“Feel Different, Drive Different?”

“Feel Different, Drive Different?”

From August 15, 2018, through Labor Day Weekend, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) ran the publicity campaign, “If You Feel Different, You Drive Different—Drive High, Get a DUI.” The campaign recognized that vacation and holiday periods are the times that traffic deaths caused by alcohol and drugs are likely to spike higher. August through Labor Day is one of the deadliest periods to travel on our roads. The National Safety Council (NSC), a nonprofit organization chartered by Congress in 1913, applauded the NHTSA’s efforts to curtail impaired driving in our nation. Pointing out that almost 10,000 people lose their lives on our roads each year due to alcohol alone, the NSC has expressed concerns that the number of fatalities will rise because of the increasing incidence of drugged driving. Driving under the influence of anything is a disturbing and growing problem. Unpacking the Phrase What does it mean to say “feel different, drive different”? While grammar hawks may wince at the usage in the phrase, it doesn’t negate the message. Think about how your mood affects your driving. When you are tense about work responsibilities, upset because you had words with someone, or elated by a personal victory,[…..]

Keeping Our Children Safe: Teen Driver Safety Week

Keeping Our Children Safe: Teen Driver Safety Week

When it comes to teenaged drivers, we often pay a great deal of attention to the “100 Deadliest Days,” which run from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and forget about the rest of the calendar year. While it’s true that teen motor vehicle deaths spike during the summer by an average of 16 percent, danger exists the rest of the year as well. National Teen Driver Safety Week provides the perfect opportunity for parents to sit down with their children and discuss information that might otherwise be shunted aside during the heady days of summer, beach, and fun. In 2018, National Teen Driver Safety Week runs from October 21 through 27, providing you with a valuable opportunity to give your teen important safety tips. Although talking with your children about safer driving can and should occur any day of the year, sometimes having a springboard topic such as a safety week can lead to a more natural discussion with your teenaged driver. Too Many Children Are Dying Too many of our teens are being killed in car wrecks. Motor vehicle crashes rank a dubious first among the causes of teenaged deaths, ahead of all other injuries, disease, or violence for[…..]

Pressured to Work While in Pain

Pressured to Work While in Pain

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) released a report in August, 2018, detailing the use—and abuse—of opioid pain medication in the construction industry. Researchers now know that Massachusetts workers in construction have a much greater risk of dying from pain medication overdoses than workers in other industries. When workers are injured on the job and are prescribed opioid pain medication, they often start by taking pain pills in order to keep working but end up being addicted. Such opioid prescription pain medications are known as hydrocodone, oxycodone, codeine, and morphine. Unlike some full-time employees who have benefits, construction workers generally aren’t paid when they aren’t on the job. Even worse, they could lose their employment simply by not working when they’re sick or injured, regardless of the severity of their injury or illness. Injured workers often take pain pills to keep going every day and to keep food on their family’s table. As Jodi Sugarman-Brozan, the executive director of the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health put it, “There is a lot of pressure to work in pain.” Steve Heisler, “The Injury Lawyer,” can help evaluate your Maryland claim, get in touch with expert witnesses, conduct a thorough[…..]

Platooning: The Latest Development with Large Trucks

Platooning: The Latest Development with Large Trucks

Technology can change our lives quickly these days, sometimes in surprising ways. If you’ll be driving west or southwest of Maryland soon, you might notice one tractor-trailer “tailgating” another closely enough to be alarming in states like Indiana, Tennessee, or Georgia. This new wrinkle in the commercial trucking industry is called “platooning.” Platooning uses wireless communication technology to control the brakes of the rear truck, so that when the front truck stops, the rear one does, too, more or less instantaneously. The time lag is often less than ten milliseconds. For this reason, one truck can follow another at frighteningly-small distances (as little as 30 feet) while traveling at highway speeds. For perspective, the average large SUV is 17 feet long. Are These Trucks Self-Driving? Platooning does not use self-driving trucks. Both vehicles rely on drivers to remain in full control and completely involved in the driving process. Trucks in a platoon, however, can be equipped with new driving technologies such as automatic braking and collision avoidance systems. Because the rear truck can’t see what’s ahead, a video link between a camera on the front truck and a screen in the rear truck shows the driver what’s going on. The[…..]

Scarring and Disfigurement Caused by Automotive Defects

Scarring and Disfigurement Caused by Automotive Defects

Some of the most common injuries in a motor vehicle crash are disfiguring facial injuries, often resulting from burns and flying projectiles. We all know that car fires can cause burns, but did you know that airbags can also be responsible for facial injuries from the chemicals and shrapnel inside the bag? Our faces are our identity. If we look in the mirror and do not see the person we recognize as ourselves, the emotional and psychological pain can be staggering. Steven H. Heisler has a proven track record of providing successful legal representation and guidance for injured clients and their family members. If you or a loved one has suffered a burn injury or facial scarring in a motor vehicle accident due to product defects or another person’s negligence, please give Steve a call. Facial Injuries Explained Burns sustained in a car accident can be caused by a fire or by the chemicals that activate inside an airbag. Briefly, burns are classified by degrees: A first-degree burn is superficial and contained within the top layer of skin. The skin is red, with no blisters. Scarring is not likely unless complications such as an infection arise. A second-degree burn is[…..]

$289M Verdict for Roundup Cancer Victim

$289M Verdict for Roundup Cancer Victim

Sometimes we might stop and think about what we’re spraying on our lawns, or about the chemicals we must handle in our workplaces. Despite regulations, some workers are still exposed to hazardous materials on a regular basis. Cancer is sometimes the outcome after extended periods of time. Repeated exposure to Monsanto’s weedkiller, Roundup, and its active ingredient, glyphosate, has long been suspected of causing cancer. In early August of 2018, a California jury agreed with the case of a terminally-ill man suffering from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, awarding him $289 million in damages for his prolonged exposure to glyphosate. Product liability cases, like the one involving Monsanto’s Roundup, can be extremely complex, requiring expert legal guidance that has your best interests in mind. If you or a loved one is suffering from a defective product, we encourage you to call the Baltimore Law Offices of Steven H. Heisler today for a free review of your case. The Case Starting in 2012, 46-year-old Dewayne (“Lee”) Johnson worked as a groundskeeper for the Benicia school district north of San Francisco, California. His job required him to spray Ranger Pro, a Monsanto weedkiller similar to Roundup, on school grounds, sometimes for hours at a time.[…..]

Can We Prevent School Shootings?

Can We Prevent School Shootings?

The March 2018 shooting at southern Maryland’s Great Mills High School has spurred action among Maryland legislators. In early April 2018 they passed legislation that would improve safety in our state’s schools. The bills provide either school resource officers or police coverage for the Maryland public high schools that don’t have any. In all, local jurisdictions gain $10 million for this purpose. The bills also require lockable classrooms and age-appropriate drills for dealing with active threats in our public schools. State Senator Steve Waugh, R-St. Mary’s, whose district includes the Great Mills High School, noted, “We have really done something very important for the state.” The Great Mills Confrontation A male student used a handgun to shoot a 16-year-old female he knew on March 20, 2018. An armed deputy joined in. By the time it was all over, the girl had suffered critical injuries, a 14-year-old boy was injured, and the 17-year-old shooter had sustained fatal wounds. The Maryland attack came hard on the heels of the February Parkland, Florida, tragedy, when 14 students and three adults died. The school superintendent for St. Mary’s County and for Great Mills High, J. Scott Smith, spoke out after the shooting, saying, “If[…..]

Who’s Responsible for the Duck Boat Disaster?

Who’s Responsible for the Duck Boat Disaster?

On July 19, 2018, a tour boat known as a “duck boat” capsized during a storm on Table Rock Lake near Branson, Missouri. Among the two crew members and 29 passengers on board, a total of 17 died—16 passengers and one from the crew. One woman lost nine of her family members in the tragedy. The sinking near Branson is far from the first duck boat fatalities in the U.S. Over the past 20 years, almost 40 people have died in duck boat accidents, either on the road or in the water (a duck boat can navigate both). Thirteen people died when a duck boat sank on a lake near Hot Springs, Arkansas, in May, 1999. What is a Duck Boat? Duck boats come from the military. During World War II and the Korean War, the U.S. military used DUKW (duck) boats to move goods and troops over both land and water. The boats are amphibious, meaning they can move smoothly from land to water and vice versa. The boats were never intended to have a long life span, and yet a number of them are still in use as commercial tourist transportation. It has been determined that the duck[…..]

Why Do Motor Vehicle Accidents Happen?

Why Do Motor Vehicle Accidents Happen?

We may think we know the reasons that crashes occur: speeding, drunk driving, and cell phone distraction would probably top many of our lists. But these reasons may not be the real reasons, and not knowing exactly what is causing crashes is hindering our efforts to prevent further deaths and injuries. With 40,000 persons dying in motor vehicle collisions every year across the U.S., and with serious injuries numbering into the millions—4.6 million, to be exact—we have a lot of lives we need to keep safe from harm. So what is the true problem? The National Safety Council (NSC) calls the problem incomplete crash data. Why is Crash Data Incomplete? Did you know that accident report forms are different in all 50 states, and that some states ask more questions or provide more fields than others? It is the lack of questions and fields that leads to incomplete data. A police officer might list running a stop sign as the reason for a crash, but the real reason could be distraction due to the driver’s reaching for a buzzing cell phone on the passenger seat. Or, the real reason could have been fatigue, because the driver fell asleep and never[…..]

If You Own a Kia or Hyundai, Read This

If You Own a Kia or Hyundai, Read This

Certain Kias and Hyundais from model years 2011 through 2014 are vulnerable to spontaneous fires. Vehicles affected include the Kia Sorento SUV and Kia Optima sedan, as well as the Hyundai Santa Fe SUV and Hyundai Sonata sedan. While the fires have not been associated with any crashes, it’s estimated that six persons have suffered injuries from the fires. Petition Submitted to NHTSA The Center for Auto Safety (CAS) has petitioned Deputy Administrator Heidi King of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) because of the fires. The petition, submitted June 11, 2018, noted that the NHTSA has on file 120 complaints of fires where no crash occurred, as well as 229 filed complaints that mention melted wires, smoke, and odors indicating something was burning. When the number of Hyundai and Kia reports was compared with other competing makes and models, the CAS discovered only 22 reports on file that mentioned fires without collisions for all other competing vehicles. The Hyundai Sonata had the most complaints at 47, with 10 for the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport. Sixty-three fires were reported to the NHTSA for the two Kia models. Dangerous Fires The CAS petition mentioned several fires, including the following ones:[…..]