By Matthew J. DeGaetano, DC and Dr. Raymond Tolmos, DC, DABCI
Certified in Personal Injury

G. P. Siegmund, J-S Blouin, M.G. Carpenter, J. R. Brault, and J. T. Inglis
The cervical multifidus muscles insert onto the lower cervical facet capsules and the cervical facet joints are the source of pain in some chronic whiplash patients. The goal was to determine if the cervical multifidus muscles were active during a simulated rear-end collision and a loud acoustic stimulus, and thereby assess whether they can contribute to injuring the facet capsular ligaments during a whiplash exposure.
“The cervical facet joints are a source of neck pain in about half of chronic whiplash patients” (Lord et al, 1996a).
In addition to guiding better diagnostic and treatment techniques (Lord et al., 1996b; McDonald et al., 1999), this finding provides an anatomical focus to biomechanical studies aimed at understanding the etiology of whiplash injuries. Pinching of the posterior synovial fold of the cervical facet capsular ligament is one possible injury mechanism (Kaneoka et al., 1999), but more attention has been devoted toward excess strain of the capsular ligament itself (Yoganadan et al., 1998; Winkelstein et al., 2000; Siegmund et al., 2000; Pearson et al., 2004). Injurious levels of strain have been observed in some capsular ligaments when loads simulating a rear-end collision are applied in-vitro (Siegmund et al., 2000; Pearson et al., 2004).
Anatomically, the cervical facet capsule contains fine, unmyelinated nerves that likely have nociceptive function (McLain, 1994). Distending these ligaments by injection of contrast media has produced whiplash-like pain patterns in normal individuals (Dwyer et al., 1990).

Tendons of the cervical multifidus muscles insert directly onto the capsular ligaments (Winkelstein et al., 2001; Anderson et al., 2005) and it has been postulated that multifidus activation during the neuromuscular response to a rear-end automobile impact could increase the strain in the capsular ligaments above that imposed passively by the impact-induced head and neck dynamics (Winkelstein et al., 2001; Siegmund et al., 2000). It remains unclear, however, if the multifidus muscles activate reflexively during a whiplash response. The neuromuscular response to a whiplash exposure contains both a postural and a startle response (Blouin et al., 2006a).

This combined postural/startle response was observed in surface electromyograms of the sternocleidomastoid and cervical paraspinal muscles with and without the loud sound that accompanies a vehicle crash (Blouin et al., 2006a), although the muscle response amplitude was larger with the loud sound (Blouin et al., 2006b). These prior findings suggest that the startle response amplifies the neck muscle response and could increase the potential for a capsule-based whiplash injury. But because these prior studies used only surface recordings of muscle activity, it remains unclear whether the deep multifidus muscles are active during a startle response. The goal of this study was to measure the electromyographic (EMG) response of the cervical multifidus muscle during exposures to both a simulated rear-end collision and a loud acoustic stimulus capable of evoking a startle response.

“Evidence of reflex activation of the multifidus to one or both of these stimuli would provide evidence supporting a potential neuromuscular contribution to the genesis of facet based whiplash injuries.”

In summary, direct insertion of the multifidus muscle onto the cervical facet capsular ligaments provides a mechanism by which multifidus activation can exacerbate whiplash injury potential.


By Matthew J. DeGaetano, DC and Dr. Raymond Tolmos, DC, DABCI
Certified in Personal Injury

Colossus and permanent impairments:
from Computer Science Corporation: “Colossus® is the insurance industry’s leading expert system for assisting adjusters in the evaluation of bodily injury claims. Colossus provides adjusters access to your company’s claims data within a defined business process management framework for evaluating injuries, treatment, resolution, impairment and general damage settlements. Colossus helps your adjusters reduce variance in payouts on similar bodily injury claims.
Your adjusters can quickly interpret medical reports and look up definitions of injuries, treatments, complications and permanent impairments using AMA 5th edition data. Through a series of interactive questions, Colossus guides your adjusters through an objective evaluation of medical treatment options, degree of pain and suffering, degree of permanent impairment to the claimant’s body, and the impact of the injury on the claimant’s lifestyle. At the conclusion of a Colossus consultation, a summary of the claim is provided, including a recommended settlement range.”
Here are some interesting facts about Colossus. Muscle spasm is considered to be the only objective finding for musculoligamentous injury. Permanent impairment for the neck or spine must be viewed skeptically unless confirmed by a specialist or IME. No permanent impairment is recognized for pain. If the doctor makes a “possible” diagnosis, it is not entered. The rules for this system are not in keeping with the clinical or epidemiological literature, the AMA Guidelines, or other recognized authorities, such as the World Health Organization. These are just a few of the dubious methodologies employed by Colossus.
All insurers have their own definitions of the severity points in terms of dollar values, and these vary by economic region. Many of the myths and misconceptions surrounding whiplash have apparently been programmed into Colossus. For example, delays of seeking care red flag the system and alert the insurer to the possibility of malingering. I suspect the designers of the software were acutely aware of who their market was and what they wanted in terms of output.
An in-depth discussion of Colossus, including the numerous value drivers, is well beyond the scope of this article.
Injuries are not just injuries…
As a matter of fact, the quote from Computer Science Corporation basically says; if the doctor does not establish “true” pain and suffering, don’t pay.
They are looking for impairments from the 5th edition of the AMA guidelines, this directly from their website.
Here is the problem, attorneys never ask for them and doctors never provide them. But, this is what the software needs to open up, but the medical and legal communities are not communicating the right information.
Permanent disability ratings are used to assess the degree of damage that resulted from the car crash. A permanent disability rating, sometimes known as a permanent impairment rating, is an assessment of the severity of the patients permanent impairment.
A permanent disability rating is important in calculating the amount of monetary compensation an injured crash victim maybe owed to compensate them for the permanent impairment related to their crash.
When Is Permanent Disability Determined?
Once a medical condition has reached a stationary level, at which there is no further treatment available that will improve the condition, the doctor may assess whether the patient has any permanent disability. This stage is commonly referred to in many states as “maximum medical improvement.” This does not mean the point at which the condition will never improve; it simply means the point at which a medical condition is stationary and will not improve other than with the passage of time.

Trauma, especially if it’s related to motor vehicles has led to varied ailments, which remain undiagnosed or poorly diagnosed at times, and impairments are very rarely created.
Whiplash is characterized by acceleration / deceleration; this abnormal movement results in a variety of injuries, which include ligament trauma like that of Anterior & Posterior longitudinal ligament, Alar ligament, facet joint trauma, disk trauma etc. The ligaments, the muscles and the small joints form a system, which offers stability to the entire spine. Any injury or pathology of this system is a major threat to the stability of the spine. This condition in which the spine fails to maintain its normal displacement pattern under physiological loads is termed as clinical instability.
Clinical instability induced by trauma predisposes the spine to degenerative pathological conditions that promote osteophyte formation, which stabilize the joint in the future. White and Panjabi have done extensive work in this field. They have devised criteria for the evaluation or assessment and diagnosis of a case of clinical instability and various clinical tests have been put forth by stalwarts of this field. Panjabi has put forth a point value system for the diagnosis of clinical instability.

He allotted 2 points to the lesion or loss of function of the anterior structure of the spine, 2 points to the posterior structure and 4 points to the radiographic criteria, 3 points to the damage of the cauda equina and 2 points to intervertebral translation observed at resting, flexion-extension radiographs and 2 points to the rotation at the sagittal plane and has also allotted a point to dangerous loading on the spine. He concluded that, cases having a total of more than 5 points qualify for clinical spinal instability.
While clinical instability is accompanied with lower back pain, stiffness or muscle spasm or painful locking up of the spine, spinal impairment on the other hand is associated with sensory and motor deficits. Based on the level of trauma and the damage, various evaluation methods have been proposed. The Diagnosis Related Estimates or the DRE, proposed by the American Medical Association is an important guideline for evaluation. It focuses on etiology, radiculopathies, motion segment alterations and disk herniations and stenosis of varying degrees. The ROM method of assessment is an easy step by step guidance for assessment. Measuring the range of motion of the affected spine is followed by classifying it into a specific pathology and then followed by noting the nerve deficits. The inference from all these is combined and a logical diagnosis is arrived.
The American Spinal Injury Association has graded the varying degrees of spinal impairment. Grade A being the most severe, refers to a condition of complete spinal injury with both motor and sensory deficits with loss of function in S4 and S5. Grade B refers to incomplete spinal injury, where sensory function is preserved and motor function is lost. Grade C refers to an incomplete spinal injury, where the muscle grade is less than 3. Active movement of muscles with full range of motion of joints against the gravity is preserved. In grade D motor function below neural level is preserved and a muscle grade of more than 3 is present, and grade E is a near normal condition with no possibility of a spinal injury.
While, clinical instability does not involve sensory or motor deficits, it leads to minor disabilities, which affect the activities of daily living. Chronic low back pain with muscle guarding and unwillingness to attempt any unusual movement or exercise has a negative impact on the quality of life. On the other hand, advanced cases of spinal impairment pose greater threat to life and permanent disabilities.

By Matthew J. DeGaetano, DC and Dr. Raymond Tolmos, DC, DABCI  Certified in Personal Injury

Every year millions of Americans hit the road for the holidays, especially ones like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Do certain holidays tend to be more dangerous than others, though? We took at look at the Fatality Analysis Reporting System to see which holidays had the most fatal car accidents (where at least one person was killed), per year between 2011 and 2015.

Memorial Day Weekend
312 fatal accidents per year
Deadliest City: Houston

Labor Day Weekend
308 fatal accidents per year
Deadliest City: Los Angeles

4th of July Weekend
307 fatal accidents per year
Deadliest City: Houston

Easter Weekend
280 fatal accidents per year
Deadliest City: Los Angeles

Thanksgiving Weekend
258 fatal accidents per year
Deadliest Cities: Los Angeles

New Year’s
245 fatal accidents per year
Deadliest Cities: Houston

231 fatal accidents per year
Deadliest Cities: San Antonio

Where Do Fatal Accidents Happen During the Holidays?

The red regions in the maps above represent the spots that get the highest density of fatal accidents. On a normal 3 day period, the stretch between Washington D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York see the most fatal accidents.

When it comes to the holidays however, some cities and states get more accidents than normal. On New Year’s and Easter for example, Atlanta and Houston get a fatal accident density similar to the northeast. While Memorial Day and Labor Day Weekends had more fatal accidents per year than 4th of July Weekends, these maps show that the crashes that happened on 4th of July Weekend were more widespread.

The far Midwest and top of the southwestern United States are either safer drivers on Memorial and Labor Day weekends or don’t seem to celebrate it like the rest of the country. On 4th of July however, those regions also experience a higher density of car accidents

Drivers and passengers, beware: You are four times as likely to die in a traffic accident over the Memorial Day weekend as over a regular weekend, according to Value Penguin.

In assessing driving risks, the personal finance website compared traffic fatalities over all the major holidays using statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Memorial Day led with an average of 312 fatal accidents per year over the period 2011 to 2015. The other big summer holidays were not far behind, however. Labor Day averaged 308 fatalities and the Fourth of July, 307.

The clear takeaway: Driving on any of the big summer weekend holidays is much more dangerous than on a normal weekend. The most dangerous single day — rather than weekend — is July 4, perhaps because many families are driving at night to and from fireworks displays.
More and more travelers on the road add to those dangers. AAA forecasts that 39.3 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles over this year’s Memorial Day weekend, the most 2005, reflecting the ongoing economic recovery. Of that number, an estimated 34.6 million, or 88 percent, will be driving.

“The expected spike in Memorial Day traffic mirrors the positive growth seen throughout the travel industry this year,” said AAA senior vice president Bill Sutherland. “Higher confidence has led to more consumer spending. Many Americans are choosing to allocate their extra money on travel this Memorial Day.”

Other highlights of Value Penguin’s study:

• Surprisingly, New Year’s weekend was the second-least dangerous holiday, with an average of 245 fatal accidents per year between 2011 and 2015. It may be that years of public service announcements have convinced party-goers not to drink and drive. Christmas had the lowest level of fatalities at 231.
• As on normal weekends, the stretch of the Northeast between Washington, D.C., and New York had a high incidence of fatal accidents on most holiday weekends.
• Texas and California shared in the carnage. The dubious distinction of being the deadliest city on individual holiday weekends was split between Houston and Los Angeles.

Knowing these dangers probably will not deter you from driving to your holiday celebrations. But keep in mind today’s No. 1 safety tip: Texting or other distracted driving is more dangerous than driving drunk. If you need to tell your relatives you are running late, pull over.


By Matthew J. DeGaetano, DC and Dr. Raymond Tolmos, DC, DABCI
Certified in Personal Injury

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: The percentage of passenger vehicle drivers text-messaging or visibly manipulating handheld devices remained constant at 2.2 percent in 2015.

Driver handheld cell phone use decreased from 4.3 percent in 2014 to 3.8 percent in 2015 (Figure 1); this was not a statistically significant decrease.

These results are from the National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS), which provides the only nationwide probability-based observed data on driver electronic device use in the United States. The NOPUS is conducted annually by the National Center for Statistics and Analysis of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Results: Drivers Holding Phones to Their Ears While Driving The percentage of drivers holding cell phones to their ears while driving decreased from 4.3 percent in 2014 to 3.8 percent in 2015 (Table 1).

This rate translates into an estimated 542,000 passenger vehicles driven by people using handheld cell phones at a typical daylight moment in 2015. It also translates into an estimated 6.9 percent of the vehicles whose drivers were using some type of phone (either handheld or handsfree) at a typical daylight moment in 2015. Please refer to the section “Estimating Drivers on the Road and Hands-Free Cell Phone Users” for more details on these two estimates. The 2015 NOPUS found that handheld cell phone use continued to be higher among female drivers than male drivers (Figure 2). It also found that handheld cell phone use continued to be highest among 16- to 24-year-old drivers and lowest among drivers 70 and older (Figure 3).

In 2015 alone, 3,477 people were killed, and 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.

During daylight hours, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones while driving. That creates enormous potential for deaths and injuries on U.S. roads. Teens were the largest age group reported as distracted at the time of fatal crashes.

More statistics on distracted driving and other risky driving behaviors are available.

NHTSA leads the fight nationally against distracted driving by educating Americans about its dangers and partnering with the States and local police to enforce laws against distracted driving that help keep us safe.

NHTSA’s campaigns and public service announcements make the case to Americans that safe driving means driving without distractions. You’ve likely seen or heard our public service announcements but we’re also on Facebook and Twitter sharing stories and tips to help save lives.

The foundation of NHTSA’s efforts on distracted driving and other risky driving behaviors is our partnership with the States and local police. The States determine laws affecting distracted driving, but NHTSA provides Federal investments in the locally driven strategies that address the States’ specific needs. One of the highlights of this relationship comes during April’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month, which pairs a national advertising campaign with a law enforcement crackdown called U Drive. U Text. U Pay.

Texting while driving is a growing trend, and a national epidemic, quickly becoming one of the country’s top killers. Drivers assume they can handle texting while driving and remain safe, but the numbers don’t lie.

Texting While Driving Causes:

1. 1,600,000 accidents per year – National Safety Council
2. 330,000 injuries per year – Harvard Center for Risk Analysis Study
3. 11 teen deaths EVERY DAY – Ins. Institute for Hwy Safety Fatality Facts
4. Nearly 25% of ALL car accidents

Texting While Driving Is:

1. About 6 times more likely to cause an accident than driving intoxicated
2. The same as driving after 4 beers – National Hwy Transportation Safety Admin.
3. The number one driving distraction reported by teen drivers

Texting While Driving:

1. Makes you 23X more likely to crash – National Hwy Transportation Safety Admin.
2. Is the same as driving blind for 5 seconds at a time – VA. Tech Transportation Institute
3. Takes place by 800,000 drivers at any given time across the country
4. Slows your brake reaction speed by 18% – Human Factors & Ergonomics Society
5. Leads to a 400% increase with eyes off the road

Monthly PI Article May 2017

By Matthew J. DeGaetano, DC and Dr. Raymond Tolmos, DC, DABCI
Certified in Personal Injury

Neck injury risk is lower if seats and head restraints are rated good

Neck sprains and strains, commonly known as whiplash, are the most frequently reported injuries in U.S. insurance claims. In 2007, the cost of claims in which neck pain was the most serious injury was about $8.8 billion, or 25 percent of the total payout for crash injuries.
Head restraints help prevent whiplash. When a vehicle is struck from the rear, the seatback pushes against an occupant’s torso and propels it forward. If the head is unsupported, it lags behind the torso until the neck reaches its limit, and the head suddenly whips forward. A good head restraint prevents this by moving an occupant’s head forward with the body during a rear-end crash.
Head restraints should be properly adjusted. The top of the head restraint should be even with the top of the head or, if it won’t reach, as high as it will go. The distance from the back of the head to the restraint should be as small as possible.

The rate of neck injury complaints is 15 percent lower in cars and SUVs with seat/head restraint combinations rated good compared with poor. The results for serious injuries are more dramatic. Thirty-five percent fewer insurance claims for neck injuries lasting 3 months or more are filed for cars and SUVs with good seat/head restraints than for ones rated poor.
These are the main findings of a new Institute study of thousands of insurance claims filed for damage to vehicles, all 2005-06 models, that were struck in front-into-rear impacts. Conducted in cooperation with State Farm and Nationwide, the study is the first time seat/head restraint ratings based on dynamic tests conducted by the Institute have been compared with real-world neck injury results.
“In stop-and-go traffic, you’re more likely to get in a rear-end collision than any other kind of crash, so you’re more likely to need your seat and head restraint than any other safety system in your vehicle,” says David Zuby, the Institute’s senior vice president for vehicle research. “This is why it’s so important to fit vehicles with seats and head restraints that earn good ratings for saving your neck.”
The Institute has been measuring and rating head restraint geometry since 1995. The higher and closer a restraint is, the more likely it will be to prevent neck injury in a rear collision. In 2004 the Institute added a dynamic test simulating a rear crash to refine the ratings. Vehicles are rated good, acceptable, marginal, or poor based on both restraint geometry and test results (see Status Report special issue: protection against neck injury in rear crashes, Nov. 20, 2004). The same rating system is used internationally by a consortium of insurer-sponsored organizations, the International Insurance Whiplash Prevention Group.

An estimated 4 million rear collisions occur each year in the United States. Neck sprain or strain is the most serious injury in one-third of insurance claims for injuries in all kinds of crashes. The annual cost of these claims exceeds $8 billion annually.
While findings about real-world neck injury in vehicle seats rated good and poor are clear, those for seats rated acceptable and marginal aren’t as clear. There wasn’t any reduction in initial neck injury complaints for acceptable and marginal seats, compared with poor, though long-term neck injuries were reduced.
“The long-term injuries are the very ones we want to reduce because they’re the most serious,” Zuby points out. “While many neck injuries involve moderate discomfort that goes away in a week or so, about one of every four initial complaints still was being treated three months later. These longer term injuries involve more pain and cost more to treat. They’re being reduced about one-third in vehicles with seat/head restraints rated good compared with poor. Serious neck injuries also are being reduced in seats that are rated acceptable or marginal.
More and more passenger vehicles are being equipped with seats and head restraints rated good. When the Institute started evaluating and comparing the geometry of the head restraints in 1995 model cars, only a handful were rated good and 80 percent were poor. Then the automakers responded, and by 2004 about 4 of every 5 head restraints had good or acceptable geometry (see Status Report special issue: protection against neck injury in rear crashes, Nov. 20, 2004). Similarly, the dynamic performance of seat/head restraint combinations is improving. Only 12 percent of 2004 model cars had combinations rated good, but by the 2007 model year the proportion had increased to 29 percent (see “Head restraints are improving but not fast enough,” Aug. 4, 2007).
These improvements are being driven not only by ratings of seat/head restraints published by the Institute and other insurer-sponsored groups but also by a U.S. standard that will require the restraints to extend higher and fit closer to the backs of people’s heads by the 2009 model year. In the United States, automakers also have been spurred by the Institute’s TOP SAFETY PICK award. To win this designation, a vehicle has to earn good ratings in all three tests — front, side, and rear.
How the injuries occur
When a vehicle is struck in the rear and driven forward, its seats accelerate occupants’ torsos forward. Unsupported, an occupant’s head will lag behind this forward torso movement, and the differential motion causes the neck to bend and stretch. The higher the torso acceleration, the more sudden the motion, the higher the forces on the neck, and the more likely a neck injury is to occur.
Injuries in rear crashes

These vehicles didn’t sustain a lot of damage when they were struck from behind, but the drivers were treated for injuries suffered in the impacts. Neck sprains and strains are the most serious problems reported in about 1 of 3 insurance claims for injuries. This problem could be reduced by equipping vehicles with seat/head restraints rated good, based on Institute tests. Twenty-nine of all recent model cars and 22 percent of other passenger vehicles have systems rated good for protection against neck injury.
Factors that influence neck injury risk include gender and seating position in addition to the designs of seats and head restraints. Women are more likely than men to incur neck injuries in rear crashes, and front-seat occupants, especially drivers, are more likely to incur such injuries than people riding in back seats are.
The key to reducing whiplash injury risk is to keep an occupant’s head and torso moving together. To accomplish this, the geometry of a head restraint has to be adequate — high enough and near the back of the head. Then the seat structure and stiffness must be designed to work in concert with the head restraint to support an occupant’s neck and head, accelerating them with the torso as the vehicle is pushed forward.

About the study

To correlate seat/head restraint ratings with real-world neck injury risk, researchers studied about 3,000 insurance claims associated with rear crashes of 105 of the 175 passenger vehicles (2005-06 models) for which the Institute has ratings based on both restraint geometry and seat performance in dynamic tests. The claims were filed with State Farm Mutual Insurance and Nationwide Insurance, which together account for more than 20 percent of the personal auto insurance premiums paid in the United States in 2005. The researchers modeled the odds of a neck injury occurring in a rear-struck vehicle as a function of seat ratings (good, acceptable, marginal, or poor), while controlling for other factors that also affect neck injury risk, such as vehicle size and type and occupant age and gender.

The percentage of rear-struck drivers with neck injury claims was 16.2 in vehicles with seats rated good, based on dynamic testing. Corresponding percentages were 21.1 for seats rated acceptable, 17.7 for marginal seats, and 19.2 for poor ones. Neck injuries lasting 3 months or more were reported by 3.8 percent of drivers in good seats, 4.7 percent in acceptable seats, 3.6 percent in marginal seats, and 5.8 percent in seats rated poor.

“What these data show is that we’re pushing seat designs in the right direction,” Zuby says, “Results for acceptable and marginal seats weren’t as clear as for good seats. Initial neck injury claims weren’t significantly lower than for poor seats. Still we saw reductions in claims for serious neck injuries in acceptable and marginal seats as well as in good ones.”’

This is the third study the Institute has conducted that indicates the superiority of seat/head restraint combinations rated good for reducing neck injury risk. In 1999 the Institute found that head restraints rated good for geometry alone had lower insurance claims for neck injuries. In 2003, Institute researchers expanded the data, finding that modern features such as head restraints that automatically adjust in rear-end collisions and seats that absorb energy also reduce insurance claims.

Eyes on the road: Searching for answers to the problem of distracted driving.

Driver Cell Phone Statistics

Using a cellphone while driving is risky and can lead to crashes.

General Cell Phone Statistics

Note: These are the most recent statistics available
• The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year.
• Nearly 330,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving.
• 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving.
• Texting while driving is 6x more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk.
• Answering a text takes away your attention for about five seconds. Traveling at 55 mph, that’s enough time to travel the length of a football field.
• Texting while driving causes a 400% increase in time spent with eyes off the road.
• Of all cell phone related tasks, texting is by far the most dangerous activity.
• 94% of drivers support a ban on texting while driving.
• 74% of drivers support a ban on hand-held cell phone use.

Making or taking calls, texting, or interacting with an electronic device in any way can take your eyes off the road at a critical moment. Teenage drivers may be especially susceptible to distractions. In response, states have enacted cellphone and texting bans, and insurers along with other groups have sponsored public education campaigns. Even though studies show that phone use by drivers has declined in states with bans, crashes reported to insurers haven’t gone down during the same period. While phoning and texting have become synonymous with distracted driving in the news, distraction is a much larger problem than just electronic devices. A new study by IIHS in partnership with Virginia Tech helps clarify the risk of cellphone use behind the wheel and offers insight into other distracting things drivers do when they aren’t using cellphones. The research points to the need for a broader strategy to deal with the ways that drivers can be distracted.

Teen Driver Cell Phone Statistics, 11 teens die every day as a result of texting while driving. According to a AAA poll, 94% of teen drivers acknowledge the dangers of texting and driving, but 35% admitted to doing it anyway. 21% of teen drivers involved in fatal accidents were distracted by their cell phones.

Teen Driver Cell Phone Statistics
• 11 teens die every day as a result of texting while driving.
• According to a AAA poll, 94% of teen drivers acknowledge the dangers of texting and driving, but 35% admitted to doing it anyway.
• 21% of teen drivers involved in fatal accidents were distracted by their cell phones.
• Teen drivers are 4x more likely than adults to get into car crashes or near-crashes when talking or texting on a cell phone.
• A teen driver with only one additional passenger doubles the risk of getting into a fatal car accident. With two or more passengers, they are 5x as likely.

U.S. Cell Phone and Driving Statistics
• In 2013, 3,154 people were killed in distraction-related crashes.
• About 424,000 people were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver.
• In 2013, 10% of all drivers ages 15 to 19 involved in fatal accidents were reported to be distracted at the time of the crash.

U.S. Cell Phone and Driving Statistics
• In 2012, 3,328 people were killed in distraction-related crashes.
• About 421,000 people were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver.
• In 2012, 11% of drivers under age 20 involved in fatal accidents were reported to be distracted at the time of the crash.
• One-fourth of teenagers respond to at least one text message every time they drive and 20% of teens and 10% of parents report having multi-text message conversations while driving.

National Survey on Distracted Driving Attitudes and Behaviors
• Nearly half (48%) of drivers admit to answering their cell phones while driving.
• Of those who answered their phones while driving, 58% of drivers continued to drive while talking on the phone.
• In the survey, 24% of drivers reported that they are willing to make a phone call while driving.
• One in 10 drivers surveyed said that, at least sometimes, they send text messages or emails while driving.
• Of the drivers surveyed, 14% said they read text messages or emails while driving.
• A majority of respondents supported laws that banned talking on cell phones, texting, or emailing while driving.

Texting Pedestrian Study
Researchers from the University of Washington monitored 20 of Seattle’s busiest intersections and observed the following:
• Pedestrians who text are 4x less likely to look before crossing the street, cross in crosswalks, or obey traffic signals.
• They also found that texting pedestrians take an average of two seconds longer to cross the street.

“Keep your eyes on the road” is a basic tenet of driving, and it goes without saying that anything that diverts a driver’s attention could lead to a crash. As cellphones have surged in popularity, concerns have been raised about the safety implications of using them behind the wheel, and early studies linked talking on a cellphone directly to increased crash risk. Surprisingly, though, this apparent safety risk hasn’t translated into higher crash rates. In fact, crashes reported to police and insurers have declined as cellphones and other electronic devices have proliferated.

New research by the Institute and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) examined how drivers’ near-crash and crash risk changes as their cellphone usage patterns change and how cellphone use fits in with other driver behavior and affects attention to the road. The research confirms that frequent cellphone users have more near misses or crashes. However, a new finding is that individual drivers’ overall near-crash or crash rates don’t increase the more they use their phones. That may be because drivers tend to do other things that take their eyes or minds off the road when they aren’t engaged in phone conversations. There’s also evidence that drivers compensate for the distraction of using cellphones, for example, by making calls while stopped or during less-demanding driving situations.

Though wireless phone use continues to climb among the general population, hand-held phone use by drivers appears to be leveling off. After doubling to 6 percent between 2000 and 2005, the percentage of drivers observed talking on hand-held phones while stopped at intersections has stood at 5-6 percent since then, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates. Texting still appears to be on the rise. The percentage of drivers texting or visibly manipulating hand-held devices was 1.5 percent in 2012, up a fraction from 1.3 percent in 2011 but sharply higher than the 0.2 percent observed in 2005. Texting in 2012 was highest among 16-24 year-olds, at 3 percent.

At the same time, U.S. crash deaths have fallen sharply since 2006, and overall crashes reported to police and insurers have dropped, too.

This doesn’t mean phone use behind the wheel is harmless. Numerous experimental studies have shown that talking on a cellphone reduces a driver’s reaction time, potentially increasing crash risk. Cellphone use also affects how drivers scan and process information from the roadway. The cognitive distractions associated with cellphone use can lead to so-called inattention blindness in which drivers fail to comprehend or process information from objects in the road even if they are looking at them. Studies also have found negative effects of texting on driving performance.

“Using phones while driving raises a driver’s risk of having a crash because it takes attention away from the road,” says Chuck Farmer, the Institute’s director of statistical services and the lead author of the new research. “Although there have been tragic cases of fatal crashes caused by drivers using electronic devices, an effect on overall crash rates isn’t apparent. The research is still unfolding, but there is a basic conundrum: Why is a distracting behavior not increasing crash rates?”

In a pair of studies, Institute and VTTI researchers set out to try to answer the question. The idea was to measure how drivers’ frequency of cellphone use affects their crash risk over time and examine what other kinds of potentially distracting behaviors drivers engage in when they aren’t using phones.

Naturalistic driving study

One way to study the real-world effects of phone use on driving is by tracking drivers over a period of time. That’s the approach used by VTTI in the 100-Car Naturalistic Driving Study conducted in 2003-04 for NHTSA. The study continuously monitored and videotaped the day-to-day driving and cellphone habits of 105 Virginia drivers for a year. The drivers were involved in a total of 57 crashes and 640 near crashes during the study period. Researchers coded a near-crash event when drivers braked hard or made a sudden evasive maneuver to avoid a conflict.

Using this data set, IIHS collaborated with VTTI to research how phone use affects individual drivers’ near crashes and crashes. While NHTSA and VTTI have published studies using these same data, the new analysis is the first to measure the amount of time that drivers engage in distracting behavior, rather than only looking to see if they were distracted in the moments before and during a near miss or crash. The design allowed researchers to test whether changes in the amount of an individual driver’s cellphone use over time were associated with changes in the driver’s overall near-crash or crash rates. In other words, was there a dose-response relationship between the amounts of cellphone use and near-crash or crash risk?

The studies focused on the effects of talking on or manipulating hand-held cellphones. They didn’t look specifically at composing, sending or reading text messages since the data were collected a decade ago when texting wasn’t as prevalent as it is now. Plus, with video data it is hard to distinguish texting from dialing or searching for phone contacts. Browsing the Internet, checking email and other applications weren’t specifically studied because they were rare when the data were collected. Still, the findings may relate to texting or other applications since making or taking calls on hand-held cellphones or searching for contact numbers are all visual-manual tasks that require drivers to take their eyes off the road.

In the new IIHS-VTTI research, a driver’s near-crash/crash rate nearly tripled when reaching for, answering or dialing a cellphone. The estimated risk of a near crash or crash was about 17 percent higher when other types of cellphone interactions (e.g. talking) were included, but this result wasn’t statistically significant.

Interacting with a cellphone accounted for a small amount of driving time overall — 12 percent. Of this, drivers spent 7 percent of the time talking or listening, 4 percent holding or viewing a cellphone and 1 percent reaching for or dialing. About a third of trips had some cellphone interaction. Drivers were about 13 percent more likely to interact with their cellphones when their vehicles were stopped than when moving.

Looking at the data by age and gender, drivers younger than 21 had higher cellphone use rates than drivers 21 and older, and female drivers had higher use rates than males, but the differences were only marginally statistically significant.

Drivers who frequently handled cellphones, beyond just talking on them, had higher near-crash or crash rates than drivers who didn’t handle cellphones as often, the study found. This could have been because frequent cellphone users were riskier drivers in general, even when not on the phone. For example, young people are the most frequent cellphone users and also are the riskiest drivers.

On the critical question of a dose-response relationship for individual drivers, there was no clear relationship between cellphone interaction rates and event rates. Although the percentage of time drivers spent interacting with a cellphone varied substantially over the study year, researchers were unable to link periods of increased or decreased phone use with a corresponding rise or fall in near crashes or crashes. On average, for each 1 percentage point increase in a driver’s cellphone interaction rate, the event rate increased by 0.1 percent. Statistically this was the same as no change.

On a more granular level, the specific activities that make up cellphone interaction — talking on a cellphone, holding or viewing one and reaching or dialing — were associated with different risks. For each 1 percentage point increase in a driver’s cellphone talking rate, the event rate fell by 0.3 percent. For each 1 percentage point increase in a driver’s cellphone holding/viewing rate, the event rate rose by 0.3 percent. For each 1 percentage point increase in a driver’s cellphone reaching/dialing rate, the event rate rose by 0.4 percent. Although not statistically significant, these estimates suggest an increase in event rates associated with those portions of cellphone use that are more likely to take a driver’s eyes off the road. However, when all portions were viewed together, the risk evens out because of the much greater time associated with talking.

Narrowing the focus to near crashes or crashes in which the drivers in the study were deemed at fault had the same result.

“The failure to find a dose-response relationship between cellphone use and near crashes or crashes may be tied to the kinds of things drivers do when they aren’t on the phone,” Farmer says.

Other distracting behaviors
When not using a phone, drivers tended to engage more in other distracting behaviors such as interacting with passengers, eating, drinking or smoking, the second study found. When drivers were talking on the phone, they were more likely to look at the road ahead and their mirrors than when they weren’t on the phone.

More than a third of the trips involved some other secondary activity, sometimes in conjunction with cellphone use. Other than using cellphones, the most common secondary activities were interacting with a passenger (12 percent of driving time), holding but not otherwise interacting with an object (6 percent), talking/singing/dancing (5 percent) and smoking (4 percent). Adjusting the vehicle’s radio or temperature controls accounted for 3 percent of driving time.

On average, as drivers spent more time talking on the phone, they spent significantly less time doing other distracting things, and the amount of time their eyes were off the driving task fell by just a tiny percentage. The fact that they looked at the road ahead when they were talking on the phone offset the times when they looked away to make or take calls. Conversely, drivers spent more time looking away from the driving task when they were doing things other than talking on a phone.


A VTTI study sponsored by NHTSA and published in 2010 using data from the 100-Car Naturalistic Driving Study examined the likelihood of behaviors secondary to driving relative to near crashes or crashes. The risk of a near crash or crash was estimated to be 1.3 times as high when engaging in a moderately demanding behavior such as inserting a CD, eating, or talking on a cellphone.

“The latest research from IIHS and VTTI bolsters earlier VTTI findings on other sources of distraction beyond cellphones,” says Charlie Klauer, a VTTI research scientist who is a co-author of the IIHS-sponsored studies. “What we are consistently finding is that the tasks requiring the driver to look away as well as manually manipulate an object/cellphone are also those tasks that increase near-crash/crash risk.”

Drivers in the IIHS-VTTI studies appeared to compensate for the distraction of using a cellphone by, for example, reducing their travel speeds at the start of a call. Speeds within six seconds of initiating or receiving a call on average were 5-6 mph slower than at other times.

“To effectively tackle the problem of distracted driving, we need a broader approach that takes into account the many and varied sources of driver distraction,” says Adrian Lund, president of IIHS and HLDI. “Singling out cellphones may lead drivers to disregard the fact that other behaviors that divert their attention from the road are risky, too. Fortunately, there is both new and old technology to help us address the problem.”

Crash avoidance technology, such as front crash prevention systems, should help offset some of the effects of distracted driving as these systems make their way into more vehicles on the road. In the meantime, existing traffic engineering countermeasures such as red light cameras and roundabouts also appear to get drivers to slow down and pay more attention to surrounding traffic (see Status Report special issue: red light running, Feb. 1, 2011, and “When roadway design options are wide open, why not build a roundabout?” Nov. 19, 2005). Primary safety belt laws, graduated driver licensing for beginning teen drivers and alcohol interlocks for first-time offenders are additional strategies proven to save lives and reduce crashes.

January 17, 2017


By Matthew J. DeGaetano, DC and Dr. Raymond Tolmos, DC, DABCI
Certified in Personal Injury

Newton’s laws of motion are three physical laws that together laid the foundation for classical biomechanics of whiplash injuries. They describe the relationship between a body and the forces acting upon it, and its motion in response to said forces. They have been expressed in several different ways over nearly three centuries, [1] and can be summarized as follows from the pure scientific perspective:

First law: An object at rest remains at rest unless acted upon by a force. An object in motion remains in motion, and at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by a force. [2][3]
Second law: The acceleration of a body is directly proportional to, and in the same direction as, the net force acting on the body, and inversely proportional to its mass. Thus, F = ma, where F is the net force acting on the object, m is the mass of the object and a is the acceleration of the object.
Third law: When one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction to that of the first body.

The three laws of motion were first compiled by Isaac Newton in his Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy), first published in 1687.[4] Newton used them to explain and investigate the motion of many physical objects and systems.[5] For example, in the third volume of the text, Newton showed that these laws of motion, combined with his law of universal gravitation, explained Kepler’s laws of planetary motion.

Whiplash is a non-medical term describing a range of injuries to the neck caused by or related to a sudden distortion of the neck[1] associated with extension.[2] The term “whiplash” is a colloquialism. “Cervical acceleration-deceleration” (CAD) describes the mechanism of the injury, while the term “whiplash associated disorders” (WAD) describes the injury sequelae and symptoms.

Figure: In the case of offset rear impact, the target vehicle, depending on crash speed and road condition, may rotate around its own center of gravity. The occupant will experience both linear and rotational acceleration; A. Rotation of the vehicle to the left would produce the same neck loads as would a non-offset rear impact vector crash in which the occupant’s head was rotated to the right, B. (Adapted from reference Croft AC: Biomechanics. In Foreman SM, Croft AC (eds): Whiplash Injuries: the Cervical Acceleration/Deceleration Syndrome (3rd edition). Baltimore, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2002)

Whiplash is commonly associated with motor vehicle accidents, usually when the vehicle has been hit in the rear;[3] however, the injury can be sustained in many other ways, including head banging, bungee jumping and falls.[4] It is one of the main injuries covered by the car insurers.[citation needed] In the United Kingdom, 430,000 people made an insurance claim for whiplash in 2007, accounting for 14% of every driver’s premium.[5]

Before the invention of the car, whiplash injuries were called “railroad spine” as they were noted mostly in connection with train collisions. The first case of severe neck pain arising from a train collision was documented around 1919.[6] The number of whiplash injuries has since risen sharply due to rear-end motor vehicle collisions. Given the wide variety of symptoms are associated with whiplash injuries, the Quebec Task Force on Whiplash-Associated Disorders coined the phrase ‘Whiplash-Associated Disorders’.[6]

Whiplash is the term commonly used to describe hyperflexion and hyperextension,[7] and is one of the most common nonfatal car crash injuries. More than one million whiplash injuries occur each year due to car crashes. This is an estimate because not all cases of whiplash are reported. In a given year, an estimated 3.8 people per 1000 experience whiplash symptoms.[8] “Freeman and co-investigators estimated that 6.2% of the US population have late whiplash syndrome”.[9] The majority of cases occur in patients in their late fourth decade. Unless a cervical strain has occurred with additional brain or spinal cord trauma mortality is rare.[8]

Whiplash can occur at speeds of 2.5 miles per hour or less according to sigmond et. al.; it is the sudden jolt, as one car hits another, that causes ones head to be abruptly thrown back and sideways. The more sudden the motion, the more bones, discs, muscles and tendons in ones neck and upper back will be damaged. Spinal cord injuries are responsible for about 6,000 deaths in the U.S. each year and 5,000 whiplash injuries per year result in quadriplegia.[7]

Figure: This is an illustration of part of the cervical spine (black portion of inset). Part is cut in half for better viewing. This illustrates all of the lesions that have been reported to occur in whiplash trauma.
With permission from Whiplash! A Patient’s Guide to Recovery. San Diego, (c) Spine Research Institute of San Diego, 1999.
Most cases of whiplash occur among Caucasians 66.1%, as compared to 27.1% for African Americans, 8.1% for Hispanics, and 2% for Asians, as seen in figure A. After 12 months, only 1 in 5 patients remain symptomatic, only 11.5% of individuals were able to return to work a year after the injury, and only 35.4% were able to get back to work at a similar level of performance after 20 years. Estimated indirect costs to industry are $66,626 per year, depending on the level and severity. Lastly, the total cost per year was $40.5 billion in 2008, a 317% increase over 1998.[7]

1. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. “Q&A: Neck Injury”. Retrieved 2007-09-18.
2. “whiplash” at Dorland’s Medical Dictionary a b c d e f Krafft, M; Kullgren A, Lie A, Tingval C (2005-04-01). “Assessment of Whiplash Protection in Rear Impacts” (pdf). Swedish National Road Administration & Folksam. Archived from the original on August 8, 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-18.
3. (2010). Retrieved January 16, 2013 from
4. “Warning over whiplash ‘epidemic'”. BBC News. 2008-11-15. Retrieved 2010-04-06. a b Desapriya, Ediriweera (2010). Head restraints and whiplash : the past, present, and future. New York: Nova Science Publishers. ISBN 978-1-61668-150-0 a b c Foreman, Stephen M.; Croft, Arthur C. (2002). Whiplash injuries : the cervical acceleration/deceleration syndrom. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams Wilkins. ISBN 0-7817-2681-6. a b Barnsley, L.; Lord, S.; Bogduk, N. (Sep 1994). “Whiplash injury.”. Pain 58 (3): 283–307. PMID 7838578.
5. Freeman, MD.; Croft, AC.; Rossignol, AM.; Weaver, DS.; Reiser, M. (Jan 1999). “A review and methodologic critique of the literature refuting whiplash syndrome.”. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 24 (1): 86–96. PMID 9921598.
6. Stemper, D. B., Yoganandan, N., Pintar, A.F., and Rao D.R. (2006)
7. Medical Engineering And Physics, 28(6), 515-524.
8. Panjabi, M.M., Cholewicki, J., Nibu,K., Grauer,N.J, Babat, B.L., and Dvorack,J.(1998) Mechanism of whiplash injury. Clinical Biomechanics, 13(4-5), 239-249.
9. Gorski, Jerrold M. (2007-08). “A New “Pain in the Neck””. Retrieved 2012-12-22. a b Bismil QMK,Bismil MSK, . Myofascial-entheseal dysfunction in chronic whiplash injury. J R Soc Med Sh Rep August 2012 vol. 3 no. 8 57 doi:10.1258/shorts.2012.012052
10. Gorski JM and Schwartz LH, Shoulder Impingement Presenting as Neck Pain. The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery Vol 85-A · Number 4 · April 2003 p635-638
11. Impingement Syndrome Associated with Whiplash Injury. S K Chauhan, T Peckham, R Turner, J Bone J Surg 85-British 2003;3:408-410.
12. Whiplash Injury of the Shoulder: Is it a Distinct Clinical Entity? B. N. MUDDU, R. UMAAR, W. Yew KIM, M. ZENIOS, I. BRETT, Y. SHARMA Acta Orthop. Belg., 2005, 71, 385-387
13. Subacromial Impingement in Patients with Whiplash Injury to the Cervical Spine. A. Abbassian, G. Giddins. Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research 2008, 3:25, 1749 a b MedlinePlus Encyclopedia Whiplash
14. Roller Coaster Neck Pain, from the Spinal Injury Foundation “Whiplash injury”. 2006-08-23.
15. Castro, WH; Meyer, SJ; Becke, ME; Nentwig, CG; Hein, MF; Ercan, BI; Thomann, S; Wessels, U et al. (2001). “No stress–no whiplash? Prevalence of “whiplash” symptoms following exposure to a placebo rear-end collision”. International journal of legal medicine 114 (6): 316–22. PMID 11508796. Edit Gorski JM and Schwartz LH, Shoulder Impingement Presenting as Neck Pain. THE JOURNAL OF BONE & JOINT SURGERY VOL 85-A · NUMBER 4 · APRIL 2003 p635-638
16. Yamaguchi K, Ditsios K, Middleton WD, Hildebolt CF, Galatz LM, Teefey SA. The demographic and morphological features of rotator cuff disease.

Holidays are always a great opportunity to get the family and friends together and have some fun. But it can sometimes be frustrating – and time consuming – having to cook for all your guests. And just because it’s Labor day, it does not mean you have to toil away in the kitchen. So I have put together a list of quick and easy (and healthy!) recipes for Labor Day weekend that will allow you to spend more time where it really matters – with your loved ones .

Healthy Labor Day Drinks

Sparkling Watermelon cooler (


8 oz cold watermelon, cut into 1″ pieces
Juice of half of lemon
Sweetener to taste (honey, coconut sugar, stevia)
Ice Cubes
Seltzer water (cold)

Method one: Add the watermelon, lemon juice, and sweetener to a blender and blend until smooth. Divide the watermelon mixture evenly into two 16oz glasses and fill the rest of the glass with a couple of ice cubes (optional) and seltzer water.

Method Two: Blend the watermelon, lemon juice, sweetener, and ice cubes to create a slushie. Divide evenly among the glasses and top with seltzer water.
You could also add 1 oz. of rum for an adult beverage.

Lemon Mynt Iced Tea (


3 cups of good quality tea, chilled;
8 fresh mint leaves;
1 lemon, sliced;
1 lime, sliced;
Ice cubes;


1. In a jar, place the lemon and lime slices as well as the mint.
2. Fill the jar with ice cubes and the cold tea, and stir gently.
3. Chill in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours before serving.

Healthy labor Day Salads & Appetizers

Paleo Brocoli Salad with Bacon (


¼ cup red onion, diced
2 tablespoons organic apple cider vinegar
½ cup mayonnaise
1 head broccoli, cut into bite size florets
8 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
½ cup golden raisins
¼ cup chopped walnuts
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


Combine onions, vinegar and a good pinch of salt in bottom of large bowl. Stir in mayonnaise.
Add remaining ingredients and toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Tuna Salad Endive Boats (
2 5oz BPA-free cans of tuna, drained (I like this brand)
1 small green apple, cored and finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
½ cucumber, finely chopped
2 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh dill
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
½ lemon, juiced
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 endive heads

1. Place the tuna, apple, carrot, celery, onion, dill, and garlic in a large bowl and stir to combine, breaking up the clumps of tuna.
2. Add the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon, and sea salt and stir well to combine, until the tuna has absorbed all of the oil.
3. Trim the ends off the endive, and separate the leaves. Serve each leaf with a scoop of tuna salad.

Easy Guacamole Recipe (
2 Haas avocados
2 tablespoons minced onion
2 tablespoons lime juice, or more to taste
¼ teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste
diced jalepeno to taste, optional


1. Peel and pit the avocados and add to medium bowl or molcajete.
2. Add onion, lime juice, salt, and jalepeno if using. Mash until ingredients are combined and guacamole is desired consistency.
3. Taste and add more lime juice and salt if needed.
4. Serve it with your favorite chips!

Bacon Deviled Eggs (


6 eggs
1/2 large avocado, diced
3 tablespoons bacon fat, liquified
1-2 tablespoons franks red hot sauce (sub any hot sauce or amount for your taste)
3 strips bacon, cooked crispy and diced
1 teaspoon sea salt
paprika to garnish


1. Once your eggs are cooled, evenly cut them in half the long way and using a spoon gently remove the yolks to a large mixing bowl
2. Set your eggs aside on a plate
3. Add your diced avocado, bacon fat, franks red hot sauce, about 2/3’s of your bacon and sea salt to the egg yolks in the bowl
4. Mix well by hand or use a hand mixer if your lazy like me
5. Once well blended, using a spoon, gently fill your eggs with your egg yolk avocado mixture
6. Move to a serving plate and sprinkle with the remainder of your bacon bits and garnish with paprika
7. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve and enjoy

Healthy Labor Day Entrees

Grilled peach Burgers with Balsamic Reduction (


2lbs ground beef
1 tsp ground cardamom
2 peaches
1 ½ cups balsamic vinegar


1. Pour vinegar into a small pot over low heat and let simmer, stirring every few minutes until it reaches your desired thickness (about 35-40 minutes). *Keep in mind that the reduction will also slightly thicken as it cools.
2. While the vinegar is cooking, core your peaches and slice them into rounds for the grill. I find it is easiest to cut in half horizontally and treat it like an avocado (twist the two halves apart and twist out the nut inside), then slice. Mix ground cardamom well into ground beef and form four evenly sized patties.
3. Grill peaches over high heat for about a minute on each side (or until you have visible grill marks). Grill burgers to your liking.
4. Top each burger with 2-3 peach slices and drizzle some balsamic reduction on top, serve hot and enjoy!

Paleo Hamburguer Bun

Prep Time: 15 min | Cook Time: 20 min | Total time: 30 min | Serves 3-4


1/2 cup of tapioca flour
1/2 cup of almond flour
3 eggs
2 tbps of water
salt to taste
1/2 tbsp of garlic powder
a pinch of dried thyme
a pinch of dried oregano


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. In a large bowl, combine the tapioca and almond flours, garlic powder and salt. Stir until mixed.
3. Add the eggs and water and continue mixing until a soft dough is formed.
4. Add in the thyme and oregano and mix it in.
5. If you have a Burger bakeware use that by filling 3 or 4. Otherwise, on a baking sheet, scoop batter with a spoon util you form 3 large or 4 medium sized buns on the baking sheet.
6. Cook for 20 min.
7. Remove, let is cool for 5 min, then cut it in the middle.
8. Enjoy your burger!

Rosemary Lemon Chicken (


1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, pressed
¼ cup fresh rosemary, minced
½ teaspoon celtic sea salt


1. In a medium bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary and salt
2. Rinse chicken breasts, pat dry and place in an 7 x 11 inch baking dish
3. Pour marinade over chicken, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 6 hours
4. Heat grill and cook chicken for 5-7 minutes per side until browned and cooked in the center.
5. Enjoy!

Paleo BBQ Sauce for your burgers (


2 tablespoons of avocado oil you can also use coconut oil)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ cup shallots, minced
1 (7 ounce) bottle tomato paste
1 cup orange juice, fresh squeezed
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon dry mustard powder
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon celtic sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper


1. Warm oil in a saucepan over medium heat
2. Add garlic and shallot; cook until soft
3. Add tomato paste, orange juice, vinegar, mustard, paprika, salt, and pepper
4. Simmer 15 to 20 minutes, stirring often
5. Baste over chicken
6. Marinate in fridge for 1-3 hours
7. Grill
8. Enjoy!

BBQ Meatballs (


2 lb. ground beef;
½ cup green onions, thinly sliced;
¼ cup almond flour; (optional)
1 egg;
½ tsp. chili powder;
Coconut oil;
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper;

Ingredients for the BBQ sauce

1 cup homemade ketchup;
1 onion, minced;
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar;
2 tbsp. honey; (optional)
2 tbsp. coconut aminos;
½ tsp. chili powder;
½ tsp. paprika;
Dash of hot sauce; (optional)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper;


1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
2. In a bowl, combine the ground beef, onions, egg, almond flour, chili powder, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir until everything is well-mixed.
3. Roll the beef mixture into bite-size balls and set aside.
4. Heat some coconut oil in a skillet placed over a medium heat and brown the meatballs for 4 to 5 minutes on each side; then place them in a baking dish.
5. Combine all the ingredients for the BBQ sauce in a bowl, season to taste, and stir until combined.
6. Pour the sauce over the meatballs and bake in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes.


Chunky Fruit Popsicles (


1 lb. of your favorite fruits;
Juice of 1 lemon;
Juice from 1 orange;
½ cup of water;
¼ tsp. vanilla extract;


1. Cut 1 cup of the fruits into small chunks and set aside.
2. Using a food processor or a blender, puree the remaining fruits, the lemon juice, the orange juice, and the water until smooth.
3. Add the mixture to the bowl containing the chunky fruits, and stir in the vanilla extract.
4. Divide the mixture equally among the Popsicle molds.
5. Freeze for 3 to 4 hours.

Paleo Strawberry Banana Sorbet (


2½ cups of fresh, ripe strawberries
1 ripe banana
½ cup of (canned) coconut cream
1 tablespoon agave nectar


Combine ingredients in a food processor or a blender. Pour the mixture in a container freeze overnight.

We hope you enjoyed these quick and easy healthy recipes for Labor Day Weekend! Be safe and responsible!

Healthy Summer Recipes

Summertime and the cooking is easy.

Fourth of July is around the corner, and we’ve got the perfect summer recipes that are both delicious and healthy alternatives to those usual hot dogs and pizza. Check them out!


*All burger recipes can be made using ground beef, chicken or turkey.

BBQ Chicken burguer with Sweet Potato Fries (1)


For the chicken burgers:

1-1.5 lbs Organic Ground Chicken
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup BBQ sauce
1 onion, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil, for cooking the burgers (unless you grill them)

For the BBQ sauce:
1 (6oz) can organic tomato paste
1 small yellow onion, minced
½ cup apple cider vinegar
⅓ cup water or broth
2 tablespoons apple butter (optional)
1 tablespoon ground mustard (the kind in the jar, not powder)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon allspice
a pinch or two of ground cloves
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
splash of hot sauce, to taste

For the fries:
1-2 sweet potatoes, thinly sliced to french fry thickness–let’s go with McD’s thickness, not Wendy’s (don’t act like you’ve never tried their fries you paleo purist freak)
2-3 tablespoons avocado oil, ghee, or duck fat
salt, to taste


1. Start with the fries
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
3. First, slice up your sweet potato (keeping the skin ON). Slice them to desired thickness but remember that the thinner they are, the more likely the are to be crisp!
4. Put sweet potato fries into a large bowl and add your avocado oil and salt. Stir them up a bit until they are completely covered and glistening happy as can be.
5. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (always have better results AND better clean up with parchment paper) and add fries on the sheet. Space out the fries so they are not overlapping–you may have to use 2 cookie sheets depending on the size of your sweet potato!
6. Add to the oven to cook for 25-30 minutes of until desired crispiness occurs!
7. While the fries cook, whip up your BBQ sauce! In a pot, add some olive oil (or other fat) and brown the onion–about 5 minutes.
8. Add the garlic and stir together to cook a bit more.
9. Add all other ingredients and mix together, then let simmer for 10-15 minutes (or longer if you have time-I usually want to eat as quick as possible).
10. Once the BBQ sauce is simmering, finish the meal off with preparing your burgers!
11. Grab the same bowl you used to coat your fries, and add your chicken, ¼ cup BBQ sauce (right off of the stove!), spices, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.
12. Heat up a large skillet over medium-high heat and add your olive oil.
13. Form your burgers into 4-5 patties and add to hot skillet. Cook for about 8 minutes/side.
14. While the burgers begin to brown up, grab a small skillet out and add a bit more olive oil to it and add your sliced onions and some salt to saute up and caramelize a bit. This will take about 10 minutes, just be sure to push the onions around a bit and cover them if you want them to cook a bit faster.

Grilled Pineapple Burgers with Avocado Cream (2)

Prep Time: 20 min | Cook Time: 15 min | Total Time: 35 min | Servings: 4


1lb Grass Fed Ground Beef
1 pineapple, cored and sliced (see my fantastic pics below)
1 yellow onion, sliced thin
1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

For the cream:
2 avocados
juice of 1 lime
juice of ½ lemon
1 tablespoon hot sauce (your favorite will do)
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon olive oil
pinch of salt


1. Light your grill!
2. Now you should first slice your pineapple. I have no idea how to cut a pineapple very well but I try, so you can look at my pictures if that actually helps.
3. Use a big knife to cut off both ends of the pineapple, then stand the pineapple up and slice the sides off. Then cut the pineapple in hamburger slices (remember hamburger vs hotdog in elementary school? good). And finish the pineapple slices off by using a smaller knife to cut out the middle and press it out. Like a donut hole. Cute.
4. Then slice your onions.
5. Place meat in a bowl, add seasonings and mix thoroughly. Like hard core. Get in there.
6. Make 4 burger patties and flatten them out a bit.
7. Place onions, burgers, and pineapple on the grill at the same time. Try not to place pineapple over direct flame because it can burn pretty easily, being sugar and all.
8. Flip when grill marks become present, after about 5 minutes and cook about the same amount of time on the other side of until burgers are cooked to preference and pineapple is a bit charred and soft.

While the ingredients are on the grill, make your avocado cream!

1. Cut avocados in half, remove the seed, then scoop out the insides and place in your food processor.
2. Turn food processor on and let the avocado begin to break down. After about a minute, while your food processor is still running, add the rest of the ingredients for the avocado cream and keep pureeing until smooth: about 1-2 minutes.
3. Place a burger down, top it with pineapple, then a grilled onion, and then a dollop of avocado cream on top!

SoCal Guacamole Burgers on Portobello Mushroom “Buns” (3)

Prep Time: 15-20 min | Cook Time: 20 min | Total Time: 35-40 min | Serves 4


8 large Portobello mushrooms (2 mushrooms per patty), stems removed and wiped clean with a damp cloth or paper towel
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb / 453 gr grass-fed organic ground beef
1 ripe avocado, peeled
2 tbps of coconut cream (place canned coconut milk in the refrigerator and the next day scoop the creamy top part)
Juice of half lime
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
1 large tomato, seeded and diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped (optional)
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, divided
½ teaspoon ground black pepper


1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C) and place a rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
2. Brush the mushroom caps (top and bottom) with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and place them onto the lined baking sheet.
3. Bake in the oven gills side up first, for 10 minutes. Then flip them over and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
4. If you have it, use the convection mode on your oven, so that the circulating hot air takes out even more of the moisture from the mushrooms.
5. When the mushrooms are ready remove them from the trays (and the juices they released) and place them on a plate to dry off a bit.
6. In the meantime, place half avocado in a medium bowl and mash with a fork until smooth. Add lime juice, coconut cream and cumin and stir to combine.
7. Dice remaining half avocado and add it to avocado mixture along with diced tomatoes, jalapeno (if using) and ⅛ teaspoon of salt. Stir gently to combine. Take a taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Set aside.
8. In another bowl, season ground beef with remaining ⅜ teaspoon of salt and ground black pepper. Mix well using your hands.
9. Divide beef mixture into 4 equal parts and shape into patties.
10. Heat a grill (or a grill pan) and grill patties 3 minutes on each side (or until desired degree of doneness).
11. To assemble burgers, place about ¼ cup of alfalfa sprouts on 4 mushroom caps, top each with 1 patty, 3 tablespoon of guacamole and top with remaining 4 caps.
12. Enjoy!

Mexican Inspired Burgers (4)

Prep Time: 15 min | Cook Time: 10 min | Total Time: 25 min | Servings: 4


For the Mexi burgers:
1 lb buffalo (or grass fed ground beef)
1 (6oz) can of green chiles
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon chipotle red pepper (or chili powder)

For the toppings:
1 package mushrooms
1 red onion, thinly sliced
½ 14oz jar of roasted peppers, sliced
2-3 tablespoons coconut oil
¼ teaspoon chipotle red pepper or chili powder
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and pepper, to taste

For the Avocado Roasted Red Pepper sauce:
2 avocados
½ 14oz jar of roasted peppers, sliced
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
½ lemon, juiced


1. Ok, so grab a sauce pan or skillet and add a bit of coconut oil to it, along with your sliced onions. Let those guys caramelize, stirring them randomly so they don’t burn.
2. Now grab another skillet, add your coconut oil, mushrooms, roasted peppers and spices and let those cook down for a while.
3. NOW make your burger patties. Grab a large bowl, add the meat, spices, and green chiles to it and mix thoroughly. Once the burgers are formed, add them to a large greased skillet. If you don’t want to skillet them, cook them on the grill . I covered them with a lid to help them cook a bit quicker. Cook for about 5-6 minutes/side depending how thick they are.
4. Last thing, while the burgers are cooking, make your avocado sauce. It’s insanity. Pull out your food processor, add all ingredients for the sauce to it and puree until smooth. This sauce is almost like a cheese sauce. But without the bloat and gas. How great is that?
5. Once your toppings are cooked, your burgers are cooked to perfection, and your sauce is silky smooth stack it all up. Burger, sauce, toppings, then some sliced avocado on top.

Gluten-free Hamburguer Buns

AIP Plantain Hamburguer Buns (5)

Prep Time: 15 min | Cook Time: 25 min | Total Time: 40 min | Servings: 4-6

1 medium green plantain
1 and 1/4 of tapioca flour
2 tbps of coconut flour
2 tbps of lard
1/2 coconut milk (or substitute with 1/4 cup of water)
salt to taste
1/8 tsp of baking soda
1/4 tsp cream of tartar powder
optional: 1/2 to 1 tbps pressed or minced garlic


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Peel the plantain using a sharp knife. Cut off both tips then cut a slit down the length of the plantain peel (trying to only cut the peel and not the fruit). Lift and remove peel using fingers. Cut multiple slits on 2-3 sides to make it easier. Using a hand grater or the grater attachment to your food processor, grate the peeled plantain. You should yield around 3/4 cup shreds.
3. In a large bowl combine tapioca starch, coconut flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt and stir to combine well. Then, add coconut milk and garlic (if using) and stir well to combine. Finally, add in the shredded plantain and use your hands to work it into a dough.
4. If dough is too wet, add 1-2 Tbsp tapioca starch. If it is too dry, add in coconut milk 1 Tbsp at a time.
5. Divide dough into 4 smaller buns or 6 bigger ones. Place on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 min, until outsides are slightly golden.
6. Allow to cool several minutes before serving, and enjoy!

Paleo Hamburguer Bun

Prep Time: 15 min | Cook Time: 20 min | Total time: 30 min | Serves 3-4


1/2 cup of tapioca flour
1/2 cup of almond flour
3 eggs
2 tbps of water
salt to taste
1/2 tbsp of garlic powder
a pinch of dried thyme
a pinch of dried oregano


1. Preheat oven to 400 degress Fahrenheit.
2. In a lawge bowl, combine the tapioca and almond flours, garlic powder and salt. Stir until mixed.
3. Add the eggs and water and continue mixing until a soft dough is formed.
4. Add in the thyme and oregano and mix it in.
5. If you have a Burguer bakeware use that by filling 3 or 4. Otherwise, on a baking sheet, scoop batter with a spoon util you form 3 large or 4 medium sized buns on the baking sheet.
6. Cook for 20 min.
7. Remove, let is cool for 5 min, then cut it in the middle.
8. Enjoy your burguer!

Nut free Burguer Bun (6)

Prep Time: 20-30 min | Cook Time: 20 min | Total Time: 40 – 50 min | Servings: 4


125g (1 cup) taro or sweet potato (steamed and tender, easily poked through with a fork)
50g (1/3 cup) coconut oil
15ml (2 tbsp) coconut milk
22g (1/2 cup) coconut flour
2 eggs
1 tablespoon raw honey
1/8 teaspoon sea salt (fine)


1. Preheat your oven to 350 F degrees.
2. Remove the taro/ sweet potato skin ad steam or boil until soft
3. I the meantime, warm together the coconut oil, coconut milk and raw honey on low heat just until everything melts together.
4. Place the baby taro and coconut oil mixture into a high-speed blender and combine until smooth. Add in the sifted coconut flour mixture and blend until combined. The coconut flour will soak up a significant amount of moisture, making the batter a lot thicker.
5. Transfer the taro batter from the blender into a large bowl. Beat the eggs in one at a time, scraping down after each addition, until a smooth and creamy batter is achieved.
6. To make each bun exactly 4″ inches in width, I traced a 4″ inch pan-bottom I had with a pencil directly onto my parchment paper. When you’re done tracing all four, make sure to flip the parchment paper to the other side (you don’t want your batter to be touching your pencil markings!) Parchment paper should be translucent enough for you to see your markings clearly on the other side.
7. Scoop the batter into 4″ buns outlined in the the parchment paper.
8. Using a small offset spatula, flatten out each mound to the end of my pencil markings on the parchment paper, making four even circles.
9. Place the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Cool completely before assembling.
10. Enjoy with your favorite burguer!


Grilled Chili-Lime Sweet Potato Wedges (7)

Prep time: 20 min | Cook Time: 20 min | Total Time: 40 min | Servings: 1-2


1 sweet potato or yam
2 tablespoons choice of fat (I used olive oil but you could use coconut or whatever else)
juice of 2 limes
1 tablespoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper, to taste


1. Place your sweet potato or yam in a large pot with water that completely covers it.
2. Put your pot over medium heat and let the sweet potato cook until you can poke it with a fork and it’s nice and soft. This took about 15-18 for my large sweet potato to cook through.
3. Once your pull your softened sweet potato out of the water to cool, heat up your grill.
4. When your sweet potato has cooled, cut it into wedges. The size or shape doesn’t matter, just that you love how they look.
5. Toss the sweet potatoes in a bowl with the remaining ingredients.
6. Place on the top rack of your grill to cook for 15-18 minutes, depending on the thickness of the sweet potatoes. Turn them over half way through cooking.
7. When the sweet potatoes have a bit of char to them and nice grill marks, place them on a plate and sprinkle with a bit more salt and chili powder while still hot.

Yam Baked Fries

Prep Time: 10 min | Cook Time: 15-20 min | Total Time: 25-40 min | Servings: 2-3


1 large yam
2 tbsp of ghee or coconut oil
salt to taste


1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Peel the yam and cut it into thicker or thinner slices resembling (depending on your preference). You’ll do this by cutting it in half, then continue cutting each half in half until desired size is achieved.
3. Place the yam on a big bowl and mix in the ghee or coconut oil and salt.
4. Place it on a baking sheet. Spread them evenly so they don’t stick together.
5. Bake for 15-20 min. Remove from oven and let it cool for 5 min. Enjoy!

Tostones (8)

Prep Time: 5 min | Cook Time: 10 min | Total Time: 15 min | Serves: 4


2 green plantains
1/2 cup duck fat
salt, to taste


1. Peel green plantains by slicing just through the peel (not the fruit) lengthwise, from tip to tip, then prying off the peel with your thumbs. Sometimes it’s easier to peel if you make more than one slice down the length of the plantain.
2. Slice the peeled plantain at an angle into 1″ thick slices.
3. Meanwhile, preheat a large stainless steel skillet on the stovetop over medium heat (skip this step if using a gas stove).
4. Add a big dollop of duck fat to the hot skillet, then arrange the plantain slices in the skillet in one layer (if your skillet is too small to fit all of them at once, cook in batches).
5. Fry the plantain for two to three minutes on each side until they are golden in color. I prefer to flip three times as opposed to once to make sure they don’t get too brown. If they’re browning too quickly, reduce the heat. Maintain at least an eighth of an inch of fat in the bottom of the pan to prevent the plantain from sticking; add more fat as needed.
6. Remove the plantain slices from the skillet with tongs or a slotted spoon. Traditionally, they are pounded flat with a hinged utensil made for the task, called a tostonera, but any kitchen utensil (bowl, cup, plate etc.) that has a large enough flat surface will do the trick. I flatten mine on a cutting board with my 4-cup measuring cup then peel the mashed plantain off the bottom of the measuring cup with a spatula directly into the hot skillet again. Be inventive: there’s probably a dozen different things in your kitchen that will flatten the fried plantain slices!
7. Fry the plantain slices a second time, this time about one minute per side until crisp and golden brown, adding additional duck fat as needed to maintain about an eighth of an inch of fat in the bottom of the pan. You’ll almost certainly have to do this in two or even three batches, unless you own the world’s biggest skillet.
8. Remove tostones from the skillet and place on a serving plate or cutting board lined with paper towel to drain any excess fat. Sprinkle liberally with salt while still warm.

Watermelon and Cucumber Mynt Salad (9)

Prep Time: 8 min | Servings: 3-4


2 cup watermelon, diced
1 cucumber, diced
¼ red onion, thinly sliced
4-5 tablespoons mint, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste


Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Enjoy!

Cilantro Guacamole

Prep Time: 10-15 min | Servings: 4-6


3 haas avocados
3 tbsp of coconut cream
1 small onion
1 small clove of garlic (adapt it to your taste)
juice of 1 lime
1 handful of cilantro to garnish it


1. Remove pit from avocados and use a spon to scoop avocado out of its skin.
2. Place all ingredients, except cilantro on a food processor. Pulse until a smooth creamy consistency is achieved. If too thick, add tbsp of water until desired consistency is achieved.
3. Place is in a medium bowl, sprinkle the cilantro and enjoy!


Move over kale, there is a new superfood in town: bone broth! It may look like an outlier in a category with things like blueberries, chia seeds and spirulina, but it is well deserving of this title given its nutritional superpowers. For starters, bone broth contains essential and nonessential amino acids in a form your body can easily absorb it. Amino acids, as you may remember, are the building blocks of proteins that your body uses to build and repair tissues, synthesize enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters and are also a crucial component in skin, muscles, cartilage, bone and blood. Also, bone broth contains minerals and electrolytes, such as phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and potassium that are important for the health of your heart, bones, digestive system and numerous other bodily functions.

Speaking of digestive health, bone broth is considered a staple in any diet focused at improving gut health. The reason is that bone broth contains many substances, like collagen, glucosamine, hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate, that help repair and seal the intestinal lining, improving digestive health and lowering inflammation. To top it off, bone broth is also an incredible immune booster. It’s no wonder we feel inclined to drink soup when are sick – it actually helps fight off colds! One of its amino acids, glycine, promotes detoxification and cleansing, also making bone broth a vital food in several detox programs.

And best of all, bone broth is a very versatile food. You can use it as a main dish, as a snack, to boil vegetables, cook grains, as an ingredient in sauces and even to pack some more nutrients in a smoothie. Regardless of how you choose to use it, bone broth is one of the best and easiest ways to give you tons of nutrients in your culinary adventures.

4 pounds of beef bone with marrow
4 carrots, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
5 sprigs of parsley and/or cilantro
1 tsp of turmeric
1 tsp of cumin
1 tsp of black pepper
1 tsp of ginger
Himalayan sea salt to taste
2 tbsps of apple cider vinegar

1. Place bones in a pot and cover with water. Add 2 tbsps of apple cider vinegar and let it sit for 1 hour (this will draw out the minerals in the bones).
2. Place all the ingredients in the pot and bring it to a boil. Reduce and simmer, skimming the fat that rises at the top.
3. Simmer from 6 to 48 hours (simmering for longer will allow more nutrients to be released, but individuals with histamine and/or glutamine sensitivity would benefit from shorter cooking time).