Some of us who live in the U.S. think of our nation as overly regulated, especially when it comes to safety precautions. Workplace safety should be of paramount concern, however, and OSHA can impose fines and sanctions against companies that fail to meet certain safety standards. There are also strict standards regarding product safety that most people accept as necessary. But when it comes to certain areas of our lives, we seem to balk at what some consider to be unreasonable restraints on our freedoms. One of these concerns automobile safety.
A recent tragic car accident that claimed the life of a 28-year old Oxford, Massachusetts, woman might have been prevented had the young woman been wearing her seatbelt. The accident occurred on December 9, 2017, on Sutton Avenue near Fort Hill Road and Lovett Road. No details were reported on the cause of the accident but police reports indicated the woman was ejected from her vehicle and was found lying on the roadway. The fact she was ejected strongly suggests she was not restrained in her seat at the moment of impact.
Texting while driving has caused too many collisions. Since 2010, Massachusetts has outlawed texting while driving. This law, however, did not ban using your cellphone for making calls or scrolling through your email unless you are a driver under the age of 21. In the past few years, lawmakers have introduced legislation banning any hand-held use of cellphones for all drivers but the measures either stalled or died quietly in the House. Governor Baker did not endorse a full ban either, feeling it was unfair to drivers in older vehicles that lacked the technology that permitted hands-free use.
Five years after an unusually tragic incident, the widow of an Illinois man who drowned at a pond located within his condominium complex after being attacked by a swan has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the property management companies that owned and maintained the residential complex. The decedent had had the task of feeding the swans and was in his kayak when a swan unexpectedly attacked him, causing him to fall into the water. Because he was wearing boots and other heavy clothing, he was apparently unable to climb back into the kayak or reach a place of safety before going under the water’s surface.