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:[…..]

Summer Travel and Safety Tips

Summer Travel and Safety Tips

The majority of people who take vacations do so during the summer—that’s about 59 percent of us. Regardless of how you plan to vacation this summer or where you’re going, avoiding injury and staying safe should be one of your biggest concerns. We have some ideas that can help you do so. Safety While on the Road Do you plan to travel by car? Keep in mind that drivers tend to do 10 percent more distracted driving during the summer and spend 15 minutes of every hour in a distracted state. Here’s how to limit distraction: Know where you’re going, so you don’t have to consult maps. Keep in mind that GPS and paper maps may not be accurate. Especially don’t follow GPS blindly. Leave your phone alone, or give it to a passenger to monitor if you must have it on. Don’t multitask. Driving is Job One. Secure children and pets so they don’t distract you, and bring along items to keep the kids entertained. Carry an emergency kit and supplies should you become stranded, including water, protein bars, and other snacks. Use the “teddy bear system” to prevent leaving kids in hot cars because you were distracted. Keep[…..]

First Death from Exploding Vape Pen Is Official

On May 5, 2018, a man in St. Petersburg, Florida, was discovered in a blazing bedroom with burns on 80 percent of his body. But apparently what killed him weren’t his burns, but his vape pen blowing up while he was using it. After an autopsy, the medical examiner listed the cause of death as projectile wounds to the man’s cranium from two pieces of the vape pen driven into his head by the force of the explosion. The type of vape pen the man was using is known as a “mechanical mod.” His model carried the Smok-E Mountain Mech Works logo; the company is based in the Philippines. Mechanical mods differ from other vape pens and have their own set of problems. Smok-E believes the explosion is due either to the atomizer or to the use of a cloned battery (a non-authentic knockoff battery that is often of inferior quality and safety). Smok-E insists that their product does not explode. What Makes Mechanical Mods Distinctive? Mechanical mods are simpler than other vape pens because they are nothing but devices that deliver power directly to the atomizer. The atomizer supplies the fumes that users inhale; the entire vape pen is[…..]

Fatal Pedestrian Crashes and SUVs

SUV Accidents

Increasingly, pedestrians are being killed by SUVs instead of by passenger cars such as sedans and hatchbacks. In the last decade, the rate of pedestrian deaths in SUV collisions has shot up 81 percent, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The IIHS also noted in their 2018 study that high-horsepower vehicles, like SUVs and light trucks, are more likely to be involved in fatal pedestrian collisions. In the decade previous to 2009, pedestrian deaths had been dropping. What could be causing such a steep rise in the pedestrian death rate, and why are SUVs implicated? Contributing Factors Pedestrian fatalities have climbed to nearly 6,000 a year, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, roughly a 50 percent increase since 2009. Pedestrian deaths for 2016 reached heights they had not seen since 1990. Some of the factors contributing to the higher rate of pedestrian deaths and SUVs include: Automotive design. SUVs are designed differently than passenger cars. They have a blunter front end, and their increased height means pedestrians are struck higher on their body, not on their legs. This fact reduces the possibility that a pedestrian can roll off a vehicle and reduce their[…..]

New Focus for Talcum Powder Cases

Talcum Powder

Two recent court cases involving Johnson & Johnson’s (J & J) baby powder have resulted in the awarding of damages to plaintiffs suffering from mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that generally affects certain cells lining the lungs and abdomen. The cancer is often caused by asbestos exposure and rarely appears without cause. During May 2018, jurors in California state court awarded a 68-year-old woman compensatory damages of $21.7 million for asbestos-related mesothelioma that she claims resulted from extremely heavy usage (two bottles a month) of J & J’s powder over decades. Earlier, in April 2018, New Jersey jurors in the company’s corporate hometown of New Brunswick found J & J liable for $117 million in damages. A 56-year-old man claimed that his asbestos-related mesothelioma was due to daily usage of the company’s talcum powder products since his birth in 1972. These two cases are game-changers when it comes to the dangers of talcum powder and cancer risk. Previous cases have focused on ovarian cancer and have not involved claims of asbestos in Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powders. What is Mesothelioma? The cancer known as mesothelioma usually results from workplace exposure to asbestos that occurs over many years. The most[…..]

What Are the Odds?

When something unusual occurs, we may wonder out loud, “What are the odds?” As it turns out, when it comes to how people die, we can determine what the odds are of certain types of death for an entire population. We don’t mean to be morbid, but the truth is, everyone dies eventually. Perhaps you’re afraid of dying in an airplane crash or from a terrorist attack, or maybe because of a lightning strike. According to the CDC, about 2.6 million people died during 2014 in the U.S. That’s about 824 persons per 100,000 in the population. Remember that these odds are enormous generalizations across all ages and health conditions. For example, you do not necessarily have high odds of dying from cancer if you don’t have certain genetic or lifestyle risk factors—or if you die young from an accident. (Most cancers happen to us when we live a long time.) What We Aren’t Worrying About There are many causes of death, and some of them don’t worry us as much as they probably should. What kills a large number of us is disease and addiction. Judging from the way some of us treat our bodies, we probably aren’t worried[…..]

Still Hurting After the Accident? It Could Be a Herniated Disc

Herniated Disc Crash

After a car crash, are you still suffering from back pain that is not getting better? You’ve received medical attention and do not have any fractures, but the doctor did say you might have a herniated disc. Further testing was recommended to determine the cause of your pain. All types of back and neck injuries are common after motor vehicle collisions. While an injury might appear to be minor at first, as the hurt grows and other symptoms set in, you realize you need help to stop the numbness, the muscle weakness, and, of course, the pain. A study done by the University of North Carolina School of Medicine indicates that, after a car crash, more than 70 percent of those who sought emergency treatment were still suffering from pain. Not all of the pain reported was from a back injury, but a review of the hospital records for 948 patients determined that, six weeks following a motor vehicle accident, the most common injury for those admitted to the hospital was neck and back pain. What is a Herniated Disc? The sudden, strong forces exerted on your spine during a crash can injure the cushions between the bony vertebrae; these[…..]

Look Out for Unsafe Lane Changers

Truck Accident Lawyer

Reckless lane changes cause a lot of crashes on our roads. While the danger is usually greater when a heavier commercial vehicle is part of the mix, the reality is that abrupt lane changes by any vehicle can be responsible for injuries and fatalities. Changing lanes unsafely, whether due to weaving and other aggressive acts or drifting caused by distraction, involves vehicles of all types and sizes. Two recent local examples in the Baltimore-Washington area were: According to Maryland State Police, on March 24, 2018, an Inner Beltway crash killed a man. Improper lane changing and failing to yield the right of way were the charges. Also in March, 2018, an unsafe lane change by a tractor-trailer caused an 18-vehicle collision that resulted in injuries to four people, two with life-threatening injuries. All four southbound lanes were shut down during rush hour for more than two hours. The large white semi that caused the crash sped away unharmed. The Numbers Unsafe lane changes cause a lot of crashes on our roads. Not staying in the proper lane causes about 11 percent of all passenger motor vehicle crashes. But when a tractor-trailer is packing more than 80,000 pounds, the chances of[…..]

“Rolling Coal”—A Hazardous New Practice

Maryland Rolling Coal Lawyer

The expression “rolling coal” may make you stop and scratch your head unless you’ve heard it before. To “roll coal” means to belch black smoke from an altered diesel engine in order to upset or intimidate others, such as bicyclists, walkers, joggers, or those who drive hybrid vehicles. Some drivers do it to appear cool, politically radical, or even to target police officers. For years, researchers and vehicle manufacturers have worked hard to produce a clean diesel engine. Remember the Volkswagen case involving diesel emissions, where tests to determine harmful emissions had been cheated? “Rolling coal” is the opposite of trying to “drive clean” with a diesel engine. And, as of October 1, 2017, it will be illegal to “roll coal” in Maryland. How Does a Person “Roll Coal?” To do so, you must tamper with, disable, or override a vehicle’s emission controls, which is bad for the environment as well as unsafe. It’s also against the federal Clean Air Act to tamper with emission controls. The executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum, Allen Schaeffer, said that his group was in favor of the new law. Why? For one thing, “Nobody wants to see a black puff of smoke[…..]

Summertime Is Trauma Season

MD Bike Injury Lawyer

You may have heard about the “100 Deadliest Days,” when deaths from crashes involving teens increase. But did you know that summer is also when trauma is most likely to occur? Emergency rooms consider summer “the trauma season”—it’s their own 100 Deadliest Days. The situation is especially true for those whose have been penned up in classrooms for months—in other words, kids. More time outdoors, often unsupervised, generally means more injuries. “The first thing that lets us know [trauma season is near] is when we turn the clock ahead,” said Barbara Gaines, a trauma surgeon at Pittsburgh’s Children’s Hospital. Kids have “an extra hour or two in the evening to play.” That means, starting in April, people in ERs and surgeons see more bicycle injuries. In May and June, it turns into more swimming, lawn mower, and other traumatic injuries. At Pittsburgh’s Children’s Hospital, the numbers spike from 100 traumatic injuries of children per month to 170 to 200 from May to September. The numbers of adult trauma cases also rise by roughly 30 percent. Many of the accidents aren’t life-threatening. Even so, many are preventable, and who doesn’t want to prevent their child from experiencing pain and fear? The[…..]