"Never Events" in the Operating Errors Still Occur

Certain major errors during surgery are so rare that they are called “never events”. While such medical errors are rare, they do continue to occur in hospitals across the country.

According to a new review of surgical errors published in the JAMA Surgery Journal, approximately one out of every 100,000 surgeries involves a wrong site error. In a wrong site error, the doctor either operates on the wrong side of the patient’s body, on the wrong body part, or even on the wrong person.

The good news is that these “never events” are very rare. The bad news is that there is very limited data on these errors, which makes devising strategies to control them very challenging. For example, researchers had very little data available on the number of fires that break out in operating rooms during surgery. When there are only a few rare events, data collection is difficult, and researchers find it more challenging to develop strategies to prevent these errors.

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Simulation Shows Teen Drivers Have Higher Accident Risks

Even after a teenage driver has acquired a license, his or her driving skills may continue to be below that of older drivers. A recent study put a number of teenage motorists who had acquired a full license through a simulated driving test, and found that many of the teen drivers crashed in the task.

The teenagers went through the 35-minute driving assessment which included replications of the most common accident scenarios. Approximately four out of every 10 newly licensed drivers crashed in the test, and according to researchers, this suggests that they lacked the critical driving skills that they needed to stay safe while driving in a real-world environment. Data also showed that approximately 29% of the adult drivers crashed in the test, while among teen drivers, the crash rate was more than 49%.

This suggests that even after they obtain a full license, most teen motorists lack the critical driving abilities required to stay safe on the roads. Teenagers who had just obtained a license, the researchers found, were good at the basics, but lacked the ability to identify accident cues in their environment, and react immediately to such hazards. That placed them and their passengers at a high risk of being involved in a motor vehicle collision. 



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Filing a Claim against an Aggressive Driver

Aggressive driving is defined as driving that involves a combination of one or more traffic offenses that place other motorists at risk of an accident. If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident involving an aggressive driver, it's important to understand your legal rights and hire the best attorney.

An aggressive driver could be engaged in a number of different driving practices that threaten his own safety, and the safety of people around him.  Aggressive drivers often don’t consider the human element, and have little regard for the safety of other motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.  Simply stated, a motor vehicle in the hands of an aggressive driver turns into a dangerous weapon.

Typically, the following driving behaviors may be included in the definition of aggressive driving.

  • Speeding. This includes not only driving above the posted speed limits, but also driving at speeds that are excessive for the prevailing traffic and weather conditions.
  • Improper lane changing including failure to signal intent before changing lanes.
  • Improper passing including failure to use turn signals, or passing on the shoulder or over a double yellow line.

All of these above mentioned behaviors can increase the risk of an accident, but aggressive driving can also include any other types of negligent driving that places motorists at risk.  

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Drunk Driver Warning for Fourth of July

Independence Day is the holiday highlight of the summer, but it’s also the deadliest weekend of the year where traffic accidents are concerned.

So before the parades roll out, the cymbals clash, and sparklers light the sky, we want to issue an important word of warning to all our clients, neighbors, and friends in the community: people will be driving under the influence of alcohol this weekend.


Each year, DUI ranks as the #1 cause of death for travelers during the Fourth of July. These are preventable deaths caused by the careless decisions of revelers who take the party too far. You don’t have to be one of their victims.

Please keep your family safe this holiday. Give our guidelines a glance and put them into practice all weekend long.

How to Spot a Drunk Driver

Fireworks are easy to see — they light up the whole sky. Drunk drivers aren’t always so obvious, but by keeping a careful lookout, you can sometimes spot them before it’s too late.

Here’s what to look for in other motorists:

• Driving at a very slow speed

• Taking extremely wide turns

• Weaving in and out of lanes

• Unaware that their headlights are off

• Narrowly avoiding accidents or objects in the road

• Straddling the highway dividers

• Repeatedly entering the road’s shoulder

• Stopping at green lights

• Running red lights

• Using turn signals that don’t make sense

• Any other signs of dangerous, reckless, or unfocused driving

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Defective Takata Airbags Now Linked to 105 Injuries, Six Deaths

A committee that is currently investigating car recalls linked to defective Takata airbags says that the Japanese auto parts supplier recently decided to update recall information. The updated toll from the airbags defect is now 105 injuries and 6 fatalities.

The earlier toll was 64 injuries and five fatalities linked to the malfunctioning airbag. However, since then, Takata has apparently identified at least 40 more incidents of malfunctioning airbags resulting in serious injuries, including one that resulted in at least one death.

The defect causes the airbags to shoot off potentially dangerous fragments that can seriously injure occupants in the vehicle. Occupants are at risk of serious injuries, including eye injuries, facial injuries and other injuries as a result of being hit in the face by these pieces of shrapnel.

Overall, more than 20 million vehicles have been recalled because of the malfunctioning airbags. Meanwhile, Takata is also struggling with a scarcity of replacement inflators for the recalled vehicles. The company has admitted that more replacement inflators are required to replace the defective inflator that caused the problem. Takata is also under fire for its slow-moving recalls. US regulators are currently considering extra measures to ensure that owners of these vehicles are safe. The Japanese company was hit with a $14,000 per day fine for its lack of cooperation with federal regulators, and since then, has begun to cooperate more enthusiastically with the feds.

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Tire Care Critical to 15-Passenger Van Safety

All motorists need to pay attention to tire safety. However, in the case of 15- passenger vans, the need to take precautions to prevent tire failures and blowouts is even more severe. That's because these vans are very likely to be involved in a potentially fatal rollover during a tire blowout.

The design of the 15-passenger van makes it much more susceptible to a rollover. These vehicles have a higher center of gravity that places them at a higher risk of flipping over during an accident. According to some statistics, 15-passenger vans with between 10 and 15 occupants on board are approximately 3 times more likely to be in a rollover accident than vans that have a maximum of five occupants. The design which is longer and taller places these vehicles at a high risk of a rollover.

When you take a van that already has these design deficiencies, and add bad tires to the mix, the consequences can be disastrous. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is specifically calling on owners of these vans to pay special attention to tire safety this summer. These vans are typically used very heavily during summer by church groups, sporting clubs, youth groups, summer camp operators, and other organizations for trips.

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Georgia Motorcycle Accident, Fatality and Injury Data for 2013

According to recently released statistics by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there was a significant 6% drop in the number of people killed in motorcycle accidents across the country in 2013.There was also a perceptible drop in the number of people injured in these accidents.

Data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finds a total of 4,668 motorcyclist fatalities in accidents in 2013. That was a drop from 4,986 fatalities the previous year. There were 88,000 motorcycle injuries reported in 2013, which was a 5% drop from the 93,000 motorcyclist injuries recorded the previous year. In Georgia, there were 116 motorcycle accident fatalities in 2013.

The data also seems to prove the effectiveness of motorcycle helmets in saving lives in accidents. In 2013, helmets helped more than 1,000 motorcyclists get home safely. However, if all motorcyclists involved in accidents that year had been helmeted, at least 750 deaths could have been prevented. According to the data, helmets are approximately 37% effective in helping reduce the risk of fatality to motorcycle riders, and 41% effective in preventing deaths of motorcycle passengers.

Out of the 116 motorcycle accident fatalities in 2013 in Georgia, 92% were wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, while 4% were non-helmeted. It's also important to remember that these statistics don't make any mention of whether the persons were wearing helmets that met specifications set by the Department of Transportation. It's important to wear a helmet that has the “DOT-approved” label certifying that the helmet adheres to guidelines for motorcycle helmet and testing set by the Department Of Transportation.


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Georgia Records Drop in Pedestrian Accident Fatalities in 2014

Georgia looks set to record a decline in pedestrian fatalities in 2014. During the first six months of 2014, those numbers dropped to 50 pedestrian fatalities, from 76 fatalities during the same period of time in 2013.

The statistics were released by the Governors Highway Safety Association, which presented its pedestrian fatality data for 2014. The report has certain interesting findings. For example, it shows that pedestrian fatalities are now much more likely to occur in urban areas. Back in 1975, approximately 59% of pedestrian fatalities occurred in urban areas, and that number increased to 73% by 2013.

One statistic has remained consistent since 1975. Males account for approximately 70% of all fatalities.

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Distracted Driving Statistics

It has been called the drunk driving of this generation, and for a valid reason. The number of people killed in accidents related directly to distracted driving is increasing, and there is a vast body of research to prove it.

Teens and Distracted Driving

According to statistics by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 10% of all motorists below the age of 20 involved in fatal accidents were reportedly distracted at the time. In fact, the under 20 age group is a high-risk category for distracted driving. Teenagers are heavy consumers of social media and smart phone technology, a deadly combination that increases the potential that they are glued to their devices while at the wheel.  

Texting While Driving

According to statistics, at any given moment in time, there are at least 660,000 American drivers using their cell phones at the wheel. That number has remained steady since 2010 in spite of the fact that during this period of time a number of states have passed laws banning texting while driving.

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Loss of Control, Intoxicated Driving Account for Most Motorcycle Accident Claims

New data released by a major insurance company indicates that single-vehicle motorcycle accident claims accounted for the highest number of claims processed in 2014.

The data were released by insurer Progressive Corp., which said that it processed 3.4 times more single-vehicle motorcycle accident claims in 2014. These single-vehicle accidents typically involved intoxicated driving or loss of control due to excessive speed.

According to Progressive, it processed more single-vehicle motorcycle accident claims than rear-end accident claims, crashes at intersections, and stolen motorcycles combined. That means that motorcyclists must be more careful and vigilant about their surroundings at all times.

Riding at high speeds contributes to a significant proportion of motorcycle accidents every year because it hinders the ability to take evasive action in time to prevent an accident. Likewise, riding under the influence of alcohol also increases collision risks, because it impairs the rider’s ability to observe and judge accident cues.

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