Proposed Seat Belt Requirement: Old Hat in Japan

Last week we posted a blog discussing the U.S. Department of Transportation proposal requiring seat belts in buses to attempt to reduce bus accident fatalities. Coincidentally, I’m in Japan on a tour bus equipped with a seat belt. In and of itself barely noteworthy, except that as we’re about to enter a highway, the tour guide announced that everyone should put on their seatbelt.

Apparently, in Japan wearing a seatbelt on a bus that is travelling on a highway is required. We’re now buckled up on a bus taking us to a Ninja Museum. Supposedly there are real ninjas there, … Read the rest

Public Citizen Issues Report Analyzing Unnecessary C-Sections in New York and Making Suggestions How to Avoid One

March, 2010, Data Brief of the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) reported that nearly a third of cesarean sections in New York state may be performed unnecessarily, and a report released by Public Citizen this past Wednesday found that Long Island has among the state’s highest rates of cesarean sections.

The rapid rise in cesarean sections is due to the procedures being performed on women who had never had one before, as well as to a sharp decline in the rate of women who undergo a vaginal birth after a previous cesarean (VBAC). The Public Citizen report analyzes the … Read the rest

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Announces Proposal to Require Seat Belts on All New Motorcoaches

Motorcoaches carry 750 million passengers annually in the U.S. An average of 19 motorcoach occupants are killed each year on U.S. roadways. Ejections account for seventy-eight percent of the fatalities in motorcoach rollover crashes and twenty-eight percent of the fatalities in non-rollover crashes. Wearing lap-shoulder belts on motorcoaches could reduce the risk for passengers of being killed in a rollover crash by 77 percent, primarily by preventing occupant ejection in a crash, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Motorcoach rollover crashes, while relatively rare, can cause a significant number of fatal or serious injuries in a single … Read the rest

Are Pedestrians Safe in the Streets of New York City? NYCs Pedestrian Safety Study, says YES!

In 1910, the City of New York began collecting data to determine traffic fatalities among NYC pedestrians. Nearly a century later, in 2009, pedestrian fatalities are at its lowest rate in New York City history, down by 35% from 2001.

The New York City Department of Transportation is undertaking an ambitious task to reduce by half the number of traffic deaths by 2030, to do this, the agency has collected and analyzed data about the causes of traffic deaths and injuries and where they are happening, using this information to design better streets. This landmark study, Pedestrian Safety Action Plan, … Read the rest

$10 Million Later: Are the Red-Light Cameras Just Raising Money or Also Making the Roads Safer?

Last summer Nassau County on Long Island initiated a red-light camera program, with cameras placed above intersections to videotape motor vehicles running red lights and making right turns on red without coming to a full stop. $50 tickets are then sent to the vehicles owners.

In its first year the program has generated more that $10 million from nearly 260,000 violations 1 for every 5 county residents and more than $13 million is expected in the year 2010. However, although the purpose of the cameras is to reduce motor vehicle accidents by placing them at high-accident intersections, questions are being … Read the rest

Whoda Thunk It?: Children’s Bounce Houses Contain Dangerous Lead Levels

They’re a staple of toddlers birthday parties, children’s holiday parties and other seemingly carefree events. Your children take off their footwear and climb into the inflated bounce house and you’re free from worry (and perhaps bother) for a few minutes. Or are you?

If the allegations in California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr.s lawsuit against several companies involved in manufacturing children’s bounce houses are correct, some of the inflatable structures contain unsafe amounts of lead in their vinyl covering. The main exposure pathway from the bounce house to the child is hand-to-mouth. Lead is transferred from the vinyl to … Read the rest

Preliminary 2009 Highway Fatality Data in New York Shows Decrease in Overall Traffic Fatalities With Significant Reductions in Motorcycle and Bicycle Fatalities

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the Chair of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) announced that preliminary crash data from 2009 indicates a more than six percent decrease in overall traffic fatalities, a more than seventeen percent decrease in motorcycle fatalities and a more than twenty-nine percent decrease in bicycle fatalities. Alcohol, however, was a contributing factor in 30 percent of all fatal crashes.

Preliminary crash data for 2009 indicates the total number of traffic fatalities decreased from 1,224 in 2008 to 1,146 in 2009. Additionally, data from the DMV shows that in 2009 motorcycle … Read the rest

Do You Agree That $3,000,000.00 is Not An Excessive Jury Award for Pain and Suffering for Serious Impairment But Not Loss of Vision Following LASIK Eye Surgery?

Devadas v. Niksarli, Index #: 107637/07, is an action for medical malpractice and lack of informed consent with respect to LASIK eye surgery. It was alleged that the defendant departed from the accepted standard of care for refractive surgeons inasmuch as the eye surgery was contraindicated in that at the time of the surgery the plaintiff suffered from forme fruste keratoconus, an early stage of keratoconus.

Keratoconus is the non-inflammatory thinning and steepening of the cornea. The presence of forme fruste keratoconus weakens the corneal stroma and can lead to iatrogenic ectasia. (the word iatrogenic roughly translated means the doctor … Read the rest