Getting into a car crash is hardly something anyone can truly be prepared for. These accidents can be devastating, especially if you become injured as a result of the crash. Dealing with an injury after an accident occurs can be particularly stressful; it could lead to extensive medical costs, lost wages due to missing work, property loss, an inability to keep up with household responsibilities and emotional trauma.
Many people have the sense afoot that rabies is a thing of the past, a storybook disease like smallpox or leprosy. But as a recent case from Calaveras County shows, rabies is alive and well in our region, and people need to take it very seriously.
In the month of November alone, seven persons had to be treated for rabies, and nine dogs had to be put down. All because one dog had contact with the other dogs, which passed the virus on.
There is only one defense
A local animal services manager, speaking to the Calaveras Enterprise, said that the number of cases was not unusual. Rabies is always a possibility, throughout the state - wherever there are mammals.
The only defense against the disease is for people to have warm-blooded pets and livestock vaccinated - a preventive practice that many people continue to ignore.
When we think of automobile safety, one of the first things that come to mind is the seat belt. Annually, they save about 14,000 lives. However, they may present a problem.
Seat belts are designed to keep, for example, the average 40 year old man safe in the event of a crash. The force required to keep a man of this stature in place and safe may be too much for smaller or older drivers, and may cause additional injuries, according to an article by CBS News.
Teenagers between the ages of 16-19 have the highest average crash and traffic violation rate over any other age group of drivers. There are more rules and regulations for young drivers and with good reason. The state of California bans the use of cellphones for anyone under the age of 18; even in hands-free mode. Cellphones are a known distraction for all drivers, since teenagers are less experienced drivers they tend to gain a false sense of confidence behind the wheel (feeling invincible) which makes them more susceptible to give into distractions.
With the holiday season fast approaching, many are thinking of potential toys to gift their young. However, the consumer advocacy group World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (W.A.T.C.H.) recently released their list of the nominees for the "Worst Toys of 2016," a list of potentially harmful and hazardous toys.
Toys on the list include Peppa Pig's Muddy Puddles Family ("POTENTIAL FOR CHOKING INJURIES") and the Flying Heroes Superman Launcher ("POTENTIAL FOR EYE AND FACIAL INJURIES").
While tornadoes, hurricanes and floods dominate news coverage, plain old inclement weather is the cause of more fatal car accidents annually than all three combined.
According to the Department of Transportation (DOT), more than 5,748,000 car accidents occur annually, based on statistics spanning from 2005 to 2014. Of these, 22 percent (roughly 1,259,000) involved bad weather conditions.
California is poised to legalize marijuana in a few days, with polls showing a strong majority favoring Proposition 64. So it's time to ponder the impact of legalization on highway safety.
The 2016 deer hunting season in California comes to an end November 16. It's a good opportunity to ponder the relationship between deer, motor vehicles and personal injury law.
Deer hunting season coincides with deer mating season
One reason that deer-automobile collisions increase is that autumn coincides with the animals' mating season. Deer take chances they would not take in a normal state of mind. When deer are in rut, they don't look both ways before crossing.
This past month, an incident occurred in the Ozarks in which a driver struck a deer andthe deer managed to open the car door and commence kicking the driver.
Two study groups with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration this week approved recommendations that commercial truck drivers should be screened for obstructive sleep apnea before being allowed to drive.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. Signs you may have sleep apnea include loud snoring and feeling unrested even after a full night's sleep.
This recommendation is important because it may restrict the rights of people to make a living behind the wheel. Lives may be saved by taking this precaution - but many drivers and truck companies resent the intrusion by government.
FMCSA's Medical Review Board voted to approve the recommendations at its Oct. 25 meeting.
Why screening is a big deal
Truckers with a body mass index (BMI) or 40 or higher - i.e., they are overweight -- must take part in a sleep study. If sleep apnea is diagnosed, drivers must begin treatment within 90 days.
Millions of people switched to e-cigarettes or "vapes" in recent years to continue delivering nicotine, but with minimal danger to themselves.
Now they are learning that this "safe alternative" can severely burn or poison them.
E-cigarettes are regulated by The Food and Drug Administration - but only when they are sold for therapeutic benefit. For the non-therapeutic user, the e-cigarette is a completely unregulated product. In particular,
the FDA does not regulate the batteries, which are emerging as the root cause of the most serious injuries.