Sixty-four million is a really, really big number. When we’re talking vehicle recalls, it’s not only a big number but a scary number. According to The New York Times (2/12/2015), that’s also a record-breaking number because in 2014 the auto industry recalled precisely 64 million vehicles due to safety problems – and that’s the highest number yet, exceeding the last three years combined.
That’s like taking away every single person’s car in California AND Texas due to presumed safety problems.
As personal injury attorneys specializing in car accidents, we take recalls very seriously. When your vehicle operates unsafely, it opens unwanted doors to potential car accidents. Take for instance the most recent Takata airbag recall. Already, that recall has injured a countless number of people and it is also suspected of having caused several deaths. Among the many recalls of 2014, the Takata airbag and the GM ignition recalls were the two most prominent recalls that affected millions of vehicles last year.
Older cars, as reported by the times, have also been in the spotlight for increased recalls.
General Motors accounted for 27 million of the recalled vehicles followed by Honda (8.9 million), Fiat Chrysler (8.8 million), Toyota (6 million) and Ford (4.9 million).
RECALLS IN 2015
If you are aware of any recalls, you should take immediate action as soon as possible to ensure your vehicle is repaired. Recall repairs are free of charge.
But what happens if you’re unaware of recalls? Or, what if the government has inadvertently stalled on information the public about a potential danger?
This year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) aims to fix that.
As reported by the Times, the NHTSA faced criticism last year for not having reacted quickly enough to the recalls. In recent reports, the NHTSA has said it aims to resolve issues that had delayed its progress in pulling unsafe vehicles from our roads.
Surely, there will be more recalls in 2015 as there are every year. Hopefully this year, though, we won’t break a record.
This year, why not register your vehicle as soon as possible with the NHTSA and Recalls.gov to be notified of any recalls? It takes one minute and it could potentially save your life.
In addition to registering your vehicle, it’s a good idea to:
- Update your address with the vehicle manufacturer. Check your user manual to find out how to change your address or simply call the dealer where you purchased your vehicle.
- Stay on top of regular maintenance. It goes without saying that recalls have nothing to do with how you care for your vehicle. It’s extremely important to make sure your car is in good repair. Be sure to service your vehicle according to the recommended schedule – or more often if you commute more than the average driver.
WHEN RECALLS CAUSE CAR ACCIDENTS
In some cases, vehicle recalls can cause injury and death. There are many reasons why a vehicle manufacturer might be at fault for the recall or the lack of having issued a recall. It is important to speak to a car accident attorney as soon as possible to ensure all of your legal rights are preserved. If you have been injured due to a recall, give us a call today at 1-800-655-6585 for a FREE consultation. You don’t have to spend a penny to hire us as your lawyers; we only collect when we win. Call us now.
At first blush, most people would dismiss a food recall for a mere spice. After all, how much injury could a spice cause? The truth is, a whole lot.
By now, most of us know that peanut allergies can be deadly. In some people, peanuts can cause severe allergic reactions including anaphylactic shock which could lead to death. And the spice recall? It has everything to do with peanuts. So, if you’re allergic to peanuts or if you have children who are, this food recall might be the most important article you’ll read all week.
Cumin and products containing cumin are being recalled in large numbers due to undeclared peanut proteins. As reported by Fox News (2/19/2015), the cumin recall started in December and has been mounting ever since with many products being pulled from grocer’s shelves ranging from seasoning mixes to taco kits.
According to reports, ingested foods containing the spice could result in a peanut allergic person’s death although, thankfully, no deaths have been reported. Injury, in this case, could be likely. Following the ingestion of a tainted cumin product, a peanut allergic person could experience rashes, swelling, and wheezing or airway obstruction.
For more information from the FDA about this cumin recall, click here.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO STAY SAFE?
Cumin is used in many Tex-Mex, Mexican, Spanish and Indian foods. The ingredient can often be found in taco seasonings, prepared soups, canned items like chili and frozen entrees such as TV dinners.
Unfortunately, you can’t always tell which foods may contain cumin as current regulations don’t require food manufacturers to declare which spices have been used to condiment foods.
The best line of prevention is to throw out anything that might be seasoned with the spice; anything with a southwest flavor is likely to be a culprit. You may also want to inspect other ethnic foods and seasonings, especially those labeled to have mixed flavors.
GET FOOD RECALL ALERTS
If have an allergy or if you have children with allergies, you already know how important it is to safeguard them against the potential danger of exposure to this common and deadly peanut allergen.
Stay in the know and register your email at the Food and Drug Administration to become notified as soon as possible when important recalls surface.
Tech-savvy people can also register at FoodSafety.gov for more email alerts catered to brand or product, text alerts and a food safety widget.
If you suspect a problem with any food item, you could save a life by reporting it to the right U.S. agency. Click here to find out who to contact and to report an issue with food.
WHEN RECALL INJURY OR DEATH OCCURS
Tragically, the truth is that a food or product can indeed cause injury or death. In these types of cases, a personal injury lawyer specializing in recall injury can file a legal claim on your behalf. Get FREE legal advice today. Call us now, 24/7, for a FREE consultation: 1-800-655-6585.
Recently, we blogged about a study on behalf of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) that reported overall lower occurrences of rollover crashes in recent years. That’s the good news. The bad news is that rollover crashes, unfortunately, still occur in San Diego and throughout the United States.
We must be cautious drivers in light of the increased danger that larger vehicles have when it comes to rollover crashes. The advice follows on the heels of a recent rollover accident that claimed the life of a 32 year old man. According to San Diego 10 News (2/17/2015), the individual tragically died after his vehicle rolled over on an I-805 transition ramp. He was driving a light-duty truck.
Officials say the car accident occurred Feb. 17 around 2:10 a.m. near I-805 South and State Route 94. The vehicle, a 2005 Nissan Frontier, careened into a guardrail for unknown reasons, causing the vehicle to flip over on its side. Another vehicle, a 2005 Toyota Matrix, collided into the rolled vehicle, causing “chunks of concrete” to fall off of the freeway bridge and onto Federal Boulevard just below.
Tragically, the man in the Nissan was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident according to reports. Although the driver in the Toyota fortunately survived, the individual experienced serious injury.
Investigators are determining the exact cause of the accident although alcohol does not appear to be a factor in this case.
REACTING IN AN EMERGENCY
Imagine driving your vehicle on the roadway when all of a sudden you see huge chunks of concrete falling in front of you. You only have a few seconds to react. What do you do?
When it comes to emergency situations, the only way to be prepared is to have a plan and stay focused on the road at all times to ensure you make best use of the few seconds – or split seconds – you may have to react. The truth is that an emergency situation can present itself in many different ways; you never know what the situation will call for which is all the more reason to drive defensively at all times.
SUVs, TRUCKS AND ROLLOVER ACCIDENT PREVENTION
Rollover car accidents can happen to any vehicle but are most common among SUVs, trucks and minivans due to their higher center of gravity and their top-heaviness. In addition to buying a newer vehicle and ensuring that your vehicle is in good repair, you should always drive with caution when it comes to loading your vehicle – whether with people, things or packages strapped to the top of your car. You should always stay within the recommended weight allotment for your vehicle whether its people on board or items carried for the safest possible ride. Also, avoid swerving your large vehicle in an emergency, if possible. The grip of your tires can cause the top-heavy vehicle to topple over.
SLIPPING, SLIDING OR HYDROPLANING
With spring rain and June gloom upon us, the wet weather may also bring dangerous roadways to San Diego. Wet roadways are prone to dangerous conditions such as slipping, sliding or hydroplaning. It occurs when tires are unable to wick away inundating water, resulting in its lost traction. With no traction beneath the tires, the vehicle will slide uncontrollably across the water’s surface. The good news is that you still have your steering wheel; knowing what to do with your steering wheel is crucial. First, don’t panic. Hydroplaning, in most cases, is short-lived. Don’t swerve, either. If you’re in a front wheel vehicle, steer into an open area ahead and push lightly onto the accelerator to advance the vehicle into the desired direction. Rear wheel drive vehicles should likewise steer into an open space if possible and let off the accelerator until you sense that traction is once more gained. In either case, proceed to the shoulder once you gain control to assess your vehicle and your situation, if needed.
RANDOM OR FLYING OBJECTS IN THE ROAD
Flying chunks of concrete, such as in this case, are hopefully rare occurrences. However, other random or flying objects can be common on our roads, especially freeways. People transport things all the time in their truck beds and big rigs are often carrying large, open loads. If an object comes hurling your way, do you know what to do? If you notice the object ahead and you have a few seconds to react, look for an open section of the road and steer carefully into it. Use your mirrors if you can to avoid an accident. If you can use the shoulder safely, do so to avoid the object ahead. Don’t slam on your brakes; this can cause a chain-reaction freeway car accident or cause you to careen off the roadway. If the object is small enough and you simply have no way to move out of its way, attempt to slow your vehicle, if at all possible, and drive over it. Attempt to pass the object through your tires. If you hit the object with your car, be prepared to stop as a tire blowout or other car damage may occur. Use common sense and caution – if the object is just too big, don’t attempt to drive over it. After risk of danger is clear, pull over and call 9-11 to report the emergency and/or the unsafe vehicle that has caused the road debris.
WHEN CAR ACCIDENTS OCCUR
Some emergency situations lead to San Diego car accidents. If you have been injured in an accident and you suspect it was the fault of another person, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Call us today for a FREE consultation, 24/7: 1-800-655-6585. As San Diego’s most trusted car accident attorney law firm, we will ensure your legal rights are completely preserved. Retain us as your car accident lawyers for FREE and file your legal claim today – we don’t collect until we win your case. Call us now.
Road rage is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a motorist’s uncontrolled anger that is usually provoked by another motorist’s irritating act and is expressed in aggressive or violent behavior.” The slightly disturbing part of that definition is the implication that the aggression or violence is “provoked” by an “irritating act.” The truth is that road rage is only one person’s fault – that is, the person that engages in it.
Regardless how word experts define it, road rage is, needless to say, completely preventable. A driver should have complete control over his or her own actions. Small irritations should never escalate to violence. We urge San Diegans to think twice about getting angry behind the wheel; keep your emotions in check and keep tabs on your escalating patience. You may prevent the next San Diego car accident.
Our advice follows on the heels of a wrongful death case that resulted out of road rage, making headlines across the nation as a completely brutal and unnecessary act of violence.
According to CNN (2/16/2015), the road rage incident occurred just outside of Las Vegas, Nevada after a teenage boy became irate when a middle-aged female driver and her passenger daughter honked their horn as he was allegedly speeding by their vehicle. Enraged, the 19-year old boy followed the woman and her daughter to her home where gunfire broke out. Although details remain unclear, it appears the woman’s son became entangled in the road rage incident when gunfire was exchanged between him and the alleged assailant at some point in the altercation. Tragically, the woman was fatally wounded in the crossfire.
SAN DIEGO ROAD RAGE ACCIDENTS: THEY’RE COMPLETELY PREVENTABLE!
It goes without saying that all road rage car accidents are completely preventable. It’s up to you and only you to control your behavior behind the wheel. And no one else can be blamed for the way you choose to act when driving on San Diego roadways.
Consider this scenario as provided by the American Psychological Association:
Someone cuts you off while you’re driving on the highway or steals the parking space you’ve been patiently waiting for. Is your first instinct to (a) take a deep breath and move on; (b) honk and then move on; or (c) repeatedly honk, yell out and pound your fists against your steering wheel, wondering how the other person even got a driver’s license in the first place?
According to the American Psychological Association, those who may react in scenario “C” are concerning – and also defined as “high-anger drivers.” These drivers are thought to lead stressful lives in general in addition to becoming frequently angry due to other triggers throughout their day. Thankfully, the APA notes that relaxation therapy and self-monitoring can go miles – literally! – in relieving road rage. Here’s what you can do if you’re prone to getting needlessly angry from behind the wheel.
LISTEN TO CALMING MUSIC
Save the party tunes and hard rock for a night out or a big celebration; keep to relaxing music for a more peaceful ride. Try classical, jazz or even new age and tribal tunes (think spa music). Set the stage for a serene commute!
GO TO YOUR HAPPY PLACE
OK, so we’ve all heard about our so-called “happy place” – or the one person, place or thing that makes us feel good inside when we think of it. When you get mad on the road, try to think of that special something that makes you smile. Have kids? Try to think of their cutest moments where you can’t help but laugh out loud. Have a dog? Think about their wagging tail and perpetual happiness. Love your significant other? Think of their smile and their wonderful presence. The point is to simply get to a place where you mentally deflect from the roadway triggers that cause you to react in a negative way.
REACT – BUT CONTROL IT
If you do get angry at a roadway situation, slowly take a deep breath and let it out fully. Then, repeat. Try to relax your mind and body when taking each breath and let your mind move on to other things: think about the day ahead, errands you need to run, or weekend plans. Of course, combine that with your happy place and you’ll find it is easier to move on from what just occurred on the roadway.
WHEN YOU SEE DANGEROUS DRIVING, CALL 9-11
It’s one thing to have road rage and another thing altogether to become worried or upset at the sight of dangerous, reckless driving. If you see another driver’s bad behavior or if you witness road rage, pull over to a safe place and call 9-11 as soon as possible.
ROAD RAGE CAR ACCIDENTS IN SAN DIEGO
If you have been injured in a car accident and you suspect the other person was acting out of road rage, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Call us today for a FREE consultation: 1-800-655-6585 and speak to a San Diego car accident lawyer today to understand and preserve your legal rights.
Although a bill that addressed food recall procedures died in Congress last year, two new measures aim to close the loophole for unsafe foods once and for all. According to Consumerist (2/6/2015), newly proposed legislation would result in safer shelves and reduced risk of injury as a result of eating unsafe food.
The new legislation would change existing laws surrounding food recalls by creating a new agency that would act upon known food threats right away.
Incredibly, our existing system is not readily free to act upon tainted food.
For example, when dangerous meat, poultry or eggs are suspected to pose a threat to consumers, the USDA has required protocol to actually pull tainted product from store shelves. This process takes time and money – not to mention putting people at risk while food recalls are processed.
The proposed agency would have immediate authority to pull foods that are unsafe regardless of any red tape that would ordinarily keep the foods on grocery shelves.
The new measure is called the Meat and Poultry Recall Notification Act. If passed, foods deemed unsafe due to Salmonella, for example, can instantly be pulled from shelves regardless if it qualifies as a legal adulterant. Incredibly, Salmonella is NOT considered a legal adulterant under the haziness of existing USDA legal language and foods with Salmonella would ordinarily be kept on grocery shelves.
The Meat and Poultry Recall Notification Act would also speed the process in which grocers notify customers of potentially dangerous foods that have already been sold. Customer loyalty cards would be utilized for this purpose as well, according to reports.
Perhaps now there’s a reason after all to actually have a club card!
FOOD RECALLS: HOW DANGEROUS ARE THEY?
We’ve probably all heard that if you cook a meal, you should be safeguarded against illness as heat kills bacteria. But what happens when foods are eaten raw or if cooking doesn’t get the job done?
Take for instance the recent apple recall that pulled thousands of caramel apples and other Gala and Granny Smith apple products from grocer shelves. According to reports (Associated Press, 1/9/2015), five deaths were attributed to the apples which were said to be tainted with Listeria bacteria.
Here’s the truth: most people rinse apples with a bit of water and bite right in. After all, what’s there to fear but a little dirt? Hopefully, consumers are now much more diligent about their safety in the face of the recent apple recall. But the truth is that food safety runs deeper than simply cleaning our food. Here’s what you can do to stay safe against potential food borne illness.
COOK FOODS TO RECOMMENDED TEMPERATURES
FoodSafety.gov recommends that foods, especially meat, be cooked thoroughly to kill off any harmful bacteria. For example, ground meats should always have an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit while chicken should be cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. The list is far more extensive depending on the type of food cooked. Find the complete list here and buy an internal food thermometer to safeguard against illness. It’s important to note that even in the case of proper cooking you may still be at risk for injury if bacteria are able to survive recommended temperatures.
WASH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES THOROUGHLY
Sure, we’ve all probably rinsed our fruit with water and bitten right in without a second thought. But did you know that rinsing alone can leave behind dirt and dangerous bacteria? Buy a fruit and vegetable wash or make your own by combining 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon baking soda and 1 cup water into a spray bottle and cleansing fruits and veggies every time. You may alternatively create a fruit and veggie soak by combining ¼ cup vinegar and 2 tablespoons of salt into a sink full of warm water and allowing your produce to soak for 20 minutes. Bugs, dirt, bacteria and some of the commercial wax will be removed through these processes.
STAY ON TOP OF RECALLS
Register your name and email at Recalls.gov to keep abreast of any recalls – food and otherwise – that may affect your family. You can specify which emails you want to receive including consumer brands that you use regularly.
WHEN RECALL INJURY OCCURS
If you have been injured due to a recall of any kind, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Give us a call today to discuss your case: 1-800-655-6585. Our legal advice and consultation is FREE. We don’t collect until we win your case.