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California dive boat fire leaves many grieving and confused

Family and friends are grieving the loss of their loved ones after tragedy recently struck near Santa Cruz Island. They've unfortunately learned how quickly life can change for the worse when an exciting and fun diving excursion turned fatal.

The 75-foot dive boat Conception caught fire around 3:15 on Monday, September 2, trapping the passengers sleeping in bunk beds below deck. Two days later NBC reported that rescue crews have discovered the remains of 33 killed in the incident. They are still searching for one more missing person. Of all the people on the boat, only five crew members safely escaped.

An increase in truck accidents increases your risk on the road

Tens of thousands of motor vehicle accidents happen across the country each year. While the number of people who lost their lives dropped 2% in 2017 from the previous year, the number of accidents involving trucks rose 9%. Data indicates that 4,671 people died in crashes involving trucks in 2017, and 72% of those fatalities were in passenger vehicles.

New safety measures in these mammoth vehicles, such as lane departure warnings, cameras and automatic emergency braking systems, should help decrease the number of crashes, but mechanical improvements are only part of the equation.

Do you know who or what is responsible after a trucking accident?

Did you know that the average 18-wheeler you share Southern California's roads with can weigh up to 80,000 pounds? That's a max weight of 40 tons. To put that into perspective, passenger vehicles ranging from small cars to pickup trucks weigh between averages of approximately 1.5 tons to around 2.5 tons.

You probably didn't need that information to know that when a passenger vehicle goes up against a big rig, the smaller vehicle usually loses. In fact, the injuries are often catastrophic. If you recently survived such a crash or lost a loved one to one, you may want to better understand the common causes of these crashes in order to gather evidence of the truck driver's negligence.

What is glyphosate, and why is it so dangerous?

If you own a home in Southern California, you may use Monsanto's Roundup to control the weeds in your yard. If you eat products made from soybeans or corn, you should know that these products are genetically engineered to tolerate herbicides and are "Roundup ready." In fact, around 94% of soybeans and 90% of corn grown in this country contain Roundup. 

The main ingredient in Roundup is the synthetic herbicide glyphosate that was patented in 1974 by the Monsanto Company. You may not see anything wrong with this until you understand what this chemical can do to the human body. Researchers have linked this chemical to cancer and other health problems.

Could collision avoidance systems save your life?

Just about everyone here in Southern California uses technology on a daily basis. The advances in cell phones alone have changed the world. Now, automakers are finally taking advantage of technological advances to help keep you safer on the roads.

Collision avoidance systems are gaining popularity in the auto industry, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says they are working. If you are wondering what these systems even do, this article briefly discusses their utility.

California makes employers reevaluate hair grooming policies

Unless your job allowed it, you would never go to work in your pajamas. You understand that you need to dress appropriately for your work environment. If you work in construction, jeans and a t-shirt are probably acceptable. If you work in an office, you wear business attire.

But what happens if your employer tries to dictate how you wear your hair? Granted, if you have long hair and work with machinery, you probably want to keep it up and out of the way so that it does not catch in a machine, but that is not what this blog is about. Your employer should not have the right to tell you that you can't wear your "natural" hair simply because of a discriminatory bias, and the state of California agrees.

How will you feel when the adrenaline and shock wear off?

After looking at the state of the wreckage resulting from your car accident, you may have felt astounded that you weren't seriously injured. You went home that night feeling okay, but what about the next day or the day after that?

Some injuries suffered in car accidents fail to make themselves known right away. You may have gone home without broken bones or bleeding, but that does not mean you escaped serious injury. In the days following your accident, pay careful attention to how you feel.

An old law could put your child at risk of injury or death

You would think that companies that make toys would make sure the items they make do not endanger children. Sadly, that isn't always the case.

In fact, at least one manufacturer recently faced accusations of hiding behind an old law to avoid recalling one of its products that has led to 19 to 32 infant fatalities. That company Fisher Price, and the product is the Rock 'n Play Sleeper. A similar product made by Kid II has led to some of the reported deaths. Fisher-Price allegedly knew about the dangers for years before finally recalling around 4.7 million products in April of this year.

How would you feel if your airplane pilot napped in the cockpit?

empty cockpit.jpeg

Do you ever wonder if your pilot got enough rest before your flight. Pilot fatigue is a serious problem in the travel industry.

Pilots often start their days early and end them late -- often in another time zone. In addition to just feeling tired, pilots experience jet lag just like everyone else. Even though regulations exist restricting flying time and dictating the need for rest periods, fatigue is still a problem. As recently as 2017, two exhausted co-pilots almost caused a catastrophic accident when they nearly landed their plane on top of others on the ground.

How can I find out if my vehicle is subject to a recall?

Did you hear about the Takata airbag recall? Is your car or truck affected by this recall? How do you find out? 

Some recalls come after vehicle owners or their passengers suffer serious or fatal injuries. If you receive information regarding a recall on your vehicle, understanding the urgency could affect what you do next.

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