Amusement park accidents get a lot of media coverage, but it might actually be the less adrenaline-boosting attractions that cause the most injuries. Although thrill rides and roller coasters might seem like the rides that would most commonly result in injuries, a recent study has shown that inflatable bounce house are the major source of theme park accidents. Trampoline parks have also come under scrutiny, and lawsuits have been filed, after serious injuries were reported.

In a recent study, researchers in Canada collected information from the U.S. National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), reviewing hospital emergency room injury reports linked to amusement rides. The researchers discovered that 42 percent of the injuries reported were attributed to inflatable bounce attractions and 20 percent were linked to roller coasters. Carousel-related injuries were third and bumper car-related injuries came in fourth on the list. Of the total 13,000 injuries included in the report, one-third of them were not attributed to a specific ride.

Owners of the increasingly popular trampoline parks might want to take head of this study. Lawsuits alleging park visitors were severely injured due to problems at the park have been filed against various trampoline parks, which are attractions centered on bouncing on trampolines.

In particular, one lawsuit was filed against a trampoline park in Houston when a 16-year-old fell through a tear in the trampoline canvas, hitting his head on the concrete floor underneath. According to a local news station, the teen sustained skull fractures, seizures, and bleeding on the brain. He survived the accident, but his family now says he has suffered long-term injury, and no longer takes honor courses in school.

An investigation by a Denver news channel turned up evidence of dozens of calls to paramedics from area trampoline parks, responding to reports of fractures, concussions, and neck injuries.

Currently, trampoline parks are unregulated for the most part, however, officials in some states are reportedly looking into enforcement of the parks.


Its common knowledge that serious car accidents can be linked to poor vehicle maintenance, and in light of that, April has been designated as National Car Care Month. The Car Care Council has made a list of checkpoints to help keep your vehicle running at optimum performance year-round. Here is what they suggest:

  • Check all fluids and refill them if necessary. This includes any engine oil, power steering fluids, brake fluid, transmission fluid, antifreeze/coolant, and windshield washer fluid.
  • Look carefully at all belts and hoses for signs of undue wear, and to make sure they are not cracked, brittle, frayed or loose.
  • Inspect the battery connections to ensure they are clean, tight and corrosion-free. Replace the battery if necessary.
  • Check the brake system each and every year, and have the brake linings, rotors and drums inspected at each oil change. If your brake pads need to be replaced, don’t delay.
  • Examine the exhaust system for any leaks. Be sure to watch for signs of damaged and broken supports or hangers if there is any unusual noise because exhaust leaks can be dangerous and must be corrected immediately.
  • Check the heating, ventilating and air conditioning system because proper heating and cooling performance is crucial for interior comfort and for defrosting and other safety considerations.
  • Pay close attention to the steering and suspension system annually. This includes examining all shock absorbers, struts and chassis parts such as ball joints, tie rod ends and other related parts.
  • Examine the tires, looking for bulges and bald spots. Also check tire pressure and tread wear. Uneven wear can indicate a need for wheel alignment.
  • Check the wipers and lights to be sure you can see and be seen. Check wiper blades and replace worn ones so that you can see clearly when driving during precipitation. Make sure that all interior and exterior lighting is working properly.
  • Take your vehicle for a tune-up to ensure the engine is delivering its best balance of power and fuel economy, while producing the lowest level of emissions.

Drivers have a responsibility to ensure that they are not putting their lives, or the lives of others at risk by driving an unsafe vehicle. A thorough inspection of your car or truck this spring will keep your car safe and dependable, while helping to ensure the safety of those who share the road with you.


Sleep deprivation is a known risk factor for car crashes. In fact, researchers estimate that drowsy driving is responsible for 20 percent of all car crashes in the United States. But, up until now, studies have not focused on young drivers. Researchers point out that young people should be a target of education efforts to eliminate drowsy driving because their alertness, mood and physical performance are more adversely affected by sleep deprivation than older, more experienced drivers with similar sleep deprivation.

Sleep deprivation contributes to car crashes because it impairs elements of human performance that are critical to safe driving. Sleepiness reduces optimum reaction times, causes delayed responding in attention-based tasks, and increases the time it takes to process and integrate information. Even moderately sleepy drivers can have a performance-impairing increase in reaction time that will prohibit stopping in time to avoid a collision.

The new study involved more than 19,000 young, newly-licensed drivers living in New South Wales, Australia, who fielded questions about their sleep habits, including weeknights and weekends. Then researchers tracked the participants, aged 17-24, for two years, and obtained police reports to document car accidents.

The drivers who reported sleeping six or fewer hours per night were about 20 percent more likely to be involved in a car crash, compared with those who got more than six hours of sleep a night. Among the sleep-deprived, car crashes were most likely to occur between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Even after researchers considered other factors that affect people’s risk of a crash, such as age, number of driving hours per week, risky driving behavior such as speeding and a history of car accidents, the same findings held.

The researchers did note however, that participants were only asked about their sleep habits once over the course of the study, so the exact number of hours participants slept the day before they were involved in a crash is unknown.

Still, researchers hope the new findings will increase understanding of the impact of reduced hours of sleep on crash risk, and pinpoint subgroups of young drivers to facilitate education.


According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), every year an estimated 292 people are killed and 18,000 are injured when drivers back into them. These types of accidents usually occur in driveways or parking lots, and young children and the elderly are most likely to be killed in such crashes. The risk of backing over someone is increased by the large blind zones of many vehicles, which don’t allow drivers to see objects behind the bumper, in particular, those objects, which are low to the ground. Pickup trucks and SUVs, which have the largest blind zones, are typically involved in more backover crashes than cars. According to a study conducted by IIHS, rear cameras appear to be the most promising technology available for thwarting such crashes.

The IIHS study, conducted with volunteer drivers in an empty parking lot, measured the blind zones of various vehicles in relation to different size children represented by markings on a moveable pole. Mostly, small cars were found to have the best visibility while large SUVs had the worst. Generally speaking, without the added technology, the larger the vehicle, the worse its visibility. However, with the rearview cameras, the blind zones of vehicles were reduced by about 90% on average.

How Drivers Use the Technology In a related analysis of the effectiveness of rearview cameras, drivers were not told the true purpose of the study. The drivers were told they were to evaluate a vehicle’s entertainment and information system, then after adjusting the radio and reading from a navigation screen, they were instructed to back the vehicle out of its parking spot and drive to their own vehicle. As they backed out, a foam cutout of a child-size test dummy was placed in the backing path of the vehicle.

Drivers with the rearview camera had the fewest collisions with the stationary object, but it did not prevent all collisions, even when properly used. The study found that weather and lighting conditions, such as shade, could likely affect the usefulness of cameras.

Nevertheless, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has indicated that rearview cameras are the only technology available that meets a congressional mandate to expand the required field of view behind a vehicle, and will be adding the cameras to the list of recommended features in its vehicle safety ratings.


Everyone is aware of the dangers of texting and driving, but for some reason, many drivers continue to do it. Your phone alerts you to a new message, and you instinctively look to see what it is. Regardless of how important you think that message might be, it is much more important to keep your eyes on the road. The few seconds you look away from the road to respond to that message could change someone’s life forever.

Celebrities and politicians, alike, have launched campaigns in an effort to raise awareness of the dangers of texting and driving. More states have begun adopting anti-texting laws as statistics continue to emphasize the perils of texting while driving. Currently, thirty-nine states have adopted ‘no texting and driving’ policies, and state lawmakers in California, as well as ten others, have taken those policies to the next level by banning hand-held phones, requiring drivers to keep their hands free for driving.

Texting and Driving Statistics There are many alarming statistics on texting and driving. Here are just a few:

• Drivers who text are 23 times more likely to be in an accident as those who don’t • In 2011, 23% of auto accidents involved a driver using a cell phone • Half of children ages 12-17 say they have been a passenger in a car where the driver was texting • One-third of teen drivers ages 16-17 report that they text and drive and 27% of adults admit to texting while driving • Fifteen percent of teens say they have seen their parents text while driving • Seventy-seven percent of teens think they can safely text while driving

Remember, no matter how important the message seems it is not worth risking an accident. While driving, keep your phone out of reach to avoid checking the message, and wait until you are stopped safely somewhere to look at your phone. If you have a passenger in the car with you, let them read the message to you, and have them respond. Don’t risk your future on a text message.


The National Transportation Safety Board is concerned about an unacceptably high number of helicopter crashes in the last 10 years. More than 500 people have died in 1,600 helicopter crashes since 2004 alone. Now, they are voicing those concerns and asking the helicopter industry to use extra care when inspecting and repairing helicopters. They have also requested that helicopter pilots spend more time training than in the past.

These recent safety concerns were only enhanced after the most recent fiery helicopter crash occurred in downtown Seattle on Tuesday, March 18th. Seattle’s mayor himself has even said that they city needs to reexamine the regulations concerning the helipads.

The horrific Seattle helicopter crash occurred just as the KOMO-TV news chopper took off from the helipad. The helicopter started spinning and sputtered to the ground, killing the pilot and a photojournalist onboard and severely burning a driver in a vehicle below. The helicopter that crashed was an 11-year-old Eurocopter AS350 B2 that was only being used as a replacement for the standard one they used fulltime. An investigation is currently underway to determine the exact cause of the crash.

Helicopter crashes pose serious risks to both occupants of the helicopter, as well as those on the ground below. As more and more news teams, hospitals, and organizations use helicopters in their day-to-day business, crashes will continue to escalate. To make matters worse, these helicopters are often used to to photograph concerts, sporting events, and festivals, and transport critically injured accident victims to nearby hospitals. As a result, they are flying over large crowds—increasing the risk for serious injury to numerous individuals.

While the Seattle helicopter crash was tragic, the mayor reminded everyone that it could have been much, much worse. While the accident occurred just across from popular tourist attractions, such as the Space Needle and music museum, it occurred in the early morning hours when there was not a lot of public activity.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 34,000 motorcyclists were killed on U.S. roads between 2001 and 2008, and an estimated 1,222,000 more were injured.

One reason the numbers are so high is that, of all motor vehicles on the road, motorcycles are the most vulnerable. Thankfully though, there are many steps motorcyclists can take to make themselves less susceptible to an accident or serious injuries.

The most important tip is to always wear your helmet. Check for the DOT label inside your helmet, and beware of any helmet that does not meet U.S. Department of Transportation standards. It could be your only source of protection in a serious accident.

Be aware of vehicles’ blind spots or “No-Zones”, and never drive along in them. Trucks have large “No-Zones” on the front, sides and back where they cannot see you. The front blind spot is especially dangerous because, in the event of a sudden stop, a motorcycle will stop long before a truck will, and a crash will be unavoidable.

Before each ride, conduct a safety inspection of your bike. Also, make sure you wear the proper protective clothing and gear. Bright colors and reflective strips will make you more visible to the drivers around you. Regular maintenance and appropriate clothing will reduce your chance of a crash, or help greatly reduce the severity of injuries if you are in a crash.

Defensive driving is a must in any vehicle, but especially a motorcycle. Don’t assume that other drivers are watching out for you. You must be aware of everything on the road, paying attention to turn signals and brake lights of other vehicles. Ride with caution, adhering to all traffic laws, and obeying the posted speed limit at all times. Watch your speed especially around trucks, at night and during bad weather.


One of the tools your personal injury lawyer may use to win your case involves recreating the accident scene in order to prove negligence. An accident reconstruction uses detailed pieces of the investigation in order to draw specific conclusions regarding the causes and events that took place during the accident. This is especially helpful in accidents that involve multiple vehicles, fatalities, or severe bodily injuries.

In order to reconstruct the accident properly, specific experts must be hired to undertake the analysis and recreation. During the reconstruction, the roles of the drivers, the vehicle models, road conditions, weather patterns, lighting, and environment are all taken into consideration and used to establish fault or deny fault for the accident. This involves a tremendous amount of physics and engineering and is a complex and specialized process.

Eyewitnesses and passenger accounts of the accident will also be considered and used to establish the events that took place just before and during the crash. Was the driver speeding? Talking on the phone? Driving impaired? What was the angle of the sun at the time of the crash? How soon were the brakes applied? What was the speed of the crash?

Once the accident reconstruction is completed, the results are analyzed using special computer software, and then an expert is used to present the accident reconstruction at trial.

The data that is extracted from an accident reconstruction can be extremely useful in helping judges and juries assign the appropriate amount of liability. This is critical to obtaining the maximum amount of compensation after a devastating accident and will influence all other subsequent decisions in the trial.

Establishing negligence is critical to winning your case and the compensation you need to completely recover from your accident. Your attorney will likely seek compensation for medical expenses, rehabilitation, lost wages, future loss of earnings, pain and suffering, and more.


From the moment you open a lawsuit for personal injuries, the other side is given almost limitless access to information about you to ascertain whether your claims are legitimate. Due to the expanse of information your opponents are authorized to pry into, it is imperative that you disclose everything that could have any effect on your case to your attorney, including your entire medical history and earnings records. In the preliminary stages of your case, you will be required to sign authorizations permitting defense attorneys the right to obtain copies of these records. Do so only after your attorney has advised you.

Medical Records

Medical records are critical in a personal injury claim. Defense attorneys will be looking for things like previous injuries to the body parts you claim were injured in the accident. They will also be looking at any comments you make to your medical providers concerning how you feel, the frequency of your treatments, and the number of times you canceled appointments. Everything will be reviewed and compared to what you tell defense attorneys at depositions and during trial. Your integrity and your case could crumble if your testimony contradicts with what the records show.

Earnings Records

Records of your prior wage-earning history are something else your adversaries will look for. If you claim that you lost wages due to time lost at work as a result of the accident, the defense will obtain records to verify this. A good defense attorney will also look at records from your previous employers to see if you were prone to absenteeism or workplace injuries anything that might help their case. Expect also, for your opponents to obtain copies of your Social Security records and old income tax returns to see what your work history has been like.

Be Honest with Your Attorney

Once litigation begins, the defense will have the means necessary at their disposal to obtain every piece of information possible that might be helpful to them in your case. It is important that you are completely honest with your attorney about any potential weaknesses in your case so that he or she is fully informed. If anything becomes an issue, your injury attorney will know how to deal with it, but they can’t avoid a problem if they can’t see it coming.


Experts agree that even when external factors are applied, human error is responsible for most car accidents, at least to some degree. Most people equate human error with drunk driving, speeding or distracted driving, and while these certainly are leading causes of crashes, they are not the only ones. Here are a few facts about car crashes that may surprise you:

  1. Rubbernecking: According to a 2003 study by Virginia Commonwealth University Transportation safety Center, rubbernecking was the number one cause of car accidents that year.
  2. Driver Fatigue: Lack of sleep can have a profound impact on any driver. According to the Department of Transportation, staying awake for 18 hours in a row is equivalent to having a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent.
  3. Night Driving: Reduced visibility and fatigue can make it much more difficult to stay alert, and to judge speed, distance, and depth. The DOT recommends that you avoid driving between midnight and 6 a.m. because of reduced visibility, and between 2 and 4 p.m. because so many people suffer reduced energy levels at that time of day.
  4. Aggressive Drivers: Some drivers act as if they own the road with little regard for the safety of others. These drivers often fail to yield, change lanes frequently, fail to use turn signals, ignore traffic signs, tailgate other vehicles, and even verbally abuse other drivers. Their actions can be annoying and very dangerous. In 2011, speeding (a form of aggressive driving) was a contributing factor in 30% of all fatal crashes.
  5. Teenage Drivers: The primary danger with teenage drivers is their lack of experience, which can lead to poor decision-making. Teens are more likely to speed and not use their safety belts. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that car crashes are the number one cause of death for teens in the United States.
  6. Poor Car Maintenance: Poor vehicle maintenance on the part of the owner can be a major cause of car accidents. Drivers should check lights, tire tread and pressure, and brake pads and lines on a regular basis. Avoid making modifications to your vehicle without the supervision of a professional. Brake failure can contribute to up to 5% of accidents a year.