Does Your Cell Phone Beep Distract You While Driving?

Contrary to what many people believe, you don't necessarily have to pick up the phone to answer your cell phone to become distracted while driving. The notification of an incoming call or message could be sufficient to distract you enough to cause an accident.

According to a new study, distractions don't have to involve text messaging or talking on a cell phone at the wheel. Even cell phone alerts can cause a person’s mind to wander, and that distraction could actually cause or contribute to a motor vehicle collision.

The results of the study conducted at Florida State University show just how distracting cell phone-related noises really are. When a person hears a cell phone beep or ring informing him about an incoming SMS message, the person's mind immediately is diverted from the task of driving, and toward the message or call. Even if the person does not pick up the phone to answer the call or read the text message, his mind is now diverted, and he is distracted. The researchers admit that they were surprised at the level of distraction simple cell phone notification alerts can cause.

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print this article Posted By Robert Katz In Cell phones , Distracted Driving , Traffic Fatalities | Permalink

Georgia a Leading State for Dog Bites

Georgia residents continue to be at a high risk of dog bites. In a recent study by State Farm, Georgia ranked at number nine in a list of the top 10 states in the country for dog bite incidences.

New statistics released reported by the insurer showed that State Farm paid out $3.8 million for 116 dog bite-related injury claims in Georgia in 2014.  That places Georgia at number nine on the list of top 10 states for dog bite claims in the country.  State Farm did not provide more data about the injury claims or the breeds of dogs that were involved in these attacks.

The high rate of dog bites in Georgia is a serious problem for residents of the Peach State, especially because dog bite laws here make it much more difficult for plaintiffs to recover damages after a bite, compared to other states. In California, for instance, the law allows for strict liability in dog bite claims. That means that a person who has been injured in a dog bite can recover damages, even if it was the dog’s first bite and even if the owner had no previous knowledge of his dog’s vicious tendencies.

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print this article Posted By Robert Katz In Animal attacks , Dog Bite Cases and Issues , Premises Liability | Permalink

Cameras in Operating Rooms Could Help Prevent Surgical Errors

The use of existing technology could be part of the next effort to reduce the number of surgical errors occurring in operating rooms across the country. A new movement is calling for the introduction of recording technology in operating rooms in order to prevent surgical errors that cause patients injuries or death.

In many surgical error cases that come before Atlanta medical malpractice attorneys every year, it's challenging to identify the exact kind of error that occurred. This is due to the lack of proper documentation, confusion during the procedure, or intentional cover-ups. For many patients, this means that they are unable to proceed with a medical malpractice lawsuit because the evidence cannot support a successful result. 

In the absence of any kind of audio or video recording of what transpired in the operating room, patients and families have to rely on the memories of those present in the OR, and whatever documentation was created immediately after the surgery. In many cases, these are insufficient to identify the kind of errors that occurred.

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print this article Posted By Robert Katz In Medical Malpractice | Permalink

Alcohol and Holiday Travel Don't Mix

You know who doesn’t take the day off for Labor Day? The police! As a matter of fact, law enforcement departments across the country have announced they’re cracking down on careless driving and DUIs this weekend like never before.

There’s good reason for that.

Labor Day is the second deadliest holiday in America. (Only Thanksgiving claims more lives.) Each year, this single weekend sees tens of thousands of arrests on the highways, and the overwhelming majority of them are for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

With AAA projecting the busiest Labor Day in nearly a decade, and as police chiefs make a vow of vigilance, we may very well see those numbers reach an all-time high this weekend.

Don’t take chances. A DUI can ruin your life — or even end it. Hundreds of Americans are killed in drunk driving crashes every Labor Day weekend, nearly half of them children. It is truly better to be safe than sorry.

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print this article Posted By Robert Katz In Auto Accident Claims , DUI , Holiday Travel | Permalink

IKEA Warns of Wall Chest Tip-over Injuries after Two Toddler Fatalities

Safety experts and Atlanta personal injury lawyers have been warning of the risk of child fatalities in furniture tip over accidents for many years. Last year, two toddlers were killed in furniture tip over accidents involving an IKEA dresser unit model. Now, IKEA North America is telling millions of owners of these dressers that these chests must be firmly anchored to the walls in order to prevent accidents of the type that killed the two toddlers.

IKEA has confirmed at least 14 tip over incidents that resulted in four injuries. The company says that the chest must be firmly anchored to the walls, in order to prevent injuries like these.

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, one fatality involved a two-year-old boy in Pennsylvania who died in February last year, when a MALM chest of drawers fell on him. The boy was pinned to a bed, and died from his injuries. The second fatality involved a two-year-old child from Washington, who was killed in June of last year when a similar chest fell on him. According to IKEA North America, it has three other reports of child fatalities since 1989 involving tip overs of other models of chests. The company is offering free wall-mounting repair kits for 27 million dressers. 

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print this article Posted By Robert Katz In Children , Product Liability , Safety Studies | Permalink

Feds Warn of Hacking, Safety Risks Involving Self-Driven Cars

The hype over self-driven cars continues to increase, even as the federal officials warn that automakers must innovate while keeping in mind concerns involving privacy and hacking.

Hackers recently proved that they were capable of hacking a car remotely, and operating it. In a daring stunt, they managed to seize control of a Jeep Cherokee, and operated it from the comfort of their living room. Cyber security concerns are even higher in the case of self-driven cars that are very vulnerable to such malicious practices. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) chief recently said that issues like privacy and hacking must be priorities, as automakers innovate further in the development of cars that will drive themselves.

NHTSA has assured the auto industry that it will share some of the vehicle-to-vehicle technology that self-driven cars would be based on. The government also wants a number of parties including software developers and telecommunications companies to work together to find solutions to cyber security threats and privacy breaches in these cars. The agency wants the auto industry to take safety lessons from the airline industry.

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print this article Posted By Robert Katz In Automotive Technology | Permalink

Take Precautions to Prevent Heat Stroke-Related Child Fatalities

Parents, caregivers and the community at large all have a role to play in helping prevent heat stroke-related fatalities involving children left behind in cars during summer.

Those fatalities are already at record numbers in 2015. So far this year, there have been 11 fatalities involving children who were left behind in heated cars, by parents or caregivers. Recently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Safe Kids Worldwide commemorated National Heat Stroke Prevention Day, and the agency specifically focused on parents and caregivers, asking them to take precautions to prevent such fatalities in vehicles.

NHTSA has also released a new technical report that would help auto manufacturers in the development of appropriate technologies to help prevent such fatalities. There is no doubt that there is much that manufacturers can do to help prevent such needless fatalities every year. From warning systems to alarms and special child car seats, manufacturers are already working on, or have introduced technology to help parents prevent such fatalities. These devices however, are intended for use as add-ons, and their effectiveness is currently being debated.

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print this article Posted By Robert Katz In Children , Wrongful Death | Permalink

"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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print this article Posted By Robert Katz In Medical Malpractice | Permalink

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