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Georgia residents are overwhelmingly opposed to a bill that would restrict their access to medical malpractice damages. They’re also strongly in favor of holding nursing homes accountable for the neglect and abuse of residents.

Those are the results of a new survey conducted by the Public Policy Polling Institute, which found that residents across seven states are overwhelmingly in opposition to HR 1215. The recently introduced bill seeks to limit noneconomic damages available in cases involving medical malpractice and nursing home abuse. The bill would also cover any damages from lawsuits related to malfunctioning or defective medical devices, as well as pharmaceutical company drug-related lawsuits.

The Public Policy Polling survey specifically focused on residents living in seven states:  Florida, Georgia, Texas, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Utah and Arizona. These are states that are either red (Republican) or purple (have voted Republican or Democrat in the past few years). Typically, voters who live in red or purple states favor restrictions on medical malpractice damages.

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Cities that choose to shut down their red light camera programs may see a spike in the number of people killed in traffic fatalities caused by red light violations.

According to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, red light camera programs in several large American cities were responsible for saving as many as 1,300 lives in accidents through 2014. Shutting down these programs cost American lives, with fatality rates shooting up as much as 30% in cities that have chosen to shut down red light camera programs. In 2014, according to data, red light violations caused more than 700 fatalities and over 126,000 injuries.

Red light camera programs not only reduce the risk of violations, but also lead to greater adherence to the rules and fewer violations, leading to a lower risk of accidents when programs like these are publicized. In addition, when red light camera programs are in place, violators can be apprehended easily.  Unfortunately, even though the benefits of red light camera programs are easy to see, they have been met with opposition by local communities. That has led to many of these programs being shut down in several cities across the country. The total number of communities with red light camera programs in the country fell in 2014 to a total of 467, from a high of 533 in the year 2012.

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Daylight savings has been in effect for about 6 weeks in Georgia, which is enough time for most people to make the adjustment to longer days.  However, did you know that your car accident risks increase as soon as Daylight Savings Time comes into effect? When your days become longer, your risks behind the wheel increase.

According to one study that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a single hour of lost sleep can significantly increase your risk of being involved in an accident.

What can you do to help reduce the risk of an accident now that longer days are here?

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Earlier this month, Georgia officials joined hands with the Federal Highway Administration, OSHA, and various other local organizations to mark National Work Zone Awareness Week.

Using the slogan Work Zone Safety Is In Your Hands, this year’s National Work Zone Awareness Week aimed at educating construction workers about staying safe when in a zone, and encouraging motorists to be more careful when they travel through these areas.  Across Georgia, special safety stand-down events were conducted at work zone sites. These events encouraged employers to halt work across construction sites for one hour to pay special attention to safety practices at their construction sites. Employers used the hour to review safety practices currently in place, and to discuss potential hazards that continued to pose a safety risk to workers.

National Work Zone Awareness Week is designed to bring attention to the safety of not just construction workers in these zones, but also motorists who are traveling through these areas. Accidents that occur at construction work zones often result in serious injuries or death.

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You may have noticed an increase in your family’s auto insurance premium rates recently.  Average insurance payouts around the country are increasing, and distracted driving accidents are partly to blame.

The increasing numbers of people dying in distracted driving-related accidents are causing auto insurers to raise premiums.  The role of distracted driving in our traffic fatality toll cannot be overstated. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported a 14% increase in the number of fatalities last year, for a total of 40,000 across the U.S.  Many experts believe that distracted driving is contributing to this spike.

Since 2011, American families have seen their average insurance premiums increase by as much as 16%, to a total of $906.  Insurers say that they have no other choice but to increase premiums because of the large number of drivers involved in collisions while operating vehicles and using smart phones.

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A large body of evidence supports the fact that your accident risks increase when you are driving in a fatigued condition. But just how sleepy do you have to be to be involved in an accident? According to a new study, your accident risk doubles if you have lost just a single hour of sleep.

A staggering new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety underscores the dangers of drowsy driving. According to the study, missing just an hour or two of sleep doubles your chances of being involved in a car accident the next day. If you drive after getting just 4 to 5 hours of sleep, your accident risk increases by four times. In fact, at that level, you are driving in a state that is comparable to that of a person with a blood-alcohol concentration between .12 and .15. That is higher than the .08 drunk driving limit in place in most states.

There are many studies on driving while tired, but this is the first one that aims to quantify the dangers.

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In the future, drones carrying blood products and medical supplies could prove to be an integral part of emergency and critical care after an accident.

The first few hours after any car or truck wreck are critical for a victim. In fact, in severe accidents, the first hour after the event is extremely crucial, and is often referred to as the “golden hour.” It is during this time that the quality and speed of care delivered to the victim really matters. Delays in receiving emergency medical care during this important time could mean the difference between life and death for injured victims.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that drones can be used effectively to transport large bags of blood products to accident sites and other areas where such critical measures are needed.   The cooler technology used in the study was able to maintain the proper temperature of the products.

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Road safety is always a concern when you suffer from a chronic medical condition. Results have been released from a recent study focused on obtaining a better understanding of the accident risks facing patients with epilepsy.

According to statistics, between 2.5 to 3 million people in the United States currently suffer from epilepsy. Not all types of epilepsy are the same. There are variations in the number of seizures, the frequency of seizures, and the area of the brain from where these attacks emanate. The study focused on understanding how to better protect people with epilepsy, and keep them safe while driving. The researchers found that persons who suffered from longer seizures were more likely to be involved in an accident.

Approximately 70% of people who currently suffer from epilepsy are allowed to drive, provided that they control their seizures using medication. The remaining 25% of patients typically record the frequency and duration of their seizures, and discuss it with their doctors as part of a an ongoing monitoring of their condition.

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There are a number of parties that can be held accountable in any drunk driving accident. But did you know that there are some parties that may not seem directly involved in the accident, but can still be held liable in a civil claim?

One of the most obvious parties that can be held liable in a drunk driving accident claim is the intoxicated driver.  However, victims may also hold liable the commercial establishment that served or sold the alcohol before the accident.  These claims are filed under Georgia’s dram shop statute, which allows commercial drinking establishments such as pubs, restaurants, clubs, or liquor stores, to be held accountable in those cases in which drivers drank alcohol sold by the establishment just before an accident.

If the commercial establishment willfully and knowingly serves or sells alcohol to a person below the age of 21, or to a person who is noticeably intoxicated, the establishment can be held liable in an accident claim involving the customer if he or she then drives and causes an accident.  In addition, the establishment must be aware that the person will be operating a motor vehicle at the time of serving or selling him or her alcohol. This is an important element to proving your claim.

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Improved safety measures associated with catheters are reducing the risk of contamination of central venous lines and fatal blood stream infections in hospitals.

According to a new study, when hospitals improve catheter safety, there is a significant reduction in the number of potentially fatal bloodstream infections, as well as a drop in health care costs. In the United States alone, more than 50,000 bloodstream infections every year are directly linked to the use of central lines or central venous catheters. Approximately 12% of these infections are fatal.The central lines are used in intensive care units to deliver nutrients and drugs directly to the patients’ bloodstreams. However, the risk of contamination during handling and changing of these catheters is very high. Any contamination of the catheter could quickly result in an infection, spreading quickly to a patient’s bloodstream through the central lines and causing complications.

However, since the spotlight on hospital-acquired infections has increased, many hospitals have moved to implement new safety measures that are designed to reduce the risk of catheter contamination. More hospitals have enforced policies that require staff members to use sterile gloves and other protective equipment during the handling of catheters. Some hospitals are also now training staff members in the proper use and management of catheters, and use of other equipment and supplies to prevent infections.