Fatal motor vehicle crashes were done by almost 2 percent after 2 years of large increases according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2017, 37,133 souls perished in motor vehicle crashes. Our roadways continue to be far too dangerous. Speeding, distracted driving and driving under the influence continue to be leading causes for fatal accidents. In addition, drug-impaired driving is a growing cause for traffic fatalities.
Beginning October 1st, 2017, a new law will go into effect that will increase the age and weight requirement for car seats. In hopes of increasing child safety, Connecticut now joins seven other states who have adopted current recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
The AAP is a strong proponent for child safety and has been advocating for years the need for updated safety measures for children and adolescents of all ages during travel. Years of research have ultimately proven the need to expand not only the age but also the weight range required for car seats.
Strengthening our state’s laws by requiring an approved restraint device at every level of a child’s age, height, and weight, should ultimately also reduce the number of injuries and deaths that occur due to an accident.
The following are the revised CT car seat law requirements (from NH Register):
- Any child who is under 2 years old or weighs less than 30 pounds, regardless of age, must be placed in a rear-facing child restraint
- A child between ages 2 and 4 or weighing between 30 and 39 pounds, regardless of age, must ride in either rear-facing or forward-facing child restraint
- A child age 5 to 7 or weighing 40 to 59 pounds, regardless of age, must sin in a rear-facing child restraint, forward-facing child restraint, or a booster seat secured by a lap-and-shoulder seat belt
- Any adolescent from 8 through 15 who weighs 60 pounds or more must use an approved child restraint system or safety seat belt
Previous state law only required a rear-facing child restraint device until age 1 or 20 pounds, and a booster seat until age 6 or 60 pounds.
The new law now closes a crucial gap previously missed for adolescents. A recent study by the CDC concluded that by increasing the booster seat requirement to 7 or 8 years of age instead of 6, decreased the rate of children who sustained fatal or incapacitating injuries in a car accident by about 17%.
That decrease and more is what local legislators hope to see over the next year in Connecticut.
In slip and fall cases involving ice, the injured person needs to prove notice, whether actual or constructive, of the specific defect (the ice) that caused the injury. It is not enough to prove defendant’s notice of the general condition that caused the ice. The injured person must offer evidence that defendant had notice, whether actual or constructive, of the specific ice that caused injury. Actual notice is when the defendant knew of the existence of the ice prior to the incident. Constructive notice involves proving that the ice existed for a long enough period of time that the defendant should have known about it.
One way to prove constructive notice is to present evidence that ice had formed in the particular location on prior occasions. The evidence of prior ice is relevant to the timing aspect of constructive notice. If the area was prone to icing, then the defendant should be held to a shorter time period for detecting and correcting the icy condition. Stated another way, defendant should have discovered and fixed the ice more quickly because the defendant knew that the particular area was prone to icing.
How to go about discovering whether the accident location was prone to icing will be addressed in a subsequent blog post.
Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States according to a recent study. After cancer and heart disease, medical errors kill Americans more than anything else. There are at least 251,454 deaths due to medical mistakes annually in the United States. Deaths at home or at nursing homes were not counted in the study, thus, the actual number of deaths caused by medical errors is much higher. The study was performed by researchers at Johns Hopkins University. The report was published in the British Medical Journal.