As tax day draws near, officials are advising taxpayers to avoid scammers who try to get personal information by pretending to be the IRS. Taxpayers are under pressure to get their taxes completed soon, so this is the perfect time for phishing scams because they try to take advantage of you during a stressful period of time when. They even threaten taxpayers by saying their taxes won’t get processed in time if they don’t hand over important information to them.
If you receive any e-mails from so-called IRS authorities, it is a scam. They may request details including passwords, PIN numbers, or possibly bank account information. Do not click any links or open attachments, and forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org. The e-mail may appear like it’s from the IRS, and they may use the official IRS logo.
You should never respond to these messages since the IRS says they will never contact taxpayers through e-mail. They will also never request financial or personal information from a taxpayer. Another sign a message is fake is if it claims to be from the IRS, however it links to a website other than www.IRS.gov, such as a .com or .net. An attachment or link place a harmful virus on your computer, so avoid clinking on anything within the e-mail. If you hear from someone claiming to be the IRS through any method of communication, such as phone, mail, or letter, it is best to contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 to see if they actually need to reach you, and verify that it isn’t a scam, according to news reports.
The founder of a driving school recently described the many risks associated with putting a teenager behind the wheel. An article recently published by CNN details the many recent wrecks involving teens, one that left someone with a plastic eye, metal rods for legs, and a nose reconstruction surgery. The many injuries and deaths involving teen drivers continue to rise, and those numbers drastically increased concerning distractions. The driver in the incident described by CNN can now walk, but his family said that many parents of teen drivers do not have the same luck. Three collisions within three days resulted in the deaths of 15 teens. His parents said he didn’t want any other parents to experience the grief of knowing their child was seriously injured or died due to sending a text message.
For ages 15-20, car wrecks are top cause of fatalities, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Traffic fatality rates are dropping over the past decades, but these rates are still high. Every time a teen driver gets behind the wheel of a car, they are a significant risk to themselves, passengers, and others on the roadway. In 2010, 2,700 were killed ages 16-19 due to crashes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 282,000 required treatment for injuries sustained during an auto accident, and drivers aged 15-19 are three times more likely to get into a fatal collision compared to older drivers.
The driving school founder said those figures are shocking, and he hopes those numbers can help parents of teen drivers to realize the seriousness of the problem, and that teens need to know they are responsible for not only themselves, but everyone else on the road. Texting is very dangerous because drivers need to keep the ye on the road ahead of them and look for dangers including animals leaping into the road. Wrecks are more likely to happen within the first few months after a teen gets licensed, and over half of teen deaths happen due to weekend car wrecks.
There is new technology hoping to keep teens more sage, including a graduated licensing system. Parents can put tracking technology that records a teen driver’s habits, and teens can also install an app that helps track their braking and acceleration and offers feedback, according to news reports. Despite all these advances, he says that parents must work to enforce rules and keep their children safe.
During the second trial in the Depuy hip implant case, a former employee explained that he got an email from a co-worker who said there were problems the company found with the design of the implant. The email was received nearly a year before the device was recalled due to a high rate of failure. The trial is the second lawsuit of 10,000 in total, the first concluded with a $8.3 million verdict for the victim of the implant, which was recalled for many reasons, including bone loss, pain, metal ions shedding into the bloodstream, and fluids around the hip joint, according to news reports.
Approximately 41,000 freezers were recalled in November 2010. They pose a fire hazard due to the chances the circuits could overheat. Customers are urged to unplug the freezer as soon as possible and contact the company for details on a repair. The product is a 7.0 cubic food freezer with “Haier” printed in the corner. There have been 18 reported cases of minor property damage, including three fires. The freezers were made in China and sold across the country and online, according to news reports.
Many drivers fail written tests, but that number may be higher than you realize. Recent results from CarInsurance.com show that half of 500 drivers failed to pass a test given to them. So, if you’re driving down the road and look at a driver next to you, one of you couldn’t pass. The test involves questions such as signs and rights of way. Most questions missed by test takers include when to stop for pedestrians and buses. Only two women and one man received perfect scores. Women averaged 78%, men 71%, and drivers under 40 scored worse, with an average of 67%.
The first driver’s license was issued in Mannheim, Germany in 1888. The first license in the US was 25 cents and a driver could get one by mail, without needing to pass any safety or skill tests. In 1903, Massachusetts and Missouri issued driver’s license tests, however they didn’t start testing until many years later. South Dakota waited until 1954 to mandate driver’s licenses, with tests starting in 1959. So, although the license is as old as vehicles, testing did not become common until more recently. Graduated driving systems have also altered the way licenses are given to teenage drivers, and the test to get those licenses have not changed much during the past decade. In 2011, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the test was “weak,” especially when compared with other countries. There are 25 questions that take 25 minutes, and minimum passing requirements are 70-85%. Many states report a majority of its drivers failing the test. Missouri had 61% fail the written portion, while Mississippi had 60% fail, with Florida at 58%. Most drivers can re-take the test after waiting a day.
Considering failure rates for written and road tests, and surveys of drivers in each state, the NHTSA found that driving tests are mostly the same. The easiest tests were found to be in Arkansas, West Virginia, and Iowa. Many fail due to poor preparation, and a driving instructor advises that driving students read the road rules manual for their state and take practice tests.
For those struggling to pass, the good news is you can keep trying and failures will not be on your driving record. One driver in South Korea took the written test 960 times before passing. Autonomous cars could change the need for driver’s tests in the not-too-distant future, as well, according to news reports.
A food blogger wants Kraft Foods to remove artificial dye from its products. She visited the company today in order to present her case to them. She petitioned on Change.org requesting they remove two dyes, yellow #5 and yellow #6, from its food. She claims those dyes are linked to hyperactivity in children along with other health issues, while Kraft argues the product is safe. A spokeswoman from Kraft said they take the complaint seriously and follow laws and regulations. The dyes are legal in the US, but they use a different formula in Great Britain that bloggers say are safer. Many have tried getting the FDA to change their regulations. Over 270,000 signed the petition, according to news reports.
The automaker Ford is currently facing a lawsuit due to claims their vehicles accelerated without warning. They dismissed the accusations, calling them unscientific. They said they already addressed the issue with US regulators. Car owners within 14 states filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of millions who bought cars made between 2002-2010. Ford admitted some of their vehicles have problems with unintended acceleration due to floor mats or broken mechanical parts not letting the driver operate the throttle, however they said those concerns have already been addressed. They recalled around 10 million vehicles in 2009, according to news reports.
National Distracted Driving Awareness Month is getting kicked off by the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy’s demonstrations and programs which hope to involve parents in a teen’s driver education. The number of 16 and 17 year-old driver deaths increased across the country by 19% in the first six months of 2012, says a recent report by the Governors Highway Safety association. They advised parents take a more active role in their teen’s education to prevent deaths. They are offering a free Parent Teen Workshop, and asking teens to pledge not to drive distracted, according to news reports.
Fatalities on Pennsylvania roadways are decreasing, according to PennDOT data. 1,310 were killed in collisions last year, representing the third-lowest number in historic record, and 24 more than in 2011. Increases in highway safety also led to fewer crashes. Driving safety requirements were signed into law recently, and fatal crashes involving a 16 or 17 year-old driver decreased to 44, 22 fewer wrecks than the year before. The law enforced training, limited the number of passengers and banned texting and driving, according to news reports.
Complaints involving the rear-suspension frames rusting and failing on Hyundai Sonata vehicles are undergoing investigation. 393,000 vehicles from 2006-2008 remain under investigation. There have been six complaints of suspension failure, with three that happened at highway speeds. On March 25, the investigation was re-opened. Control arm failure can result from rust in the frame. The wheel hubs of the car are attached to the vehicle’s arms. The failure activated the stability control system. One driver said the rear of the car swerved, and a mechanic found the rear frame was corroded and cracked, according to news reports.