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5/09/2011

Lawn Care Safety

Spring has finally sprung! All those April showers, however, have left many yards looking more like a jungle than a well manicured lawn. While you're enjoying the May sunshine and the opportunity to tidy up your yard, the personal injury attorneys at Dyer, Garofalo, Mann & Schultz urge you to brush up on your lawnmower safety!

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission  gives some frightening statistics for incidents involving riding lawn mowers.

"Hazards most often associated with riding equipment are blade contact and loss of stability. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 37,000 consumer injuries related to riding mower incidents were treated annually in hospital emergency rooms during 2003-2005. Based on incidents reported to the Commission, an annual average of 95 deaths was attributed to riding mowers during 2001-2003. Fatal incidents have several common patterns: the machine tips over, the victim falls under or is run over by the machine (incidents involving young children are in this category), or the victim is thrown from or falls off the machine."

The website goes on to give some great safety tips!

  1. Read, understand, and follow all instructions on the machine and in the manual(s) before starting.
  2. Do not put hands or feet near rotating parts or under the machine. Keep clear of the discharge opening at all times.
  3. Only allow responsible adults, who are familiar with the instructions, to operate this machine.
  4. Clear the area of objects such as rocks, wire, toys, etc., which could be thrown by the blade(s).
  5. Be sure the area is clear of bystanders before operating. Stop the machine if anyone enters the area.
  6. Never carry passengers.
  7. Do not mow in reverse unless absolutely necessary. Always look down and behind before and while backing.
  8. Never direct discharged material toward anyone. Avoid discharging material against a wall or obstruction. Material may ricochet back toward the operator. Stop the blades(s) when crossing gravel surfaces.
  9. Do not operate machine without the entire grass catcher, discharge guard, or other safety devices in place and working.
  10. Slow down before turning.
  11. Never leave a running machine unattended. Always turn off the blade(s), set the parking brake, stop the engine, and remove the key before dismounting.
  12. Disengage blade(s) when not mowing. Shut off engine and wait for all parts to come to a complete stop before cleaning the machine, removing the grass catcher, or unclogging the discharge guard.
  13. Operate machine only in daylight or good artificial light.
  14. Do not operate the machine while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  15. Watch for traffic when operating near or crossing roadways.
  16. Use extra care when loading or unloading the machine into a trailer or truck.
  17. Always wear eye protection when operating machine.
  18. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for wheel weights or counterweights. 
Use extra caution when you're mowing and children are present. Make sure they also understand the dangers associated with the mower. Have fun taming your lawn, and enjoy the warm weather!

If you've been involved in an accident due to a faulty part on your lawn mower or other outdoor equipment, call the Tiger today! 1-800-223-8897 or visit us online www.ohiotiger.com

5/06/2011

Distracted Driving: Are you setting a good example?

The Auto Accident Attorneys at Dyer, Garofalo, Mann & Schultz are seeing more and more tragic accidents involving both young and older more experienced drivers. Parents of teenage drivers across the country are taking time to talk with their kids about the dangers of distracted driving and other bad driving habits, but, are they practicing what they preach?

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article that suggests Parents may not be teaching by example, but by the time old "Do as I say, not as I do" method.

"While nearly all parents say they are safe drivers and good role models for their kids, more than half (51 percent) admit their teens and tweens have asked them to slow down, stop talking or texting by hand, or practice other safe driving behaviors. An even larger number (80 percent) of teens and tweens have seen their parents engage in risky actions behind the wheel while looking to their elders as driving role models. Meantime, 78 percent of tweens say their mothers and fathers have “a lot of influence” on the way they will drive and 66 percent of teenage drivers say their parents’ actions influence their driving." (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/may/5/survey-says-teen-drivers-claim-parents-risker-driv/)

Maybe it's time for adults to start taking their own advice when it comes to safe driving practices. After years of driving, it's sometimes sobering to remember that experience does not equal immunity. Whether you've been driving for 2 months or 20 years, a simple text message can pull your attention off the road long enough to cause devastating consequences.

So what can you do? A good way to ensure that all the drivers in your family are paying attention to the road, their speed and their surroundings is to write up a contract for the whole family. Promise to pay attention to the road and the road alone. Hold one another accountable to your contract. Make a commitment to yourself and each other that you will take the privilege of driving seriously.

If you have been injured in an auto accident due to a distracted driver, call the Tiger. You need tough, smart attorneys on your side who will fight for your rights. Call 1-800-223-8897 or visit our website www.ohiotiger.com

5/04/2011

Cinco de Mayo

Tomorrow is the Fifth of May and despite the fact that it is not an important historical date for The USA, plenty of Americans will be celebrating with chips, dips and margaritas! Dayton has several fun activities lined up to celebrate the Battle of Puebla (the historical event this holiday commemorates), but the accident attorneys at Dyer, Garofalo, Mann & Schultz would like to remind you of the dangers of drunk driving before you head out to this year's festivities!

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has a great chart that shows how different blood/alcohol concentration percentages affect your motor skills. It shows that even the smallest bit of alcohol in your system can negatively affect your driving skills. The safest bet? If you're going to drink DON'T DRIVE!

  • Program the name and number of a Cab Company into your cell phone before you go out. A quick Google search of Taxi's around Dayton produced many phone numbers! 
  • Chose a designated driver for the evening, and encourage the bartender or server to offer the driver free Soda, Coffee or Water! Many Restaurants and Bars will provide free drinks (and sometimes food) to designated drivers!
The Dayton Daily News has a list of the Oregon District Bar Crawl that is scheduled for Cinco de Mayo as well as other celebrations taking place this Thursday! However you chose to celebrate, please do so responsibly.

Dyer, Garofalo, Mann & Schultz can help you if you are injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver. Call the Tiger 1-800-223-8897 or visit our website www.ohiotiger.com 

5/03/2011

Distracted Drivers

Thinking back to the world of driving 10 years ago, it seems hard to remember a time when your cell phone wasn't an issue and the DVD playing in the back seat wasn't a distraction to be dealt with. The accident attorneys of Dyer, Garofalo, Mann & Schultz are seeing a tremendous increase of auto accidents caused by distracted drivers. More and more, vehicles are being loaded down with gadgets and gizmos that require much more attention. According to www.distraction.gov there are 3 main types of distractions to be dealt with while you're behind the wheel.

  • Visual — taking your eyes off the road
  • Manual — taking your hands off the wheel
  • Cognitive — taking your mind off what you’re doing
How often do you have to tinker with your GPS system when you're driving from point A to point B? How difficult is it to figure out your new XM radio while you're cruising down the Highway?  Even that new bluetooth hands free phone set you just bought can be difficult to sync up while you're trying to switch lanes.

Most people relate the words "Distracted Driving" to only "Texting and Driving" but that simply isn't the case. While cell phones do play a huge part in the growing trend of negligent vehicle operators, other instances involving other distractions are becoming a huge crisis.

So what can you do to help with this growing epidemic? Get involved! Draw up a contract between you and your family members that you will focus all your attention on driving while you are behind the wheel. Discuss the dangers of negligent driving with Teenage Drivers. www.distraction.gov Is a GREAT resource full of tools, tips and stories. See if the High School in your community has started any campaigns revolving around distracted driving. If they do, Get Involved!! Together, we can all make a difference.

If you have been the victim of a negligent driver, you need a Tiger on your side. Call our team of tough, smart attorneys today. 1-800-223-8897 or visit our website

4/27/2011

Setting Outdoor Safety Rules

The temperature is moving it's way up the thermometer and kids are headed back outside! Although many parents are rejoicing at sending their kids out into yards, parks and neighbor to neighbor playdates, it's important to brush up on your children's outdoor safety rules.

The WHIO website posted an article regarding two incidents that have recently occurred involving children on bikes and automobiles.  Make sure that your kids know the rules when it comes to riding their bicycles. Many parents set strict rules stating that children are not allowed to cross the road without an adult. Whether or not your child is supposed to be crossing the street, review the correct way pedestrian and cyclists are to enter a roadway. Make sure that your children are properly padded with helmets, knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards, etc. before they take out their bike, skateboard or roller skates.

Strange dogs are also an area that parents should discuss with their children. Many dog walkers are out and about and while the idea of petting Fido is very exciting, make sure your children are aware that not all neighborhood dogs are friendly. The Pet Adviser website has some great pointers to review with your youngsters to help keep them safe.

Many factors contribute to where your children play and who supervises them. For instance, if you live in an area where motorists are prone to speed down the roadway, your children are probably confined to the backyard. If there is a next door neighbor with the coolest swing set ever, your children are  more likely to play over there. Some parents set up play dates so the responsibility of watching children can be passed between several parents. Other parents trust their neighborhood and allow their children to play with limited or no supervision. Wherever your kids spend their time, make sure that there are clearly defined rules set before play time. Explain the reasons for these restrictions and the consequences of broken rules.

The best way to keep your children safe is to simply stay with them. Go outside and play a game of Tag, Catch or Hide and Go Seek! Enjoy the spring and make some quality memories with the children in your life!

4/25/2011

Rainy Road Rules

Well, it's safe to say that Ohio is seeing quite a rainy start to Spring. April showers are wreaking havoc on roadways, waterways, yards and basements. Families are stuck indoors going stir crazy and when they finally do decide to brave the monsoon leave the house, they are caught RUNNING from the front door to the car. But once you finally make the mad dash from house to automobile, are you taking extra precautions on the road?

After such a long, cold, icy and snowy winter, many Ohioans are letting up on their roadway precautions and forgetting that wet roads can prove just as hazardous as icy ones. Imagine your vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed on a sheet of ice: that image approximates what will happen if you try to brake or steer while hydroplaning.

Hydroplaning occurs when water accumulates on the road faster than the weight of your vehicle can push it out of the way. Instead of making contact with the roadway underneath, your tires skim along the surface of the standing water giving no traction and little control to the driver.

www.weather.com has some GREAT tips for driving on wet roads

  1. You can prevent skids by driving slowly and carefully, especially on curves. Steer and brake with a light touch. When you need to stop or slow, do not brake hard or lock the wheels and risk a skid. Maintain mild pressure on the brake pedal.
  2. If you do find yourself in a skid, remain calm, ease your foot off the gas, and carefully steer in the direction you want the front of the car to go. You must be prepared to turn the steering wheel again and again until the front of the vehicle is traveling in a straight line. For cars without anti-lock brakes, avoid using your brakes. If your car has ABS, brake firmly as you steer into the skid.
  3. Avoid hydroplaning by keeping your tires inflated correctly. Maintain good tire tread. Don't put off replacing worn tires. Slow down when roads are wet, and stay away from puddles. Try to drive in the tire tracks left by the cars in front of you.
  4. If you find yourself hydroplaning, do not brake or turn suddenly. This could throw your car into a skid. Ease your foot off the gas until the car slows and you can feel the road again. If you need to brake, do it gently with light pumping actions. If your car has anti-lock brakes, then brake normally. The car's computer will automatically pump the brakes much more effectively than a person can do.
  5. A defensive driver adjusts his or her speed to the wet road conditions in time to avoid having to use any of these measures.
Always remember to give yourself a little extra travel time when driving in the rain. Keep those headlights on and leave plenty of space between you and the other motorists you share the road with. Stay safe, and try to keep dry!

4/22/2011

Topamax Birth Defects

The anti-seizure drug Topamax has recently been put under the microscope of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The medicine, which is manufactured by Ortho-McNeil Neurologics (a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson) is used to treat seizures in adults and children over the age of 10 and is also used to prevent migraine headaches in adults. However, this drug also has been linked to an increased risk of major birth defects.

According to a recent press release on the FDA Website :

"New data suggest that the drug Topamax (topiramate) and its generic versions increase the risk for the birth defects cleft lip and cleft palate in babies born to women who use the medication during pregnancy."

"Cleft lip and cleft palate, collectively called oral clefts, are birth defects that occur when parts of the lip or palate do not completely fuse together early in the first trimester of pregnancy, a time when many women do not know they are pregnant. The defects range from a small notch in the lip to a groove that runs into the roof of the mouth and nose, possibly leading to problems with eating, talking, and to ear infections. Surgery often is performed to close the lip and palate and most children do well after treatment."

In an article published by the Wall Street Journal, Russell Katz, director of the Division of Neurology Products in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research says "Alternative medications that have a lower risk of birth defects should be considered"when dealing with patients of childbearing age.

If you were prescribed Topamax during your pregnancy and your child suffered from any of these side effects, you may be entitled to compensation. Call the Tiger today for a free consultation or visit our website www.dgmslaw.com or www.defectivedrugsite.com