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A boating safety law that would require that recreational boaters use a kill switch link went into effect on April 1.

The kill switch law is a new federal law that requires operators of recreational vessels to wear a link to the kill switch.  Any recreational vessel that is less than 26 feet in length must be equipped with an engine switch-off lock link. Basically, the lock allows the operator to switch off the engine during an emergency, such as if the operator of the boat falls overboard.

When a boat operator falls overboard, he is likely to suffer serious or even fatal injuries, as the driverless boat may continue to circle around which could result in the victim being struck by the boat propellers. Injuries sustained in an accident like this are usually catastrophic or even fatal.

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According to a new report by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the number of wrong-way driving accidents in the U.S. increased by almost 35% in recent years.  Most wrong way driving accidents are the result of drunk driving, but they can also be caused by mistakes by older drivers or drowsy drivers.  The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently issued a list of guidelines for state transportation agencies to prevent these kinds of accidents.

Wrong-way driving accidents are some of the most devastating accidents  that occur on Atlanta roads.   These accidents typically involve head-on collisions that occur at high speeds that result in fatalities. Driving under the influence of alcohol is a primary cause of wrong-way driving accidents.  Drunk driving – specifically, driving while excessively intoxicated – is strongly linked to wrong-way driving. Excessive alcohol intoxication or a blood alcohol concentration level that is between 0.8 and .15%, or close to double the legally permitted blood alcohol concentration level in Georgia, is often linked to these devastating driving errors.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety advises that state transportation agencies increase their implementation of DUI checkpoints or sobriety checkpoints.  The Foundation also advises states like Georgia to strengthen laws requiring the installation of ignition interlock devices on the vehicles of motorists who are convicted of drunk driving.  An ignition interlock device determines the level of intoxication of the motorist, and activates to prevent the motorist from starting the car if those intoxication levels are above a pre-set limit.  Many states, including Georgia, require the installation of ignition interlock devices in the cars of motorists who are convicted of repeat DUI offenses. Several safety advocates have called for the application of these laws to all drunk driving offenders, even first – time offenders. A stringent application of the law would significantly reduce the number of intoxicated motorists on our streets.

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The year 2020 is likely to be known not just as the year of the pandemic, but, unfortunately, also the year of record pedestrian accident deaths.  Those fatality numbers touched record highs during the first six months of 2020, in spite of the fact that fewer people were driving during this period of time.

According to the statistics released by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, while there were fewer vehicle miles driven during the first 6 months of 2020 due to the pandemic, there was an increase in the incidence of dangerous driving behaviors such as speeding and distracted driving. The Governor’s Highway Safety Association points to these factors as possible causes of the significant increase in pedestrian accident deaths during this time.

According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, which released a report titled Spotlight on Highway Safety, there was a 20% increase in pedestrian accident deaths, compared to a 5% increase in all other car accident fatalities, in the country from January to June 2020.

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With students across Georgia gearing up to have fun over spring break, it’s important for parents and colleges to understand the very high incidence of binge drinking during this season, and the resultant elevated risks of being involved in drunk driving accidents.

Binge drinking is a contributor to several drunk driving accidents every year.  Binge drinking is the consumption of too many alcoholic beverages in too short a period of time. This is quick and excessive drinking, and the number of drinks consumed can range from 4 drinks during a 2-hour span in the case of a woman, to 5 drinks or more in the same period of time in the case of a man. High intensity drinking, the incidence of which is also very high among college students during spring break, is the consumption of double this amount or more. The chances of blood alcohol levels rising very quickly with such speedy drinking are extremely high.

During a typical drinking session, a person might eat or pace his drinking, slowing down the absorption of alcohol in the blood. However, when young adults binge drink, that same kind of pacing does not happen. The result is a quicker absorption of alcohol into the blood stream and faster intoxication.  Couple this excessive drinking with the kind of reckless and uninhibited behaviour that typically occurs when young adults are with friends of the same age, and you have a potent situation with a high risk of a drunk driving accident. Several studies show that teenagers and young adults are at a much higher risk for binge drinking, compared to older, mature adults.

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The ongoing debate on increasing the federal minimum wage could have unexpected, but welcome, consequences, like the enhancement of care available at the nation’s nursing homes. That could, in turn, mean fewer cases of abuse and neglect of residents at these facilities.

At many nursing homes in Georgia, poor care and even abuse of residents is often linked to understaffing and high rates of staff turnover. Many nursing homes see high staff attrition rates, and in most cases, staff members choose to move jobs when there is a higher pay scale promised. These high staff turnover rates are part of the reason for the devastating effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on these nursing homes.

When the pandemic raged across Georgia, residents in nursing homes were some of the earliest victims. Higher rates of staff turnover meant that many of these nursing homes were understaffed. Fewer staff members meant lower adherence to social distancing protocols of the type that would have helped prevent nursing home residents from infecting each other. Fewer number of staff members also discouraged stronger adherence to the kind of sanitation protocols that would have prevented the spread of infections via contaminated surfaces and objects.

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A new study by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association finds that a combination of strategies, including stronger laws against the use of cell phones while driving, as well as stringent enforcement of these laws could significantly help reduce the risk of distracted driving accidents.

Many states, including Georgia, have been struggling with containing the distracted driving epidemic. The use of cell phones behind the wheel is rampant,  despite laws that specifically prohibit such practices. Several studies have indicated that most motorists admit to having used a cell phone while driving for texting or for having a conversation. It is only a minority of motorists that will actually turn off cell phones while driving.

Cell phone use has become an integral part of the driving experience, and for many people, the car has become an extension of the workplace.  This makes it tempting for motorists to reach out for their phones to answer a text message, read and respond to an email, or answer a phone call.  All of these are extremely distracting activities, and seriously increase the person’s risk of being involved in an accident.

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In Georgia, initiatives continue to grow for less car and more pedestrian friendly areas throughout the state.  A new report, however, identifies the Metro Atlanta- Sandy Springs-Roswell area as one of the most dangerous areas for pedestrians in the country.

This alarming finding was part of a report that found a total of 1,160 pedestrian accidents in the Atlanta- Sandy Springs-Roswell area between 2010 and 2019. That makes it an average rate of approximately 2 pedestrian deaths per 100,000 pedestrians every day.

The list included the top 20 most dangerous areas for pedestrians in the country, and the Metro Atlanta region was the only area in Georgia that featured on the list. This region also had a Pedestrian Danger Index of 152.3. The Pedestrian Danger Index is a rating system that measures how dangerous it is for  pedestrians to walk in an area or state, based on the number of pedestrian deaths that occurred in these areas or states. The data specifically focused on pedestrian accident deaths that occurred between 2010 and 2019.  All data came from the Fatality Analysis reporting system.

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Women have a higher risk of being severely injured and suffering certain types of injuries in in car accidents compared to men. The prevalent theory is that this is the result of physiological differences between men and women.  A new study spotlights other more likely factors for this disparity.

The study was conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and the results were released recently. Men are overall much more likely to be involved in fatal accidents than women. However, women are more likely to suffer fatal injuries. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, women are between 20 and 28% more likely to sustain fatal injuries in accidents compared to men. They are also approximately 37 to 73% more likely to suffer serious injuries in an accident compared to male drivers, even after adjusting for factors like speed.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, women are more likely to suffer certain types of injuries in accidents because of the types of vehicles that they are likely to drive. The circumstances surrounding the accident could also have a lot to do with the kind of injuries that females suffer. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety researchers found that in a front-impact accident, women had a 3 times higher risk of experiencing moderate injuries like concussions.  The risk of suffering a traumatic brain injury or lung injuries was twice as high as for males.

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Motorcycle accidents are some of the most devastating of all motor vehicle accidents in the metro Atlanta region.  Due to the unenclosed nature of motorcycle riding, it comes as no surprise that a motorcyclist is much more likely to be sustain serious and even fatal injuries in an accident as opposed to victims in other types of auto accidents.

A new study focuses on the injury prevention benefits provided by appropriate clothing and helmets in reducing the risk of fatal injuries in motorcycle accidents.  According to the new study which was conducted at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, motorcyclists are approximately 25 to 30 times more likely to be killed in an accident compared to other motorists, even after taking into account a number of other factors that could affect fatality rates.

The lead researchers involved in the study focused specifically on the key factors involved in motorcycle accidents and the mitigation strategies that could be employed to reduce these risks.  According to the researchers, there is no comprehensive evidence available that specifically measures the harm that motorcyclists sustain in accidents. The researchers made use of the Injury Severity Score that rates the seriousness of injuries, and data collected from the Motorcycle Crash Causation Study.

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Teens account for a greater proportion of all speeding-related accident deaths in the United States, compared to all other age groups. Those disturbing facts come from a new report by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, which analyzed data between 2015 and 2019.

The report found that teen motorists, as well as their passengers between the ages of 16 and 19, accounted for a much higher proportion of accident deaths that were caused by speeding, with 43% of deaths occurring in this age group. In all other age groups, speeding accounted for approximately 30% of all deaths during the same time period.

According to the report, there were a total of 4,930 fatalities in accidents that were caused by speeding, between 2015 and 2019.  During this time, there were 15,510 teen driver and passenger accident deaths, and more than 5,200 of those occurred in accidents that were caused by speeding.

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