As summer is winding down, grills are still heating up. Many of us love to cook out on our grill with family and friends. We know the risks of dealing with fire, flames, propane and lighter fluid. We know we must make sure the meat is cooked to a safe temperature. But the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warns of another danger many Americans are unaware of -wayward bristles from grill-cleaning brushes.
Researchers estimate that between 2002-2014, there were a total of 1,698 wire grill brush injuries in emergency departments across the United States-about 130 cases per year. People of all ages are susceptible to wire grill brush injuries, but it is most common among people younger than 40, who make up 70% of all wire grill brush injury cases.
Most cases, as reported by the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, are bristles that are lodged in the mouth or throat and can be taken out in the emergency room. There are rare events that a bristle travels to the intestine, which becomes much more serious. Here, there is a chance that the bristle could push its way through the wall of the intestine. Injuries sustained from wire grill brushes can range in severity from a puncture in the neck or gums that causes discomfort to perforations in the gastrointestinal tract, which requires immediate emergency surgery.
The CDC warns doctors that because the bristles are so small, they can be tough to see on X-rays and scans, so there needs to be a greater awareness of such injuries during the warmer months in order to improve diagnoses.
There are important steps that grillers can take to reduce this hazard:
- Wipe the grill down after using it, as well as inspecting the grill after cleaning to ensure that nothing is adhered to it-such as leftover food or grill brush bristles.
- Use an alternative to wire grill brush cleaners, such as brushes with nylon bristles or wire mesh brushes.
- If you choose to use a wire grill brush, take the time to look at the brush after each use, and if the bristles are beginning to fray, replace it immediately. The CDC does not have information on the brands of grill brushes that cause the most injuries, and therefore, cannot make safety recommendations.
Cleaning your grill is supposed to make cooking outdoors more sanitary, but all too often, a stray bristle from a wire grill brush can fall off of the brush and stick onto food. Ingesting one of these bristles can lead to painful and dangerous injuries. If you have been injured by a wire grill brush, you may have legal options, and the attorneys at Rinehardt Law Firm are here to help.
If you live in or near Columbus, you’ve probably seen the newly installed electric scooters for rent. Two competing companies, Bird and Lime (owned by Uber), expanded to central Ohio in mid-July introducing motorized scooters to Ohio State’s campus and several Columbus neighborhoods, including downtown.
Bird Rides has an app that allows customers to locate and rent the scooters for $1.00 plus 15 cents per minute. Lime will use the Uber app to locate and rent its scooters. The scooters are picked up by company employees and charged at night. They are not meant to be used after sunset.
Proponents tout the scooters as the next logical step in the transportation revolution, they are environmentally friendly, and make it easy to zip around the city or campus. Opponents complain that the scooters are an annoying fad among hipsters and tourists, who weave in and out of traffic putting themselves and others at risk.
One thing is certain, accidents will happen.
Some of the most common accidents include:
- Pedestrians tripping over parked scooters: Scooter users often leave the scooters lying around on pathways and sidewalks. When left carelessly discarded, the scooter presents a tripping hazard.
- Automobile or truck drivers hitting riders: The scooters travel at a speed of only 15 mph, making it extremely dangerous to ride one on the roadways with cars and trucks traveling at much higher rates of speed. In addition, the scooters are quite small and even less visible than motorcycles or bicycles.&
- Riders striking a pedestrian on the sidewalk: To date, the scooters are permitted on sidewalks and other pathways presenting the opposite problem of being on the roadway. At speeds of up to 15 mph, scooter riders are traveling much faster than a pedestrian causing crashes and injuries.
- Scooter defects: Scooters have been known to malfunction and suddenly stop working causing rider ejection or falls. Also, if a rider brakes hard, the front wheel can lock up throwing the rider off the scooter.
- Children riding the electric scooters and people riding tandem
- Road hazards: Scooter riders may crash by hitting or swerving around potholes, road debris, gravel or uneven surfaces. Scooter riders may also crash trying to avoid pedestrians, dogs, other scooter riders or cars. Sometimes scooter riders crash after being chased by unleashed dogs.
- Riding recklessly, while impaired, or intoxicated.
Until state and local legislatures catch up with the unique challenges presented by electric scooters, for now, there is no licensing, permitting or helmet requirements under Ohio law, and the scooters are permitted on both streets and sidewalks in Columbus. Each city or township will make its own determination governing the operation of the scooters.
If you been injured as a result of a Bird or Lime scooter, contact Rinehardt Law Firm for a free, no obligation consultation.
On September 4, 2018, Rinehardt Law Firm hosted its second annual Back to School Backpack Bash at the Friendly House in Mansfield, Ohio. The firm partnered with Mid-Ohio Youth Mentoring to help identify local kids who might need some help buying school supplies and a backpack to be geared up for a successful new school year. In addition to giving 100 backpacks stocked with school supplies, the firm hosted a back to school party with crafts, ice cream sundaes, popcorn, face painting, and a bounce house obstacle course. The kids even assembled a teacher emergency kit to give to their teacher on the first day of school complete with earplugs, tissues, ear plugs, Emergen-C, gum, a whistle, and more. Lots of fun was had by all! Check out the new story on WMFD: https://wmfd.com/news/single.asp?story=76666
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA) and NASCAR have teamed up to promote vehicle safety. In 2015, our nation lost 35,092 in crashes across the U.S. ending a five-decade trend of declining fatalities. To help drivers stay safe, the NHTSA and NASCAR collaborated to address important issues facing drivers and to increase vehicle safety. With practical safety tips on topics like seat belts, recalls, tire safety, distractions and safety ratings, the program is sure to save lives.
Buckle Up. Every Trip. Every Time.
By far the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones in the car is the simple act of buckling up. Surprisingly, many Americans choose to forego a seatbelt when driving. You will never see a NASCAR driver without a buckled seat belt. Many people don’t know that wearing a seat belt can reduce the risk of fatal injury by 45%.
End Distracted Driving.
Distracted driving is the most dangerous threats we face when driving on the roads today. At any given moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using or manipulating electronic devices while driving, and that number is on the rise.
Tire Wise. Tire Safe.
Whether you’re driving to work or a NASCAR car driver, the condition of your tires is critical. Under-inflated tires and overloaded vehicles can cause tires to fail. Prevent tire blowout by checking the condition of your tires on a regular basis.
5-Star Safety Ratings
NHTSA’s 5-Star Safety Ratings Program provides information about crash protection and rollover safety of new vehicles. If you are in the market for a new car, be sure to take advantage of this free tool that will provide invaluable information.
Regular Recall Checks
The NHTSA also has a free VIN lookup tool you can use to check for safety recalls on your vehicle. Just enter your VIN number and the program will let you know if there are any open recalls. Best practice is to check your vehicle’s status a few times a year. If your vehicle is under recall, you simply contact your local dealership to schedule an appointment for a free repair.
Am I Required to Wear a Helmet?
Ohio law only requires a motorcyclist to wear a helmet if he or she is under 18 years of age or if he or she is within the first year of getting a motorcycle license (a novice) or driving with a temporary permit. If the operator of the motorcycle is required to wear a helmet, any passenger must also wear one.
Eye protection is required in Ohio unless the bike is equipped with a windscreen. Both the helmet and safety glasses/eye protection must meet minimum standards set out by Ohio’s Director of Public Safety.
Why You Should Choose to Wear a Helmet
Motorcyclists are about 26 times more likely to die in a crash and five times more likely to be injured in a crash than a person in a passenger vehicle. Motorcyclists who choose not to wear a helmet are three times more likely to suffer a brain injury than motorcyclists who do wear helmets. The goal of helmet laws is to reduce head injuries sustained by the rider in the event of a crash. The most common head injury is a Traumatic Brain Injury, which can cause permanent impairment of higher level cognitive functioning.
Will I Get a Ticket if I Violate the Helmet Law?
Those who violate the motorcycle helmet law are guilty of a minor misdemeanor. The level of misdemeanor will increase if the offender has previously violated the law.
Will my Failure to Wear a Helmet Bar Me from Recovering Damages if I am Injured?
The answer to this question will depend on the laws of the state in which the accident takes place. Since Ohio law does not generally require helmet use by adult motorcyclist with normal operator’s licenses, there is no duty on the part of a motorcyclist to anticipate another person’s negligence and to protect oneself by wearing a helmet. Generally, in a legal action, it cannot be considered that the use of a helmet may have reduced injuries unless there is factual evidence to support contentions that the injuries sustained by the motorcyclist would have been reduced or prevented by the use of such devices. Ohio is a comparative negligence state, which means that even if the you are determined to be negligent in failing to wear a helmet, you may not be entirely barred, if at all, from recovery.