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MOTOR VEHICLE CRASH DEATHS ON THE DECLINE

By Garrett Handy

Last month, AAA released a study titled, Motor Vehicle Crashes, Injuries, and Deaths in Relation to Driver Age: United States, 1995-2010. I was surprised to learn from motor vehicle crash death statistics that deaths are on the decline. In 2008, nationwide annual motor vehicle deaths fell to its lowest level since 1961. The study points out that from 1995 to 2007, annual motor vehicle deaths were consistent at about 42,500. However, beginning in 2008, we started to see a sharp decline in the number of deaths. Here's some data regarding deaths caused by motor vehicle accidents:

COUNTERFEIT AIRBAGS

Some startling news is out today that if you've had your airbag replaced in the last three years and if the work was not performed by a car dealer, the airbag may be a counterfeit. Various new outlets are reporting about this issue which could have serious consequences in a car accident. Of course, if you have replaced your air bag in the past three years, please take it to your dealer to get checked out.

TBI - TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY

It seems that concussions sustained by athletes are a big topic right now. Whether we're talking about top NFL players or pee wee football kids, or girls soccer, this is an important issue. New rules are even being implemented regarding sitting out games and other precautions when a concussion is diagnosed or suspected. For example, as I watched a college football game over the weekend, a player had to go to the sideline and sit out the next a play if his helmet came off while on the field. Even if it was a "minor" hit and the helmet came off, he had to go to the sideline. When this happened in the game I was watching, the announcers complained that it was a ridiculous rule. I had to wonder, with all of the recent studies and brain science out there, can we really take too many precautions when it comes to protecting the human brain? 

5400 SOUTH 'FLEX LANES' IN TAYLORSVILLE

As a personal injury lawer, I am all about public safety and as a driver on Utah roads I am not a fan of traffic congestion. UDOT has made an attempt to work through both of these issues in Taylorsville by creating 'flex' lanes that run one way during the morning rush hour and the opposite direction during the evening rush hour. Check out the video on UDOT's website. 

OHIO WOMAN ORDERED TO WEAR "IDIOT" SIGN

When I read about a woman who was caught driving on a sidewalk to avoid a school bus, I didn't know whether I should laugh or be appalled. Honestly, I often find myself scratching my head wondering what people are thinking. Apparently a 32-year-old woman in Cleveland, Shena Hardin, pulled her car up onto the sidewalk to get around a stopped school bus. It was reported that the bus driver had observed Ms. Hardin doing this maneuver on a number of occasions and he was able to catch her in the act by using his cell phone to get a video. Fortunately, the police were called and she was apprehended. As a result of her reckless behavior, she was fined $250 and her license was suspended for 30 days. But the kicker is, the judge has ordered her to wear a sign that says, "Only an idiot would drive on the sidewalk to avoid the school bus." She has to stand near the "crime scene" and wear the sign for a total of two hours. 

SHOULD YOU USE RIDE-SHARING APPS?

An interesting new ride-sharing/carpooling/taxi service is emerging in the form of apps that can be used to help you find a ride from point A to point B. It's a very innovative idea, but as a personal injury lawyer, I can't help but look at this from a liability perspective. This new phenomenon reminded me of the old ride board that we had at college where students would put a note on a bulletin board so you could get a ride home for the holidays. This is basically a sophisticated form of hitch-hiking. One of the apps is called Side Car. The FAQ page on their website says: 

Handy Law advice on how to defend yourself against an animal attack.

Consider this scenario for a moment. You are walking home, after a long day's work when you notice that on the sidewalk is a dog walking toward you weirdly, baring it's teeth. You begin to back away, and then run. BAM! The dog chases you, knocking you to the floor. What do you do?

PEDESTRIAN SAFETY

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Walking to work or school is a daily occurrence for many people. Some people listen to their favorite audio book, while others play Candy Crush on their smartphone, all to pass the time. While it's true that walking to work or school often saves money on gas and travel expenses, walking can be a hazardous experience if you don't pay attention to world around you. There are a few things you can do, both as a driver and a pedestrian, to help minimize the risks of a pedestrian accident. 

AVOIDING A DOG BITE

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Avoiding a dog bite might not be on everyone's agenda throughout the day, but once you or your child is bitten, it becomes a lot more relevant in your mind. Here's some tips to help you never have to experience the potential vital consequences of a dog bite. 

UNDERSTANDING PRODUCT LIABILITY

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As fun as it is to use amazing advances in technology, they aren't always perfect. Defects are fairly common in all avenues of technology at some point. The refining of these defects leads to newer models or versions released. However, what happens to those who are stuck with defective products? Manufacturers often recall dangerous or faulty products in order to protect consumers. For example, vehicle recalls are fairly common with things such as faulty airbags, electrical systems, etc. You generally never have to pay anything for a recall service on your vehicle. It's important to be aware of recalls and to know if one of your car's needs to be serviced. 

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