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Racism and Pedestrian Accidents: Study Shows Drivers Less Likely to Stop for Minority Pedestrians

Racism and Pedestrian Accidents: Study Shows Drivers Less Likely to Stop for Minority Pedestrians

There are many reasons why a pedestrian may be struck by a vehicle. The driver may be speeding on a New Jersey street and be unable to stop in time; he or she may be distracted by a smart phone; or the driver may be impaired by drugs or alcohol. A study shows another factor may be racism of the driver. Drivers are less likely to stop their vehicles when people of color step into intersections, according to a study by researchers at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, according to NPR. This may partly explain why there is a higher level of pedestrian deaths among racial minorities in the country. An estimated 4,735 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in the United States in 2013, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This averages out to one crash-related pedestrian death every two hours. The New Jersey State Police report that, in 2015, 173 pedestrians were killed in vehicle accidents across the state, or nearly one pedestrian fatality every other day. More than 150,000 pedestrians had to be treated in hospital emergency departments for crash-related injuries nationwide in 2013. It has been estimated that pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to be killed in a car crash on each trip. Researchers have found that people of color are more likely than whites to be victims of pedestrian accidents. Possible reasons include these: Minorities are more likely to be pedestrians because they disproportionately live in urban areas, and They are, overall, less economically well off, own fewer vehicles and are more likely to...
Think Flint’s Lead Contamination Problem is Bad? Think Again.

Think Flint’s Lead Contamination Problem is Bad? Think Again.

Flint, Michigan, has gotten worldwide attention because of the problems residents have with water contaminated with lead. When local officials switched water supplies to one with more acidic water, it caused the lead in water pipes and fittings to leach out into drinking water. Reuters recently investigated the issue nationwide and found about 3,000 communities in the U.S. where lead contamination is worse than in Flint, though these communities receive virtually no public attention. Many New Jersey school systems have come under scrutiny after water tests showed high levels of lead. Reuters, after reviewing public health records, found nearly 3,000 areas where recently recorded lead poisoning rates were at least double that of Flint in the peak of the city’s contamination crisis. More than 1,100 of these areas had a rate of elevated blood tests at least four times higher. The areas span the country, in rural and urban areas. Reuters found: Within 15 blocks of a house in St. Joseph, Missouri, at least 120 children have been poisoned by lead since 2010, making the neighborhood among the most toxic in Missouri. Even a local pediatrician’s children were poisoned. In Warren, Pennsylvania, 36% of children have tested with high lead levels. In a zip code on Goat Island, Texas, a quarter of children tested showed lead showed poisoning. In parts of Baltimore, Cleveland and Philadelphia, lead poisoning has spanned decades, and the rate of elevated lead test results over the last ten years was 40% to 50%. No matter the location, Reuters found people whose lives have been impacted by lead exposure. Those dealing with lead poisoning are mostly...
New Jersey Medical Clinic Shut Down Due to High Infection Rates is Open Again

New Jersey Medical Clinic Shut Down Due to High Infection Rates is Open Again

The Osteo Relief Institute, a medical clinic specializing in knee pain in Wall Township, was shut down by state health officials on March 7 but was back in operation two weeks later. Thirty-eight patients were infected by injections, reports NJ.com. This instance is just a small part of hundreds of thousands of infections patients suffer when they obtain medical care across the country. Monmouth County Health Department officials found that employees weren’t properly washing their hands and allowed full needles to sit “well before” they were used on patients. After a re-inspection, the clinic re-opened. The state confirmed 38 reported cases of infections due to injections but an investigation continues. The problem of infections caused by health care providers is well known and widespread. Results of the HAI (Hospital Acquired Infections) Prevalence Survey were published in 2014, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It reports that an estimated 722,000 infections occurred in U.S. acute care hospitals and about 75,000 patients with HAI’s died during their hospitalizations in 2011. As the Osteo Relief case shows, the problem isn’t limited to hospitals. The CDC also states that in the past ten years more than thirty outbreaks of hepatitis B and C in non-hospital healthcare settings occurred in outpatient clinics, dialysis centers and long-term care facilities. Often infections can spread between medical facilities. Patients infected in hospitals may be transferred to rehabilitation facilities or nursing homes where infections spread to other patients and residents. Infections in skilled nursing facilities can make their way to hospitals if an infected resident is transferred to a hospital. While many infections can be dealt with...
Defective Hoverboards Claim Their First Life

Defective Hoverboards Claim Their First Life

A Pennsylvania family is grieving the loss of a three-year-old killed in a house fire last month in Harrisburg. The cause is believed to be a re-charging hoverboard that burst into flames, starting the fire that caused the fatality and left two house occupants in critical condition. Such an accident can happen in New Jersey if defective batteries are re-charged and catch fire. Three-year-old Ashanti Hughes was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital, reports the Los Angeles Times. One occupant jumped to safety from a second-floor porch roof and three others were taken out by firefighters using ladders. The fire department has ruled the fire accidental, stating it was caused by a hoverboard plugged in to recharge on the first floor, where family members were present. They reportedly heard the hoverboard make sizzling and crackling noises before it exploded in flames. Fire Chief Brian Enterline told the press that hoverboards are “notorious for starting fires” and asked people not to use what he called “knockoff brands” that are unsafe. “We’ve seen too many fires and too many fire fatalities as a result of these hoverboards,” he said. NBC reports that a U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) spokesperson called the death the first fatality in the country linked to a hoverboard-related fire. The problem with these hoverboards, as well as defective e-cigarettes and Samsung phones, is that their lithium-ion batteries can malfunction and cause fires. According to The Economist: Lithium is the least dense metallic element, so its light weight makes it a good choice for batteries in portable devices because it can pack more power per pound than...
Seatbelts Save Lives, Maybe Even Yours

Seatbelts Save Lives, Maybe Even Yours

Seatbelts are something you don’t appreciate until you need them. Hopefully you buckle up without even thinking about it whenever you get into a vehicle. Some of us may have cheated death or were able to suffer only minor harm in accidents that, without seatbelts, may have been fatal or left us suffering lifelong, serious disabilities. One such person is 23 years old. The car he was driving struck a utility pole in South Brunswick in February. His car split in two and the driver was transported to a hospital afterwards but was released about five hours later, according to myCentralJersey.com. The reason for his good health may be that he was buckled in at the time of the accident. Township police report the driver became distracted, the car ran off the road and struck the pole. The force of the collision was so strong that wires from the pole ended up in a field about 300 yards away and started a fire. The driver had to be cut out of his vehicle; he was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, where he was treated and released. Photo courtesy of the South Brunswick Police Department “Clearly if you see the pictures and video from the scene, it is a miracle this young man survived, let alone practically walked away,” Police Chief Raymond Hayducka was quoted as saying. “Seat belts do save lives and this crash demonstrates it. Vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for children and young adults ages 5 to 24 and the second most common cause of death for adults 25...
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