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New Study Shows Obese Drivers More Likely to Die in Auto Accidents

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on May 8, 2012

A new study suggests that a person’s weight might have an influence on the likelihood of that person surviving a vehicular accident.

The study, which will be presented by the University of Buffalo in New York at Chicago’s Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, hinges on the fact that persons of normal weight utilize seat belts far more often than their obese counterparts.  In fact, after looking at 300,000 accidents, researchers discovered that regular-sized individuals have a 67% greater chance of wearing a seat belt.  This number lowers steadily the larger a person is.

When combined with research from two years ago that shows morbidly obese people are 56% more likely to die in a crash (along with a 21% increase in the moderately obese), it paints a startling picture.  The people behind the research are currently calling on automakers to figure out how to make vehicles safer for people of greater-than-average weight, suggesting that obese crash test dummies could provide a solution.

It should be noted, however, that people that are just described as being ‘overweight’ are actually slightly less likely to die in a crash.  This has to do with having a moderately larger mass and because they position themselves further from the steering wheel.

It’s my hope as a personal injury lawyer in San Diego that everyone out there learn a valuable lesson from this study and others like it.  This shows that any number of statistics can influence how safe a person is in an automobile accident.  As a San Diego car accident attorney, I figure that the more knowledgable we are, the more we can do to prevent disaster.

Peanut Presence Prompts Harry and David BBQ Almond Recall

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 16, 2012

Barbeque almonds are the latest item to get the recall treatment.

The product in question is Harry & David Premium Kansas Style Barbeque Almonds.  The items, which come in two ounce bags, may contain peanuts, an allergen that could cause allergic persons to have a severe reaction if they consume the product.  205 bags are affected by this recall.

The items were sold in ten states across the country, including right here in California.  They were available for purchase starting March 29 of this year, and their use by date is September 28.

Personnel discovered the peanut presence last Tuesday.  A third party supplier had shipped bulk product to Harry & David, and this bulk product contained peanuts.  The bags in question actually have the words “May contain trace amounts of allergens not listed in the ingredients.”  However, the company is being cautious and issuing the recall anyway due to the increased risk to allergic persons associated with the peanuts’ presence in the almond product.

Concerned consumers are being advised to subsist from consuming the almonds and instead to bring the bag back to a Harry & David retailer.  Harry & David will provide a complete refund on the product.

Allergens are a very serious threat to those who suffer a reaction from such ingredients, and as a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, I hate to see an item compromised.  This recall shows that even a warning label isn’t always enough to protect consumers, which is enough to shock even a personal injury lawyer in San Diego like myself.

Challenges Impede Mandatory Rearview Camera Ruling

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 10, 2012

Studies have shown that rear-view cameras can save a number of lives if they are installed on vehicles across the country, but when can we expect this to become commonplace?

A new report discusses the benefits of such devices as well as difficulties that are preventing extensive installation.  It quotes statistics which show that a camera that reveals the area directly behind a vehicle ensures that there will be no blind spot whatsoever for the driver.

The benefits of rear view camera technology are so great that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has tried multiple times to get such devices to be mandatory on new vehicles.  The first call to action would have seen them in all cars from the model year 2014 onward, but the mandate has been delayed three times.

What’s the problem?  For one thing, cost.  Estimates have pegged an increased per vehicle cost of between $159 and $203.  The type of screen and the quality of the image must also be carefully considered.  Other people seem to think that a rear-view camera can, under some circumstances, cause a driver to pay less attention to the road because they will put too much trust in the camera’s ability to keep them out of trouble.  This isn’t to mention the fact that it might take upwards of three decades for the cameras to become truly widespread.

As a San Diego car accident attorney, I’m at least glad that the debate has gotten people talking about this critical safety issue.  If even a single life is spared due to a safety measure, then I think it’s worth implementing as a personal injury lawyer in San Diego.

Two More Grocery Chains Nix So-Called Pink Slime

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 2, 2012

Two more grocery chains have joined the ranks of those companies that are refusing to stock so-called “pink slime.”

Strack & Van Til and WiseWay grocery chains are pledging to stop using the item, which is actually called lean finely textured beef, in response to numerous consumer concerns about the product.  They will become part of a list of stores that have enacted similar measures, including Meijer, Kroger, Aldi, and Costco.

The Food and Drug Administration, as well as the United States Department of Agriculture, has vouched for the safety of the product.  Its usage has been commonplace for years, but opponents think that its existence is a textbook example of unappetizing industrialization of food production.

The aforementioned chains Strack & Van Til and WiseWay have said that their decision wasn’t the result of a recall, but rather numerous customers coming into the store to complain or calling to voice their concerns.  Spokespersons for those companies have stated that the remaining inventory of the lean finely textured beef will only last for a couple more days, at which point it will be phased out entirely.  They have estimated that costs might initially be higher but that things will settle down over time.

As a personal injury lawyer in San Diego, I can understand a consumer’s concern with a product that has a moniker like “pink slime.”  However, we’ve always prided ourselves on innocent until proven guilty in America, and as a Bakersfield personal injury attorney, I think more research will need to be done before rash conclusions are reached.

Alcohol Detection Systems in Cars Could Become Mandatory

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on March 28, 2012

In many states, it’s necessary for convicted drunk drivers to have ignition interlock devices installed in their cars.  These devices require persons to blow into a tube that can detect the presence of alcohol on their breath.  But lawmakers are looking to explore whether these items should become a requirement in all vehicles.

The federal transportation bill put forth by the Senate contains a stipulation that $24 million be awarded to research into technology that can detect the presence of an inebriated driver.  That’s in addition to $10 million already invested.  Such monetary sums show that lawmakers are serious about figuring out whether they could mandate that vehicles come prepackaged with interlock devices.

A host of issues could potentially complicate things however.  Groups such as the American Beverage Institute believe that the devices will unnecessarily punish those persons who simply chose to have a drink or two at dinner, as the devices will likely be set to detect alcohol amounts beneath the legal limit.

Another issue involves the potential for failure.  With any electronic device, there’s bound to be a certain number of mistakes.  Without a 100% rate of accuracy, there will be instances where sober persons aren’t able to start their car.

It will be interesting to see if the bill can rise past the objections.  I will be paying close attention to this story as a San Diego car accident attorney.  In the meantime, I simply request as a personal injury lawyer in San Diego that everyone behave within their limits when consuming alcoholic beverages and to certainly not get behind the wheel.

Cadillac XTS To Unveil the First Ever Vibrating Safety Seat

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on March 27, 2012

Car technology continues to improve in a bid to keep motorists safe.

The 2013 Cadillac XTS, a full size sedan, will debut next month with a first of its kind safety feature:  a safety seat.  This technology has been designed to better alert the driver of a vehicle when an accident is about to occur.

Here’s how it works:  when the vehicle senses that an accident is in the offing, the seat will vibrate much like a cell phone.  But it goes a step farther than just simple vibration.  If the threat is happening off to your right, then the seat will vibrate on your right side.  When it appears that an accident is almost certain, then the entire seat will shake and the dashboard will blink at the driver.

After its debut on the XTS, the technology is scheduled to roll out on the company’s ATS  and SRX vehicles later this year.

Eventually, drivers will be able to choose from two systems.  The first is called Driver Awareness, which provides the vehicle operator with the aforementioned alerts.  The second system, which is scheduled to come out in the fall, is called Driver Assist.  If drivers choose to utilize a vehicle with this function, the car will take its own evasive action, such as braking or accelerating.

As a San Diego car accident lawyer, I can see that we’re living in a brave new world of car technology.  I only hope as a personal injury lawyer in San Diego that such technology becomes pervasive enough for everyone to be able to benefit from it.

Texting While Driving Could Be Banned by South Carolina

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on March 9, 2012

This week, Pennsylvania became the latest state to put forth a law that makes it illegal to text while driving.  And now another state is lining up to do that very same thing.

The South Carolina House of Representatives voted 93-15 to make texting while behind the wheel a crime that carries a fine of $100.  If the car is in motion, the texting is considered a primary offense, but it won’t be against the law to text while the vehicle is stationary.

But the law hasn’t been passed yet.  It still has to go through one more House vote, at which point the issue will be brought in front of the Senate to receive the final approval.  This could happen as soon as next week.

According to estimates by AAA, 87% of the population thinks there should be a law in place to limit texting and driving, and their findings also show distractions such as texting cause more than 8,000 crashes per day.

However, that’s not to say that everyone is for the potential law.  15 representatives dissented, citing the existence of rules that already limit distracted driving behavior.  They also call into question the broad wording of the measure.

As a personal injury lawyer in San Diego, I applaud any state that tries to make their roads safer.  I’ll be paying careful attention as a San Diego car accident lawyer to what other states jump in line to put bans on texting.

Bedford Labs Recalls Three Lots of Leukemia Fighting Drug

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on March 8, 2012

A recall has been announced for an item that there’s already a shortage of thanks to a variety of other recalls.

Bedford Laboratories out of Ohio has issued a voluntary recall for three lots of cytarabine.  This is used in the treatment of leukemia, and is a particularly popular chemotherapy drug due to its irreplaceability in fighting the cancer.

Following an investigation at the plant where the drug was made, Bedford has said that they are concerned about the sterility of these particular lots, which have an expiration date between March 2014 and May 2014.  Production of the drug was previously halted due to a lack of required maintenance and testing of vital equipment.  It was resumed earlier this year.

Last month, the Food and Drug Administration asked for cytarabine, Doxil, and preservative-free methotrexate to be made available through additional sources because of rampant shortages that resulted from recalls and issues with manufacture.  Methotrexate is used to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children, while Doxil is administered to women suffering from various cancers, including ovarian.

It saddens me as a personal injury lawyer in San Diego to think that certain life saving drugs might not be available, or that those drugs might have had a defect in the first place.  As a Ventura personal injury lawyer, I hope everyone who needs the drugs is able to receive them.

Aveda Recalls Lash Abundance Boosting Serum

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on March 6, 2012

Aveda has become the latest company to voluntarily recall one of its products.

This particular recall concerns their Lash Abundance Boosting Serum.  The item was sold beginning February 12, 2012 in America, Canada, and Australia, and March 1 in Europe.  However, it should be noted that samples were available for some time prior to that.

The issue has to do with the formula’s preservative system’s inability to ward off infectious microorganisms.  People with weakened immune systems, preexisting conditions with their corneas, or who wear contact lenses for an extended period of time are at risk of infection.  The threat to otherwise healthy individuals is small.

Consumers are advised to discontinue usage of the product at once.  It can be returned for a full refund at the place where it was purchased.  The Lash Abundance Boosting Serum was available for purchase online and in various salons and retail stores across the country.

As a personal injury lawyer in San Diego, I’m glad to see a company err on the side of caution when instituting a recall.  If there is any chance that an item could be dangerous to the consumer, then it should be taken off the market at once.  This is the best way to prevent disaster, and it’s my hope as a Riverside personal injury lawyer that all users of this product follow the directions stated above.

Gore Brake Cables Recalled Due to Detachment Risk

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on March 6, 2012

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has initiated a recall on a certain number of bicycle brake cables used in road bikes.

The product was manufactured by W.L. Gore and Associates, a company based out of Elkton, Maryland.  Specifically, the recall affects by the GORE Ride On Low Friction System and Professional System.  9,900 units fall under the purview of the recall, with the vast majority residing in the United States.

The issue has to do with installation on Campagnolo brake levers.  When installed on this particular lever, the cables can detach.  This in turn leads to a break failure and increases the risk of injury from a fall.  Only one incident has occurred this far, and there was no injury at that time.

The item was sold online and in various bicycle shops across the country between January 2008 and 2012.  The cables had a retail value somewhere around $40 and $65.  Consumers that have used the cables in conjunction with the Campagnolo system should cease usage and order a free replacement kit from Gore.

As a personal injury lawyer in San Diego, I’m glad to see this recall issued before any injuries take place.  The sooner problems are addressed, the better.  It’s my hope as a Ventura personal injury lawyer that all bike riders doublecheck their rides to make sure they meet all safety standards.

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