kalu-ci-146209-300x200When you live in Encinitas or in a nearby part of North County, you likely know about the risks of alcohol-impaired driving. We often hear about DUI laws in California and the serious consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlights how an average of 28 people sustain fatal injuries in car accidents each day caused by drunk drivers (or, to put that number another way, one person dies every 51 minutes because a driver decided to drink and drive).

What about drugged driving? How does smoking or otherwise consuming marijuana affect a person’s ability to drive safely? How often do prescription drugs or illegal substances play a role in serious and fatal car accidents in Encinitas? According to a recent report from the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS), the FDA’s newly finalized study provides guidance on drugged driving.

Drugged Driving Laws in California

duffy-brook-350225-copy-300x200Are there certain breeds of dogs that pose greater risks of dog bite injuries in Vista, California, than other breeds? According to a recent news release from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), there are breed-specific laws in place throughout the country, including in California, yet these breed-specific laws might not always result in the desired outcome of fewer dog attacks.

Should you change your behavior if you encounter a neighborhood dog that makes the “bully breed” lists, or are there other indicators that you could be at risk of a dog bite incident?

Learning More About Breed-Specific Laws

chris-becker-781-copy-300x200Bicycle accidents in Carlsbad happen more often than they should, and according to a recent study at the UC San Francisco, the costs of bicycle collisions are on the rise. According to a fact sheet from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), trips on bicycles account for only about 1% of all trips that are taken in the country each day. Yet proportionally, bicyclists are at higher risk of suffering a serious or fatal injury in a car accident than are motor vehicle occupants.

As the study explains, the recent rise in bicycle crash costs coincides with an overall increase in cycling popularity. While we want to encourage bicycling in the San Diego area for both health and environmental reasons, it is important to weigh the risks and rewards. The study was published in the journal Injury Prevention.

Medical Costs of Bicycle Injuries Increase by Hundreds of Billions in Two Decades

VaultPK-300x180
Last weekend 21 children ages 5 to 14 were injured when a large wooden viewing platform and staircase collapsed, sending the children to the floor below. In all, 23 people were rushed to local San Diego hospitals, three with spinal injuries. PK Vault is a gymnastics-type facility that offers kids the chance to do parkour in a lively upbeat environment.

 
There will no doubt be personal injury liability against PK Vault, and very possibly others, including the building’s owners. Under California law, a building owner or occupier has a duty to maintain the premises free of dangerous conditions to all invitees. A failure to do so, constitutes premises liability, and the owners and business can be held liable to those injuries.

 
Personal injury law would allow any person injured to seek compensation for their injuries, including payment of all medical bills, and a sum for pain and suffering – damages that compensation for the impact an injury has had on a person’s life.

joey-banks-380271-copy-300x200When product recalls happen in Oceanside, do most North County residents pay attention to these serious warnings? As many Californians know, products can be subject to recall when there is a serious safety defect that can result in serious and even fatal injuries. According to a recent survey conducted by SteriCycle Expert Solutions, while many people may in fact respond appropriately to news of a product recall, millennials “are the least likely among the U.S. population to say they respond positively to product recall notices.”

To be clear, young people who are often classified as millennials (typically those between the ages of 18-34) may be exposing themselves to more risk from product defects by avoiding recall notices.

Older Adults More Likely than Younger Adults to Comply with Product Recall Notices

joao-victor-xavier-304057-copy-300x169If your teenager plays contact sports or engages in other activities in San Clemente that increases his or her risk of a concussion, is it better to avoid these sports altogether? Do the benefits of team sports and individual recreational activities outweigh the potential harms associated with a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI)? According to a recent report from NPR, teens may be sustaining concussions at a higher rate than most parents would like to believe. The report cites a research letter that was recently published in the peer-reviewed journal JAMA, which indicates that “approximately 20 percent of teens . . . have been diagnosed with at least one concussion.”

What is causing teen concussions at such a high rate? What steps can parents take to reduce the risk of a TBI altogether, and to ensure that their child heals properly after sustaining a head trauma?

High School Students Surveyed About History of Head Injuries

bethany-legg-14229-copy-300x200Many Valley Center residents have heard about the risks of distracted driving. Indeed, as a report from ABC News 10 discusses, on January 1, 2017 additional cell phone laws took effect that prevent California drivers from holding a phone or doing anything more than making a single tap or a single swipe. While drivers are still permitted to use cell phones as GPS devices, provided that they are mounted somewhere in the vehicle, the change to the law aims to prevent distracted driving accidents. What about distracted walking? While the term might sound like an odd one, it is becoming a relatively serious problem in California and throughout major urban areas in the country.

According to a recent report from KEYT News 3, a local official is proposing a change to the law. In short, in order to improve public safety, San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa is hoping to institute a distracted walking law that “would make it illegal to use the crosswalk while using your cell phone.” Is such a law likely to pass? Is it necessary to prevent pedestrian accidents?

Pedestrian Accidents on the Rise Due to Smartphone Use

michael-mroczek-199379-copy-300x200For parents and their neighbors in Rancho Bernardo, it is important to understand important school bus safety laws as kids throughout California return to school. We can all take steps to prevent bus accidents. However, according to a recent report from CBS News, many drivers do not always obey school bus safety laws simply because they do not know them. Now is the time to learn because the California Highway Patrol (CHP) plans to conduct pedestrian safety enforcement operations along the California coast in the coming school days.

What are School Bus Laws in California?

In short, it is important for motorists to know how to behave around a school bus (and how to obey the law). In particular, if you are driving behind a school bus that is picking up or dropping off children, or if you are approaching such a bus from the opposite direction, what does the law require you to do? The report emphasizes the importance of understanding and abiding by the following laws to prevent child pedestrian accidents and fatalities:

jakob-owens-169886-copy-300x205When parents in Poway and throughout Southern California buy food products for their kids, they should be able to expect that these items will not result in unexpected injuries. Unfortunately, however, foods we buy at the local grocery store can contain product defects that lead to serious injuries. According to a recent article in The New York Times, boxed macaroni and cheese products made with powdered cheese could be causing harm to your kids. Could this popular food, especially among children, be the potential basis for product liability claims in California?

Are Boxed Macaroni and Cheese Products Harmful to Your Child’s Health?

As the article explains, it looks as though the powdered cheese contained in many of these boxed products contains high amounts of phthalates, chemicals that “can disrupt male hormones like testosterone and have been linked to genital birth defects in infant boys and learning and behavior problems in older children.” Are these chemicals found naturally in cheese? In short, the answer is no. Rather, phthalates can “migrate into food from packaging and equipment used in manufacturing.” Young children and pregnant women should be particularly concerned with the risks associated with these chemicals.

dan-gold-227951-copy-300x169Leaving your car in an Escondido parking lot during the summer months for even a few minutes without the vehicle running typically leads to a very hot car. While hot cars are not a problem when they are unoccupied, hot cars can cause the deaths of children who are left in vehicles even for a few minutes. According to a recent report from CNN News, hot car deaths have reached a record high” as of July. 29 kids across the country have suffered fatal injuries as a result of heatstroke after being left in a hot car. California, along with Texas and Florida, had the highest number of heatstroke-related child deaths this summer.

You might think that you would never forget a child in a vehicle, but the article suggests that even the most diligent parents need to take precautions to prevent hot car deaths, particularly during the summer months.

July Hot Car Deaths Reach Unfortunate Record

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