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Safety Issues for Labor Day 2021

Safety Issues for Labor Day 2021

September 2, 2021 | Personal Injury

The COVID-19 delta variant has cast a shadow over many plans for the long holiday weekend in September 2021. A fourth of travelers have changed their destinations, and many people have eschewed flying for driving.

Our New York personal injury attorneys obtain the compensation injury victims need and deserve, whether they are close to home or not.

This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

Eating

A recent study which suggested that eating a hot dog reduces your life expectancy by thirty minutes has thrust food safety issues into the forefront.

For those of you keeping score at home, these researchers also concluded that a PBJ sandwich adds thirty minutes to your “healthy life,” whatever that is.

Nevertheless, many of us will consume copious amounts of hot dogs over the Labor Day Weekend.

Especially when you are at the grocery store, be mindful of food safety recalls and other such issues. Many retailers do not pull questionable items off the shelf until someone forces them to do so.

On a related note, grocery stores also have a responsibility to keep shoppers safe. Restaurants have this same legal duty.

Shoppers and other patrons are usually invitees in New York. Therefore, the legal duty is very high.

Most grocery store and restaurant owners must frequently inspect their stores to ensure that there are no fall or other injury hazards.

Driving

Every year, vehicle collisions kill or seriously injure millions of Americans.

Driver impairment causes most of these wrecks. During the Labor Day holiday, alcohol, distraction, and fatigue are usually the three most potent dangers for motorists.

Most of us know about the dangers of drinking and driving. Alcohol gives people an artificial sense of euphoria, so it affects their judgment ability.

Furthermore, alcohol is a depressant which slows the nervous system. However, many people do not know that these impairing effects begin with the first drink. So, one for the road is always one too many.

Legally, alcohol-related crash claims could involve the ordinary negligence doctrine or the negligence per se shortcut.

Ordinary negligence is basically a lack of care, and as mentioned, one single drink could constitute a lack of care. Victim/plaintiffs must establish negligence by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not) in these claims.

Negligence per se is the violation of a safety law, such as the DUI law. These tortfeasors (negligent drivers) could be liable for damages as a matter of law.

Similarly, a distracted driving claim could rely on either doctrine. “Distracted driving” is an umbrella term for any behavior which causes:

  • Manual distraction (hand off the wheel),
  • Visual distraction (eyes off the road), or
  • Cognitive distraction (eyes off driving).

Statistically, non-device distraction is much more common than device distraction.

Examples include eating while driving, drinking while driving, using a hands-free speakerphone while driving, and talking to passengers while driving. If the distraction is bad enough, any one of these behaviors could be a lack of care.

As for the negligence per se shortcut, state laws regarding cell phone use vary significantly. New York has a very broad hands-free law.

But most other states have much more limited laws. Many of them only prohibit talking or texting while driving.

Drowsy driving is not against the law, at least in most cases. So, these claims almost always involve the ordinary negligence doctrine.

The effects of fatigue are much like the effects of alcohol. Driving after eighteen hours without sleep, which is the equivalent of a long day on the road, is like driving with a .05 BAC level.

Furthermore, most people are naturally sleepy at certain times of day, such as early in the morning and late at night, no matter how well-rested they are.

Boating

Drownings are the most common boating-related injuries. Falls and collisions are not far behind. Most of these incidents involve alcohol and/or a lack of training.

We talked about the effects of alcohol above. As for training, most states don’t require watercraft operators to have any experience behind the wheel before they drive a boat.

Life preservers prevent some drowning injuries, but not all of them. Sadly, most boat passengers don’t wear life preservers.

And, just a few moments below the surface could cause a permanent brain injury.

Falls are a constant hazard on wet boat decks which are also rolling and pitching.

Furthermore, boat surfaces are very unforgiving. As for collisions, most inexperienced boaters assume that operating a boat is like operating a car.

However, there are some significant differences. For example, cars have brakes which stop these vehicles. Boats slow down somewhat, but they never stop until they hit solid objects.

Be safe on Labor Day and all other days on the calendar. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in New York, contact Napoli Shkolnik PLLC. We have offices nationwide.

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