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6 posts from October 2007

October 30, 2007

Halloween Fun! Safety, History and Some Videos!

Halloween_image Wikipedia's Halloween Page says that "The Festival of Halloween is a celebration of the end of the fertile period of the Celtic Goddess Eiseria. It is said that when Eiseria reaches the end of her fertile cycle the worlds of the dead and the living interlap. This happens on October 31. Masks are worn to show respect for the Goddess Eiseria who, like most Celtic deities, does not wish to be seen with human eyes. The day also precedes All saints day, which was at first the celebration of the start of a new cycle of fertility for the Celtic Goddess Eiseria. Couples incapable of producing children thus tried their luck on All saints day."

History.com has an extensive page on Halloween which includes videos, a historical perspective and a plethora of Halloween-related links.

Halloween Safety Links

Halloween Safety Guide

National Safety Council discusses safety tips for Motorists, Parents, Costume Design, Face Design, Accessories, On the Way and Treats

Ghost  American Red Cross discusses Tricks, Treats, Costumes and Safety including

  • Walk, slither, and sneak on sidewalks, not in the street.
  • Look both ways before crossing the street to check for cars, trucks, and low-flying brooms.
  • Cross the street only at corners.
  • Don't hide or cross the street between parked cars.
  • Click here for even more safety tips

    Halloween Videos

    Halloween Pet Safety Tips sung to Love Potion No. 9

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    ">Richard Weinblatt Police Chief on Halloween Safety

    ">Keeping Kids Safe Today - Halloween Safety Tips

    Please keep those kids and pets safe!

    The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

    If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

    Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100

    or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

    "Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

    www.steigerlaw.com 

  • October 29, 2007

    Government Mandates Better Side-Impact Protection

    Airbag Thanks to Bob Kraft's Blog P.I.S.S.D. for posting an article regarding the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's announcement that there is to be improved safety protection in new passenger vehicles by September 2012.   Here's the quote from Bob's blog:

    Specifically, the rules mandate better head protection, and that will probably be provided by manufacture through the use of side and window curtain air bags. Side-impact crashes killed 9,200 people in 2005, the most recent figures available.

    Automakers agreed in 2003 to install side air bags in all new passenger vehicles by September 2009, and the safety equipment is becoming more widely available.

    Dave McCurdy, the head of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which represents General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co., Toyota Motor Corp. and others, said they shared NHTSA’s goal of “enhancing head protection” in side crashes.

    Safety groups have pointed to the benefits of side air bags. A study last year by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that driver deaths were reduced by 52 percent in sport utility vehicles equipped with head-protecting side air bags, while the same air bags reduced driver deaths by 37 percent in passenger cars.

    For further information, read the final ruling from the Department of Transportation by clicking here.

    The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

    If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

    Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100

    or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

    "Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

    www.steigerlaw.com 

    October 09, 2007

    Workplace Fairness

    Workplace_fairness From their site: Workplace Fairness is a non-profit organization helping to preserve and promote employee rights. This website provides information about job rights and employment issues around the country and in all 50 states. It is for workers, employers, advocates, policymakers, journalists, and anyone else who wants to understand, protect, and strengthen workers' rights. Explore our site and help make the American Dream a reality for all working people.

    This is a very comprehensive site, spanning the entire country and all 50 states.  Below is just a smattering of the links to topic areas:

    Main Areas

    These constitute just the tip of the iceberg in this incredibly user friendly, comprehensive website.

    The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

    If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

    Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100

    or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

    "Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

    www.steigerlaw.com 

    October 08, 2007

    Crashtest.com: Introduction to Auto Safety & Crash Testing

    2cvcrashtstCrashtest.com is a website that I just found which has a plethora of information regarding auto safety and crash testing.  Below is a copy of their intro, complete with links.  I would suggest that you also go to their website, crashtest.com for further exploration and/or if the right margin of this posting is cut off and prevents you from reading everything here.

    Introduction to Auto Safety & Crash-testing

    Road traffic accidents kill more than one million people a year, injuring another thirty-eight million (5 million of them seriously).  The death toll on the world's roadways makes driving the number one cause of death and injury for young people ages 15 to 44. 

    How safe is that new or used vehicle you're thinking of purchasing? With the introduction of airbags and crash-testing, the number of people killed and injured by motor vehicles has decreased in many countries.  International NCAP (New Car Assessment Program) ratings provide a useful basis for comparing vehicle safety.  Let's see what international safety information is currently available.


    In the United States - the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provides safety information for a large number of vehicles through their New Car Assessment Program (US-NCAP), using an outdated crash-testing procedure and featuring only vehicles built after 1994.  The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) does its own testing for the insurance industry, but data is only available for a few late-model vehicles. 

    In Europe - the FIA crashtests Europe's most popular models for the European NCAP, but tests only a small number of vehicles each year.  Pedestrians and bicyclists are much more vulnerable than vehicle occupants when a crash occurs. The European NCAP's pedestrian evaluation tests the most hazardous areas of each model.  Currently, no legislation exists that forces a manufacturer to comply with the EuroNCAP pedestrian guidelines, so we have not included them in our ratings.   

    Germany's Auto Motor und Sport magazine sponsors crash-tests of a small number of European cars but permits only subscribers to access the information.

    In Australia - the NRMA tests vehicles for the Australian NCAP (ANCAP) and has recently adopted the Euro-NCAP testing procedures (they formerly used  NHTSA test procedures). 

    In Japan - the National Organization for Automotive Safety & Victims' Aid (OSA) sponsors Japanese NCAP tests (full-frontal, frontal offset, and side impact) on the most popular Japanese home-market vehicles.

    For the first time ever, all international crash-test results are available from one source.  Crashtest.com makes it easy for people around the world to examine the safety of any motor vehicle they're interested in, whether new or used.  Our simple rating system make it easy to interpret the confusing tests and results found on other sites.  We include insurance information detailing how safe your next vehicle purchase may be in real-world situations.  Most new and used cars, trucks, vans, and sports utility vehicles (SUVs) have been rated.  Using our compare feature, models from two different manufacturers can be viewed at the same time to see how their safety statistics measure up to one another. 


    Overall Ratings - Crashtest.com evaluates all the available data on a specific vehicle and assigns it 1 of 5 possible performance ratings.  The overall rating is not simply an average of the other scores, because certain categories count more from a safety point of view.

    The most significant safety determinant, worth as much as all the others put together, is Weight.  It is so important that it would overwhelm all other factors if included in the assessment, so we do not include it in our overall rating.  However we strongly recommend that you note BOTH of the last 2 rating categories Weight and Overall, when you consider the ultimate crashworthiness of a particular model. 

    Overall Ratings Based On Safety

    Excellent Safety - Highly Recommended
    Good Safety - Recommended
    Acceptable But Better Choices Exist - Not Recommended
    Marginal Safety - Unacceptable
    Poor Safety - Unacceptable
     

    Weight Class Categories

    3500 lbs / 1590 kgs or more
    3000-3499 lbs / 1363-1589 kgs
    2600-2999 lbs / 1181-1362 kgs
    2300-2599 lbs / 1045-1180 kgs
    Less than 2300 lbs / 1045 kgs

    (If a data table square is blank, the data is either unavailable, the vehicle has yet to be tested, or the vehicle will never be tested.)

    Crashtest.com does not endorse any particular vehicle type, make or model, however we suggest that you only consider vehicles that have achieved a good or excellent overall rating, that weigh at least 3000 lbs / 1363 kgs or more.


    Full-width frontal impact crash test - NHTSA and OSA currently use this procedure for their full-width frontal impact collisions.  The Euro NCAP and Australian NCAP used this test until 1997, when they adopted the more realistic Frontal Offset Crash Test (see below), already used by the IIHS in the US.  Dummies are seated in the driver's and front passenger seat.  The vehicle crashes head-on into a rigid concrete barrier at 35 mph  (56 km/h).  Afterwards, researchers measure and evaluate the impact on the dummies' head, chest, and legs.  This test provides very high deceleration forces to the test dummies and is particularly well  suited to the evaluation of occupant restraint systems such as seat belts and air bags.  Of note, however, the damage done to the vehicle itself is not assessed.

    Frontal offset crash test - In the frontal offset impact test (used by Euro-NCAP, IIHS, and OSA), a vehicle is aligned with a rigid barrier with a deformable aluminum face so that 40% of the width of the vehicle strikes the barrier on the driver's side (10% offset from the centerline - hence offset test).  Dummies are seated in the driver's and front passenger seat (driver's seat only in the IIHS tests), and the vehicle runs into the barrier at 64 km/h (40 mph), in order to measure and evaluate the impact on the dummies' head, chest, and legs - as well as to check the condition of the deformed vehicle. This test represents the forces involved in a typical head-on collision of two vehicles weighing the same that are travelling at 64 km/h (40 mph).   Because a smaller portion of the vehicle's structure sustains the force, the impact on the dummy is weaker than in a full frontal impact.  However there is greater vehicle body deformation, making it suitable for the evaluation of potential injury caused by intrusion to a vehicle's occupants.

    Side impact crash test - In most international side-impact tests, a stationary vehicle with dummies in the driver's and front passenger seat is rammed by a 950 kg (2090 lb) moving trolley with a crushable aluminum face, going 50 km/h (30 mph), directly centered on the driver's seating postition. 

    The NHTSA test differs from the others in that it's conducted with the trolley's wheels turned 27 degrees to the right, so that the force of the impact comes from a point 63 degrees from the centerline of the test vehicle (although the trolley is facing perpendicular [90 degrees] to the centerline). As with frontal impact testing, the side impact test is conducted at five mph above the federal standard, which means the deformable barrier hits the car at 38 mph (61km/h).


    Head Restraints - The IIHS then determines if the front-seat head restraints can be positioned behind and close enough to the back of the head to limit relative head and torso movement in rear-end collisions. A restraint needs to be as high as the head's center of gravity, or 3.5 inches from the top. The distance from the head restraint to the back of the head should be less than 4 inches. Certain models offer different seating options so doublecheck the IIHS ratings if you have optional seating.

    The IIHS website provides a comprehensive list of head restraint ratings for North American vehicles.  Since over 70% of the vehicles they tested got failing marks, we have decided NOT to include the ratings in our results.  However a link is provided on each page that will take you to the IIHS head restraint ratings for each manufacturer (click on the manufacturer's name under the ratings key).  Suffice it to say, an overwhelming majority of the highest rated head restraint systems were only available on vehicles manufactured in Europe. 


    A Warning - According to the World Health Organization, road traffic accidents kill more than one million people a year, injuring another thirty-eight million (5 million of them seriously).  Automobiles must take the majority of the blame for this tranportation apocalypse, but bicycles, buses, motorcycles, and trucks all share some of the responsiblity.  The death toll on the world's roadways makes driving the number one cause of death and injury for young people ages 15 to 44. 

    With the introduction of airbags and crash-testing, the number of people killed and injured by motor vehicles decreases every year in most of the world's richest nations.  Unfortunately the numbers are steadily increasing in the Third World.  Automobiles must take the majority of the blame for this tranportation apocalypse, but bicycles, buses, motorcycles, and trucks all share some of the responsiblity. 

    The vast majority (88%) of road traffic injuries and fatalities already occur in the world's poorest countries (see chart).  WHO and World Bank reports predict an oncoming transportation apocalypse.  Deaths from road traffic injuries are expected to rise by over 75% in the next 20 years. 

    Burdgeoning economies will help to increase the the numbers of registered vehicles in the world's emerging nations.  Unfortunately for them, more cars will mean more injuries and death.  Third World countries would surely benefit from mandatory airbag and structural safety regulations which have proved incredibly beneficial in Europe and the United States.  Unfortunately motor vehicle safety is usually a low or non-existant priority in low-income countries.  Vehicle manufacturers must take the initiative in providing safety systems as standard equipment on all motor vehicles sold in the Third World.

    The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

    If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

    Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100

    or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

    "Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

    www.steigerlaw.com 

    October 06, 2007

    Columbus Day

    Columbus_day Wikipedia, the purveyor of limitless information, says that Columbus Day is a holiday celebrating the anniversary of the October 12, 1492 arrival of Christopher Columbus to the Americas. 

    The first Columbus Day celebration was held in 1792, when New York City celebrated the 300th anniversary of his landing in the New World. President Benjamin Harrison called upon the people of the United States to celebrate Columbus Day on the 400th anniversary of the event in 1892.

    Italian-Americans observe Columbus Day as a celebration of their heritage, the first occasion being in New York City on October 12, 1866. Columbus Day was popularized as a holiday in the United States by a lawyer, a son of Genoese immigrants who came to California. During the 1850s, Genoese immigrants settled and built ranches along the Sierra Nevada foothills. As the gold ran out, these skilled "Cal-Italians", from the Apennines, were able to prosper as self-sufficient farmers in the Mediterranean climate of Northern California. San Francisco has the second oldest Columbus Day celebration, with Italians having commemorated it there since 1869.

    This lawyer then moved to Colorado, which had a population of Genoese miners, and where, in 1907, the first state-wide celebration was held. In 1937, at the behest of the Knights of Columbus (a Catholic fraternal service organization named for the voyager), President Franklin Delano Roosevelt set aside Columbus Day as a federal holiday.

    Since 1971, the holiday has been commemorated in the U.S. on the second Monday in October, the same day as Thanksgiving in neighboring Canada. It is generally observed today by schools, some banks, the bond market, the U.S. Postal Service, federal offices, and most state government offices; however, most businesses and stock exchanges remain open.

    Columbus Day Safety

    The U.S. Coast Guard has posted an informative article on its website entitled Columbus Day Weekend Safety

    Columbus Day Parade New York City 2006 (Video)

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    Click Here to see the Columbus Day Parade New York City Video if you're having trouble with the video above.

    The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

    If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

    Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100

    or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

    "Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

    www.steigerlaw.com 

    October 02, 2007

    The Fairness of Malpractice Settlements

    Med_mal Philip G. Peters, Jr., of the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law writes this enlightening article entitled "The Fairness of Malpractice Settlements."  He writes "Over the past quarter of a century, more than a dozen studies have collected data on malpractice settlements. With only one exception, they have consistently shown that plaintiffs with strong cases are more likely to receive a settlement payment than plaintiffs with weak cases. Moreover, the data on malpractice settlement strongly suggests that liability insurers possess a palpable advantage in bargaining power."

    This is yet another article in support of the very strong assertion that frivolous lawsuits are nothing more than a myth.  The entire article can be read by Clicking Here to open the article in Adobe Acrobat PDF format (if you don't have the Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can Download Adobe Acrobat Reader for Free Here.

    The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

    If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

    Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100

    or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

    "Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

    www.steigerlaw.com 

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