Atlanta Is One of the Most Dangerous Areas for Pedestrians

Atlanta has once again received the dubious distinction of being one of the most dangerous and risky cities for pedestrians in the United States. This recent designation came via the Dangerous by Design report, which spotlights cities that pose the highest risk of injuries and accidents to pedestrians.

The report is compiled by Smart Growth America, which formulated a Pedestrian Danger Index measure for all major cities in the country. When cities and states were compared, Florida was found to be the most dangerous state, while Orlando was found to be the most dangerous city for pedestrians in the country.

The Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta region comes in at number eight on the list, with 839 fatalities occurring between 2003 and 2012. The region had a Pedestrian Danger Index of 119.4.  Atlanta fared quite well, however, when compared to Orlando’s 244.3 Pedestrian Danger Index.  But the rating clearly indicates that there are a lot of changes needed to help keep pedestrians safer in our city.

Georgia government officials have for several years now promoted a pedestrian walking culture to help reduce the notorious traffic congestion problem in Atlanta. Atlanta has some of the worst traffic congestion problems in the country, and an increased number of pedestrians could help reduce much of the congestion. However, those attempts to increase the number of pedestrians have not been accompanied by corresponding changes to pedestrian travel infrastructure.

For example, there has not been a significant increase in the number of designated crosswalks that allow pedestrians to safely cross the road. Additionally, there are few initiatives targeted at helping motorists understand that they must yield the right of way to pedestrians at a crosswalk and must respect pedestrian rights. In the absence of informed motorists, the auto-centric culture that is focused more on the well-being of motorists than pedestrians has only become stronger.

Continue Reading
Tweet Like Email
print this article Posted By Robert Katz In About Us , Accidental Deaths , Pedestrian accidents | 0 Comments Permalink

Playground Accident Preventable with Better Safety Precautions

It’s too late to save the three-year-old boy who died in a playground accident in Alpharetta recently. However, parents of toddlers and children who will be swarming the state’s playgrounds over the next few weeks of summer must take heed. It's very easy, and much more common than you know, for children to suffer serious or even fatal injuries while playing at the playground.

In the Alpharetta incident, the three-year-old boy was playing on the slide when he choked on a piece of twine. The caregiver had turned her attention away from the child, and had gone inside for a moment. That is when the accident occurred. The boy was sliding down when his head got caught in the twine. When the caregiver found the child, he was hanging from the twine. He was rushed to the hospital, but died days later. The cause of death was ruled as asphyxiation.

It appears that the piece of twine was at the top of the slide, and shaped like a loop. When the child was sliding down, his head got into the loop, cutting off his air supply. At this time, no charges have been filed against the caregiver or anyone else involved here.

At the time, the child was in the care of a caregiver who runs an in-home childcare service. The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning has issued an order for the Emergency Closure of the care service in Alpharetta. According to the statement by the agency, this incident seems to have spotlighted several rule violations, which resulted in the death of the child.

Continue Reading
Tweet Like Email
print this article Posted By Robert Katz In Children , Premises Liability , Wrongful Death | 0 Comments Permalink

Georgia GHSA Spotlights Heat Strokes in Cars

A growing number of incidents across the country in which young children have died after being left inside a hot car have shocked child safety advocates and parents.  In Georgia, state agencies are trying to draw attention to the fact that over the next few weeks, children in Atlanta and across the State are going to be at an increased risk of dying from such preventable incidents.

The Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety recently joined the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to mark National Heat Stroke Prevention Day. The goal was to increase awareness about the fact that any parent is at risk of making these dangerous mistakes. According to the NHTSA, more than 50% of all car- related heatstroke fatalities involving children are caused when a parent or caregiver unintentionally leaves a child behind in the car. In 29% of the cases, the child manages to get inside the car on his or her own, and is unable to get himself out.

This year alone, there have been 17 child fatalities from heatstroke. There is no doubt that these tragedies were all preventable. While calls for technology that could help alert parents when their children are in the backseats before they get in the car are increasing, there is no doubt that this is a problem that can be avoided by taking simple steps.

Never leave a child unattended around the car for any reason. That doesn't simply involve leaving children behind in a car. It also involves making sure that children are nowhere around an unlocked car. A child can easily access the car, and lock himself inside in just a few seconds. Make sure that your car is always locked, and make sure that the car keys are away from the child.

Continue Reading
Tweet Like Email
print this article Posted By Robert Katz In Accidental Deaths , Children , Holiday Travel | 0 Comments Permalink

Atlanta Bike Share Program Needs to Consider the Helmet Factor

Atlanta is set to soon launch its very first bike share program following cities across the country, including New York City, that already have their own bike share programs in place. These are exciting times for bicyclists, and there is a lot of support for the bike sharing program because it will help reduce some of the congestion on Atlanta’s notoriously busy streets.  However, Atlanta should take the results of a new study seriously, which finds that cities that have implemented bike share programs are actually seeing an increase in the number of head injuries.

In May of 2014, the Atlanta City Council announced that it had approved a resolution for the establishment of the bicycle share program.  The vendor has already presented the proposal to launch the city’s first bike share program, and once the program is fully underway, Atlanta residents will be able to rent bicycles 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

However, the study found that the proportion of head injuries that was relative to all bicycle accident-related injuries actually spiked significantly in cities that have implemented similar programs. The occurrence of head injuries in those cities actually increased by 14%, while there was no corresponding head injury rate increase in cities that had no bike share program in place. Researchers say that the findings confirm their worst fears; cities are implementing these programs without giving proper consideration to the role of helmets in preventing injuries.  It has to be noted here that the study focused on head injuries, and not brain injuries.  Every head injury does not automatically lead to a brain injury, which is much more serious.


Continue Reading
Tweet Like Email
print this article Posted By Robert Katz In Bicycle Injury Claims | 0 Comments Permalink

Prescription Medications May Increase Risk of Drowsy Driving Accidents

Most motorists assume that if they have had their full eight hours of sleep and don’t take medications within a certain number of hours before driving, they are at a low risk of falling asleep at the wheel.  However, new data suggests that those taking sleep medications or antidepressants may be at a higher risk of dozing off and being involved in a car accident.

Recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned of an increased risk of drowsy driving the day after using the popular sleep aid Lunesta.  Lunesta contains eszoplicone which remains in the system several hours after taking the medication.  The agency is especially concerned about the potential for next-day driving impairment with the use of this drug.  It claims that the drug can possibly cause next-day impairment of driving as well as other important functions and, therefore, has recommended that the starting dose of the medication be reduced to 1 mg at bedtime.

The FDA is asking healthcare providers and doctors to follow the new recommendations for the administration of Lunesta for first time prescriptions. 


Continue Reading
Tweet Like Email
print this article Posted By Robert Katz In Medications | 0 Comments Permalink

Tips to Stay Safe in the Summer

The warm summer months are in full swing, and so are the numerous health and safety risks that are prevalent during this time. Both adults and children are exposed to the risks of being injured in auto accidents, dog bites, boating and swimming incidents, barbecue fires and other safety risks during the weeks of summer.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has good advice for Americans to stay injury-free during the warm months of summer.

One of the biggest injury risks in the summer is being involved in a car accident. The months of June, July and August are considered the peak season for motor vehicle collisions, simply because there are more vehicles on the road.  Add to this the fact that too many of these motorists will be in a hurry to arrive at their destination, or will have had some alcohol to drink prior to getting behind the wheel, it’s easy to see the dangers that exist.  

Take into account that there are more drunk drivers and speeding drivers on the road. Try to keep the amount of traveling that you do at night to a minimum, and find less-traveled routes. Always wear your seatbelt, never drink and drive, and stay within the speed limit or a safe speed based on road conditions. If you're going to drink at a summer party, stay the night or have a sober driver take you home. 

Another major risk during summer is food poisoning. Food that has been kept out in warm Atlanta temperatures for just a few hours can begin to accumulate dangerous bacteria.  Make sure that food is kept at the recommended heat while being served, and then refrigerated within an hour of cooling. Take extra precautions with hand safety and raw meat contamination, especially when you’re eating outdoors.  



Continue Reading
Tweet Like Email
print this article Posted By Robert Katz In Burn Injury , Children , Dog Bite Cases and Issues , Holiday Travel , Summer Safety | 0 Comments Permalink

Running Red Lights a Big Cause of Accidents Too

Every year approximately 1,000 people die in accidents that are caused directly by red light violations.  While there is understandably a lot of attention focused on driving under the influence of alcohol and speeding as primary contributors to accidents, much less attention is given to the fact that too many deadly accidents are caused by motorists who fail to stop at red lights.

The National Coalition for Safer Roads recently revealed an analysis of data involving red light violations across the country, which provided very interesting results.  For instance, the study found that most red light violations across the country occur on Fridays, and the time of the day that sees the highest number of light violations is the afternoon. The least number of violations is seen during the late-night hours.  Sunday sees the least number of violations among the days of the week.

Red light violations also seem to spike around major holidays.  Memorial Day weekend ranks number one in the number of red light violations.  A total of 39,021 red light violations were recorded in 2013 during the Memorial Day weekend.  The lowest number of red light violations occurs over the Halloween weekend with 20,902 violations.  In Georgia, however, the maximum number of red light violations occurred over the Christmas holiday with 400 violations recorded in the State in 2013.

The fact is that you are in danger of coming across a red light violator on any day of the year and at any time of the day.  Even “safe” drivers, who may never dream of driving under the influence of alcohol or driving while distracted see no problem running a red light when they are in a hurry. Such behavior is extremely dangerous, because running a red light creates a very real risk of crashing into a car from the side, often causing much more serious injuries. 

Continue Reading
Tweet Like Email
print this article Posted By Robert Katz In Cell phones , Distracted Driving , Holiday Travel , Traffic Fatalities | 0 Comments Permalink

Prevent Swimming Pool Accidents This Summer

Some of the most common accidents that result in premises liability lawsuits are drowning and swimming pool accidents that occur at private homes. Drownings involving pools, hot tubs and spas claim hundreds of lives every year, many of them children. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), more than 3/4 of drowning accidents involve children below the age of five. The CPSC estimates that children between the age of one and five account for 67% of all fatalities in swimming accidents and 64% of all injuries.

This summer, as more families head out for fun in the water the risk of drowning accidents increases. In fact, among children below the age of five, drowning happens to be the single biggest cause of accidental death. Unfortunately, the fact is that many of these accidents occur even in the presence of parents and caregivers at the scene. There was recently a very tragic story in the news about a child who drowned while family and friends were singing happy birthday to another guest.

This summer, make pool safety a priority for your family. Swimming lessons are a great place to start. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children below the age of five take swimming lessons. Besides teaching your children to swim, it's also important to make sure that your pool is safe not only for your children, but also visiting children who may have gathered at your home to have fun this summer.  Installing a fence around your pool, which is required by Georgia law, is one of the best things you can do for safety.   And those fences need to be a minimum of 5 feet tall, have locking gates that swing outward, and have a certain amount of space between rails. 

Continue Reading
Tweet Like Email
print this article Posted By Robert Katz In Children , Premises Liability , Wrongful Death | 0 Comments Permalink

Pedestrian Fatality Study Underscores Georgia's Poor Record

Georgia ranks at the bottom of the heap when it comes to protecting pedestrians from serious or fatal injuries in accidents.

According to a new study, a small group of states accounts for some of the highest number of pedestrian fatalities in the country. The study was conducted by the National Complete Streets Coalition, where researchers analyzed numbers involving more than 47,025 pedestrian fatalities that occurred over a 10 year period. When analysis of the data was complete, some states were found to have an abysmal record in keeping pedestrians safe and preventing accidents.

The study established a Pedestrian Danger Index, which measured the number of fatalities relative to the number of pedestrians on the street, and found that some states had managed to keep fatalities very low.   These included New York and Washington DC.

However, at the other side of the spectrum were the states where pedestrians were at a high risk of being injured or killed in accidents. These states included Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, South Carolina and Georgia. 

It's interesting how many cities in the south were included in the most dangerous places to walk. According to the study, the metro Orlando region was the most dangerous area for pedestrians with a high rate of fatalities, followed by the Tampa-St. Petersburg area, Jacksonville, Miami, Memphis, Birmingham, Houston, Atlanta, and Phoenix.

Continue Reading
Tweet Like Email
print this article Posted By Robert Katz In Pedestrian accidents | 0 Comments Permalink

Stroke Survivors Often Unaware of Accident Risks

A stroke is one of the most serious medical events a person can experience, and affects more than 800,000 people in the United States every year. There are many long-term consequences of a stroke that can affect a person's cognitive and mental abilities. This includes their ability to safely operate a car, truck or motorcycle

According to the results of a new study, many persons who have survived a stroke begin driving again as quickly as one month after the stroke, without undergoing a driving evaluation or test. Those findings are very alarming, because a stroke can impact a person's abilities to drive safely, even if there are no outward physical signs of the trauma that the body has been through.

For instance, a stroke very often impairs a person's reflexes and coordination. That could affect the way a motorist reacts to an emergency situation while driving. A stroke can also result in slowness, memory problems, and judgment difficulties. All of these can prove catastrophic behind the wheel and on the road, where a person is required to constantly make judgments about speed and distance.

In the study, the researchers analyzed more than 162 persons who had suffered a stroke, and found that approximately 59% of them went back to driving within one month of the stroke. Fewer than 6% of stroke survivors took a driving test before they began operating a motor vehicle again. In fact, according to the researchers, doctors found that many stroke survivors were anxious to begin driving again, perhaps because of the sense of independence it provides.

Continue Reading
Tweet Like Email
print this article Posted By Robert Katz In Auto Accident Claims , Brain Injury | 0 Comments Permalink