New York Personal Injury Law Blog

Should Pregnant Women Get The Flu Vaccine?

After decades of studies showing the flu vaccine to be safe for pregnant women, a new study is raising some doubt for women who have had multiple flu shots. A new study conducted at the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin and reported in the journal Vaccine has shown an association between women getting a specific type of flu vaccine two years in a row and miscarriage. Given the limitations of the data and the relatively small number of women in the study, however, it is too early to know if the results reflect a real biological association between vaccination and miscarriage, or if the women in the study who miscarried did so for other reasons.

Guidelines aren't likely to change

The odds of dying in a car accident, and where they rank

Just looking at how many people pass away in car accidents can make it hard to really understand how likely you are to die in a crash. After all, though the numbers seem high, you know there are millions of drivers in New York alone, so you're wondering what the overall odds are. How likely are you to be killed in a fatal crash?

According to researchers, your odds of dying in a car accident are one in 303. That ranked 12th overall in the study.

Struck-by accidents are part of the Fatal Four

In construction, the "Fatal Four" are the four main ways that construction workers are killed year in and year out. While the most attention often goes to falls, it's important to remember that incidents in which workers are struck by objects -- called "struck-by" accidents -- are very common.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) notes that 26 percent of deadly accidents fall into this category. That's just in construction. When looking at all job-related deaths, they still account for 10 percent of the deadly accidents. They take hundreds of lives per year.

Key statistics that expose the eating and driving risk

You hear about texting and driving. The problem of drinking and driving is constantly on the news. You've probably listened to news reports on the radio, driving to work and drinking your morning coffee on the commute, shaking your head at all of these distracted drivers.

What you may not have realized is that eating and drinking behind the wheel is one of the biggest and most common distractions around.

Slow truck speed limits may not increase safety

Trucks have slower speed limits than passengers cars on some roads in New York. This is done to keep people safe. With their massive size, it's harder for trucks to turn, stop or avoid accidents, so they're told to slow down to reduce the number of crashes.

Not everyone thinks that makes any sense. Some have argued that speed limits should be equal for all vehicles in order to keep people safe.

Is it safer to drive in the city?

The city is chaotic, loud and confusing. The countryside in upstate New York is quiet, peaceful and wide open. A trip across the city is stressful and there are thousands of other cars around you at all times; a trip in the country involves long stretches of open road with no one else in sight.

Where do you think you're safest? While most people feel safer in the country, the statistics actually show that the city is where you're less likely to be involved in a deadly accident.

When The Flu Shot Does More Harm Than Good

Flu season is on the way, and soon many people will be lining up to get their yearly flu shots. While flu shots can prevent this common illness-- which can be particularly devastating for older people and those with compromised immune system -- it's worth remembering that flu shots are not without their risks.

Attacking the nerves

Technological enhancements might impact driving skills

Automobile manufacturers and advertising agencies tout robotic driving assistance technologies like brake assist, lane deviation correction and blind spot alarms as a way to prevent countless accidents and save lives. This type of tech features heavily in television advertisements, magazine layouts, industry graphics and in radio ads as a huge selling point for new vehicles.

Most people, when shopping for a new car, focus in on these and other flashy safety features. The assumption is that a vehicle incorporating them must be a better buy because it will prove safer overall. After all, safety improvements were key to lowering the overall rate of automobile accident injuries and fatalities from their all-time high in the 1980s and 1990s. Advancements like integrated seat belts with lap and shoulder restraints, airbags, crumple zones and reinforced glass have saved countless lives.

Do you need fall protection gear at any height?

You know that fall protection gear helps, and you'd obviously wear it if you were working on a skyscraper in New York. But what about jobs done at far lower heights? Do you need fall protection gear even when you're just a few feet off of the ground?

Don't underestimate how damaging even a short fall can be. Experts note that you generally should have protective gear for work that is done at four feet -- or more -- off of the ground. If you work in construction, the rule of thumb is six feet.

When driving, kids are a worse distraction than your phone

You know that distractions cause accidents, and texting and driving is something you never do. You don't even talk on the phone behind the wheel and certainly don't browse the Internet or check your email. You especially don't let yourself get distracted when your kids are in the car, as you never want to put them in danger.

That's a good start, and you should continue. But you should also know that some studies have found you're facing an even more dire distraction that you can't avoid —the kids themselves.

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