New-NJ-Boating-Laws-PI-blog-300x200Just as motorists are obliged to follow the rules of the road, boaters have laws to follow, too. For example, vessel operators can be cited if they fail to obey posted speed limits or adhere to right-of-way passing rules, or if they operate their vessels while under the influence, just like motorists can be. These laws and others like them are intended to help prevent accidents and keep the waterways safe for all to enjoy.

With summer now in full swing, there are plenty of opportunities to take to the water. Before you launch your boat, though, make sure you are up-to-date on all the rules affecting you, including two new laws recently passed in New Jersey regarding the use of boats and other personal watercrafts. To learn more, read “Two New Boating Laws in NJ You Absolutely Need to Know About.”

Drunk driving prevention: women taking car keys away from man who has drink in his hand.Despite all the driver education programs, the Drive Sober campaigns, and the strict penalties, drunk driving is still one of the leading causes of all traffic fatalities in the U.S. In fact, in 2023 DUI-related traffic accidents resulted in more than 13,000 fatalities, or 35% of all traffic-related deaths that year.

In another effort to crack down on this risky behavior, Congress passed an act last November that, in part, directs the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to draft new safety standards that would require future passenger vehicles be equipped with technology to detect alcohol levels and prevent drivers exceeding legal limits from starting their vehicle. The NHTSA has until this coming November to submit a final ruling, or reasons why it couldn’t, and is currently seeking input. To learn more, read “Will cars in the future be equipped with devices to prevent drunk driving? …

Backyard gas grills with food and smoke; grilling mistakes that can lead to serious injury.The unofficial start of summer is just around the corner and for many of us that means it’s time to fire up the backyard grill. Moving the cooking outdoors gives us more time to enjoy these longer days with family and friends, but these friendly gatherings can quickly turn tragic if you fail to use caution.

There are several common mistakes people make – from the way they start their grills to the way they clean them – that can easily result in property damage and/or bodily injury. To avoid turning your next backyard barbeque into a hospital trip, read “Grilling Mistakes Some in NJ Make That May Cause Explosion.”

Mishandled Botox injections could lead to serious injuries.Whether due to the influence of social media or sheer vanity, many people today – men and women, alike – are obsessed with looking younger. Capitalizing on this, there is an abundance of products and treatments on the market today that promise users a means to hitting pause on the aging process. Botox injections, said to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, are one such treatment.

In addition to its cosmetic applications, Botox has a number of FDA-approved medical uses. It has proven effective in treating certain chronic conditions, including migraines, excessive muscle contractions, and overactive bladders, when administered by licensed professionals. However, in the hands of unlicensed and untrained providers, the results could be quite different, leading to serious injury. This was evident recently when several people, including some from New Jersey, were given questionable Botox treatments. For more information, read “19 Hospitalized from Botched Botox Shots Sold in NJ, Elsewhere: CDC.”

EV fires becoming more common, posing risk of injuries from burns, electric shock and toxic fumes.Electronic vehicles (EVs) are quickly growing in popularity. Although they are said to be more environmentally friendly than their gas-powered counterparts, these vehicles are not without risks of their own.

Recent reports state that EV fires are becoming more commonplace and are extremely dangerous, posing risk of injuries not only from burns, but also from electric shock and toxic fumes. Why are these fires more difficult to battle than ordinary car fires? Read “Dangerous EV Fires Becoming More Common in New Jersey” to find out.

Pedestrian-fatalities-PI-blog-300x200According to a recent study, pedestrian fatalities in this country have increased more than 50% since 2012. What’s more, the study found that New Jersey’s roads are the most dangerous for pedestrians, with pedestrian deaths accounting for 30.3% of all traffic accident fatalities in the State, compared with a national rate of 17.3%.

What’s behind this national increase in pedestrian deaths? According to the study, it’s a combination of factors including more people choosing walking over driving and more distractions, particularly cell phones, taking people’s attention away from their surroundings. But there are things both drivers and pedestrians can do to increase the safety of our roads. For some tips, read “New Jersey has the most dangerous roads for pedestrians.”

Practice-Driving-Hours-300x200Everyone is familiar with the saying practice makes perfect; New Jersey officials are hoping it also makes for safer young drivers.

According to Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, drivers between 16 and 19 are about three times more likely to be involved in a fatal car accident. Some of that increased risk can be attributed to inexperience. Hoping to improve those statistics, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy this month signed a law requiring supervised practice driving hours for drivers younger than 21 as a stipulation for obtaining their driver’s license. It is yet to be seen, however, how completion of those practice hours will be certified.

To learn more about this new law, which is expected to go into effect sometime in 2025, read “NJ Mandates 50 Practice Driving Hours for Teens – How Can You Prove It?

Automatic-Driving-Features-300x200Each year auto manufacturers install more and more automatic features designed to make their vehicles safer for drivers and passengers alike. These features include sensors that automatically turn on headlights, dim high beams, even apply the brakes when an obstacle is detected, all so that drivers have less to think about. And therein may lie the problem.

It was announced this month that Tesla, the automaker known for its electric vehicles, has agreed to recall almost 2 million of its vehicles sold in the U.S. This recall follows a two-year investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration into a number of accidents that have occurred while the vehicles’ Autopilot feature was engaged. Unlike the name implies, the Autopilot system does not replace the need for a human driver. In fact, the system contains features designed to ensure drivers continue to pay attention to both their vehicles and road conditions when in motion. In question, however, is whether these features are enough to ensure drivers don’t become complacent behind the wheel. To learn more, read “Tesla Recalls Nearly All Vehicles Sold In US.”

Man carving turkey at Thanksgiving table. Tips for avoiding Holiday accidents.Thanksgiving is just a week away. If you’re hosting this year’s feast for family and friends, you’re most likely consumed with planning the menu to make sure your guests are well-fed. But while you’re at it, don’t neglect their safety … or yours.

This holiday has the dubious distinction of being the number one day for home cooking fires as well as ranking among the top 10 deadliest days to drive. Paying close attention to these and other hidden holiday hazards can help avoid accidental injury to yourself or your guests. For a list of Thanksgiving safety tips to consider, read “The Most Common Thanksgiving Safety Hazards and How to Protect Your Family.”

Orange jack-o-lantern buckets with Halloween candy held by children in costumes.The frights and thrills associated with Halloween are meant to be in good fun. Children dress in costumes and venture past the witches, ghosts and goblins that haunt their neighborhoods for the night, to be rewarded with candy and other edible treats. But, for children with food allergies, those treats can lead to serious injury.

Reading the ingredients on food packaging labels doesn’t always tell the whole story. Understanding the manufacturing process can be just as important as knowing the ingredients when it comes to avoiding allergens. For example, did you know that those miniature candies so popular this time of year might not be the same as their full-size counterparts?

To learn what you can do to make sure all the ghouls and goblins who ring your doorbell this Halloween can safely enjoy their treats, read “Avoid a Food Allery Scare on Halloween.”

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