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NHTSA Proposes Rule Requiring Brake-Override Systems

In a well-publicized accident in August 2009, four people died when the accelerator of the Lexus they were riding in got caught on a floor mat and prevented the driver from stopping. Toyota subsequently made the wrong kind of headlines when it finally recalled more than 10 million potentially defective vehicles and was fined over $50 million for its failure to act more promptly.

Illinois motorists are safer for Toyota's recall action, though, and there is the promise of more safety improvements to come. The kind of accident that prompted the Toyota recall is caused by a stuck accelerator, or by some disconnection in the accelerator system. The car suddenly speeds up dangerously, overpowering the brake system no matter how hard a driver stomps on the brake pedal.

What can help in uncontrolled acceleration incidents is a brake override system. The system works automatically to stop a vehicle when the brake and accelerator are both applied at the same time. Brake override systems are now standard on many current automobile models, including Toyota, Ford, Chrysler and General Motors.

Soon all cars manufactured in the United States will be required to have a brake override system, once a proposed National Highway Traffic Safety Administration rule is approved. The new requirement is supported enthusiastically by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, and it is expected to have full effect by 2014.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of another party, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can assess your case and help you get the compensation for your injuries you deserve. For more information, contact a personal injury attorney today.

Source: Detroit News, "NHTSA proposes making brake-override standard," David Shepardson.

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