Massachusetts Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack and Massachusetts Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash, along with other state officials, conducted on Wednesday, April 27 a meeting that seeks to determine how the state can play a role in the self-driving car industry, by making recommendations to the industry that they should hire people who will operate such cars from the state, and by developing regulations that would make it safe for people who want to explore the options of being inside a vehicle without actually manning it.

Self-driving car industry leaders say that such vehicles can potentially make it safer for motorists to drive on roads and highways in the sense that they can lessen traffic congestion. Another great thing about them, industry experts said, is the advantage of allowing people who do not know how to drive to be able to get around.

The elderly, in particular, can be helped by these self-driving vehicles; instead of risking an accident every time they enter the roads with their cars because old age has eroded their once sharp senses and made their reflexes slower than usual, they can rest assured that they will reach their destination safely because an automated pilot is doing the driving for them.

Industry experts also boasted of lower emissions in these vehicles.

John Leonard, a professor at the Massachusetts’ Institute of Technology’s computer science and artificial intelligence laboratory, said there is a possibility that the development of self-driving cars will be likened to the United States-Russia space race back in the 60s, with auto manufacturers like Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford Motor Co. and Detroit, Michigan-based General Motors Co. and technology firms like Uber and Mountain View, California-based Google competing for the industry’s advancements.

In Leonard’s opinion, the state of Massachusetts can take part in this driving revolution: if it banks on its major expertise areas like computer software development.

At present, five states including Washington, D.C. are allowing the testing of self-driving cars on public roads and highways.

Attorneys at Crowe & Mulvey, LLP say that the prevalence of autonomous vehiles in streets can greatly impact the rate of personal injury accidents, particularly car crashes.

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Anyone can have a rollover accident if the circumstances are right, but it is also true that some cars are more likely to “tip over” than other vehicles. Low vehicles like sedans usually have a low center of gravity (COG), which means it is closer to the ground. It takes a lot of force to flip a sedan over. Sport utility vehicles (SUVs), however, are a different story. SUVs have a high profile, meaning they ride higher relative to their width. They have a higher COG, which makes them easier to flip even if it isn’t “tripped.” This doesn’t necessarily mean that a tall vehicle will roll over, though. It depends on how wide it is as well.

A good way to think of it is a mug and a juice glass of the same height. If the wind is gusty enough, it can knock the juice glass down but not the mug. This is because even though they are the same height, the juice glass is narrower and has a higher COG than the mug.

How can you tell if your vehicle’s COG is high enough to put you at risk of rollover accidents?

Studies have been made of vehicles per model type based on the risk to rollover. It is important to do your research about this because rollover accidents are often much more serious than your average fender bender. According to the website of Resmini Law, the injuries associated with rollovers include traumatic brain or spinal cord injury, multiple fractures, and extensive soft tissue damage.

If you or a family member has sustained serious injury because your vehicle’s design caused a rollover accident, you may have a defective design case against the manufacturer. Find out more my consulting with a rollover accident lawyer in your state and get the compensation you deserve.

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Celebrations, such as New Year’s Eve and the upcoming Super Bowl, often lead to too much drinking or extended happy hours, which, with the added dangers of wintery road conditions, could eventually lead to road accidents. A simple adult DUI offense that resulted in injury or fatality is actually two offenses: first is driving under the influence (of alcohol or drugs) and, second is driving with a BAC (blood alcohol level) of 0.08 percent or more. These two are separate offenses that you need to defend yourself from in court should the need arise.

Depending on the state, each has their own rules and laws regarding DUI and driving with BAC level over 0.08 percent. To be able to be charged for a car accident with these offenses, the violator should be (1) operated a vehicle (including a boat, in some states) and (2) you operated the vehicle despite being physically and mentally impaired to a certain degree. In some states, DUI only requires the violator to drive on public roads, while other states can charged a person with DUI even while inside private land. The best way to be sure about DUI laws is to read about them.

When arrested, it is important for the violator to be given and informed of their “chemical test” rights. Chemical tests include breath, blood and urine tests. This usually describes your right of getting a blood and urine sample for your own test, and the possible repercussions of your refusal to take a chemical test. Failing to inform you of the repercussions can give you the chance to challenge the decision of suspending your driver’s license.

After a violator who caused the car accident refused to admit for a chemical test, he will be liable to sanctions, including suspension of driver’s license among other things. In some states, refusal for a chemical test can put a violator at risk of being criminally charged in addition to having the DUI charge.

If an individual finds themselves in a situation such as this, it may be helpful to seek the assistance of a legal professional who is experienced in handling alcohol related cases. A lawyer who focuses on defending DUI cases can help you reduce penalties or help you clear a criminal record.

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