Smiley & Smiley, LLP

May 2013 Archives

NYC crosswalk culture: Will new bike share participants be safe?

The new Citi Bike bike-share program has officially launched in New York City. This program has been both widely anticipated and widely dreaded by various segments of the community. For some, the program represents a chance for many New Yorkers to travel with greater ease and in a green, healthy fashion. For others, it represents an overflow of cyclists that will almost assuredly impact the already crowded and aggressive crosswalk culture that helps to define NYC.

The CPSC is tackling numerous child product safety challenges

When a young man or woman becomes a parent for the first time, the experience can be overwhelming. Suddenly the simplest things, like the corner of a countertop or grapes that have not been diced can become potentially harmful threats to the tiny people new parents are now responsible for. Too often, parents take the safety of toys, furniture, clothing and other items designed specifically for children for granted as safe objects. However, many of these items are actually defective consumer products.

Underreporting distracted driving fatalities skews the issue

Upon impact, motor vehicles toss both occupants and objects contained within them around violently. The greater the speed vehicles were going prior to impact, the more violently the contents of those vehicles are tossed around. When motor vehicle accidents occur due to distracted driving behavior, this cause does not always get properly reported. When a low-speed crash happens and a phone remains in the hand of the driver, the cause may be obvious to first responders. When the phone is thrown from the car and the driver never wakes up, the true cause of the accident may remain unknown.

Do warning labels belong on tanning beds?

Some products are inherently dangerous. They are only considered to be dangerous and defective for legal purposes if they do not function as intended. For example, someone could not generally sue the manufacturer of chain saws for a chain saw injury unless the inherently dangerous product was somehow defective or did not perform as it was intended to. However, consumer protections against unintentionally dangerous or defective goods are deeply rooted in the legal concept of product liability.

Remaining aware of distracted driving risks is critical

Distracted Driving Awareness Month has now come and gone. However, the lessons that the American public learned in April should be applied this month and every other month moving forward into the future. Distracted driving behavior has become a plague on the roads of America. Thankfully, spread of this plague is both completely preventable and can be contained if motorists are willing to adjust their behaviors.

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