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What? A Driverless Car Accident?

Many people are excited about the prospect of driverless or autonomous vehicles becoming commonplace on our roadways, eliminating the human factors that are responsible for causing 94% of all traffic accidents.  A high percentage of accidents and injuries are caused by intoxication, distracted driving (smartphone use) and speeding. If you are in a driverless car, though, then it makes no difference how intoxicated you are or if you are focused exclusively on your smartphone. Also, your driverless car will not speed so that factor may be eliminated as well.

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Employee Texting and Employer Liability

Texting is ubiquitous these days. People are doing it while driving, crossing the street, drinking coffee at Starbucks or while working. It is the latter case that can put employers at risk for liability if an employee’s negligence causes injury to a third person.

An unusual case in which an employer is being sued by a third person, or one who is not a co-worker of the negligent employee, occurred at a Wal-Mart two years ago and is being litigated now. The employee was allegedly texting on his phone while pushing a cart filled with boxes when he inadvertently ran into the plaintiff and injuring her. The victim’s complaints consisted of loss of motion of her neck and shoulders and continued post-concussive symptoms that includes short-term memory loss.

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Burn Injuries and Keeping Kids Safe

Burn injuries to kids can be devastating and cause life-long physical as well as emotional difficulties. Because children have access to household appliances, chemicals and other substances commonly found around a home, they are extremely susceptible to burn injuries.

The American Burn Association reports that there are about 500,000 burn injuries each year that require medical attention. Curiosity about a child’s environment often leads to unintended injuries. Children will place their hands or fingers on a hot stove or in the fireplace, play with matches or a lighter or spill a hot liquid on themselves. Hot lamps and toasters can also lead to first or even second degree burns in some cases.

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Apps to Blame for Continued Rise in Traffic Deaths?

Traffic statistics on injuries and fatalities were moving in the right direction about 10 years ago when traffic administrators, federal and state officials could boast that our nation’s highways were becoming safer. The reasons? Most pointed to stricter laws on drunk driving, seat belt enforcement, helmets for motorcyclists and concerted safety campaigns. However, the good news has soured over the past 2 years with the National Safety Council having recently released its 2016 statistics indicating that traffic deaths exceeded 40,000 for the first time since 2007. Deaths were up 7% in 2015 and matched last year for a 14% overall rise in the past 2 years. This is the largest increase in more than 50 years.

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