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Seatback_failures_AdobeStock_213467647-300x200A faulty design and outdated safety standards may be putting your rear-seat passengers at risk in the event of a rear-end accident, according to a recent CBS News investigation.

Looking at rear-end collision data from the past 30 years, the investigation found at least 100 rear-seat passengers injured or killed as a result of the vehicles’ front seats collapsing into them. Safety experts have blamed these seatback failures, at least in part, on an outdated federal safety standard that has been in place since the 1960s. To learn more read the CBS News report on “Alleged car seatback failures….”

baby_food_contaminiation_AdobeStock_84134860-300x214Parents take the responsibility for protecting their children seriously in everything they do from baby-proofing their homes to carefully choosing age-appropriate clothes and toys. But what about when it comes to food? Most parents today rely, at least in part, on prepackaged baby foods and may be surprised to learn that, in addition to pureed carrots, peas, applesauce and the like, some baby foods on the market today also contain toxic elements like arsenic and lead.

A U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee report recently revealed the existence of surprisingly high levels of heavy metals like arsenic and lead in some baby foods made and sold by various baby food manufacturers. This report prompted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue a statement announcing its plans to limit the levels of heavy metals contained in baby foods and reminding baby food companies of their responsibility to consider the health dangers these elements pose. Some people are asking if the FDA’s actions are enough. Read “FDA Pledges to Take Action on Heavy Metals in Baby Food” to learn more.

car_accident_AdobeStock_277615475-300x200If you thought some of the restrictions put in place to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus – business closures, curfews, remote schooling, work-from-home orders – would mean fewer cars on the road resulting in fewer accidents, you would only be half right.

While it is true there were fewer vehicles on New Jersey roads in 2020, the number of fatalities from motor vehicle accidents was higher than it had been in the two years prior. New Jersey was not the only state to experience an increase in traffic deaths during the early days of the pandemic; similar trends were found throughout the country. Authorities point to more risky behavior by drivers as a leading factor behind these sobering statistics. To learn more, read “Fewer Cars on NJ Roads But Still More Fatal Accidents in 2020.”

seat_belt_laws_AdobeStock_117364055-300x200In its 2021 annual report, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety says there’s room for improvement when it comes to New Jersey’s traffic safety and offered several suggestions.

One of the recommendations of the coalition, which comprises representatives from various fields outside the automobile industry, is adoption of a primary enforcement seat belt law for rear seat passengers to better protect them in the event of an accident. Currently, New Jersey police can only enforce the use of seat belts by rear seat passengers if the vehicle is stopped for another violation.

The group also suggested certain changes to the state’s Graduated Driver’s License program. To learn more, read “Less Distracted Driving, More Laws Needed in NJ: National Report.”

Portable_generators_AdobeStock_379468883-300x200Many homeowners rely on portable generators to keep their homes functioning during widespread power outages especially during storm season. While these generators are effective in keeping the heat and lights running until power can be restored, they do pose potential dangers. Although warnings about these dangers and instructions on the safe use of home generators are prevalent, people die every year in generator-related accidents. Now there is a bill before Congress intended to reduce the number of preventable deaths and injuries attributable to portable generator use.

The bill calls for the Consumer Product Safety Commission to impose a set of standardized safety measures for all new portable generators requiring, among other things, lower carbon monoxide emissions and built-in CO shut-offs that would automatically stop generators before carbon monoxide levels reached a danger point. To learn more, read “New Bill in Congress Aims to Prevent Generator-Related Deaths and Injuries.”

Car_Accident_Injuries_AdobeStock_274859159-300x200Motor vehicle accident injuries can be devastating, resulting in extensive medical bills and the potential loss of, or reduction in, income while you are recovering. Because it can be difficult to immediately assess the extent of your injuries, it is important to seek medical attention following the accident. Not only can a medical exam uncover hidden injuries, like broken bones or internal damages, it can help support your claim for just compensation.

It’s common knowledge that certain information needs to be exchanged following an accident — name and contact information, insurance company name and policy number, driver’s license and license plate numbers, make and model of vehicles involved, and a copy of the accident report — but when injuries are involved, more is needed. To improve your chances of recovering compensation for expenses related to your accident injuries, be sure to obtain the proper medical documentation. To learn more, see the Lawyer Monthly article, “Personal Injury Case: The Documents to Secure from Your Attending Physician.”

PedestrianSafety_AdobeStock_229760658-300x200Walking has become quite the popular activity in 2020, with so many of us looking for an easy alternative to our otherwise restricted exercise routines or simply for a diversion from being cooped up at home. With this increased pedestrian traffic, comes an increased risk for accidents, prompting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to declare October National Pedestrian Safety Month.

Regardless of whether you believe it is the pedestrian’s or the motorist’s responsibility, there are precautions both can take to help avoid accidents. It is especially important now with the end of Daylight Savings Time approaching that both walkers and drivers take steps to stay safe. For some tips, read the NHTSA’s “October is National Pedestrian Safety Month.”

safety_features_AdobeStock_272596255-1-300x199Each year it seems the automobile industry introduces new technologies designed to make driving easier and safer and to help us avoid accidents and related injuries. But do these technologies help, or do they lead to even more accidents resulting from driver inattention?

A recent study by AAA suggests the answer to that question could depend, at least in part, on the names used when marketing these advanced technology systems. For further details read, “AAA Study: Drivers Too Willing to Abandon Responsibility to Technology.”

hand_sanitizer_AdobeStock_327266102-300x169Frequent and thorough handwashing is one of the activities said to be an important step in helping prevent the spread of COVID-19. And when you don’t have access to soap and water, using a hand sanitizer is the next best thing — or is it?

While hand sanitizers may help stop the spread of germs, it has been reported that certain hand sanitizers contain potentially life-threatening chemicals which can be harmful when ingested or absorbed through the skin. Initially, consumers were warned to avoid hand sanitizers containing methanol. More recently, that list was expanded to also include those that contained 1-propanol.

For more details on what to look for – or avoid – when shopping for your hand sanitizers, read “FDA warns about new hand sanitizer ingredient, expands list of dangerous products to 149.”

water_safety_AdobeStock_278714985-300x200Reminders regarding water safety precautions aimed at preventing drowning accidents are prevalent, particularly this time of year. But there are two other events – dry drowning and secondary drowning – that can be just as dangerous yet are not as widely publicized.

Both conditions are usually predicated by a near drowning event and, although the two terms often are used interchangeably, there are significant differences. In dry drowning, inhaled water causes muscles in the airway to spasm blocking airflow. In secondary drowning, on the other hand, water is inhaled into the lungs filling them with water and making breathing difficult. While both conditions can occur in adults, they affect young children more often.

To learn more about the symptoms of dry drowning and secondary drowning and the preventative steps you can take to avoid these accidents, read “Should I Worry about Dry Drowning and Secondary Drowning?

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