NEW YORK – You may have this thought when you spot a terrible driver; and all you have to do is look at the license plate.
“No wonder, they’re from that state,” you might think.
Your suppositions may now be backed-up by a new study… but you could be wrong, too. In fact, your state could boast the worst drivers.
According to the research compiled by the financial and investment firm SmartAsset, the worst drivers in the nation most often hail from the southeast. Specifically, Florida.
Four of the top 10 states the study identified are located in the southeast but Florida wears the crown for the state with the worst drivers, researchers said. According to their research, Floridians Google the terms “speeding tickets” and “traffic tickets” more than any other state.
Florida also has one of the lowest rates of insured drivers in the nation. A New York car accident attorney said that fact should concern anyone planning their next spring break in the Sunshine State.
“There are thousands of people that are driving right now without motor vehicle insurance and it’s illegal – both in Florida and in New York,” car accident lawyer Ross Cellino said. “If you’re ever injured by an uninsured driver, it can create a difficult situation for you and your family and you should contact a skilled attorney to go over your options.”
Only three states do not require car insurance: New Hampshire, Virginia and Mississippi, the last of which also made it into SmartAsset’s Top 10 States with the Worst Drivers. Ranked just behind Florida, Mississippi has a high rate of fatal car crashes. Despite its smaller population, Mississippi had more motor vehicle deaths than 45 other states – and only 77 percent of drivers have insurance.
However, you don’t need to take a vacation to the southern U.S. to find bad drivers. Just take the Lincoln Tunnel to New Jersey. With the second-highest rate of deadly car crashes, New Jersey ranked fourth on SmartAsset’s list. Only Oklahoma, Mississippi and Florida boasted worse driving records.
The Garden State also happens to boast some of the highest insurance premiums in the nation. Coincidence? Florida also has pricey insurance rates.
Unlike the southern states, safety advocates said New Jersey’s problem is most often associated with traffic congestion, which leads to aggression and distraction.
Although there are plenty of reasons to be concerned on the New Jersey turnpike, the state did score high in one category: the percentage of drivers with car insurance.
NEW YORK – Remember the 2010 Winter Olympics? The biggest fear then was arriving in Vancouver during a burst of swine flu cases. Research teams rushed to the British Columbia city to study the outbreak. It was a unique opportunity for doctors with the goal of finding better treatments… but the swine flu stayed dormant.
Over the next few weeks, doctors will have a second opportunity to study illnesses as Olympians face a new pandemic: Zika.
The mosquito-borne virus has been linked to hundreds of birth defects and paralysis.
A New York personal injury lawyer at Cellino & Barnes said travelers should be aware of Zika’s heavy presence in South America as the 2016 Summer Games begin.
“Whether it’s an airborne illness, foodborne illness or it’s transmitted by mosquitoes, a sickness or disease can quickly turn the vacation of a lifetime into a nightmare,” New York personal injury attorney Ross Cellino said.
More than 200 physicians and researchers signed a letter demanding that the Olympic Games be postponed or moved from Rio de Janeiro due to concerns over the spread of Zika virus.
Despite those concerns and a high number of cases in Brazil, The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently wrote there is little risk of causing new outbreaks at this year’s Olympic Games. New York personal injury lawyers however urge travelers to use caution.
“Anytime there’s a large gathering of people from around the globe, there’s an increased risk of contracting a serious illness,” Cellino said. “Zika is particularly dangerous because doctors have yet to develop a treatment or vaccine that could minimize or eliminate the virus’ effects.”
Many health officials still predict that some athletes and spectators will contract the Zika virus. Health and safety advocates point out that the CDC’s report simply assessed the risk of spreading the outbreak to countries or areas that are not currently at risk for Zika.
The CDC currently has travel advisories for more than 50 nations. The agency said Zika is already circulating around the globe and many of the athletes and spectators that will be in Rio this week arrived from countries that are already affected by Zika, so the risk of spreading the disease further is minimal.
Even the United States is not immune to the Zika’s global reach. At least 15 people are believed to have acquired the virus from local mosquito populations near Miami.
Brazilian authorities have also been proactive by stomping-out any mosquito breeding grounds and fumigating the Olympic venues where mosquito populations tend to thrive. While most people are attending the Olympics in support of their home nations, doctors and scientists are attending for humanitarian reasons; and it’s not just Zika they’re watching.
The World Health Organization will be watching for other viruses, including dengue and yellow fever, food poisoning and the flu, which can have radically different strains circulating in the southern hemisphere.
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Trampoline parks are hopping with children and parents love them: they believe bounce parks are a safe way to get the kids out of the house to blow off some energy. But indoor trampolines can often be extremely dangerous for children.
“In just four years, the number of trampoline parks has increased seven-fold and several have been constructed here in Buffalo,” personal injury lawyer Steve Barnes said. “Sprains are some of the most common injuries but sometimes the accident is serious and the park could be held financially liable.”
Doctors and lawyers say some of the most serious injuries they’ve encountered were head injuries or spinal cord trauma. According to the study author, some accidents have resulted in permanent paralysis and surgery.
Although bounce parks have been found responsible for dozens of injuries around the country, the majority of trampoline-related accidents happened at home; but researchers noted that those accidents did not significantly increase over the four-year span of the study.
Trampolines in general are relatively dangerous for children, researchers said. In fact, The American Academy of Pediatrics has publicly denounced trampoline use for all children. However, if children do start bouncing on a trampoline, the academy advises parents to supervise and its doctors have urged kids not to do flips or have more than one jumper on a single trampoline.
For more safety tips and articles about safe activities for children and adults, follow Cellino & Barnes on Twitter.
GARDEN CITY, N.Y. – Summer is most often associated with sunshine, outdoor activities and all-around fun. But it as soon as the days get longer, trips to the E.R. tend to spike. Doctors say the combination of warmer weather, time off from school and outdoor activities increases the risk of injuries.
“Most parents will agree that getting the kids outside and active is a great for their health and social life on Long Island,” personal injury lawyer Ross Cellino said. “But an important ingredient that is often overlooked is supervision and children need to have the proper adult supervision when they’re playing outside.”
According to a Cellino & Barnes analysis of recent emergency room data, the three most common summer injuries are:
Every year, more than a half-million bicyclists are injured. Most of those injuries affected children. According to the CDC, an estimated 26,000 kids suffer traumatic brain injuries as the result of a bicycle accident. The data suggests many of those injuries can be prevented by properly fitting a child with a helmet.
Other bike injuries could include broken bones, muscular damage and lacerations that require stitches.
Some bike accidents could be caused by cars or defective parts on the bicycle itself. If you suspect your child is the victim of either of these, Cellino & Barnes suggests contacting a Long Island personal injury attorney immediately as your family may be able to recover medical costs and more.
Legal professionals also suggest teaching children the rules of the road and purchasing bicycles from reliable manufacturers.
Kids love exploring. Sometimes it’s a tree, sometimes it’s a jungle gym, sometimes it’s somewhere you would never expect. The point is, children are susceptible to falls almost everywhere. The end result can include head injuries, sprains or broken bones. Falls from extreme heights could be deadly.
They are currently the #1 reason for hospitalization in America today and the CDC estimates that 200,000 children are treated for playground falls alone each year.
In many cases, these falls could be caused by poor maintenance, faulty equipment or the lack of supervision.
If your child has been injured by a fall, Cellino & Barnes urges parents to contact a Long Island personal injury lawyer. In many cases, families have obtained significant settlements and verdicts after a slip or fall injury.
Drowning is every parent’s worst fear when their child is near water. It is the chief cause of death among children between the ages of 1 and 3 and it’s the second-leading cause of death among kids under 15 years of age. The worst part is, nine out of ten drownings occur with parents in the pool area.
Safety advocates say most drownings occur without a splash. In many cases, the child hits his or her head and sink to the bottom of the pool. Irreversible brain damage can occur after just three minutes under water.
Long Island personal injury lawyers say these incidents are completely preventable and many private and public pool owners can be held liable for injuries in a pool area. Lifeguards, flotation device manufacturers, and cities or towns that fail to warn parents about unsafe conditions could be found negligent.
Attorneys say the best way to prevent this nightmare is to always stay close to a child when they are in the water.
BUFFALO, N.Y. – In case you haven’t noticed, many places are lighting-up the night with LED lights. They’re bright – and they save money on energy and maintenance but the American Medical Association introduced a new policy: dim it.
Almost everything in Buffalo is lit-up with LED lights. Take a stroll down Canalside or a view of the Peace Bridge at night; it’s all an LED lightshow. However, safety advocates and doctors with the AMA are concerned about the way these lights are used.
Almost 50 percent of all car crashes in America occur at between 9 PM and 9 AM when the outside environment is darkest. A Buffalo car accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says ighting, or the lack of lighting, is commonly a factor and while LED lights are cost-efficient and good for the environment but there are some drawbacks.
“Street lighting can be a game changer and both bright lights and dim lights have been factors in crashes in Buffalo,” car accident lawyer Steve Barnes said. “It’s very important to keep lighting at a specific brightness to make the roads as safe as possible.”
According to the AMA, the glare of bright LED lights can constrict your eyes, making it more difficult to see at night. Bright lights can also twist-up sleep cycles and it could potentially affect local wildlife.
Doctors said high-intensity LED lighting emits large amounts of blue light, which can create extreme nighttime glare and potentially cause a car crash.
Luckily, the brightness of LED lights can be adjusted and the AMA is hoping cities across America get the message and dim the lights.
“Glare is a common issue every driver has likely faced,” Barnes said. “Whether they’re high-beams or LED street lights, they can cause dangerous accidents and we want drivers to be aware of these hazards before driving on the roads after sun down.”
Different lights emit different colors and there’s a measurement called “color temperature.” A higher color temperature usually means it’s high in blue light, which appears white to us. The Association recommends that street lighting have a color temperature of 3,000 Kelvin (K) or less for safety reasons.
As proud supporters of the Western New York community, Cellino & Barnes urges all drivers to practice safe driving habits – especially at night:
Always use your headlights in rainy or dark environments
Frequently clean your windows – both inside and out – to reduce nighttime glare
Never drink and drive. Call a cab instead
Use low beams when encountering oncoming traffic
Be extra alert, especially during the weekends. Drunk driving is a factor in 53 percent of deadly nighttime crashes
If you’ve been injured by a drunk negligent driver, the Buffalo car accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes can help you obtain the best result possible. Contact them today for a free case evaluation.
MELVILLE, N.Y. –School is out and the road conditions are clear. It’s the perfect time to learn how to drive but each summer teens are behind dangerous car crashes, and they continue to be the most at-risk age group.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly a thousand teens are killed in car crashes during June, July and August alone. Statistically speaking, it makes summer the riskiest season for driving.
“Car crashes continue to be the leading cause of death among teenagers on Long Island,” car accident lawyer Ross Cellino said. “Each year, thousands of families lose a loved one in a crash involving a teenage driver and many more suffer life-changing injuries.”
Those under the age of 24 represent just 14-percent of the driver population but they’re responsible for almost a third of all the costs associated with car crash injuries.
“New York is a relatively safe state for drivers of all ages because there’s been a strong focus on driver’s education and strict traffic law enforcement,” Cellino said. “Unfortunately education and laws aren’t enough to prevent every crash and teens continue to be the most at-risk drivers across the Empire State.”
Other states have it worse. Much worse.
South Dakota, for example, has the highest number of teen DUIs in the nation and there are few laws in place that promote Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL), a program many states use to educate teens.
The data used to generate the rankings were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the FBI, and several other statistical resources. The authors of the study hope their findings can improve driver safety in every state, especially those that scored low.
If you’ve been injured by a teen driver, Cellino & Barnes has the experience to help you and your family obtain the best result possible. Recognized by Best Lawyers, our Long Island car accident attorneys have helped crash victims recover more than $1.5 billion.
Contact our attorneys today for free consultation.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The sun is shining and it’s a great time to get outside. This time of year, the trampoline is a popular place for kids to spend time and lots of energy but it can also be a dangerous place.
Doctors and safety advocates are now warning parents of the dangers trampolines pose, if used incorrectly. According to one recent study in Ireland, 40-percent of children who suffered a trampoline injury needed surgery.
A Rochester personal injury lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says when injuries do occur in back yards, bounce houses or at trampoline parks, they’re often very serious.
“Trampoline use has become very common and injuries are skyrocketing as more trampoline parks open across Rochester,” personal injury lawyer Ross Cellino said. “In almost every case we see, the injuries are entirely preventable.”
According to the Irish study conducted this year, 35-percent of trampoline-related injuries were directly related to the presence of others on the bouncing structure.
In nearly half of the cases, there was no adult supervision.
Safety advocates are growing increasingly concerned over the boom of indoor trampoline parks across America. According to recent estimates, there are more than 350 parks in North America; with hundreds of new ones opening every year.
In many cases, children have been seriously injured at these parks and safety can sometimes be neglected.
“Trampolines can be very dangerous if they are not properly cared for or if they’re being used in unsafe ways,” Cellino said. “It’s our goal to reduce these injuries by making sure everyone is being as safe as possible while at the same time, having fun.”
Doctors and safety advocates advise parents to supervise children when using a trampoline and to follow these general guidelines:
Only one child at a time on the trampoline
Surround the trampoline with appropriate safety netting
Supervise children under the age of 18
Regularly inspect trampolines for rips, tears or possible flaws
Never use trampolines while under the influence of alcohol or prescription medications
As huge supporters of Central and Western New York communities, Cellino & Barnes hopes to make our neighborhoods safe for everyone. If your family member has been injured by someone else’s negligence, contact one of our attorneys today for a free consultation.
A foodborne illness attorney at Cellino & Barnes says thousands of people become seriously ill after eating contaminated food and many of these incidents occur during the summer.
“People are throwing parties and having cookouts and more families are out visiting restaurants in Rochester,” foodborne illness lawyer Ross Cellino said. “The warmer weather also creates ideal conditions for some bacteria and it’s not uncommon for companies or businesses to mishandle their products.”
Food suppliers are mandated by federal regulations to include a Safe Handling Label which includes the following suggestions:
Keep refrigerated or frozen
Keep raw meat and poultry separate from other foods.
Wash working surfaces, utensils and hands after touching raw meat or poultry
Refrigerate leftovers immediately
This label has gone unchanged for more than 20 years and throughout that period, it has often been criticized.
A study published in 1998 found that consumers couldn’t read the small type on the instructions. Researchers concluded that foodborne illnesses could be reduced by improving the label and including more detailed instructions… but nothing changed.
According to the Safe Food Coalition, the current label is not good enough and many people still become ill, even if the instructions are followed to the letter.
Stoves, grills and microwaves vary. Foods often cook faster or more slowly in different appliances. In many cases, bacteria can survive the high temperatures and make its way into your body; potentially making you very ill.
“Many cooks simply read the directions and they assume the food is cooked thoroughly,” Cellino said. “In some cases, it’s not and that can have dangerous consequences.”
The Safe Food Coalition wants safe handling labels to be updated to include recommended internal temperatures – and rest time requirements that allow bacteria to die off after cooking. The petition also asks for instruction labels on all raw fish products.
The request is backed up by years of research on cooking behaviors and lab studies that analyzed survival rates of bacteria and pathogens at specific temperatures. Food safety advocates believe more specific labels and the widespread use of thermometers would help reduce the number of foodborne illnesses.
“Using a thermometer to verify internal temperatures of food is one of the easiest ways to avoid foodborne illnesses,” Cellino said. “Unfortunately, many cooks don’t do this and it raises the risk of undercooked food in both commercial and social settings.”
Among its suggestions, the Safe Food Coalition is calling for more specific information on safe handling labels including:
An end-point temperature for raw foods and “rest-time” requirement
Instructions to use a thermometer
Handling, storage, and temperature control information
Updated graphics featured on the www.foodsafety.gov website, instead of the graphics currently displayed
A web address on the package for additional information on meat, poultry and catfish cooking recommendations
If you or a loved one has fallen ill due to a foodborne pathogen, the Rochester foodborne illness lawyers at Cellino & Barnes have helped many families obtain the best result possible. Contact a lawyer today for a free case evaluation.
NEW YORK – You may have used a simple silicate mineral for years without knowing it could cause cancer. Silicon, magnesium and oxygen together form talc, which in its powder form is a popular product often used on babies and heavily marketed to women.
The verdict follows a similar order in February, which awarded an Alabama family $72-million in damages after a woman who used talcum powder as a “bathroom staple for decades.” That woman, Jackie Fox, passed away in October 2015 at the age of 62, more than two years after her diagnosis.
A talcum powder attorney at Cellino & Barnes said thousands of women claim they’ve developed cancer after using talc and many companies have refused to warn consumers about the potential dangers associated with their products.
“For decades, scientists and doctors have urged companies to warn consumers of the risks but the billion-dollar pharmaceutical giants never did that,” talcum powder lawyer Ross Cellino said. “Instead of warning their customers of the cancer risks, companies heavily marketed talcum powder as a safe product for both babies and women.”
Manufacturers, including Johnson & Johnson have argued that regulatory reviews “have determined that talc is safe” for cosmetic use and that current labeling practices are adequate.
Several juries have disagreed with that assessment and the lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson are piling-up. More than 1,200 women have pending litigation against Johnson, claiming its talcum powder had devastating effects on their health.
At Fox’s trial, an internal memo from a Johnson & Johnson consultant was submitted as evidence. The memo suggested that the link between talc and ovarian cancer is as obvious as the link between smoking cigarettes and lung cancer; if the company refused to acknowledge the risks, it was “denying the obvious in the face of all evidence to the contrary.”
Johnson eventually eliminated some probable carcinogens like formaldehyde from its baby and personal care products in 2015. However, it took years of petitions and a boycott threat for the company to agree to the change.
In its natural form, talc contains deadly asbestos fibers. If inhaled, natural talc products could cause another cancer, mesothelioma. Talcum products used in American homes have been asbestos-free since the early 1970s but there are still concerns over their safety.
In many cases, doctors have found talc particles inside cancerous ovarian tissue. Talc has also been identified in pelvic lymph nodes, which indicates that it can migrate all the way out of the fallopian tubes and into a woman’s abdomen.
Talcum powder attorneys say big pharma companies have continued to deny the risks despite strong evidence that there is indeed a link between talc and ovarian cancer.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and you suspect talc was a factor, contact a talcum powder attorney at Cellino & Barnes today for free case evaluation.
For the latest information on talcum powder lawsuits and public safety, visit Cellino & Barnes on Facebook.
GARDEN CITY, N.Y. – The word “concussion” is commonly associated with sports and in many cases, parents are taking their children off the playing field out of concern for their safety. According to a new report, concussions are occurring more often – not just on the gridiron or on the skating rink but in your own backyard.
A new study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that traumatic brain injuries are steadily rising in frequency among children and most of the concussions resulted from playground injuries.
Researchers poured over data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System from 2001 to 2013 and found that roughly 21,000 children under the age of 14 suffered brain injuries each year.
“Splinters on those old wooden playgrounds used to be a parent’s biggest concern but we’re learning more about concussions every day in Long Island,” personal injury attorney Ross Cellino said. “Many parents believe their child has a high risk of getting a concussion by playing contact sports but playgrounds can be just as dangerous, if not more dangerous and children often require active supervision.”
The study’s authors said playground developers and municipalities need to rethink strategies and redesign play areas to reduce the number of injuries and the severity of those injuries at playgrounds.
“These may include improved adult supervision, methods to reduce child risk behavior, regular equipment maintenance, and improvements in playground surfaces and environments,” researchers wrote.
The statistics found that only 3 percent of the children injured were hospitalized or taken somewhere for additional treatment. Most of the children were simply sent home after treatment in the ER and safety advocates suspect that many more injuries go unreported.
“Playgrounds have a lot of solid, low-hanging objects and it can be easy for a child to take a heavy blow to the head,” Cellino said. “Although they may seem fine after a few minutes, concussions can have long-term negative side effects and it’s important to get children checked-out by a doctor if you even suspect they may have suffered a concussion.”
Long Island personal injury lawyers say traumatic brain injuries can happen almost anywhere and children are often more susceptible to such an injury. In some cases, your family may be entitled to compensation for your child’s injury.
Cellino & Barnes has been recognized by Best Lawyers, you can easily find a Long Island personal injury lawyer near you for a free consultation.
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