Commercial trucking accidents are one of the biggest hazards facing American drivers, and contribute to an average of 4,000 fatalities every year. Although the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has a system for rating the safety performance of commercial truck companies and bus carriers, a new report finds that the system is inadequate, and delivers incorrect results.
Those are the findings of a new report released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The GAO recently completed an audit of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's Compliance, Safety, Accountability program. The Compliance, Safety, Accountability program uses data collected from roadside inspections of trucks and 18- wheelers, as well as data from accident investigations, and uses this information to compare the performance of commercial truck and bus carriers. Trucks and buses are compared to other carriers of similar size and other characteristics.
The data are then used to increase oversight and scrutiny over the truck and bus carriers that the data finds have the highest number of safety violations. The data are compared with other trucking and bus companies as part of the Compliance, Safety, Accountability program’s Safety Measurement System.
On the surface, this seems like a good method to predict accident risks. After all, a trucking or bus company that has a long history of violations may have a higher risk of being involved in fatal or serious injury accidents. The Government Accountability Office, however, finds that the current method used to establish such ratings is inadequate and often times inappropriately applied.Continue Reading Posted By Robert Katz In Governmental , Traffic Fatalities , Truck Accidents | 0 Comments Permalink
According to a new study conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, the number of traumatic spinal cord injuries recorded in the United States is on the increase. Another major change that the research showed is that the primary cause of serious spinal cord injuries in the United States is no longer automobile collisions, but slip and fall accidents.
The Johns Hopkins research analyzed a total of 43,137 adults who received treatment in hospital emergency rooms after suffering a spinal cord injury. These adults were treated for their injuries between 2007 and 2009. The researchers found in their analysis that the incidence of spinal cord injury in the 18-64 age group ranged from 52.3 injuries per million in 2007, to 49.9 million in 2009.
While that constituted a drop in the number of traumatic spinal cord injuries that were recorded in this age category, there was an increase in the number of spinal cord injuries recorded among older citizens. In the 65 and above age group, the number of spinal cord injuries actually increased during the study period. These injuries increased from 79.4 injuries per million adults in 2007, to 87.7 injuries per million adults in 2009.Continue Reading Posted By Robert Katz In Auto Accident Claims , Senior Citizens , Slip and Falls , Spinal Cord Injury | 0 Comments Permalink
There’s plenty of awareness about alcohol-impaired fatalities involving motorists, but not much is known about the fact that alcohol-impaired fatalities involving pedestrians and bicyclists have remained consistently high over the past few years. According to a new report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, it's just as dangerous to walk or ride a bicycle under the influence of alcohol, and it's high time that pedestrians and bicyclists were made aware of these risks.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety report, the proportion of intoxicated pedestrians and bicyclists killed in accidents has changed very little over the past 20 years. Back in 1992, the percentage of pedestrians above the age of 16, who died with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or above, was 39%. In 2011, that number had dropped by two percentage points to 37%.
Among bicyclists, the researchers found that the fatality percentage rate when alcohol was involved was approximately 26% in 1992, and had dropped to 25% in 2011. The statistics seem to indicate that there has been barely any difference in the number of alcohol-impaired pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities over the past 20 years. During the same period of time, there have been substantial declines in the number of motorists killed in alcohol-related car accidents.Continue Reading Posted By Robert Katz In Bicycle Injury Claims , Pedestrian accidents | 0 Comments Permalink
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently conducted a survey on speeding practices among American drivers. The results indicate a concerning trend. Although many American drivers believe that speeding is a highly dangerous behavior, many of them also admit that they often drive at high speeds to get to their destination on time.
The results of the survey were contained in the National Survey of Speeding Attitudes and Behavior, and found that approximately 4 to 5 drivers believe that driving at safe speeds helps prevent accidents. More than 91% believed that speed limits should be obeyed unconditionally because they are the law. In fact, as many as half of the drivers in the survey admitted that it was very important for transportation agencies to take stronger initiatives to reduce speeding on U.S. roadways.
However, when it comes to actually putting those beliefs into action, many American motorists seem to fall behind. Many of the motorists surveyed admitted to frequently travelling faster than posted speed limits. More than 25% of the motorists surveyed admitted that speeding was something they often did without thinking about it, and others said that they “enjoyed” the feeling that came with driving at excessive speeds. In addition, approximately 60% of the motorists claimed that driving at excessive speeds or above the speed limit, was not “really dangerous” for a skilled motorist.Continue Reading Posted By Robert Katz In Auto Accident Claims , Rollover accident , Traffic Fatalities | 0 Comments Permalink
The year's busiest travel season has begun, and a number of Georgia state agencies are joining hands to educate motorists about the need to drive safely during the holidays. The Governor's Office of Highway Safety and the Georgia State Patrol are encouraging motorists to avoid speeding and distractions, and concentrate on getting to their destination safely.
Just before Thanksgiving and New Year's day, we see the heaviest amount of traffic on GA roadways. Not surprisingly, the accident, injury and fatality rate is also very high during these weeks. Every year, the Georgia State Patrol calls attention to the need to reduce speed, eliminate distractions at the wheel, and avoid driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. These three factors account for a majority of all traffic accident fatalities that occur during the holiday season.Continue Reading Posted By Robert Katz In DUI , Holiday Travel , Texting and Cellphone Use while Driving , Traffic Fatalities | 0 Comments Permalink
Most retailers across the country are reporting early holiday shopping this year as consumers start buying for family, co-workers, and friends. Many of those gifts will include children's accessories, toys, and other products. This is the right time of the year to remind parents that the toys and products that they choose for their children must be safe from the risk of injuries.
Most injuries related to children's products involve the face and head, including a large number to the eyes and forehead area. Unfortunately, there are far too many children's toys that come with removable parts and sharp parts that pose a serious eye injury hazard. When you buy toys as gifts this holiday season, avoid toys that come with protruding parts, spikes, or sharp or pointed edges.
Avoid buying guns and shooting toys, or toys that come with parts that fly off. These can actually turn into dangerous projectiles, and can cause injuries not just to the child who is using the toy, but also other children and adults in the environment.
Before you buy the toy, decide whether the toy is appropriate for the child's age. In fact, if you are buying toys with sharp edges, or projectile components, it is best to also consider whether the child has younger siblings. Very often, toys that are safer for an older child find their way into the hands of younger siblings in the house, and cause injuries.Continue Reading Posted By Robert Katz In Children , Product Liability | 0 Comments Permalink
Every year, there are variations in the number of car accident fatalities, but one fact remains the same -- more fatal car accidents occur at night than in the daytime hours. Nighttime driving comes with its own set of challenges, and one of those is the lack of adequate roadway lighting. A new study focuses on the potential for improving nighttime driving through more advanced automobile headlight systems.
The research was recently presented at the International Symposium on Automotive Lighting in Germany. One scientist involved in the study presented a paper outlining the different types of lighting technologies that can help make nighttime driving both safer and easier. Specifically, these technologies involve headlights that can focus light onto particularly tricky and dangerous roadways. This would be done by using headlights that swivel or bend to put more light onto the turn of the road.
According to the report that was presented at the conference, earlier studies that compared cars equipped with these headlight systems and vehicles with conventional low beam headlights, found that the number of accidents occurring at night actually dropped. For instance, there was a drop of approximately 4% in nighttime accident frequency along low-speed roads. On high-speed roads with shallower curves, the drop was between 1% and 2%.
An earlier study into high beam anti-glare headlights was presented at The Eye, The Brain and The Auto research Congress in Michigan in September. At that conference, researchers presented a paper in which they analyzed the performance and safety of high-beam headlights that come with selective dimming powers, a feature that puts high-beams on certain sections of the road. These headlights are already beginning to appear in certain vehicle models, and do a much better job of illuminating roadways (especially curves) due to the lack of glare.Continue Reading Posted By Robert Katz In Auto Accident Claims , Product Liability , Road Debris | 0 Comments Permalink
Researchers at the University of Chicago are currently working on a prosthetic limb that includes a sense of touch. The limb would give a person a sensory touch, and not just allow him to perform motor activities.
The researchers have published the results of their experiments in the Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Obviously, this is a major step forward in prosthetics development, and this is a field that has already seen some interesting advancements in the recent past. Earlier, prosthetic hands, legs and limbs, were clunky, mechanical gadgets, which would allow a person to walk or move their arms, but in a cumbersome manner. They were uncomfortable to wear and even more uncomfortable to use. In fact, many prosthetic limbs were actually painful to use for long periods of time.
However, in 2013, the kind of prosthetic limbs that a person who has had his limbs amputated due to accident or any other cause are highly advanced, and very light. They're made from ultralight materials that are not just strong and stable, but also very convenient and comfortable to wear.
For example, new generation artificial legs don't just allow a person to walk, and stand, but also allow him to run, climb, and take part in adventure sports. These are activities that would have been considered impossible with a prosthetic leg a couple of decades ago. Prosthetic limbs now are also connected to artificial intelligence that allows them to move upon a brain signal from the person.
Continue Reading Posted By Robert Katz In Health Insurance | 0 Comments Permalink
A fatal motorcycle accident has been reported recently in Georgia. This time, it was a 61-year-old man from Woodstock who was traveling on his motorcycle when he crashed into a Toyota Tundra. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the man’s family and friends.
According to reports of the accident, the man was heading eastbound on Cumming Highway when the Tundra pulled out onto the roadway. Consequently, the motorcycle hit the left side of the vehicle. The motorcycle driver was rushed to the hospital, but was pronounced dead.
There was also a 55-year-old female passenger on a bike, who was thrown several feet away upon impact. She was also rushed to the hospital, and is being treated for injuries.
Investigations into the accident have continuing, and the Georgia State Patrol's Specialized Collision Reconstruction team has begun its follow-up investigation. Charges were not initially filed against any driver.Continue Reading Posted By Robert Katz In Motorcycles , Traffic Fatalities | 0 Comments Permalink
Certain highway safety initiatives across the country are likely to be affected by the federal government shutdown, which is currently in effect. While some agencies that are responsible for auto safety are likely to be negatively impacted, others that are responsible for trucking safety, fortunately, may escape unscathed.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is one of those agencies that is expected to be affected by the shutdown and resulting lack of funding. This is the federal agency that is responsible for highway safety activities across the country, and therefore, this is one shutdown that has the potential to affect the safety of motorists and passengers.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration may be forced to cut several employees as part of the furloughs. That in turn, could also impact not only highway safety, but also trucking safety to a certain extent, because the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also regulates trucking equipment.
The Federal Highway Administration is one of those agencies that is not likely to be affected by the shutdown. This is the agency that is mainly responsible for the design, construction, and maintenance of our country’s highway system.Continue Reading Posted By Robert Katz In Governmental , Traffic Fatalities , Truck Accidents , Workzone Accidents | 0 Comments Permalink