If you are a family with young children, you may have heard about the recent controversy over a certain type of jogging stroller. This stroller has been reported to have caused hundreds of accidents due to a quick-release front wheel that may come off unexpectedly. This can cause the strollers to flip, seriously injuring the person pushing the stroller and the baby inside. This is obviously a scary, harmful, and potentially deadly situation.
An incident of texting while driving recently took the life of a pedestrian in PA. According to news sources, a college student was texting while driving her car in Allentown. She ran a red light and hit a minivan, which caused her car to spin into a nearby pedestrian. That pedestrian was thrown over 20 feet in the air and died soon after. The driver's cell phone data reflected that she was arguing with someone else over text at the time of the accident. Additionally, videos from the crash scene show that the driver's car did not slow down as it approached the red light at the intersection, although other cars responded appropriately according to the traffic lights.
Pedestrian deaths are on the rise across the country, and PA is no exception. According to nationally compiled data via the Governors Highway Safety Commission, Pennsylvania saw over a 40% increase in pedestrian fatalities in the first half of 2018 as compared to the first half of 2017. If this trend continues, 2019 will prove to be a deadly year for pedestrians, too. According to the data, almost 100 pedestrians were killed by drivers in Pennsylvania during the first half of 2018 as compared to 64 during that same stretch of time in 2017.Nationally, these numbers reflect the highest number of pedestrian deaths in 30 years. Many people believe that this increase is due to heightened instances of distracted driving, more SUVs on the road (which data suggests is correlated with an increase in pedestrian accidents), and an increased number of walkers in areas where most people used to drive. By the numbers, most accidents involving pedestrians overwhelmingly occur at night (about 90%) and over half of these accidents occur on local streets and neighboring highways. In PA, pedestrian fatalities account for roughly 10% of all traffic-related deaths.
Pennsylvania is in the midst of an unsettling trend in recent years. PennDOT reports that about 4,000 people are hit by cars each year in our state. These pedestrian/car encounters seem to increase during the winter months, where drivers appear to be more aggressive, especially in the afternoon. Many of these accidents also appear to involve distraction, either on the part of the driver or the pedestrian. To increase visibility, it is recommended that pedestrians stay off of their phones, wear reflective clothing, walk against the flow of traffic, and cross only at designated areas. Drivers need to be alert, not distracted by mobile devices, and anticipate pedestrians on the road with them.
When your child faces an unforeseen injury, it can be a parent's worst nightmare. Recently, a child suffered an injury while in gym class in a PA school. According to reports, the 9-year-old student was running in gym class, could not stop, tripped, and fell into an unpadded concrete wall. He hit the wall so hard that he lost consciousness. He missed a great deal of school and began to develop memory problems and chronic headaches, even several years after the accident occurred. The student's family sued the school for negligence by failure to properly pad the walls in the gym. The PA Supreme Court reviewed the case recently and found that a school can be held liable for the injuries that the child sustained.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can result from many things, including car accidents, sports injuries, and some types of repeated trauma. TBIs have been making the news recently due to many student athletes suing the NCAA and their respective colleges/universities. According to news sources, the NCAA has received over 300 legal claims from former college athletes, mostly football players. These athletes state that concussions they received while playing sports were not always handled correctly in college. As a result, they now have lasting effects including mental health issues, early onset Parkinsons, Alzheimer's Disease, and chronic headaches. This is not the first time that the NCAA has been sued to head injury concerns. One former class action lawsuit against the NCAA led to $75M for students who claimed they had injuries. Another stipulation within that lawsuit was an agreement that any potential class-action personal injury lawsuits couldn't be held against the NCAA, but students could pursue their own lawsuits at their individual schools.
As we prepare for Christmas, sometimes we forget to think about the potential hazards that Christmas decorations and activities can bring in regards to our physical safety. As you enjoy the holiday season, please keep these tips and tricks in mind to increase your chances for a safe, happy, and injury-free holiday:
In continuing our trend of examining holiday safety measures, this day's post focuses on holiday safety surrounding household fire risks. Unfortunately, those beautiful Christmas trees and candles do pose a significant safety risk to homes during the holiday season. According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA):
The holiday season is a fun and enjoyable time, but it also comes with its own hazards and safety risks. However, there are ways to avoid and/or reduce your risk in your own home and when you're out visiting others during the holiday. Some things to keep in mind are:
Do you sometimes enter a retail store or other public establishment and think "Huh, well THAT sidewalk/ramp/curb/entrance/puddle doesn't look safe". Chances are, you are probably right. Sometimes, these unsafe walking conditions lead to accidents, which then makes those businesses potentially liable for slip-and-fall lawsuits. One such accident occurred recently at a Big Lots in San Diego, CA. A woman fell in a Big Lots after she slipped and fell on a patch of dirt of the floor, which caused her to fall into a soda display shelf. As a result, she developed shoulder and neck injuries, had multiple surgeries, and required physical therapy afterwards. The injured party's attorney reported that Big Lots doesn't have a set sweeping schedule, and instructs employees to sweep "as needed". They implied that this lack of cleaning schedule may have, in part, contributed to the conditions responsible for this accident. The results of this trial have not been released yet, but it will be interesting to see what happens.