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Vehicles that have in-car alcohol detection systems that prevent motorists from driving a car under the influence of alcohol could significantly help reduce the number of accidents caused by alcohol impaired drivers every year.

These results came from a new study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The study was undertaken to determine how technology could help reduce the risks of motorists drinking and driving. Such motorists cause a significant number of auto accidents in the metro Atlanta region and across Georgia every year.

In fact, nationwide, approximately 30% of traffic accident deaths annually are the result of drunk driving. Every year, as many as a million people are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.

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Researchers say that a blood test that could predict the severity of a concussion, even more accurately than a spinal tap, is being developed and could soon be available for testing.

Concussions are mild brain injuries that occur when a person suffers a sudden blow or jolt to the head.  These types of head injuries are very common in motorcycle accidents, or any kind of accident, in which the person suffers a sudden blow to the skull.

Concussions are considered mild brain injuries, but that does not mean that they should be ignored. Concussions can lead to debilitating, consequences, including temporary memory loss, loss of concentration, forgetfulness, inability to focus, distraction, and other complications that can affect a person’s ability to study or perform work-related activities.

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has relaxed the truck driver drug testing requirements that trucking companies are required to comply with in the wake of the unique circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, it has decided to provide companies with reasonable flexibility if they are unable to completely comply with the federal agency’s drug testing requirements during the pandemic. That flexibility comes as a result of the difficulties trucking companies are currently facing in conducting the random drug testing that they are required to under federal laws.

Trucking companies are still required to conduct random drug testing of truck drivers based on the typical testing rate. They must test at least 50% of drivers for drugs and 10% of all their drivers for alcohol. However, in cases in which trucking companies are unable to conduct the random drug and alcohol testing required under the law, certain relaxations have been allowed.

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So far in the year 2020, Georgia law enforcement authorities believe that there have been as many as 31 boating accident related deaths in the local lakes and rivers.

We are in the middle of the year’s busiest boating season with several weeks of boating activity yet to go, so these numbers are very worrisome.   According to Georgia law enforcement officers, there have been a total of 31 boating accident related deaths, including those caused by crashes or by drownings this year alone, across the state.  And with the boating activity that typically takes place during the 4th of July holiday weekend, these numbers will undoubtedly rise.

The boating accident statistics were revealed during the launch of a joint campaign by the states of Georgia and Alabama, to crack down on intoxicated boating over the 4th of July weekend. Boating activity increases across Georgia during the summer months, and this is often accompanied with increased alcohol consumption as well. This deadly combination means an increased risk to boaters, who may be at risk of not just boating crashes, but also accidental drownings and other accidents that can result in serious injuries.

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If you’re out driving on the roads anywhere, there is no doubt you’ve seen them – traffic signs.  Traffic safety signs play a huge part in helping reduce traffic accident fatalities every year. However, for many motorists, they are usually routine, and extremely easy to ignore.

To help improve noticeability, the Georgia Department of Transportation had recently announced a contest that invited residents of Georgia to submit their ideas for traffic safety signs, and the results are out. The contest had been announced last fall, and was meant to revamp traffic signs across the state, and make them more interesting and eye-catching. Residents were asked to submit their captions for traffic signs in several categories. These categories included distracted driving, impaired driving, seat belt use, work zone safety, and general safety.

The Georgia Department of Transportation received hundreds of entries for the contest, and chose the best and wittiest one-liners in the contest. Here’s a sampling of some of the captions that made the winners’ list.

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Across the nation, more towns and cities, including Atlanta, are trying to provide more pedestrian-friendly areas.  This in turn means that the potential for more pedestrian accidents exists.

In 2018, more than half of all pedestrian accidents occurred at intersections. These resulted in approximately 6,700 pedestrian injuries, and 1,500 pedestrian fatalities. This indicates the seriousness of the lack of safety measures taken at intersections.  However, studies have shown that simple infrastructure enhancements in these areas can help reduce those risks.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently reported on a study which found that simple enhancements like bollards and rubber curbs can help prevent pedestrians from crossing the street diagonally at intersections, thereby helping prevent many of the pedestrian accidents that result in fatalities every year.

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With boating season upon us, the U.S. Coast Guard is recommending that all boaters take some extra steps to stay safe on the water.

The number of boaters on Georgia’s lakes is likely to increase over the next few weeks as Georgians begin to enjoy being out after several weeks of shelter-in-place measures.

Boating is a safe activity from the point of view of social distancing, when compared to other types of activities such as visits to amusement parks. Boating offers a great opportunity for smaller groups to be away from other people, thereby ensuring that social distancing is maintained. However, there are still some things you need to keep in mind before you plan boating trips with family or friends this summer.

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Red light running fatalities in the U.S. have reached a 10-year high. In 2018, 846 people were killed and 139,000 injured in red light running crashes. Half of those fatalities included pedestrians, bicyclists, and people in other vehicles. In fact, drivers running red lights kill at least two people every day.

A red light violation occurs when a vehicle enters an intersection any time after the traffic signal turns red. In Georgia, this violation is generally considered a misdemeanor, and is punishable with fines as high as $1000.  In addition to fines, penalty points can be added to the motorist’s driving record.

Although there is no typical violator profile, data from fatal red light crashes do show certain trends. Red light runners are more likely to be young or male. These drivers often have prior accidents, or they may have been convicted of alcohol-impaired driving in the past. Red light runners are also more likely to speed or be under the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident. In addition, these drivers are less likely to have a valid driver’s license.

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Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has rolled back his decision allowing new drivers to receive their driver’s licenses without a road test.

The order allowing drivers to skip road tests was issued on April 23rd  after the state had implemented massive social distancing measures and shelter-in-place orders in the face of the expanding COVID-19 pandemic. Last month, Governor Brian Kemp’s office released an order that immediately suspended driving tests for teen drivers. The order made no mention of rescheduling the road tests.

However, criticism from parents as well as traffic safety advocates seems to have pressured the Governor to reconsider his decision, and thankfully better sense has prevailed. Governor Kemp has now signed a new order which makes it clear that all new drivers who have received their licenses since the April order must take the road exam. After the April order suspending driving tests, as many as 20,000 Georgia teens had obtained their driver’s licenses without appearing for road tests. These teens must now take their road tests in order to retain their licenses.  The new order gives drivers until September 30th to fulfill this requirement and take their tests.  The order also provides for individuals to take the test either remotely or with a supervisor in the vehicle.

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All throughout the country, nursing home residents have been one of the hardest hit groups of the Covid-19 pandemic.  The same deadly results have been seen in Georgia as well.  According to estimates, as many as 50 percent of the fatalities in the state have involved residents of nursing homes.

The Georgia Department of Community Health recently released Covid-19 fatality numbers and the results are frightening. The data suggests that more than 6,000 residents and staff members of nursing homes in Georgia are currently infected with the virus. About 350 facilities in the state are currently grappling with the outbreak. About 20 percent of all Covid-19 cases in Georgia have occurred in nursing homes and 659 deaths have been linked to nursing homes.

The picture is even bleaker in the rural parts of Georgia.  The virus, which was earlier believed to be confined to urban areas, has spread with staggering speed in rural areas.  These counties, with predominantly poor or African American populations have been affected disproportionately by the outbreak, and nursing homes in these regions have seen an alarming spike in death tolls.

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