Published on:

Throughout the nation, the population of those age 65 and older continues to rise.  In fact, as the baby boomer generation continues to age, it is projected that the number of older people in the U.S. population will be greater than children in just a couple of decades.  In Georgia, the population of those 65 and older is projected to constitute over 65% of the state’s population by 2030.

With the rise of the aging population, more and more of these individuals are now living in nursing homes.  However, statistics show that many of these residents suffer from poor and neglectful care, and other abuse.  Residents of for-profit nursing homes are more likely to be subjected to poorer care standards, compared to residents of non-profit facilities. A new report confirms that for-profit nursing home residents have increasing rates of suffering injuries resulting from neglect than those living in other residential arrangements.

The researchers found that seniors over the age of 60 who lived in private community residences were most likely to be well cared for. They found more signs of neglect among residents of for-profit nursing homes.  Some of these cases included serious signs of neglect such as extreme dehydration and stage 3 and stage 4 bedsores. These residents were also more likely to suffer from the effects of mismanagement of their feeding and medication schedules.  The neglect also involved malfunctioning or broken feeding tubes, broken catheters and overall mismanagement of chronic health conditions which are prevalent in the nursing home population.  Numerous lawsuits are filed nationwide against nursing homes and assisted-living facilities for failure to provide adequate care and safety measures.

Published on:

The DOT’s National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration recently announced some welcome news for motorists, pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicyclists around the country – traffic accident fatalities for 2017 were down by 2 percent.  This decline followed two prior years of large increases.  The decline in fatalities also continued for the first half of 2018.

Overall, according to data from the Department of Transportation, a total of 37,133 people died in traffic accidents across the country in 2017. That was a decrease of 2 percent from the previous year. This was also in stark contrast to the 6.5 percent increase in fatalities from 2015 to 2016 and the 8.4 percent increase from 2014 to 2015.   The trend also appears to have carried over into Georgia as total traffic deaths on Georgia roadways decreased in 2017 after two large years of increases in 2015 and 2016.

The data has more good news. It shows a 2 percent decrease in pedestrian fatalities. This was a traffic safety area that had been a huge source of concern for safety advocates because of the increase in pedestrian accident fatalities over the past several years. In 2017, federal authorities recorded the first decline in pedestrian accident fatalities since 2013, and that is welcome news indeed.

Published on:

We all remember that great feeling you had when you finally learned how to ride a bike.  However, no piece of recreational equipment has as much potential for serious injury to children as the humble bicycle. Research indicates that far too many children are being rushed to emergency rooms across Georgia every day with injuries that result from bike accidents

Bicycling is, and has been for generations, an extremely popular activity for children.  Bike riding can be done any time of the year and almost anywhere you go.  The risk of injury, however, are ever present and increase significantly when children are allowed to ride a bike without following basic safety protocols.

Research published in the journal Injury Prevention recently indicates that many as 50 percent of all bicycle injuries that require treatment at an emergency room involve children below the age of 12.  The number of children who were not wearing bicycle helmets at the time of the accident was also similar. Only half of children below the age of 5, and only 32 percent of children between 13 and 19 years of age were wearing helmets at the time of the accident.

Published on:

Safe Driving on New Year’s Eve

Few holidays are more universally celebrated than New Year’s Eve.  Unfortunately, the holiday sees a dramatic uptick in the number of accidents, especially those involving alcohol and speeding. According to some estimates, Americans are much more likely to drink over New Year’s Eve than any other time of the year.  In fact, the U.S. Department of Transportation reports that an average of 300 people die nationally between the week of Christmas and New Year.  That makes the streets of Georgia especially dangerous to be on this time of year.

Celebrating responsibly should be a no-brainer, but far too many people ignore basic safety precautions, and end up causing injuries not just to themselves, but also to other motorists on the road. This New Year’s eve, take steps to avoid becoming just another drunk driving accident statistic.

Published on:

Boating during the winter months can still be great fun.  But it’s still important to remember the need to follow safety protocols at all times due to the special dangers involved in boating during this time of year.

As the Christmas break begins, families head out to lakes across the state for their holidays.  During this time, Lake Lanier and Lake Oconee, as well as other local boating communities, hold special holiday events that attract a number of people to the water.  Many of these boaters will be new to the activity, thereby increasing the risk of negligent or dangerous boating practices.  There is also the increased risk of people boating while intoxicated during the holidays.  As with drunk driving in vehicles, drunk boating can also result in serious accidents, oftentimes resulting in fatal injuries.

While on the water, you should always adhere to the boating safety rules and regulations posted at the lake to avoid being injured a boating accident.  The ice-cold water can pose special safety concerns that are not as present during the warmer months.  These special dangers can threaten your life and the lives and safety of your loved ones.

Published on:

Thousands of trucks travel on Georgia’s highways and interstates every year, moving freight and working as indispensable components in the state’s trade and commerce system.  However, there are also countless accidents every year involving these massive vehicles on Georgia’s roads that result in dozens of deaths and hundreds of injuries.

Large trucks and tractor trailers, by their very nature and design, are more likely to cause serious injuries to the occupants of the smaller vehicle when they are involved in an accident.  These trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, and their bulk can make any collision with them especially dangerous.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s statistics from 2006 to 2016 portray an interesting picture of Georgia’s truck safety record. A look at the data indicates that the state was able to make significant progress in reducing the number of people killed in truck accidents between 2006 and 2010. During this 5-year period, there was a continuous decline in truck accidents beginning with 232 fatalities in 2006 to ending at 153 in 2010.

Published on:

Not surprisingly, riding a motorcycle during the winter can be difficult as the weather can make visibility and road conditions more difficult and unsafe to be on a motorcycle.  However, if you simply cannot take a break from motorcycling during the next few months, take steps to keep yourself as safe as possible.

Some of the biggest challenges involved in riding during the winter have to do with the poor visibility and the biting cold that can make handling a motorcycle very challenging. The roads may be slick and wet or covered with salt, creating slippery conditions that can increase the risk of skidding and being in an accident.  Even though Georgia doesn’t get much snow, there are many days and nights where the roads in the Atlanta area are covered in black ice making riding especially dangerous.

To prevent the severe cold from reducing your ability to handle your ride, dress for the weather. Numb and sore fingers and stiff joints are a definite risk during winter riding. Dress in warm and dry clothing that keeps you as comfortable as possible. Waterproof boots and gloves are an absolute must – these will keep your feet and hands dry and comfortable. You are also much more likely to be able to quickly take emergency steps to prevent an accident when your hands and feet are protected from the cold. Use plenty of insulated layers, long – sleeved tops and windproof pants to avoid the cold from cramping your riding style.

Published on:

There are certain times of the year when the risk of being in a slip and fall accident is higher.  It is no surprise that winter, and especially the holiday season, brings with it conditions that increase the likelihood of a fall accident.

The coldest weeks of the year bring with them roads and pathways covered with ice, snow and sleet that make for very slippery and dangerous conditions. You might be at risk of a fall when you slip on roads made wet by ice and snow. In fact, even the simple act of walking on such roads increases the potential threat of a fall accident that can leave you with serious injuries.  This is especially true with the black ice conditions that Atlanta and the north Georgia area commonly sees during the winter months.

The winter holiday season has its own specific threats that increase the risk of a slip and fall accident.  This is not only because it occurs during the coldest part of the year, but holiday shopping, entertaining and attending parties all increase the likelihood that you will be out and about in the treacherously slippery conditions, instead of being safe at home.   If the area where you are walking has not been properly maintained for winter conditions, your risk of sustaining a fall and being injured is even greater.

Published on:

The upcoming holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year for emergency rooms throughout the country and in Atlanta.  Injuries and accidents are more common during this time, and there are a number of reasons people find themselves having to go for treatment at an overcrowded ER from food poisoning and alcohol related accidents to kitchen and fire accidents.

Here are some ways you can help reduce your chances of requiring a visit to the ER this holiday season.

While indulging in your Thanksgiving feast, take steps to avoid being exposed to food poisoning. Be sure not to consume undercooked or expired food, and always be aware of any food recall notices

Published on:

The metro Atlanta area has seen an increase in the number of people who choose to walk for recreation.  While this is good news, it also, unfortunately, means that there has been an increase in the number of deaths that occur in accidents involving motor vehicles and pedestrians. With more and more distracted drivers on Atlanta’s roads, this upward tick is only going to continue.     In fact, some pedestrian advocacy groups say that unless authorities take drastic steps, those fatality numbers could reach unthinkable highs by 2020.

According to statistics, the metro Atlanta area, which encompasses 20 counties, has seen an increase in pedestrian accident deaths from 1,700 in 2006 to more than 2,500 in 2015. That is an increase of a whopping 53 percent.  This also mirrors a nationwide increase in pedestrian accident fatalities that has safety advocates very alarmed.

There has been a growing trend across the metro Atlanta area for a more walkable lifestyle, which includes being able to walk or bicycle to work. Oftentimes, however, pedestrians must walk on roads that are not designed for walking or bicycling.  These types of roads can include those without (or too narrow) sidewalks or bike lanes, multi-lane roads and over congested roads.  Some of the more dangerous roads in the metro Atlanta area include Buford Highway, Tara Boulevard, Piedmont Road and Peachtree Road, just to name a few.  Roads such as these can place a pedestrian at an increased risk of being involved in an accident with a motor vehicle.   Not surprisingly, when a pedestrian is involved in such an accident, it usually results in serious injuries, or even death, to the pedestrian.  In certain parts of Atlanta, such as the densely populated intown areas, fatalities have increased significantly over the past several years.  In these dense areas, the roads have been designed to move traffic along as speedily as possible. Unfortunately, pedestrians often find that their safety needs are not necessarily considered when improvements are made to road design.