Tips, Talk and Insight from the Slater Vecchio Team

Cold Water Kills

Cold water causes an involuntary gasp (or (4)There is nothing like a nice swim in BC’s beautiful clear lakes, rivers and seashores to cool off from the summer heat. But there can be a danger lurking in even the most pristine waters.

According to The Province, just this past week, the deep, frigid waters of Harrison Lake claimed a young life for the third time this summer.

On August 7 a young woman died in what B.C. Coroners Service spokeswoman Barb McLintock described as a “swimming incident.”

On June 8, Daniel Dale Reid, 23, and Gary Duong, 25, died after an afternoon of rafting.

How Cold Water Kills Quickly

People tend to think that if they fall into cold water, they have time before hypothermia starts. But sudden and unexpected immersion in cold water below 15°C can result in death in as little as three minutes.

The killing factor is often the first shock of cold water on the body. In fact, cold shock and swimming failure cause more drowning fatalities in B.C. than hypothermia. READ FULL ARTICLE +

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What To Do When You Hit a Parked Car

what to do if you hit a parked carWhen we hear the term “hit and run” we automatically think of a serious collision. But what about when you hit a parked car?

A common example is when you accidentally hit a parked car as you back out of your parking spot. You get out and inspect the damage. Nothing major, just a few scratches and a dent. No witnesses. What should you do?

Many are tempted to leave the scene hoping no one saw the incident. Your ‘fight or flight’ instincts may kick in. You may fear the financial and insurance implications of the accident and feel a strong desire to flee the accident scene.

Here is what you need to know if you hit a parked car

“If you hit something or someone with your vehicle, it’s a collision, period,” says Traffic Services Const. Clint Stibbe in a Globe and Mail interview. “It is best to leave your information — if you don’t, you could be charged.” READ FULL ARTICLE +

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Disguised Cops Catch Distracted Drivers

distracted driving caught by copsPolice in Marietta, Georgia are going undercover as construction workers to nab distracted drivers texting, using social media or checking email behind the wheel. Officers are close enough to drivers to see exactly what they’re doing on their phones.

The disguised cops pretend to radio in survey information at a busy intersection to catch distracted drivers in the act. Drivers couldn’t believe they were getting caught and fined $150 while sitting at a light.

“I really think this is the DUI of the future. Impairment is still a problem, but this distracted driving is killing as many people as drunk drivers,” Serkedakis said in a Gizmodo article.

According to the National Post, an RCMP corporal plodded up and down the Trans-Canada highway wearing a tousled wig and using a single crutch to catch distracted drivers.

Over 200,000 distracted drivers have been ticketed in BC since using a cellphone while driving became illegal January 2010.

Of the 269 people killed on BC roads in 2013, distracted driving was blamed for 77 deaths. That was second only to speed, which was a factor in 78 deaths. Alcohol and drugs were blamed for 63 deaths. READ FULL ARTICLE +

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Toxic School Supplies

toxic school suppliesDid you know that children’s vinyl (PVC) school supplies, like backpacks, lunchboxes, and 3-ring binders, can contain toxic chemicals?

According to The Center for Health, Environment & Justice (CHEJ), chemicals released by the PVC lifecycle have been linked to chronic diseases  like cancer, asthma, learning and developmental disabilities, obesity, and even reproductive disorders. PVC releases a toxic cocktail of chemicals including the Agent Orange chemical dioxin, phthalates, vinyl chloride, ethylene dichloride, mercury, lead, cadmium, and organotin.

That lovely “new” smell so often found in plastics is an evaporation of chemicals known as “outgassing”. And these dangerous chemicals do not disappear once the smell wears off. PVC releases volatile organic compounds right up to its disposal. These hazardous chemicals irritate eyes, noses and throats, causing coughing, headaches, dizziness and nausea. They can also cause cancer, making it the worst plastic for our health and the environment. READ FULL ARTICLE +

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Ministry Blamed for Horrific Child Abuse

child abuse vancouverThe BC Ministry of Children and Family Development knowingly left four children in the hands of their abusive father according to The Vancouver Sun.

Acting on an unnamed tip, social workers deemed the children’s mother mentally ill and removed them from her care. Despite abuse allegations and a Supreme Court order, the ministry gave their father unsupervised access to his children. He sexually and physically abused them for nearly three years before the ministry realized they were aiding an abusive father.

The BC Supreme Court Judge issued a blistering decision in finding the Ministry liable for misfeasance, negligence and breach of fiduciary duty. The article in the Vancouver Sun noted:

Their conduct was manipulative and malicious, the justice said, and they “lost sight of their duties, professionalism and their objectivity.”

“In conclusion, I wish to add that (the mother) assumed and carried out the director’s statutory mandate to protect her children,” he said at the end of the 125,000-word excoriation. READ FULL ARTICLE +

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Social Media and Personal Injury Claims

vancouver personal injury lawyerAre you involved in a personal injury claim? Are you active on Social Media platforms?

The Case

A recent BC Supreme Court decision, (Tambosso v. Holmes, 2015 BCSC 359), provides a reminder of how courts may interpret social media posts that appear to contradict an injury claim.

The Plaintiff, Sarah Tambosso, testified that her life completely changed after being involved in two car accidents. She was depressed, a homebody and her only friends were on the Internet. READ FULL ARTICLE +

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White Brain Matter, Depression and Concussions

white brain matter damageHave you had a concussion or a mild traumatic brain injury? Do you suffer from symptoms of irritability, depression, and anxiety? A recent study suggests damaged white brain matter, the brain’s signal cables, may be responsible.

On our blog, we often discuss the long-term damage left by concussions including depression. Signs and symptoms of depression include:

  • Loss of sleep
  • Loss of concentration
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Appetite or weight changes
  • Anger or irritability
  • Reckless behaviour

Why do only some concussion sufferers report these symptoms?

READ FULL ARTICLE +

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Get the TEXT? – Distracted Driving is Deadly

texting is deadlyDo you text and drive? Of course you do. The phone starts buzzing and you dig for your phone trying to keep one eye on the road.

We all know texting and driving is not only dangerous but illegal. We know that it dramatically increases the risk of an accident but we fool ourselves into thinking “It’s only for a moment. t won’t happen to me”.

To address this dangerous “not me” attitude, advertisers are creating shocking but effective ad campaigns. READ FULL ARTICLE +

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Soccer Causes Deadly Concussions

soccer concussionSoccer player Curtis Baushke died after suffering multiple concussions, despite playing a “safer sport” according to The New York Times.

Sadly, Curtis wrote a paper titled “Concussions” for a college class five years before his death. In his essay, Curtis recalls gruesome migraine headaches after suffering concussions on the soccer field.

Curtis played soccer and baseball during his childhood. Although he excelled at both sports, he eventually chose to concentrate on soccer. “He wanted to play a safe sport like soccer,” his father, Bill Baushke, recalled.

During freshman year, Curtis suffered multiple head injuries while playing for the varsity team. He experienced postconcussive symptoms such as depression, dramatic mood swings and migraine headaches. READ FULL ARTICLE +

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Could New Technology Eliminate Drunk Driving?

drinking and driving technologyDoes a world free of intoxicated drivers sound too good to be true? Vehicle blood alcohol sensors could make it a reality according to TIME Magazine.

The technology was recently unveiled in the US by the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADDS), which advocates technological solutions to drunk driving. This work is a partnership between auto manufacturers, regulators, and safety advocates.

How does this technology function? DADSS detects alcohol levels using two key mechanisms. The first is a breath-based system, much like a Breathalyzer, pulling in exhaled air from the driver. The other method involves a touch sensor using near-infrared tissue spectroscopy to determine the driver’s blood-alcohol content.

This new technology promises to determine a driver’s sobriety in “less than a second,” according to a video released by the organization. READ FULL ARTICLE +

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