Child and parent riding bikes at sunsetThe U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recently announced a recall of children’s bicycles due to a defect that causes the handlebars and stem of the bike to loosen or, in some cases, detach from the frame. To date, this defect has resulted in about 19 reported injuries.

The recall affects more than 80,000 bikes manufactured by woom Bikes USA and designed for children ranging in age from toddler to 14 years. For additional information concerning this recall and the bicycles affected, read “Thousands of children’s bicycles recalled after reports of handlebars detaching.”

Damaged side view mirror on parked car resulting from motor vehicle accidentMost drivers know that if they are involved in a crash, the right thing to do is remain calm, assess the situation, and report the accident to the proper authorities. Running is never the answer. Still, according to the AAA, the number of hit-and-run accidents has been on the rise across the nation recently.

Leaving the scene of an accident, no matter how minor, can only complicate the consequences. New Jersey law states that anyone who leaves the scene after hitting a person or property could be charged with a hit-and-run. This holds true even if you only hit a mailbox or sideswipe a parked car. The consequences of these charges are in addition to any charges resulting from the accident itself and will vary depending on the severity of the crash. To learn more about what leaving the scene of an accident could cost you, read “What to do after a hit-and-run in New Jersey.”

glaring headlights attributed to nighttime motor vehicle accidentsA combination of new LED lights, taller vehicles and fewer checks for headlight misalignment adds up to a glaring problem for nighttime drivers in the U.S. Although it is difficult to calculate how many motor vehicle accidents can be attributed to headlight glare, statistics do show that the fatality rate for nighttime accidents is three times higher than that of daytime accidents. Improving conditions to help reduce these crashes has long been a goal of safety regulators and the U.S. automobile industry.

Europe has been using adaptive driving beams to combat this problem for over a decade. Why is it taking so long to implement this technology in the U.S.? Read “Blinded by the light: Cars in the U.S. still lack glare-reducing headlights” to learn more.

Car crashes attributed to distracted driving plague NJ roadsDistracted driving continues to be a serious problem on roadways throughout the country and, unfortunately, New Jersey is not immune.

According to the NJ Division of Highway Traffic Safety, in about half of the accidents reported over a five-year period, distracted driving was cited as a contributing factor. In 2021, the latest period for which statistics were available, New Jersey State Police records showed this behavior was involved in almost 200 of the fatal crashes reported that year.

In view of these sobering statistics, police departments throughout that State currently are taking part in National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, a campaign intended to deter drivers from engaging in any behavior that takes their attention off of the road. To learn more about what constitutes distracted driving and the efforts behind the U Drive. U Text. U Pay campaign, read “Driver Inattention Cited in Half of Crashes on NJ Roads.”

Scams perpetrated by cell phone calls from unknown callersScammers are becoming increasingly more cunning and sophisticated in their attempts to extract personal information and/or money from their victims. According to the Federal Trade Commission, nearly $5.8 billion was lost in 2021 to scams, up 70% from the previous year. And that’s just from the scams that were reported.

Often victims of scams are too embarrassed to admit they had been taken, or simply don’t know where to report the crime. Many of these victims are seniors who can ill afford to lose their retirement savings. Regardless of your age or status, being robbed of personal information or money through fraudulent means can be devastating. There are steps you can take to protect yourself. To learn more read, “Most Common Consumer Scams in NJ – And How To Protect Yourself.”

Deployed driver's airbag subject of Do Not Drive warningAbout 10 years ago, U.S. drivers were hit with the largest automotive recall in this country’s history over defective Takata airbags. Today, those who ignored that recall notice are receiving a “Do Not Drive” warning for certain popular Honda and Acura models.

The warning, which affects millions of vehicles, states that the airbags in certain older model cars, including Honda’s popular CR-V and Civic models, can explode when deployed after long-term exposure to high temperatures and humidity. The inflators in these airbags are at least 20 years old and have a 50-50 chance of erupting in even minor collisions causing serious injury and/or death. To learn more and to see if your car is among the models affected, read “’Do Not Drive’ Recall on 2 of NJ’s Most Popular Vehicles.”

DUIs cited as leading cause of NJ fatal car crashes for 2021Fatal traffic accidents in New Jersey have increased for the third consecutive year, according to a recently released NJ State Police report analyzing traffic accidents in 2021. A total of 667 deadly accidents occurred in the state that year; of those, 210 accidents were said to have been the result of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI). This is the first time in 10 years DUIs were cited as the leading cause of fatal accidents. During those 10 years, distracted driving or driver inattention was the top factor.

Impaired driving covers various substances, not just alcohol. While there are tests for analyzing the level of alcohol in a driver’s system at the time of an accident, determining the level of other substances such as marijuana is not as easy. Officials are now working on strategies to further educate drivers on the risks of driving under the influence of any substance, legal or illegal, as well as continuing their campaign against distracted driving. More information on the findings of this report can be found here.

Holiday-Fire-Prevention-PI-Blog-Photos-7-300x200This time of year the flickering glow of candles, the bright lights decorating our homes and holiday trees all add to the festive nature of the holidays, but they also pose a high risk for house fires. The National Fire Protection Association has reported that most December house fires can be attributed to candles, which are used in the celebration of many holidays that fall this time of year. Christmas trees are another major contributing factor. These fires can be devastating, leading to property loss, and putting you, your family, your neighbors, and emergency responders at risk for injury.

To keep your holiday celebrations from going up in smoke, it is important to take some extra care to make sure your decorations are safe, and your fire and smoke detectors are in working order. The New Jersey Division of Fire Safety issued a few tips—many of which are common sense but worth revisiting—to help you reduce your risk of holiday fires. For more information read “Follow These Tips to Prevent Holiday Fires, NJ Expert Says.”

Stroller recall; baby in strollerParents and caregivers who have purchased a Mockingbird stroller between March 2020 and September of this year can expect to receive a letter from the manufacturer announcing a recall due to the risk of injury certain of these strollers pose to young children.

It was reported recently that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission had received numerous reports of the frames of certain of these strollers cracking, causing children to fall inside the strollers and risking injury. Parents are urged to stop using these strollers immediately. To learn if your stroller is one of the affected ones read, “Stroller recall: Nearly 150K strollers recalled sue to this hazard.”

Halloween-Safety-PI-blog-300x200Halloween is just a little over two weeks away. As you decorate your yard and fill your candy bowls in preparation, it’s a good idea to take a few moments to check your property for safety hazards.

Trick-or-treaters donned in masks and flowing costumes are focused on one thing only—the treats they are about to receive. These children are easily distracted by spooky decorations, the antics of their friends, and the general excitement of the holiday. They aren’t watching for hidden hazards like sticks, stones, uneven pavements, loose pets or open flames from candles and torches. As the homeowner, it is your responsibility to make sure your property is clear of any obvious hazards that could lead to slip and falls or other injuries. For a convenient safety checklist of what to look for, read “How to Prepare Your House for Trick-or-Treaters.”

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