car in front if there is sufficient space between the vehicles. Make sure to leave enough distance between your car and the highway workers, trucks, and equipment. Also, be aware of tailgaters in construction zones. Some drivers become impatient when forced to slow down. If possible, pull over and let them pass.

Finally, manage your stress in work zones. It can be frustrating to encounter a work zone if you are in a hurry to get somewhere, but calm down. Try not to become distracted, which could lead to an accident.

Have you been injured in an accident in a Dallas work zone due to another driver’s negligence? If so, contact the Dallas car accident attorneys at the Barber Law Firm. Call them today for a free consultation at 817-527-8833.

A tragic accident occurred in southeast Dallas on New Year’s Eve. A minivan was waiting to make a turn when a sedan slammed into the right side of the van. An eight year old boy and his seven year old brother were sitting in the cargo area of the van when the accident occurred. When the sedan slammed into the van, it knocked a jack into the head of the eight year old, killing him.

This horrible tragedy illustrates how vitally important it is to use child safety seats. It’s estimated that between 1975 and 2008, almost 9,000 lives were saved by child restraints. Unfortunately, crashes are still the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 3 and 14.

 Under Texas law, anyone under the age of eight must be secured in a safety seat. In addition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends keeping children in a car seat for as long as possible, as long as they fit the seat’s height and weight requirements. Children under 13 should always ride in the back seat.

 When you are selecting a car seat for your child, choose it based on your child’s age and size, and choose one that fits well in your vehicle. Read your vehicle’s owner’s manual on how to install the car seat using the seat belt or LATCH system, and also consult the car seat’s instruction book. If you are uncertain whether it’s installed correctly, locate a child car seat inspection station. 

 Have you or your child been injured in an automobile accident in the Dallas area? If so, contact the Barber Law Firm at 972-231-5800. Our attorneys will help you pursue your legal options.

On April 6, the Texas House approved a bill that would allow the speed limit on some Texas highways to be 85 miles per hour. The Senate is also considering a similar bill.

The new speed limit of 85 would be the highest in the nation. The vote was passed as part of a large transportation bill. The bill authorized the Texas Department of Transportation to raise the speed limit on certain lanes or entire roads after traffic studies and engineering studies were performed.

There are currently over 520 miles of interstate highways in Texas with a speed limit of 80. Automobile insurers are against the measure for safety reasons. Insurance officials claim that increasing the speed limit to 85 will have a big impact on the death and injury rate on highways where the speed limit is raised. They claim that even if the speed limit was increased only on low traffic, flat roads, 85 is simply too fast a speed at which to travel safely. According to the Transportation Department, they haven’t studied the safety data or the speed data the legislation requires in order to raise the speed limit.

Although it is tempting to drive on Texas highways at high rates of speed, especially on those highways with little traffic, increased speeds are dangerous. Accidents are more likely to occur when drivers are speeding.  Accidents that occur at high rates of speed are also more likely to cause serious injuries or deaths than those that occur at lower speeds.

Have you been injured in a Texas automobile accident because another driver was speeding? If so, you may have a cause of action against that driver for your property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, and more. Contact Dallas automobile accident attorney Kris Barber today at 972-231-5800 to learn more.

DALLAS, TX –On the heels of an announcement last week that Toyota would recall approximately 2.3 million vehicles to correct sticking accelerator pedals on specific models, Toyota announced today that it has instructed dealers to temporarily suspend sales of eight models involved in the recall, including the following:

  • Avalon (2005-2010)
  • Camry (certain 2007-2010 models)
  • Corolla (2009-2010)
  • Highlander (2010)
  • Matrix (2009-2010)
  • RAV4 (2009-2010)
  • Sequoia (2008–2010)
  • Tundra (2007-2010)

Spurring the recall and subsequent halting of sales is the possibility that certain accelerator pedal mechanisms may mechanically stick in a partially depressed position or return slowly to the idle position.

Though the car maker reports that this product defect is quite rare, a local tragic accident proves that ‘rare’ does not mean ‘never.’  In fact, a sticking accelerator is being investigated as one possible cause of the December 26, 2009, crash in Southlake last month that killed four people driving in a 2008 Toyota Avalon. Investigators say that the Toyota Avalon was going 40 mph when it sped through an intersection, smashed into a metal fence, hit a tree and landed in a pond, upside down.  Witnesses reported that the vehicle never slowed down. This is consistent with the fact that there were no signs of braking.

Our Dallas accident law firm offers free initial legal consultations on defective products and personal injury cases. If you have been injured, you should contact a Dallas injury attorney immediately to help you determine what insurance coverage may be in place to cover your medical expenses and lost wages, and so that you can take steps to protect your legal rights. Call our Texas Personal Injury Lawyers at (972) 231-5800 or click here to contact us by email.

According to a study published in the Journal of American College of Surgeons, the use of airbags combined with seatbelts considerably reduces injuries to the brain, face, spine and chest during motor vehicle collisions.  As reported by the Washington Post, the study also shows that simultaneous airbag and seatbelt use leads to lower in-hospital death rates and injury severity.

Injury is the leading cause of death among persons age 45 and younger, and motor vehicle collisions are the most frequent cause of injury.  The original airbag, which became widely available in the 1980s, was associated with injury and death, particularly in young children and smaller drivers.  In response to evidence showing that the original airbags increased the risk of injury due to deployment at a high velocity, depowered, or second-generation airbags were mandated in all U.S. automobiles in 1998.  This groundbreaking study is the first to evaluate the potential impact of the use of airbags on a Level 1 trauma center.

The most important statistic reflected in the study was that the in-hospital death rate was considerably higher for unrestrained patients (6.8 percent), compared with 4.6 percent among airbag-only patients, 3.4 percent in the seatbelt-only category, and 3.8 percent in the airbag and seatbelt population.  Researchers indicated that airbags were also associated with fewer days in the intensive care unit (2.8 days compared with 3.7 days for unrestrained patients) and fewer total hospital days (7.1 days compared with 8.6 days for unrestrained patients).  Predictably, the largest reduction in hospital days was seen in patients using both airbags and seatbelts (2.0 days in the intensive care unit and 6.4 total hospital days).

For more about the proper use of airbags and seatbelts, see The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced this year that it will undertake the first major update to its vehicle safety ratings in seven years. The new program will continue to assess passenger cars, pickup trucks, sport utility vehicles, and vans on the five star scale, but will add an overall safety rating that combines the scores of several crash tests.

The new regulations, to be administered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), will take effect for the 2010 model year and will also include new front-end tests and a test in which a vehicle strikes a pole sideways to simulate the wrapping of a vehicle around a tree. Female crash test dummies will also make their debut in the safety-testing program and will be used to represent both women and small children. Additional measures will also include testing for leg injuries and reporting whether vehicles have safety technology.

The new criteria should make it more difficult for vehicles to attain the maximum five star rating. Under the current system, nearly 90 percent of vehicles score the maximum five stars, and many automakers feature that safety rating in their advertising.

For more on the new improvements to the crash test program, see here.

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