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New Airbag Technology Aims to Make Commute Safer

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 30, 2012

A new airbag has been designed, and its makers claim that its application will make drivers and passengers safer in the event of an accident.

The company touting the brand new airbags is PATEV Associates, a consulting firm working in cooperation with MBB International, the maker and patent holder of the technology.  The new airbag, which is being promoted through a program called “Better Airbags,” was designed to eliminate the need for a pyrotechnic explosion that prompts the airbag to go off.

The new airbag works via implementation of a high speed valve.  This valve can be adjusted to fit the driver and passenger of each vehicle.  By adjusting volume and air flow, airbags could be geared toward different body types instead of the one size fits all approach currently employed by airbag manufacturers.  Plus, the makers say that persons would not have to deal with possible dangers inherent with sudden carbon monoxide pollution.

This system could be updated in real time to reflect safety needs in the event of an accident.  PATEV says that the airbag can be inflated multiple times as well.  And after each accident, the new system can record the data associated with the incident, similar to an airplane’s black box.

I’ll be curious to see how safe such technology truly is as a San Bernardino personal injury lawyer.  I’m a big supporter of innovative safety technologies, but one must also be wary of what’s basically a press release.  If this device can truly make people safer, though, then as a car accident attorney in San Bernardino, I look forward to its implementation.

Inaccurate Seating Capacity Label Prompts Kawasaki Recall

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 26, 2012

An off road vehicle is being recalled because because a certain usage direction on the label might create a hazard.

The Irvine-based Kawasaki Motor Corporation announced the recall, which affects Teryx Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles.  About 2,000 units fall under the purview of the recall, which was initiated after it was discovered that a safety label on the vehicle fails to provide the correct number of people that can be safely seated.  Because the number that is described says that more occupants can ride at once than is actually acceptable, persons obeying this label place themselves and their passengers in danger.

All of the vehicles are of the 2012 model year.  They come in all sorts of colors and have a steering console like a regular automobile.  The vehicles were available between April of last year and this past March.  Customers could have purchased them from $10,600 to $12,000.

Those persons who have the defective units can expect to receive through the mail a glove compartment cover that states the accurate capacity.  Kawasaki will install it for free if need be, but users are being advised that they can just go ahead and install it themselves if they so choose.  There have yet to be reported injuries.

Being a car accident attorney in San Bernardino, it pains me to see any vehicle recall.  The fact that following the directions provided could pose a hazard is incredibly frustrating, but I’m glad as a San Bernardino personal injury lawyer to see Kawasaki address the issue.

Nikon Warns Consumers About Defective Camera Battery

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 25, 2012

The latest product to get the consumer warning treatment is a camera that could have a defective battery.

Nikon is the company issuing the announcement, although they have stopped short of referring to the warning as a recall.  The alert concerns the company’s D800, D7000, D800E, and 1 V1 cameras.  These cameras all might use a defective EN-EL 15 battery.

Nikon has stated that the battery, which was provided to Nikon by a third party supplier, did not conform to the company’s safety standards.  There are rare instances in which the affected batteries can overheat.  This has the potential to deform the camera’s casing.  There haven’t been any reported incidents from consumers, but Nikon has confirmed the problem having occurred during manufacturing.

This announcement concerns only those batteries bought before February 29 of this year.  Concerned users are being instructed to check the lot number on the bottom of the battery.  If the 9th digit is E or F, the battery is defective.  Affected persons can contact Nikon to receive a free replacement of this component.

As a personal injury attorney in Fresno, I’m sad to see a product that could potentially harm a user.  Although the problem seems minor and there haven’t been any reported injuries or damage, I’m glad to see the company step up early and issue this announcement.  It’s my hope as a San Bernardino personal injury lawyer that the information ends up in the right hands.

Officials Say Medical Devices Vulnerable to Hackers

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 24, 2012

We often think about how devastating a cyberattack or viral infection can be for our computers.  But could similar tactics be used by hackers to compromise the safety of medical devices?

The general consensus seems to be that such a hack is indeed possible, which is why the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Information Security and Privacy Board are recommending that the Food and Drug Administration or some such similar organization maintain cybersecurity standards that must be met by medical devices before they come to market.

The issue has come to the fore recently due to a number of examples which illustrate how precarious the situation might be.  Although the FDA hasn’t received a report of someone hacking an implanted medical device, a study from the Department of Veterans Affairs showed that malware had infected 173 medical devices between January 2009 and last spring.

Researchers with the Medical Device Security Center demonstrated how they were able to hack defibrillators and pacemakers way back in 2008.  And interest in the importance of security was renewed when, at a recent conference, a security researcher was able to wirelessly hack his own insulin pump and manually adjust the settings of the device.

I’m concerned about this vital issue as a San Bernardino personal injury lawyer.  Medical devices are incredibly important to maintaining a high standard of living for so many people across the world, and the fact that such devices could be hacked is a grave threat to safety.  I hope as a San Jose personal injury attorney that lawmakers act quickly to address this issue.

Toyota Developing Vehicles That Gauge a Driver’s Mood

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 23, 2012

Could your happiness be directly tied to how well you pilot your vehicle?

Toyota thinks so, and they’re trying to help your driving habits remain steady.  Since 2006, the company has been working on a form of in-car technology that they say will be able to gauge a person’s mood when he or she gets behind the wheel of an automobile.  Using this mood as a guide, the vehicle will then theoretically be able to adjust its various warning systems to accommodate lapses in response times due to being in a bad mood.  Toyota has said that their research shows an angry or sad person has poor reaction times.

This system works by implementing camera technology that automatically scans a driver’s face to determine mood.  The camera monitors the position of the driver in the seat as well as 238 distinct points on the person’s face.  Having sunglasses or a beard should not be an impediment to the technology.

Toyota believes that, at their current rate of research, testing should be complete within two or three years.  From there, it’s another three to four years until the technology could be placed into production on consumer-ready automobiles.

As a San Bernardino personal injury lawyer, I never cease to be amazed by the technologically advanced safety features in vehicles.  I hope as a San Bernardino car accident attorney that this technology can save lives and make the commute a more pleasant experience all around.

FDA Warns About the Risks Fentanyl Poses to Children

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 19, 2012

The Food and Drug Administration is warning parents about the dangers that a certain pain reliever could pose to children should they come into contact with it.

The item is question is called the fentanyl transdermal system, more commonly known as Duragesic.  This system is a patch that for three days at a time supplies the human body with a steady dosage of the pain reliever and potent opioid fentanyl.  It is commonly used by persons who suffer from some kind of constant pain malady.

When children come into contact with this patch, the consequences can be injurious and even deadly.  The patch is much more potent when it is swallowed, and even after three days it likely has 50% of the opioid still inside.  The FDA knows of 12 children being checked into a hospital and an additional 10 deaths because of exposure to fentanyl since 1997.

To help parents combat the risks that the patch could pose to their children, the FDA advises following a few simple steps.  The first is to store the patch out of reach of children.  Next, they suggest placing some kind of adhesive over the patch while in use so that it doesn’t come off the user’s body.  Users should check that the patch is affixed throughout the day, and when usage is complete, the item should be flushed down the toilet.

Being a personal injury attorney in Long Beach, I applaud the efforts of the FDA to raise awareness about this important topic.  I hope as a San Bernardino personal injury lawyer that people across the country do what they can to mitigate the risks of fentanyl.

55,260 Saw Blades Sold at Lowe’s Recalled Due to Package Defect

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 19, 2012

A product that could be considered dangerous even without a defect is being recalled.

The products in question are Classic Series Circular Saw Blades available in a 3-pack.  The items were made in China and manufactured by the Huntersville, North Carolina-based Irwin Industrial Tool Company.  The blades were each ten inches long, and two of the blades in the package had 40 teeth while one had 60.  ICSLD3PK can be seen on the top right corner of the package.

The problem has to do not with the item’s use but with the package itself.  The blades can fall right out of the plastic case that they come in, endangering people nearby.  There have thankfully been no injuries in the three reported instances of this happening.

An astounding 55,260 units are affected by this particular recall.  The items were only available for purchase at Lowe’s, where they were sold across the country this past October and November.  The 3-pack cost $40.  Consumers are being advised to carefully set aside those blades that remain in the package.  Upon contacting Irwin, the company will ship a free container to store the blades in.  At this point, users can discard the original packaging.

As a San Bernardino personal injury lawyer, I hate to see any defect, but I’m especially disappointed when a flaw affects something that could already be considered dangerous in the wrong hands.  Plus, a package defect means the person doesn’t even necessarily have to take the item home to get hurt by it.  I hope as a San Jose personal injury attorney that no one gets hurt by this product.

Other-Sonic Ultrasound Gel Contaminated with Bacteria

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 18, 2012

A risk of bacteria contamination has forced the Food and Drug Administration to warn off healthcare providers from using gel used during ultrasound procedures.

Certain lots of the product, known as Other-Sonic Generic Ultrasound Transmission Gel, were recently discovered to have been contaminated with Pseduomonas aeruginosa and Klebsiella oxytoca.  These two strains of bacteria pose an imminent health threat to persons exposed.  The former, which is typically found in water or soil, can cause a condition known as inflammatory dermatitis.  And the latter, which is actually fairly common in humans’ digestive tract, can cause bloodstream infections or pneumonia if it comes into contact with the lungs.

Three lot numbers of the gel, which was produced by Pharmaceutical Innovations, were affected:  0601111, 090111, and 120111.  The product was available in either 5 liter containers or 250 milliliter bottles.  The gel is non-sterile and is used as a means to improve the signal of the ultrasound.

The FDA is also asking all healthcare professionals and facility personnel who have noted an adverse affect from using this product to report what happened to the agency.  They are particularly interested in learning the lot number, the container size, the date and type of procedure, and the nature of the adverse event.

As a San Bernardino personal injury lawyer, I’m sorry to see a seemingly benign item pose a threat to safety.  Patients rely on the equipment being used during their procedures to keep them safe, and it’s my hope as a personal injury attorney in Bakersfield that no one gets hurt by this flawed product.

New Study Says MP3 Player Usage Compromises Driving Ability

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 16, 2012

I often talk about the dangers of texting while behind the wheel of an automobile, but a new study sheds some light on a practice that could be just as dangerous.

A new article in a journal called Human Factors shows that a process as seemingly simple as choosing a song from an MP3 player could greatly increase the risk of a crash.  A study was conducted in which 50 persons between the ages of 18 and 25 were tasked with selecting a song from a playlist while driving a vehicle in a simulator environment.  Road conditions were varied by the researchers to reflect regular obstructions such as construction zones along the roadway.

What the study found was that the longer the playlist, the more likely a driver was to have decreased driving performance.  This occurred chiefly because they were forced to constantly glance to the MP3 player to find their song.  Aftermarket controllers, which purport to prevent distractions, were also tested, and researchers found that these controllers actually forced a driver to look away from the road more rather than less.

All in all, researchers say that picking a song from an MP3 player is much more difficult than simply flicking a switch on a radio to go to a new station.

Just when I think I’ve heard about every road danger there is as a car accident attorney in San Bernardino, here comes a new distraction that many people probably don’t think about.  It just goes to show that everyone needs to pay attention to the road at all times.  I know as a San Bernardino personal injury lawyer how hazardous the road can be, and nothing should be done to further imperil a person’s life.

NHTSA Testing Vehicle to Vehicle Communication in Ann Arbor

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 13, 2012

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking into the efficacy of technology that would enable vehicles to communicate with both each other and stationary edifices in order to help prevent accidents on the road.

They currently have 3,000 cars undergoing rigorous testing in the city of Ann Arbor, Michigan.  This program is designed to test how reliable such vehicle to vehicle communication is.  Known as V2V, the technology utilizes short-range transmitters to send data about speed and other information between vehicles.  This information disperses at a rate of 10 times per second, ensuring that other automobiles are receiving data that is constantly up to date.

The other end of the spectrum is vehicle to infrastructure communication, known as V2I.  Interacting with a GPS, work zones, accident sites, and even traffic signals, such technology could theoretically get you around upcoming traffic snarls and assist you with hitting nothing but green lights.

The testing still has awhile to go though.  The Ann Arbor program is scheduled to continue until summer 2013.  Once that testing has been concluded, officials can begin to discuss the ramifications of the technology and how to implement it on American roads.

As a San Bernardino car accident lawyer, I’m incredibly excited about this futuristic technology.  Anything that can prevent automobile fatalities is fine by me.  Although we might be a ways off from this advancement becoming widespread, I hope as a San Bernardino personal injury lawyer that the kinks can be worked out.

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