High Risk of Los Angeles Teen Driver Accidents on Prom Night

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

It’s that time of year again, when Los Angeles teens shop for the perfect dress, rent a tuxedo and head out for one of the most memorable nights of their lives. Unfortunately, prom night is also one of the deadliest nights for teenagers. With all the excitement around prom, many teen drivers are likely to set aside some of the safe driving rules they have been taught since they got their provisional license.

Los Angeles car accident lawyers find that that alcohol use is a major factor in teen accidents in California. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, alcohol is a factor in approximately 30% of all fatal teen driver accidents. Although the number of fatal teen driver-related accidents is down in California, there has been no serious change in the percentage of teenagers involved in such accidents.

In Los Angeles, schools are making an effort to educate teenagers about the dangers of aggressive behavior on prom right. They are conducting mock DUI crashes, which help teenagers understand, even if superficially, the kind of danger that they place themselves in when they drive under the influence of alcohol.

Parents have other reasons to be worried on prom night. Many teenagers spend the hours after prom, driving with friends, and this increases their risk of being in a distracted driving accident.

Los Angeles parents can help make sure that their children have a safe and enjoyable prom. Make sure you know who is taking your child to the prom. If your child is traveling in a limo, make sure that the limo company does not have a policy of serving alcohol in the limo.

Discuss all rules for driving safely with your teenager, and lay down strict penalties for breaking these rules. Stress the importance of seat belt use. If your child intends to have friends over after the prom, make sure that all alcohol in your home is safely secured and out of reach.

Series of School Bus Accidents Raises Safety Concerns

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A number of recent school bus accidents across the country have California bus accident lawyers once again concerned about the fact that school bus safety standards continue to feature low on the priority list for federal agencies.

According to the National Coalition for School Bus Safety, which also recommends seatbelts on school buses, approximately 2,000,000 children ride school buses across the country. In March alone, there have been as many as 4 school bus accidents resulting in serious injuries reported from around the country. One accident in Pennsylvania injured at least 21 people, most of them students. The accident involved a tractor-trailer and a bus, and resulted in the truck driver’s death. There were 21 high school students in the bus, and several of the children on the bus were seriously injured.

Also in March, 11 children on a school bus suffered injuries when their bus rolled over, and crashed into a ditch in rural Missouri. The children in the bus included kindergarten students. That accident came just a few days after an accident, in which a bus in Indianapolis crashed into a bridge, killing a school bus driver and a 5-year-old student on the bus.

None of the buses in these accidents were equipped with seatbelts. The American Academy of Pediatrics and American Medical Association recommends that school buses come with seatbelts in order to prevent ejections and other injury risks to child passengers. Even the National Transportation Safety Board has recommended seatbelts on all buses in order to reduce the risk of injuries to passengers.

However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration insists that children are safer on a school bus than in a passenger vehicle, and that there’s no need for seatbelts. School bus manufacturers have not surprisingly, downplayed the risks from a lack of seatbelts, calling them an unnecessary expense.

More Details Emerge in Los Angeles Teacher Sex Abuse

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Children sitting in a classroom with large cockroaches on their faces, and participating in bondage style sexual activities - these were just some the photographic images that Los Angeles sex abuse lawyers have now learned were taken by a teacher in Los Angeles.

The teacher, Mark Berndt was a former teacher at the Miramonte Elementary School, a part of the Los Angeles Unified School District. The school is in a poor neighborhood in an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County. Berndt has been arrested at his home in Torrance, and has been charged with child sex abuse crimes. He is being held on a $2.3 million bail.

According to the investigators, they were first alerted to the abuse when a film processor turned over close to 40 photographs depicting children in different horrifying, abusive situations. Investigators then began the probe which led to the arrest of Berndt, a 30-year veteran of the Miramonte Elementary School.

Investigations of his classroom turned up more than 390 photographs of children in varying positions. In some of the photographs, Berndt is depicted sitting with his arm around the children, or having his hand on their mouths.

In other pictures, girls are shown with a spoon containing what is later found to be semen, held near their lips. Investigators have interviewed many of the children who were allegedly abused, and they have confirmed that they were forced to drink something from plastic spoons. DNA tests on containers retrieved from the classroom have found that these contained semen. The children were also made to ingest semen on cookies.

Many of the children who are believed to have been abused came from other classes. Investigators believe that Berndt would seek out children during recess hour or lunch hour, when he would lure children from other classes into his classroom.

Computer Game Helps Children Avoid Dog Bites

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A team of researchers has developed a computer game that is designed to entertain children and educate them about the right way to behave around dogs. Children are some of the most frequent victims of dog bites in the United States, and Los Angeles dog bite lawyers are hopeful that using computer software like this can help inculcate safe practices among children. However, the researchers found limited success in helping children translate what they had learned in the game into real-world environments.

The software program called The Blue Dog has been developed by a nonprofit organization called the Blue Dog Trust. The game consists of a number of animated scenarios, in which children can choose different actions. For instance, the child can choose whether to play with a dog that is eating. If the child makes the wrong choice in the game, the animated dog snarls or growls.

Researchers at the University of Alabama, Birmingham wanted to analyze how successful the program was in encouraging safe behavior around dogs. They recruited a total of 76 children. The children were between 3 and 5 years old. The children were given 3 tasks. They were exposed to animated dogs in different situations, and asked questions about how they would react to the dog in each case. Then there was make-believe play using a doll house and dolls. Finally, the children were taken into another room, where there was a real dog. They were rated on their reactions and their behaviors around the dog. They were then given the Blue Dog Software, and were told to use the program often. After 3 weeks, the children came back to the lab, and were put through the same steps again.

The results after the 3 weeks were mixed. The researchers found that the children did learn the right behaviors around dogs after using the software program. However, they were unable to transfer the same safe behaviors to the real environment. In other words, they were unable to practice in the real world, what they had learned on the software program. It appears that the program needs some modifications that encourage a practical application of these learned behaviors.

Blockage of Brain Tsunamis Could Help Treat Brain Injury

Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Soon after a severe brain injury, the damaged brain suffers from depolarizations, or ‘brain tsunamis’ that result in an increase in the real and severity of the injury, and contribute to poor patient outcomes. Patients with a severe brain injury may, therefore, be helped through treatments that can help block these ‘tsunamis’ as they occur. A new study confirms this phenomenon, and aims to lay the groundwork for the development of treatments to prevent depolarizations.

Previous studies have indicated to Los Angeles brain injury lawyers that a person who suffers a serious head injury may suffer from a phenomenon called cortical spreading depolarization. Short-circuiting in the nerve cells of the brain, which are responsible for storing of electrical and chemical energy, can lead to the malfunctioning and short-circuiting of other cells in the brain. The resulting effect is a tsunami-like phenomenon that can damage brain tissues, and reduce the chances of a full recovery for the patient. This effect intensifies the impact of the injury, and leads to a poor patient outcome.

Researchers from the United Kingdom and the US studied 103 patients who required brain surgery after suffering a head injury. During the surgery, the researchers attached a strip of electrodes near the area of the brain that had suffered the injury. They found that out of the 103 patients in the study, 58% suffered these brain tsunamis.

The researchers have now confirmed that these depolarizations severely impact the person's ability to recover after z brain injury. They believe that this evidence can be used to develop treatments to block the appearance of these depolarizations. If researchers can come up with a way to block these killer waves in the brain in the days after an injury, they can help limit the severity of the brain injury and its long-term impact. Patient outcomes could be improved substantially.

Tooth Pulp Could Help in Spinal Cord Injury Treatment

Friday, December 02, 2011

A group of researchers have made progress in the treatment of spinal cord injuries using stem cells from tooth pulp. The researchers from Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan extracted stem cells from dental pulp, and injected these cells into rats with spinal cord injuries. They found surprising benefits with the procedure.

Spinal cord injuries are most catastrophic and life altering of all injuries, partly because there is no complete cure and no proven treatment for the repair of damaged cells. However, researchers at Nagoya University have experimented with stem cells from tooth pulp. They found that when these cells were injected into rats with spinal cord injury, they helped in the regeneration of damaged cells in 3 ways. They acted to stop the death of nerve cells and support cells, promoted regeneration of damaged nerves, and also helped replace the lost support cells by generating new support cells. Within 5 weeks, the rats with spinal cord injuries were able to coordinate their joint movements, and were able to walk without support.   

The researchers believe that some of the regenerative properties of tooth pulp stem cells have not been found in any other kind of stem cells. According to the researchers, to the best of their knowledge, these regenerative capabilities are exclusive to tooth pulp-derived stem cells, and have not been exhibited by any other stem cells. They therefore believe that dental pulp-derived stem cells may provide an excellent resource for treatment of persons with spinal cord injury. 

The experiments were conducted on lab rats, and a clinical trial on humans is still a long way off. However, there is reason for Los Angeles spinal cord injury lawyers to hope that a regenerative treatment for damaged spinal cord cells may emerge out of this research.

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Saturday, October 15, 2011

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