How Well Do You Know the Traffic Safety Rules in Connecticut?

If you are like most people, you probably know some but hardly all the laws related to traffic safety in Connecticut.

Why’s that matter?

For several reasons… knowing the rules can help avoid a car accident while keeping you and your family safe in the event of an accident. It’s also important to remember that ignorance of the law is not considered an excuse should you ever find yourself in violation.

To that end, we thought a refresher on the most important traffic safety laws/rules might be helpful.

Pedestrian safety in CT Continue reading “How Well Do You Know the Traffic Safety Rules in Connecticut?” »

This Maneuver Is One of the Most Dangerous When Driving…

Left hand turn signalDid you know that making a left-hand turn is considered one of the most dangerous maneuvers when driving a car or truck?

Yup.

These turns are dangerous for the driver, pedestrians and oncoming traffic.

In fact, according to the latest highway safety data, 31% of all serious accidents involve left hand turns.

The percentage of right-hand turns that cause a problem?

1.2%

Did you also know that all of the delivery routing programs for companies like UPS and Pepsi preclude left hand turns across traffic because early studies by MIT determined they were not only time-consuming but dangerous (and companies wanted to avoid the expense associated with their drivers being badly hurt and their trucks incurring substantial damage in the event of being struck by an oncoming vehicle).

Now fast forward to driverless cars. The engineers designing these modern marvels claim that “teaching” a driverless car to safely manage a left-hand turn is in fact one of their most difficult challenges facing product developers.

“How can that be,” you ask?

Continue reading “This Maneuver Is One of the Most Dangerous When Driving…” »

Another Story of Profit Trumping Public Safety

Almost weekly there’s news of another company choosing to deceive consumers about the safety of their products – always in the name of profit.

The latest company to come under scrutiny is Purdue Pharma – makers of the popular opioid painkilling drug OxyContin.

The State of Illinois is now suing the company for consumer fraud and for profiting from that deception. The state joins a growing number of jurisdictions (CA, WV, WA) charging that Purdue Pharma intentionally misled the public about the safety of OxyContin or allowed the sale of the drug in excessively large quantities to businesses suspected of trafficking in the drug.

What is the nature of the claims against Purdue Pharma?

According to prosecutors and the LA Times, Purdue Pharma is guilty of providing the FDA with incomplete information about the drug when it was first introduced. They are also allegedly guilty of making exaggerated and knowingly false claims about the duration of dose effects and for actively permitting the sale of OxyContin to practitioners and pharmacies suspected of being drug traffickers.

Why do so many companies make choices like the ones Purdue Pharma did in this case?

Continue reading “Another Story of Profit Trumping Public Safety” »

Defibrillator Maker Fails to Adequately Warn Patients and Doctors of Defect

Defibrillator Maker Fails to Adequately Warn Patients and Doctors of DefectWe write often about corporations selling products they privately know are dangerous.

In almost every instance, the choice to sell in spite of the dangers is made for the sake of corporate profits.

To the long list of companies that have made this choice, we now add St. Jude Medical – a company, recently purchased by Abbott Laboratories.

The product they have sold that is dangerous? Defibrillators with batteries packs known to fail.

Think about that for a moment. Defibrillators protect patients with heart problems by delivering an electric shock to return a diseased heart to a normal rhythm when it is not beating properly.

These brief electrical discharges are life savers. And these devices are implanted in the chests of the patients who need them.

So what happens when the batteries suddenly fail? Continue reading “Defibrillator Maker Fails to Adequately Warn Patients and Doctors of Defect” »

Four Critical Things to Remember if You Are Hurt in an Accident of Any Kind

Four Critical Things to Remember if You Are Hurt in an Accident of Any KindAnyone who’s ever been injured in an accident knows the challenges that follow. First, there’s the need for proper medical care and questions about if and how soon you can return to work or normal activity. And then there are financial and legal matters to consider, such as who pays the medical bills and whether a lawyer is needed to help protect your rights?

If you’re ever injured in an accident through no fault of your own, here are four critical things to remember: Continue reading “Four Critical Things to Remember if You Are Hurt in an Accident of Any Kind” »

Drug Abuse and Driving

As we and others have previously reported – Connecticut is in the midst of a drug abuse crisis. It’s a crisis that the Centers for Disease Control characterize as an epidemic.

Did you know approximately 52,000 Americans are dying every year from drug overdoses? That total almost equals the total number of U.S. servicemen and women killed during the entire Vietnam War.

People are not only dying at high rates, millions more are hopelessly trapped by addiction to a wide range of illicit drugs.

Think about it. Millions of Americans and tens of thousands of Connecticut’s citizens addicted to drugs.

Among other things – that means that millions are driving under the influence across the U.S.

Some experts put the number of drivers driving impaired by drugs at 10 million, though that estimate is believed to grossly understate the problem.

Why do we suspect the data?

The National Highway Safety Administration recently reported that the percentage of drivers testing positive for drugs in a 2014 survey was a whopping 20 percent.

Translation?

As many as one out of every five drivers you pass on the road may be impaired. One in five…

Continue reading “Drug Abuse and Driving” »

Can Technology Help Protect Drowsy Drivers?

We’ve written often about the dangers of drinking and driving.

Interestingly, research now shows that drivers who are sleep deprived are as dangerous as drivers who have had three or four drinks before getting behind the wheel.

Put another way – a drowsy driver is essentially a drunk driver.

How is that possible? Continue reading “Can Technology Help Protect Drowsy Drivers?” »

Fatal Car Accidents on the Rise in Connecticut and U.S.

Unbelted drivers accounted for over 50% of all traffic fatalities in 2016.

The fervent hope of traffic safety experts and automakers was that new safety technologies would make automobile accidents, particularly fatal ones, increasingly rare.

Add technology to concerted efforts to curb driving under the influence and the use of cell phones by drivers, and roads should be the safest they have been in years – right?

Data from 2016 shows just the opposite with a 10% jump in the number of people dying in car accidents in Connecticut in 2016, the second consecutive year of such increases.

And the U.S. as a whole – also two consecutive years of rising death rates (up 14%) – the first such two-year rise in more than 50 years.

So what’s going on?

Continue reading “Fatal Car Accidents on the Rise in Connecticut and U.S.” »

More Consumer Protections Under Assault

New law could strip consumers of their rights for protectionThe U.S. House of Representatives is currently considering a bill that would strip states like Connecticut of their ability to best protect their citizens through patient safety liability laws.

Called H.R. 1215, this pending Act would severely limit the ability of Connecticut families to hold health care and medical providers accountable in the event they injure or kill their patients.

Seem hard to believe? Continue reading “More Consumer Protections Under Assault” »

Trouble Ahead for Consumers

The right to take legal action when injured by a product or service is one of the greatest protections consumers enjoy in the U.S.

Every day we make choices as consumers, and at times, despite our best efforts to carefully research our options, the purchases we make simply do not work as intended or worse, end up harming or injuring us in some way. In these cases, product liability law is often a consumer’s best friend – providing the means to hold manufacturers, retailers, distributors, and suppliers accountable when their products cause harm to their consumers.

From GM’s defective ignition switches and exploding gas tanks, to Dow Corning’s faulty silicone breast implants to Phillip Morrisand the harm caused by tobacco, there have been tens of thousands of cases brought against a range of companies for harm.

And the result?

Not only justice in many cases for those injured – but also a degree of protection for other consumers. Each time a company is held accountable for a defective product – that product is either removed from the market or improved so as to make it safe.

So why is there trouble ahead?

Continue reading “Trouble Ahead for Consumers” »