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Driver-behaviors-PI-blog-300x200The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s recent survey of driver behaviors yielded mixed results: U.S. drivers appear to recognize the dangers associated with certain risky habits that could increase the likelihood of accidents yet admit there are other unsafe activities they still engage in while behind the wheel.

The survey of self-reported driving behaviors looked at driving habits during the period 2018 to 2020. The results revealed a downward trend in such activities as running red lights and driving while drowsy or under the influence. At the same time, it showed drivers continued to engage in other risky behaviors like using handheld cell phones and driving over the posted speed limits. To see all the numbers, read “Self-Reported Dangerous Driving Habits Revealed In New Survey.”

Pain-Suffering-PI-blog-300x200When a person is injured as the result of another person’s negligence, their recourse is to seek damages for pain and suffering through a personal injury claim. However, “pain and suffering’ is subjective and difficult to quantify so, how are personal injury settlements calculated?

Determining a fair compensation requires looking at a number of factors, including the extent of medical bills incurred, the length of the expected recovery period, potential loss wages during that recovery period, and the emotional toll such injuries may take. While many of these factors will vary on a case-by-case basis, there are formulas that can help you gauge whether the settlement being offered is a fair one. To learn more read, “How To Determine The value of Pain and Suffering for Personal Injury Claims.”

Building-PI-Case-PI-Blog-edit-300x200If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you might be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries and losses. Getting that compensation, however, may require you to file a personal injury lawsuit, a legal process that can be overwhelming for those without experience.

While attorneys who focus on personal injury law are best suited to help guide you through the process, what you do immediately following your accident can help determine how strong of a case you have. To learn what steps you should take to bolster your case, read “How to Build A Strong Personal Injury Case.”

Share-the-Road-PI-blog-300x200Drivers in New Jersey now face new regulations aimed at making the State’s roadways safer for all users – motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists alike.

On August 5, Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law measures intended to decrease the number of accidents involving motor vehicles and others using the roads by requiring drivers to move over a lane when passing pedestrians, bicyclists or scooter riders. If changing lanes cannot be done safely, drivers are required to slow down and be prepared to stop if necessary. Failure to comply could result in fines and possible points against the driver’s license.

The pandemic and its related restrictions resulted in less vehicular traffic but more people walking and riding bikes and scooters on the roads. With restrictions now loosening and more people returning to their places of employment, motor vehicle traffic is on an uptick. NJ State Police records show that the number of pedestrian fatalities reported so far this year almost match the number reported for 2020 and are on track to result in an increase of 60%. To learn more about this new law read, “Drivers must now move over when passing people walking and on bikes.”

Distracted-Driving-PI-blog-300x200The latest research ranks New Jersey second out of all states for having the highest rate of fatal motor vehicle accidents attributed to distracted driving. Is this a reflection of drivers’ inattentiveness or the State’s efforts to combat and report this risky behavior?

The research, which looks at statistics from various government agencies including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), shows that 24.6% of New Jersey’s fatal traffic accidents resulted from some sort of driver distraction. Cell phone use – both the use of handheld phones and texting – is often cited as a major distractor, but other activities like eating and applying makeup can be contributing factors. For further information and to see which state ranked number one, read “New Jersey Gets Low Marks for Distracted Driving.”

Car accident victim on phoneMotor vehicle accidents are traumatic and unsettling for even the most experienced driver. This can make it difficult to assess the full extent of damages and injuries immediately following impact. That’s why it is important to remain as calm as possible and follow procedure no matter how minor or serious the accident appears to be.

Because of the shock and confusion that can typically follow a motor vehicle accident, many drivers overlook some common steps that, if the accident leads to a lawsuit, can hurt their chances of being awarded the compensation they may be entitled to. For a look at what those steps are, read “5 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Filing A Personal Injury Claim after A Motor Vehicle Accident.”

Quality Control stamp signifies a product has been tested for safety before being sold to consumersMost consumers assume that before a product hits the store’s shelf it has been tested and has met established safety standards. Not necessarily.

According to a recent Consumer Reports article, the Consumer Protection Safety Commission oversees some 15,000 product categories; however, only about 70 of those categories are required to meet a mandatory safety standard, meaning they must comply with federally established safety requirements. The rest of the product categories are subject to voluntary, rather than mandatory, safety standards. Manufacturers of these products sometimes comply with the voluntary standards and sometimes they do not.

One way consumers can protect themselves against purchasing hazardous protects is to read the product label, although the references on these labels may not be clear. For explanations of some of the more common references and other ways you can tell if a product has been vetted, read “Is This Safe to Buy? How Dangerous Products Get—and Stay—on the Market.”

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.”

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