What Is Sudden Unintended Acceleration?
The average motor vehicle is dangerous enough without part defects making it even more unsafe for drivers and their passengers. Unfortunately, automakers frequently release vehicles with design and manufacturing defects. One of the most dangerous defects is sudden unintended acceleration – an issue with a vehicle that can cause it to accelerate without instigation from the driver. Find out if you have grounds for a claim after sudden unintended acceleration causes a car accident in Omaha.
Signs of Sudden Unintended Acceleration
Sudden unintended acceleration occurs when an electronic malfunction within the vehicle causes the throttle to expand and the car to accelerate without the driver pressing down on the gas pedal. If a vehicle has a defect in its electronic system, the mechanism that controls the car’s power train could malfunction. In newer vehicles, this can be even more dangerous due to throttle control mechanisms that can malfunction. You might be the victim of sudden unintended acceleration if you notice a problem with your car while in use.
- Accelerations in speed while driving, without hitting the gas pedal
- Suddenly acceleration from a complete stop without touching the gas
- Being unable to brake
- Trouble returning the car to idle if it is in gear
- The inability to control the vehicle
Sudden unintended acceleration can happen any time, but appears to occur most often when a driver hits the brakes, switches to cruise control or shifts gears. These changes could disturb the vehicle’s electrical current and trigger a malfunction that accelerates the vehicle without prompting. This is a dangerous malfunction that could cause a catastrophic car accident.
If you experience sudden unintended acceleration, try hitting your brakes. Keep the pressure on your brakes steady while pressing down with as much force as possible. In an emergency, shift your vehicle to neutral and turn off the engine. Try to stay calm and do not jerk your wheel while your vehicle is accelerating. Once you regain control or if your car crashes, call 911 for assistance with your vehicle. Then, contact an Omaha car accident attorney to help you bring a claim to damages.
Grounds for a Product Liability Claim in Nebraska
Sudden unintended acceleration has caused multiple accidents, serious injuries and deaths over the years. This issue is especially common among certain Toyota vehicles, as listed in consumer complaints in a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Although the NHTSA concluded no vehicle-based defects that would have caused sudden unintended acceleration and issued no recalls, other safety organizations do not agree. Victims injured and surviving loved ones of those killed in sudden unintended acceleration accidents have come forward with civil claims to hold the manufacturers of defective vehicles accountable.
In Nebraska, to have grounds for a defective vehicle claim, you or your personal injury attorney will have to prove that a) the vehicle contained a defect and b) the defect caused your injury or a loved one’s death. A lawyer may be able to help you prove your case by gathering evidence such as a mechanical overview of the vehicle’s electronic system, expert testimony, photographs, eyewitness accounts of the accident and medical records. It is important to hire an attorney to help you prove your case and protect your rights. Otherwise, the defendant may try to allege that you were responsible for accelerating the vehicle and causing the wreck.
Sudden unintended acceleration is a frightening problem the NHTSA and automakers have ignored in the past. Yet the reality of defective vehicles and their faulty electronic systems is evident in the number of related car accidents, injuries and fatalities. If you have injuries from an accident in which you suspect sudden unintended acceleration, contact a car accident lawyer in Omaha for assistance bringing an injury claim.