Home Safety Tips Provided By Allstate To Ensure Vacation Peace of Mind

Allstate has released a series of tips designed for those families that will be heading out of town for some type of summer vacation.  Much of the advice is focused on protecting your home from burglary while you’re away.  The more lived-in a residence appears, the better.  Lights should be placed on timers so that they’re never always on or always off, and if you’re going to be away for awhile, have a neighbor or trusted acquaintance drop in to mow the lawn and pick up mail and the newspaper every day.  Encourage them to even park in your driveway on a nightly basis so that it looks like someone is there.  You yourself can contribute to safety by not including your address along with other contact information on your luggage.  An unscrupulous individual could spot this and put two and two together to figure out you’re not going to be home.

For more tips, follow this link.

FDA Explains Importance of Reporting Child Medical Device Adversity

The Food and Drug Administration has released a new report focused on stressing to parents the importance of reporting problems associated with their children’s medical devices.  The worry is that side effects might be inappropriately attributed to an illness or perhaps an associated medication.  The FDA thus wants parents to recognize that a medical device can create adversity as well.  Whether a device has an actual defect or is difficult to use, the more information the FDA has, the better they’re able to bolster safety around each device through regulatory efforts.  Parents are asked to take into consideration things like wear and tear, device size, alarms, and the unique status of their child when evaluating whether a device might contribute to some type of adversity and is deserving of an ensuing MedWatch report.

Click here for more on the necessity of medical device adversity reporting.

Washington State Patrol Attributes Traffic Jams To Texting and Driving

A new press release from the Washington State Patrol explains that many traffic jams in the modern day can be attributed to texting and driving.  The thought is that persons texting at the wheel are getting in the types of minor traffic accidents that don’t necessarily lead to severe injuries or fatalities but that do tie up the roads.  The Chief of the Patrol explained that relatively few concrete statistics are available about these types of crashes because minor crashes are classified as civil infractions.  But with cellphones becoming increasingly common at the wheel, the department suspects that texting can be to blame for a large swath of wrecks and subsequent backups.

For more information, click here.

Crash Risk Leads to Recall of 45,961 Ram 1500 Trucks By Chrysler

Chrysler has announced the recall of Ram 1500 4 x 4 trucks of the 2013 model year because of a potential failure of the Electronic Stability Control mechanism.  A software problem is reportedly to blame for the possible safety shortfall, which could find the ESC turning off once the truck is turned on.  45,961 vehicles could suffer from this issue, which could lead the driver to lose their directional control.  A crash becomes more likely at that point.  In August, owners should start to receive notifications from Chrysler.  By bringing the trucks in to a dealer, consumers should be able to obtain a no-cost software update designed to fix the problem.

For more about the recall, follow this link.

Over 1,000 Ram Trucks Recalled By Chrysler Due to Crash Hazard

More than 1,000 Ram 5500 and 4500 trucks of the 2013 model year have been recalled by Chrysler because a certain component may not have been installed properly.  A bolt that keeps the frame and the track bar secured to one another may not be of the correct type, and thus this bolt is in danger of breaking or simply coming dislodged.  This can lead to the trucks careening to the left or right without notice to the driver.  A crash threat is then posed.  Next month, the recall is set to start, and owners can expect to begin hearing from Chrysler about the issue.  An inspection and, if necessary, free replacement of the affected components will be provided to vehicle owners by dealers.

Click here for more about the recall.

Texting and Driving Ban Not a Concern For Rapid City

South Dakota is one of the last remaining holdouts to a ban on texting and driving, and although some cities have already taken steps to ban texting or cellphone usage as a whole, others aren’t so keen to put a law on the books. Rapid City is one such city that isn’t eager to ban texting at the wheel.  The city’s attorney has noted that, although he has received numerous queries from media officials about the city’s possible pursuit of a texting ban, the same requests have not come in from local residents.  A Councilwoman explains that she is all for a ban but worries about issues of enforceability, while the city’s Police Chief hopes that the state will ban the act among younger drivers.

Follow this link for more information.

Debate Arises Over Google Glass’s Place In An Automobile

Google Glass hasn’t even arrived yet and a debate has already sprung up over the safety of such a device at the wheel.  Bills that would preemptively outlaw such systems among drivers are already scheduled to be taken up by lawmakers in Delaware and West Virginia, the thought being that Glass can distract an individual the same way that a telephone conversation might.  And yet app developers are already starting to think about how Glass can be used in conjunction with a driving system.  These two contradictory approaches to the device are destined to butt heads at some point down the line.   Google itself acknowledges the inappropriateness of the device in certain situations but has not made a statement about its usage in vehicles.

For more information, click here.

Stay Safe When Visiting A Dog Park

Last week we related some tips that can help children avoid being bitten by strange dogs, and one place where those tips often have to be exercised is at a dog park.  The safety precautions described in a new report are important for adults as well as kids.  Dog owners should give other dogs a wide berth unless they can verify with the owner that the dog is safe to approach.  It’s best to allow the owner to bring the dog over rather than to come near it yourself.  Keep your arms at your sides and let the dog sniff you out first.  Once it relaxes, you can start to pet it without making any sudden movements that could startle the animal.  And if you’re not sure if your dog is ready for a dog park, it’s best not to force them to socialize if they don’t want to.

For more tips, follow this link.

Getting Kids Ready To Make The Switch To Two Wheels

An officer with the Stoneham, Massachusetts Police Department has put together a series of safety tips for parents to instill in their children when they make the move from training wheels to regular bicycles.  The first and perhaps most important step will be to affix a helmet that fits the head so as to provide the necessary protection.  A proper fit for the bike is also essential.  Kids should be able to get onto the bike without having trouble and their feet should reach the pedals.  Parents are encouraged to ride on their own bikes alongside their kids so that they can stress those areas that require additional precaution, such as driveways and frequently travelled streets.  When kids are riding in a group, make sure they know that they’re not to ride two to a bike.

Click here for more tips.

BPA Officially Banned From Baby Food Packaging By The FDA

Bisphenol A, otherwise known as BPA, has officially been banned from the packaging of baby foods by the Food and Drug Administration.  The final rule, which was published at the end of last week, will be more of a symbolic step at this point than anything else, as the FDA notes that product manufacturers no longer even use BPA.  It was this very abandonment of the substances that allowed the FDA to exercise its banning privilege under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.  The American Chemistry Council believes this measure will serve to make consumers more aware of the unavailability of the substance and remove the confusion that might exist.  At the moment, the FDA is still looking into the potential health ramifications of BPA but has not come to any conclusions based off of ongoing research.

For more about the ban, click here.

Long Beach Police To Crack Down on Actions That Endanger Motorcyclists

Motorcyclists and automobile operators alike in the Long Beach area should make themselves aware of an upcoming enforcement operation focused on rooting out those behaviors which could endanger riders.  Last year alone, 99 riders were killed and a half dozen were injured in the city of Long Beach.  There are certain behaviors that police will be paying especial attention to.  Drinking and driving will not be tolerated, nor will speeding or improper turning that could endanger motorcyclists, the two activities that led to most of the motorcycle accidents which took place last year.  The LBPD urges drivers to keep an eye out for motorcyclists, especially in the midst of a burgeoning economy that may bring new, untrained riders out on the roads.

Follow this link for more about the enforcement effort.

Rearview Camera Mandate Delayed For The Moment

In 2007, the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act was passed with a provision that would have required the mandatory installation of rearview cameras in all new vehicles of the 2014 model year and beyond.  Unfortunately, Consumer Reports explains that the regulation now won’t be enacted until at least 2015, the fourth such delay the measure has faced.  The Senate Commerce Committee Chairman expressed sadness at the delay, stating that the rule could prevent many injuries and deaths from a vehicle backing into a child.  Consumer Reports urges consumers to invest in one of the many vehicles out there which have already utilized rearview camera technology.  In addition to the child safety ramifications, rearview cameras can prevent collisions related to parallel parking and backing up.

For more information about the delay, click here.

Fort Wayne City Vehicles Dubbed First in Nation To Limit Distraction

The Mayor of Fort Wayne, Indiana is touting his city’s adoption of technology that places a limit on the potential distractions that a police officer might face when piloting his or her vehicle.  The technology in question, known as Archangel II, monitors the officer’s speed.  Once they reach a certain level, the touch screen and keyboard functions will be shut off so that the officer can focus their full attention on the road.  At the same time, the officer will still be able to activate the call screen if they need to communicate due to an emergency or some such situation.  And it’s not just police getting in on the action.  The city will be installing Archangel II in vehicles operated by public works, fire, and utility department workers.

Click here for more information.

Manhattan Beach Shark Sightings Prompt Warning From Sheriffs

If you’re headed to Manhattan Beach or thereabouts anytime soon, then you’ll want to make yourself aware of recent shark sightings in the area.  Earlier this week, lifeguards reported the appearance of a relatively small four foot shark, but a Sheriff’s Department air crew was reportedly able to spot two larger sharks in the vicinity of surfers.  As such, sheriffs have issued a few tips to persons who might be swimming in shark-infested waters.  Dull colors should be worn in place of bright ones, and similarly shiny jewelry should be kept out of the water.  Being in a group is safer than being alone, and persons who have suffered some type of wound should never go in the water.

For more information, follow this link.

FDA Seeks Limit of Inorganic Arsenic in Apple Juice

The Food and Drug Administration wants to limit how much inorganic arsenic can be found in apple juice.  If the current proposal is finalized, apple juice made available to consumers wouldn’t be able to post levels higher than 10 parts per billion, the same threshold the Environmental Protection Agency mandates for water.  That’s not to say that persons are going around intentionally poisoning people; inorganic arsenic is a naturally recurring mineral in the environment, and in the past, certain pesticides which contained arsenic may have created residue that seeped in to the soil over time.  The FDA notes that, although samples have shown that inorganic arsenic levels remain low among apple juice products, they want to ensure that consumers are protected from such a potential danger.

Click here for more about this proposal.

American Kennel Club Details How To Ensure Child Safety Near Dogs

The American Kennel Club has put forth a safety checklist designed to help parents talk to their children about remaining safe around dogs.  Although family pets might be friendly, this isn’t true of all animals that children will encounter.  As such, the organization recommends that parents stress to children that dogs aren’t toys to be played with.  Even dogs that are safe to pet should never have their ears or tail pulled.  When approaching other persons’ dogs, one should always ask prior to petting the animal, and if the owner says no for whatever reason, their wishes should be honored.  When a dog is asleep or eating, they should be left alone, and even when awake, kids need to walk toward a dog from the front rather than a vantage point where the dog can’t see them.

For more tips, follow this link.

Missouri Teens Question Efficacy of Anti-Texting Awareness Efforts

A series of interviews with teenagers in Cape Girardeau, Missouri reveals that many young people question how effective various awareness efforts focused on texting and driving really are.  Some said that teens are minimally aware of these messages, while others are afraid to speak up when a friend is texting even if they themselves don’t take part in the activity.  But all is not without hope. Some of the same teens interviewed stated that they don’t text because of fear of repercussions in the form of a crash or a ticket. One teen stated that anti-texting efforts seem to be more successful when police actually show up for school assemblies to discuss the danger.

Click here for more information.

37,000 Ram Trucks Recalled By Chrysler Over Safety Issues

37,000 trucks are being recalled by Chrysler because of two different issues that could pose safety hazards on the road.  The first recall affects 30,000 or so Ram 3500, 2500, and 1500 pickup trucks of the 2013 model year that may not properly inform drivers via a dashboard warning that taillights have gone out.  Thus, the owners would keep driving without knowing that their vehicles aren’t signaling other automobiles as to their braking intentions.  The other recall pertains to Ram 5500 and 4500 trucks of the 2012 model year that can be susceptible to damage of the front axle.  This can then contribute to a loss of power.  For the former issue, a software update should take care of the problem, while the latter will involve work on the front axle.

Click here to learn more about the recall.

Blades For GlideScope Video Laryngoscopes Recalled By Verathon

Verathon has announced the recall of reusable blades used in conjunction with GlideScope Video Laryngoscopes and Advanced Video Laryngoscopes.  These devices allow doctors to observe a patient’s vocal cords in the midst of an operation.  These recalled blades, however, can see their tip fail early, and the blade itself could experience an outright breakage.  This could lead to sections of the blade dislodging within the patient’s mouth or airway, causing such potential dangers as hypoxemia, blood loss, or even a fatality.  What makes this most unfortunate is that inspections prior to an operation would not necessarily turn up the issue.  Doctors are being asked to stop using these blades and to send them back to Verathon to get new items.

Click here for more about the recall.

870 F800 GS and F700 GS Motorcycles Recalled By BMW Over Crash Risk

F800 GS and F700 GS motorcycles of the 2013 model year are being recalled by BMW of North America because of an issue with the side-stand switch.  On 870 of these motorcycles, there’s a possibility that this component can sustain damage.  When this occurs, the engine could potentially run when the side-stand is in the down position, a condition that’s not supposed to happen.  The rider could then get on the vehicle without moving the side-stand from this down position, and a crash hazard is then posed.  Next month, the recall is going to start and owners will hear from BMW.  The motorcycles can then be brought in to a dealer for free repairs.

For more about the recall, follow this link.