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Archive for the category: cell phones
  • Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation Round Up

    Here’s what other personal injury and workers’ compensation lawyers have been talking about over the past few weeks: Jury Instruction Social Networking (Day on Torts) North Carolina: Jail Time for Uninsured Employers (Workers’ Compensation Blog) Cell Phone Use Cited in 24% of Motor Vehicle Crashes (Personal Injury and Social Security Disability blog) NFL Concussion Website (Torts Prof Blog) Members of UNC Create App to Aid in the Diagnosis of Concussions (Brain Injury Lawyer blog) The Ankin Law Office LLC (www.ankinlaw.com) handles workers’ compensation and personal injury cases. You can reach the firm by calling (312) 346-8780.

  • Sudden Increase in Teen Deaths From Car Crashes

    You may find it surprising to learn that car accidents are the leading cause of death for United States teenagers. And, sadly, according to the results of a new study conducted by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), the number of teen deaths caused by automobile accidents increased in the first half of 2011. This increase was particularly surprising since teen deaths from car accidents had been declining in the years prior to 2011. The data collected and analyzed by the GHSA was shared with the National Highway Traffic Safety  Administration, with the goal being to assist the federal agency in reducing the number of teenage deaths on our nation’s highways. As explained in this Washington Post article, although there was a definite increase in the number of teenage deaths, it was not a markedly large change: The raw numbers of the increase were not huge — the number of 16-year-olds killed increased from 80 to 93, and among 17-year-olds it went from 110 to 118 — but in an era when teen deaths and overall highway fatalities have been in steady decline, they raised alarms with safety advocates. Although the reasons for the increase are still unclear, one reason offered was the failure of many teens to use seatbelts. Another contributing factor suggested by some was distracted driving due to the use of smart phones while on the road. As discussed in the Washington Post article, the statistics regarding the use of smart phones by teens while driving are striking: A Pew Research Center survey said 43 percent of teenagers said they have talked on a cellphone while driving, 48 percent said they had been in car with a driver who was texting and 40 percent said they had been in a car when the driver used a cellphone in a way that put themselves or others in danger. So, while the exact reason for the increase remains unclear, what is certain is that steps need to be taken to reduce the number of deadly car accidents that teenagers are involved in. Enforcing existing safety regulations, including anti-texting laws and seatbelt laws are a start. Another important step would be to increase the number of programs which educate teenagers about the dangers of distracted driving. Hopefully, these steps will help to stop the latest trend and reduce the number of teenage car accidents in 2012. The Ankin Law Office LLC (www.ankinlaw.com) handles workers’ compensation and personal injury cases. You can reach the[READ MORE…]

  • Gadgets in Cars-Trendy, but Dangerous

    As mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets become increasingly ubiquitous, our culture is becoming more reliant on these tools. While they offer easy and fast access to information on the fly, the use of these technologies while driving cars can create dangerous situations for everyone on the road. Distracted driving is a big problem and if the trend of connecting cars to the Internet increases, it seems things are only going to get worse. Today, over at the New York Times blog, it was predicted that the next big boom in mobile devices will be those installed in vehicles: Cars, one of the great mobile devices to begin with, are about to get connected to the Internet like never before. It will change not just how we drive, but the economics of the car business. “Five percent of cars are connected today,” said Glenn Lurie, president of AT&T’s Emerging Devices business. He was speaking of new vehicles, not all cars on the road. “Three to five years from now, 100 percent will be connected. You’ll see diagnostics, calls when the airbag goes off, real-time traffic reports, entertainment in the back seat.” While some of the technology additions will improve safety, such as the real-time diagnostics, it seems consumers are far less interested in the safety features and are instead lured in by distracting tech gadgets, as recently reported in this Milwaukee Sentinel article: (W)hen it comes to investing in technology that’s designed to make the driving experience safer, Americans admit favoring increased convenience over driver and passenger safety, according to a MetLife Auto & Home American Safety Pulse Poll. “The most recognized and sought-after technology features tend to be those which promote style over substance, when in reality, it’s the less glamorous features like electronic stability control which make for safer vehicles,” says Bill Moore, president of MetLife Auto & Home. “By increasing their understanding of the available safety features in today’s vehicles, consumers can make more informed choices about which cars provide the best safeguards to help protect themselves and their families on the road.” Installing these new gadgets in cars may increase convenience, but at what risk? Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents. Texting or otherwise using mobile devices while driving is dangerous and designing cars to facilitate this type of behavior is questionable at best. Here at the Ankin Law[READ MORE…]

  • Maryland Enacts Anti-Text Messaging Laws to Prevent Car Accidents

    Texting while driving is an extremely dangerous practice that is becoming increasingly common. The danger presented it that of a distracted driver whose eyes are on his or her smart phone rather than the road. And, any time a driver is distracted, the likelihood of a car accident increases exponentially. We’ve discussed the dangers of distracted driving on this blog on many occasions, including: 1) the dangers of commercial truck drivers using cell phones; 2) whether it’s wise to make it easier for drivers to use iPads while on the road; and 3) Illinois ban on texting while driving. Recently, Maryland passed a similar law. The new Maryland law is intended to reduce the number of car accidents by making it easier for police to ticket those who text and drive. Before the new law was enacted, officers could not pull over people for texting and driving and instead needed another reason to stop the car in the first instance. Now, officers can stop and ticket drivers for simply texting while driving. This Washington Post article explains the new law and offers  sobering statistics regarding the dangers of distracted driving: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 20 percent of crashes that resulted in injury in 2009 involved distracted driving. NHTSA said 995 fatal crashes that year involved cellphone distraction. Sixteen percent of all drivers younger than 20 who were involved in fatal crashes were reported to have been distracted. In other words, distracted driving is a big problem and the best way to prevent it is to discourage drivers from using their cell phones while on the road by penalizing those who do so. Anti-texting laws with teeth, like those just enacted in Maryland, are a step in the right direction. The Ankin Law Firm is committed to reducing the number of automobile accidents caused by distracted driving. Please take a pledge not to drive while texting and get a chance to win a new Flip video camera. Howard Ankin of Ankin Law Office LLC (www.ankinlaw.com) handles  workers’ compensation and personal injury cases. Mr. Ankin can be reached at (312) 346-8780 and howard@ankinlaw.com.

  • Study Reveals Cell Phone Radiation Affects Brain Activity

    Chicago Product Liability Attorney Illinois Personal Injury Attorney Despite claims to the contrary by the cell phone industry, a recent study conducted by the National Institute of Health (NIH) revealed that there is, in fact, be a link between cell phone use and brain activity. In conducting its study, researchers from NIH examined 47 participants who underwent two brain scans – one scan while a cell phone connected to a muted call was attached to the right ear and another scan while the phone was turned off.    The scans were conducted using an imaging technique called positron emission tomography (PET scan).   Neither the participants nor the researchers were aware of whether the cell phones were turned on or off while the scan was conducted. The study found that when the phone was turned on, the glucose metabolism (or energy conversion rate) in the section of the brain closest to the phone’s antenna was approximately 7% higher than when the cell phone was turned off. Essentially a cell phone acts like a radio – when talking on a cell phone, voices and sounds are transmitted through the antenna as radio frequency radiation.  Depending on how close the antenna is placed to a person’s head, anywhere between 20% and 60% of the radiation transmitted by the cell phone is transferred to the user’s brain. Because of the potential injuries associated with exposure to radiation, it is advisable to take certain precautions when using a cell phone in order to decrease exposure to harmful radio frequencies. Use your cell phone on speakerphone as much as possible. Do not use your cell phone as an alarm clock.  Cell phones can emit radio frequency radiation even when you are not talking on the phone. Text, instead of calling, since texting keeps the phone farther away from your head. Use a radiation-blocking cell phone case. Howard Ankin of Ankin Law Office LLC (www.ankinlaw.com) handles workers’ compensation and personal injury cases. Mr. Ankin can be reached at (312) 346-8780 and howard@ankinlaw.com.

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