The month of May is both National Water Safety Month and the typical start of pool season. In 2020, installing a swimming pool was a popular home addition, as many families opted for “stay-cations” during these COVID quarantine times. Unfortunately, drowning remains the number one cause of accidental death for children ages 1 -4. Additionally, according to government statistics, there were on average an estimated 6,700 pool or spa-related ER visits for non-fatal injuries from 2015- 2017 for children younger than 15. Listed below are five tips to keep your pool safe. 1. Set Up Pool And Spa Barriers For all pool installations requiring township approval, a fence around the pool is a requirement. But what about for pools that do not require a permit? Under Pennsylvania’s Uniform Construction Code, if a pool is more than 24 inches deep, it must be surrounded by a fence or an enclosure equipped with a gate that is self-latching. Above ground pools that are 48 inches high, can have the walls of the pool considered to be the “fence,” however, they must have a removable or locking ladder, which can be secured when the pool is not in use. It should be noted that four-sided isolation fences, which completely separate the pool from the house and rest of the yard, reduces a child’s risk of drowning by 83%. So, if your house serves as the fourth side of a fence around the pool, door alarms are to be used, in order to […]
With the loss of an hour due to daylight savings time, this week we can expect an increase in everything from car accidents to heart attacks. According to a 2014 study by the University of Colorado, auto accidents increase, due to the fact that it takes about 6-7 days to adjust to the darker morning commutes, coupled with the fact that the loss of an hour of sleep causes drivers to be less alert. According to the study, there is a 6.3% increase in traffic fatalities in over the six days following the March time change.
When you are hosting a private party, should you have to worry about the amount of alcohol your guests are drinking? Are you required to “cut them off?” Of course nobody ever wants anyone to get hurt, but is it your legal responsibility as a host to pay attention to everyone’s alcohol consumption?
As personal injury attorneys, this most recent snow storm, reminds us again of the dangers of snow and ice flying off the back of moving vehicles. The dash-cam video below shows how this dangerous this driving hazard can be.
Since celebrating that first Thanksgiving in 1621, our Nation has experienced many adversities and yet we have continued to find ways and reasons to be thankful. It is easy to be grateful when things are going our way. It is much harder, when life seems to be going badly. According to Dr. Robert Emmons, a professor of psychology at the University of California, not only is a grateful attitude helpful in times of adversity, it is essential. “In the face of demoralization, gratitude has the power to energize. In the face of brokenness, gratitude has the power to heal. In the face of despair, gratitude has the power to bring hope. In other words, gratitude can help us cope in hard times.” Professor Emmons has offered several tips to help cultivate a grateful heart: 1) Remember the bad, then look to see where you are now; 2) Confront your own mortality, in order to reevaluate what is really important in life; 3) Realize the power you have to transform an obstacle into an opportunity; 4) Be grateful for that which is often overlooked; and 5) Gratitude is a choice, regardless of one’s situation or circumstances. Emmons went on to state that it is vital to make a distinction between feeling grateful and being grateful. We can’t will ourselves to feel grateful, however, being grateful is a choice. Gratitude can provide a perspective from which we can view life in its entirety and not be overwhelmed by temporary circumstances. […]
Just when toilet paper is finally back on the store shelves, a new shortage is facing the nation. Change. That’s right, there is now a national shortage of coins– quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies. From Starbucks to Wawa, stores are asking customers to pay with exact change or to use credit or debit cards. Evidently, the nationwide shut-down due to the novel coronavirus has caused a “disruption in the coin supply chain.” (Who knew that there was a coin supply chain?) With more people shopping on-line, using credit for delivery or curb-side pick-up, less and less people have been paying with cash and the supply of coins from consumers to banks has been disrupted. Additionally, those coin collection kiosks in supermarkets evidently were not being utilized by the public during quarantine. Moreover, many facilities where coins were frequently used, such as laundromats, amusement parks, bars and bowling alleys were all shut down removing places where consumers would typically use coins. Finally, from January to April, production of coins fell by a little more than 1/3 at the U.S. Mint, as a result of a reduction in employees per shift due to the need to maintain social distancing on the production floor. Apparently, the absence of sufficient coins in the marketplace has caused the Federal Reserve to establish a “U.S. Coin Task Force.” This task force is encouraging the use of social media to promote the circulation of coin using the hashtag #getcoinmoving. Some may recall that back in 1999 there […]
In an effort to stay active during the stay-at-home orders, many people are going into the garage to dust off their once-forgotten bicycle. Many bike shops are reporting an uptick in business as people are looking for ways to get outside and get exercise. Several years ago, we posted an article on “Six Tips for Sharing the Road with Bicycles“, however , with more and more people getting back on their bikes, a refresher on bicycle law and safety is in order. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, if riding a bike on the sidewalk, pedestrians have the right-of-way on sidewalks and bicycle paths. You must give an audible signal as you approach and pass a pedestrian. Automobiles are not required to yield to bicycles being ridden across a crosswalk (at a trail crossing for example) as the bicycle is treated as a vehicle. A better choice is to dismount and walk your bike across. You are not permitted to ride a bicycle on a sidewalk in a business district (except where permitted by official traffic control devices) or where there is a bicycle-only lane available. If you choose to ride your bike in the roadway, The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation states that bikes may be ridden on the shoulder of the road (in the same direction as the flow of traffic) but are not required to do so. Otherwise, the safest travel location for bicyclists is the center of the rightmost travel lane. Since it may have […]
Given the almost daily deluge of rain we have been experiencing, hydroplaning is a very real problem for which all drivers must be prepared. Hydroplaning occurs when the vehicle’s tire-to-road traction becomes separated by water. This grip separation results in a loss of control (braking and steering), which can result in a violent accident. While hydroplaning can happen on any wet road surface, tire tread, tire inflation and speed are the key factors in causing hydroplaning to occur. According to the American Automobile Association, “when driving through just one-twelfth of an inch of water, each of your tires has to displace one gallon of water per second.” So, when the road surface is wet, you need to choose an appropriate speed that will displace enough road surface water, that allows your vehicle to maintain proper traction. “At 30 mph or less, properly inflated tires with good tread will maintain contact.” While low tire pressure causes the tread to “squeeze together, narrowing the tread channels and reduces the tire’s ability to wipe or channel away water,” even with good tread and properly inflated tires, a vehicle can begin to hydroplane at speeds above 35 mph. Below are six tips every driver should remember when driving on a wet surface. Avoid driving in the outer edges of a roadway. Most roadways have a slight “crown” in the middle of the road which causes water to accumulate on the edge of the roadway. Try to stay more toward the middle of […]
by Tom Blackburn, Esq. aka “Joe Mundane” We are now in the midst of the 2020 Covid-19 virus quarantine. As the months pass, it will be interesting to determine the winners and losers of this historical anomaly. The obvious winner in my household is my 6 year old Golden Retriever, Bree. Bree has benefitted substantially from the forced return and mandated house arrest of my college kids; along with the escalating opportunities for her to escort her family members in a parade like fashion around the neighborhood. When you pay attention, all the dogs in the neighborhood seem to confidently nod at each other with particular contentment. This makes you wonder if Covid-19 is related to a sinister world-wide canine conspiracy. The newscasters speak of the bats, but have we thought about investigating Fido? Another winner is Netflix. Very few folks could look the other way, after hearing the names “Joe Exotic”, or “The Tiger King,” or for that matter, the lady named “Baskin,” “Baskin,” I guess, could’ve, might’ve, allegedly, fed her loving husband, 20 years her senior, to a few of her rescued, though apparently still hungry, tigers. Well, we really had no choice in the matter. We all had to left click on that tiger icon to peer into what we very quickly realized was a bizarre, fast moving, train wreck of a documentary. Yet, getting back to the title of this article, if my eyes were not deceiving me, there were quite a few humans in that […]
The last Friday in April, is National Arbor Day, a day set aside to celebrate the role of trees in our lives and to promote tree planting and care. J. Sterling Morton is considered the founder of Arbor Day. In 1854 Morton and his wife moved from Detroit to the virtually treeless plains of Nebraska. The Nebraska pioneers needed trees for windbreaking, fuel, building materials, and shade from the hot prairie sun. Morton decided to use his role as editor of Nebraska’s first newspaper to promote tree planting in Nebraska. In 1872, the Nebraska Board of Agriculture accepted Morton’s resolution to set aside one day to plant trees. The Board declared April 10, 1872 to be Arbor Day, and offered prizes to both counties and individuals for the largest number of trees properly planted. On that day alone, 1 million trees were planted in Nebraska. Shortly thereafter the rest of the states began passing legislation to observe Arbor Day, with the actual date in April determined by the best time to plant trees in each particular state. While trees add to the visual landscape and provide many helpful benefits to people and the environment, they can present as hazards to motorists. Trees that are not properly maintained can block road signs and roadways. According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2017, 1,581 fatal crashes in the United States were caused by obscured vision, including poorly maintained trees and shrubbery. Dead and diseased trees can also fall on cars and roadways, […]