dog-bites-mailman-400-07471430d-300x169As cliché as it may sound, dog attacks on mail carriers are a real issue and one that is growing.

Each year the U.S. Postal Service releases statistics on the number of dog attacks against its carriers in connection with National Dog Bite Prevention Week (August 9 – 15). According to this year’s figures, there were 6,755 dog attacks against mail carriers in 2016, an increase of 206 from 2015. The good news is that the severity of the attacks appears to be on the decline according to insurance claims.

The reason behind this increase? It could have something to do with the rising popularity of online retail sales, which has led to a double-digit increase in package business for the Post Office. To learn more about this growing problem and ways in which you can keep from becoming part of it, read “Dog Attacks on Mail Carriers Rise Again as Online Sales Boom.”

Distracted driving photo of arms of driver with one hand on steering wheel and the other operating a cell phoneDespite all the warnings about the dangers, drivers in the U.S. continue to operate cell phones while behind the wheel. In fact, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 660,000 drivers can be found using their cell phones in some manner at any given time.

Safety issues related to distracted driving have reached epidemic proportions over the past 10 years, resulting in an average of 3,000 deaths and 450,000 injuries due to distracted driving-related accidents each year. While cell phones represent only one of the distractions drivers face today, it is believed they divert drivers’ attention more often and for longer stretches of time than other distractions. Will adopting more laws restricting cell phone use cure this epidemic? Read “Liberty v. Tyranny: More States Pass Laws Outlawing Cell Phone Use While Driving” to reach your own conclusions.

Safety Sensors - photo of windshield of yellow school busAlthough a law requiring all new school buses in New Jersey to be equipped with sensors that would alert drivers if someone or something was passing in front of or behind their vehicles was signed more than a year ago, most school districts have yet to implement it.

Abigail’s Law, named after Abigail Kuberiet, a two-year-old who died in 2003 after being struck while walking in front of a school bus, was adopted in an effort to prevent similar accidents in the future. However, regulations regarding the implementation of the law are still under review by the State Department of Education. School districts are hesitant to install the sensors, estimated to cost between $1,750 and $2,500 per bus, until the regulations are released. To learn more, read “New Jersey School Buses Still Unequipped With Safety Sensors.”

boating-safety-400-04993540d-300x225The recent tease of warm weather has left people dreaming about resuming their favorite outdoor activities. For many, that includes recreational boating activities like fishing, sailing and even kayaking. The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has warned, however, that a rise in the number of recreational vessels sharing the waterways with commercial vessels has led to an increased risk of boating accidents.

To help lessen the risks, the NTSB strongly suggested that the U.S. Coast Guard require recreational boaters to undergo safety instruction that meets standards equivalent to those set by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators. For more information on how the risk of accidents and injuries on our waterways has increased in recent years, read “Recreational Boaters Need Safety Training.”

Workplace safety - photo of worker at building site wearing yellow reflective vest and holding yellow hardhatInjuries in the workplace can prove costly for both employer and employee. Missed work, medical expenses and sometimes even legal costs all add up to create financial hardship for the injured party as well as the company held responsible for the injury.

Many workplace injuries can be avoided simply by employing some common sense strategies. Business owners may want to take the time to review their company’s safety policies to make sure they are comprehensive and that they are being followed. The article “7 Key Tactics The Pros Use To Avoid Workplace Injuries” outlines some steps to take to improve workplace safety.

Photo of top of open brown medicine bottle with black and red capsules spilling outThe New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that an Alabama man was entitled to the $25 million awarded to him by a jury in connection with his 2003 lawsuit against Hoffman LaRoche.

The original lawsuit claimed the man had become seriously ill after taking Accutane, a drug manufactured by the New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company for the treatment of acne. It further claimed the company did not properly disclose the potential effects and health risks of the drug.

The man was awarded damages in 2010. An appellate court overturned the verdict stating the lawsuit was filed too late under Alabama law.

Photo of hand-held breathalyzer device used to measure blood alcohol contentNew Jersey lawmakers once again are backing a proposal to revise the State’s drunk driving laws in an effort to increase safety without putting undue pressure on violators. Under the proposal, the new law would require everyone convicted of a DUI/DWI violation to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle and would also reduce the length of time those drivers’ licenses are suspended.

Statistics have shown that ignition interlock devices reduce repeat drunk driving violations by about 70% and, in some states, have reduced the number of fatal motor vehicle accidents related to drunk driving by half. Supporters of this change have stated that license suspensions are less effective than the interlock devices because drivers will continue to drive on a suspended license especially when they need their vehicle to get to work. To learn more about this proposed change, read “DWI penalty overhaul in NJ: Shorter license suspensions, more ignition locks?

Photo of double escalator viewed from bottomA New Jersey family recently filed suit against the Oxford Valley Mall and the Schindler Corporation, which operates the escalators at the mall, claiming the two entities were responsible for a 2014 incident in which the family’s young son was seriously injured.

According to reports, during a shopping trip to the mall in December 2014, the boy and his mother were riding the escalator when the boy’s foot became trapped between the step and the side panel of the escalator. It took emergency services personnel close of a half-hour to free the child’s foot and doctors later had to amputate the toes on the injured foot. The suit claims the boy was permanently disfigured and disabled and family members were traumatized as a result of the accident. For additional details, read “Parents sue after 7-year-old boy loses tows in escalator accident.”

food-processor-recall-400-07820538d-200x300Conair Corp. last month recalled about eight million Cuisinart brand food processors just as home cooks were putting the machines to work chopping, grating and mixing food in preparation for the Christmas and Hanukkah holidays. The recall, which involves the stainless steel riveted blades in Cuisinart food processors sold nationwide between July 1996 and December 2015, came after the company received more than 65 complaints from consumers who found pieces of broken blades in food that had been processed with these machines. About 30 of those complaints included reports of cuts to the mouth and tooth injuries.

The sheer number of machines affected makes this one of the three largest appliance recalls ever in America. Consumers were urged to stop using their food processors and contact Cuisinart for a replacement blade. However the timing of the recall, coupled with the fact that homemakers could have had the food processors in their kitchens for more than 20 years, caused some consumers to decide to keep a careful eye on their holiday food preparation rather than participate in the recall. If you own a Cuisinart food processor and want to see if it is affected by this recall, read “8M Cuisinart Food Processors Recalled Over Laceration Hazard.”

Photo of driver yawning behind the wheel of carThis time of year it is not uncommon for people to push through to accomplish everything on their to-do lists, even when that means sacrificing some sleep. But depriving yourself of the recommended amount of sleep can have serious consequences, especially for drivers.

A recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety revealed that missing even two or three hours of sleep in a night increases your risk of an accident by four times over a driver who has gotten the recommended amount of sleep. It’s tantamount to driving drunk, yet one out of every 25 drivers admitted to driving drowsy when surveyed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To learn more about how sleep deprivation can affect your driving, read “Driving while drowsy can be more dangerous than thought.”