New Advanced Technology May Help Save Lives at Atlanta Accident Sites

In the future, an accident site in Atlanta could have drones hovering above wrecked cars, and high-tech ambulances equipped with video -streaming features that allow patient data to be transmitted instantly to the nearest hospital. New intelligent transportation technology could help expedite the process of responding to accident scenes, and help save more lives each year.

In car accidents, where a person has suffered devastating injuries like brain injuries or spinal injuries, the first hour after the accident is critically important. In fact, a person's chances of surviving an accident increase dramatically if he receives life-saving critical care during this period of time. Unfortunately, very often, precious time goes by as the person is transferred to an emergency trauma care center. By the time the person reaches the center and receives the life -saving care that he needs, it is often too late.

However, at a recent conference that showcased intelligent transportation technology in Michigan, promoters exhibited new devices and technologies that can be used at accident sites to provide faster medical treatment. These technologies can be used both inside an emergency responder vehicle and outside the vehicle.

One of the technologies displayed at the event was a Max Life ambulance that came with telemedicine technology, which allows medical personnel inside the ambulance to immediately live stream or transmit data in real-time to doctors at the hospital. That provides doctors the opportunity to more quickly diagnose the medical issues involving the accident victim, and prepare the emergency room for the victim’s arrival. The technology in this particular ambulance consisted of six cameras in the ambulance and a number of other life-saving devices that actually transmitted information to hospitals.

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print this article Posted By Robert Katz In Auto Accident Claims | 0 Comments Permalink

More Attention Being Paid to Concussions and Prevention

Concussions are common injuries in car, motorcycle, and bicycle accidents. These are mild brain injuries that can occur even during a low-speed collision, or even if a person is wearing a helmet at the time. New research confirms that concussions should be taken more seriously than they have been in the past. 

Concussions are mild brain injuries that may or may not be accompanied by a temporary loss of consciousness. Symptoms of concussion include headache, nausea, fatigue, muscle weakness, and confusion. The concussed person may have difficulty concentrating, learning new tasks, and may also struggle with memory loss.

New research seems to suggest that there are longer-term consequences of mild brain injuries common in bicycle and motorcycle accidents. In the study, scientists compared the performance of persons who had suffered mild or moderate concussions on thinking and memory tests with the performance of persons who had not suffered a concussion. They found a marked difference in the performance of both groups. The persons who suffered from concussions seemed to perform poorly on the thinking and memory tests, compared to those who had no brain injury.

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Ignition Switch Failure Becoming Large Issue for Automaker

General Motor’s faulty ignition switches have been a hot topic in the news since the beginning of 2014. In February, GM recalled 800,000 vehicles due to defective ignition switches, and since then, the number has grown to 29 million vehicles recalled in North America. Vehicles affected by the defective ignition switch include the Chevy Cobalt, Chevy HHR, Pontiac Solstice, Pontiac G5, Saturn Ion, and Saturn Sky

According to GM, a heavy key ring or a “jarring event,” such as hitting a bump in the road, could cause the defective ignition switch to slip out of position, shutting off power steering and brakes, and causing the air bags to fail in a crash.

Deaths & Injuries Linked to the Faulty Switch

GM has linked 13 deaths and 54 crashes to the defective switch; however, a recent review of federal crash data commissioned by the Center for Auto Safety identified over 300 deaths in GM cars with undeployed airbags. The drastic difference in numbers it attributable to the criteria GM is using to tally deaths. The automaker is only counting failures that resulted in front-impact collisions in which airbags did not deploy. For these victims and their families, GM has set up a compensation program.

According to GM’s criteria, if a vehicle’s airbag deployed or if the resulting accident wasn’t a head-on crash, the victims don’t qualify for the compensation program—even if ignition switch failure caused or contributed to their injuries. That means hundreds of accident victims are potentially ineligible for compensation. For example, an injured passenger who was riding in the backseat, or who was involved in a rear-end collision, would not qualify for compensation.



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What to Do If Your Car Is Recalled

2014 is turning out to be a record year for recalls. Millions of cars already have been recalled this year, most of them from the General Motors. Fresh data released by Carfax confirms that as many as 36% of all recalled cars on American roads are not repaired.

In fact, last year, the auto industry recalled more cars than it sold. In 2013, recalls were up by approximately 25%, which is the highest increase on record since 2004. One of General Motors largest recalls this year, involving more than 2.6 million vehicles, was for a defective ignition switch that has already been linked to 13 fatalities. Clearly, car recalls are not always linked to defects that are inconveniences to customers, but possibly serious defects that could actually cause car accidents involving injuries and death.

Who is to blame for this poor response to recalls? According to Carfax, there are currently at least 36 million recalled cars being operated by motorists in the United States. In many cases, people are completely unaware of the recalls, while in the remaining cases, the people have been informed of the recall, but chose not to respond anyway.

One major reason for such a poor response rate is the fact that people are understandably fatigued by all the recall alerts that are being posted in the media. Many Atlanta residents actually discard recall notices that they get sent in the mail. In other cases, an owner may not really believe that his vehicle will give him any trouble, since he's never had trouble with it before. Therefore, he may not take the car to the dealer to get the problem fixed.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


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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. 


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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.  



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