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Driver poll reveals safety risks for emergency responders

Passing an accident scene where firefighters, police or emergency medical technicians are working is an inevitable part of Pennsylvania driving. These first responders face a heightened risk of injury or death when working on the sides of roads because of distracted drivers. A poll sponsored by the National Safety Council and Emergency Responder Safety Institute identified driver behaviors that create hazards for people responding to accident scenes.

A clear majority at 80% of respondents reported that they slow down when passing accidents. The slowing traffic, however, sometimes produces additional safety hazards on a busy road. Nearly 20% of inattentive drivers acknowledged that they had created dangers for first responders. Most people realized that they should move over to give extra space to accident scenes, which is the proper course of action. While 67% knew about move over laws, 40% of poll respondents viewed traffic hazards as something first responders had to accept.

Truckers among the most sleep-deprived workers in U.S.

Truckers in Pennsylvania should know that the transport and material moving industry is high among the list of industries impacted by sleep deprivation. In a study from Ball State University that involved some 150,000 working adults in the U.S., 41% of respondents in this industry claimed to sleep less than seven hours a night.

The highest rate of sleep-deprived workers was found among military members and police officers: 50% of respondents. This was followed by those in the healtcare industry (45%). Forty-one percent of those in production reported poor sleep.

Does your head still hurt, days after a collision occurred?

The day of the crash, you might have simply gotten behind the wheel to head out to work like you do every day. Perhaps you kissed your loved ones goodbye and quickly exchanged words about who needed to be where later in the day. As you were driving, you may have even been pleasantly surprised that traffic was moving smoothly and you did not have to worry about being late for work.

When the other driver ran a red light and smashed into the side of your vehicle in the intersection, your entire day (and maybe, life) changed in an instant. Seeking medical attention after a Pennsylvania motor vehicle collision is always a high priority. Emergency room doctors can assess your condition and provide much needed support. However, not all injuries are immediately apparent.

Violent road rage is becoming a serious safety issue

Road rage incidents are becoming alarmingly common in Pennsylvania and around the country. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals that the number of fatal accidents involving angry and aggressive drivers rose from just 80 in 2006 to more than 450 in 2015, and a study conducted by the advocacy group Trace indicates that incidents involving drivers brandishing firearms at other road users have more than doubled since 2014.

The results of a survey into aggressive driving from the Automobile Association of America indicate that the problem is extremely widespread. Almost eight out of 10 of the motorists polled by the AAA admitted to succumbing to anger while behind the wheel during the previous 12 months, and about half of them said that they curse at other road users or deliberately tailgate motorists who they deem to be driving too slowly. Almost a quarter of the respondents told researchers that they routinely slow down of speed up to prevent other drivers from changing lanes or merging, and 12% admitted to intentionally cutting other vehicles off.

Side guards could save lives in truck crashes

Crashes involving large trucks have particularly high stakes for other drivers of smaller passenger vehicles on Pennsylvania roadways. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported that in 2017 alone, 4,102 people died in truck crashes. A full 82% of these victims were other drivers, passengers in other cars, pedestrians or motorcyclists. The size and weight of large trucks mean that they are a much greater threat to people in smaller cars or no vehicles at all. While any truck crash can lead to catastrophic injuries, some types of crashes were more likely to be deadly.

One of the most frequent fatal types of truck accident involves falling and being crushed in the exposed region between the front and back wheels of a large truck along its side. Side-impact crashes are more common in truck crashes, and 556 pedestrians and cyclists were killed in side crashes with trucks from 2005 to 2009. Technology exists that can help make deadly side crashes less likely to occur. Side guards on high-clearance trucks, which are required in many places around the world, cut down deadly trucking accidents. For example, bicyclist fatalities fell by 61% in the U.K. after the devices were implemented.

Reducing the risk for a crash after running a red light

Many reckless, impatient and distracted drivers in Pennsylvania run red lights and, as a result, collide with pedestrians, bicyclists and other drivers. Many of these crashes are fatal. Nationwide, 939 deaths arose from red light-running crashes in 2017, which was a 10-year high. The period from 2012 to 2017 saw a 30% increase in such deaths according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

There are ways to reduce the risk of becoming a victim to a red light runner. Drivers should, of course, avoid distractions; otherwise, they might be the ones who run the red light. Phone use is especially widespread among drivers. Drivers approaching an intersection may tap their brakes a few times to get the attention of the driver behind them, just in case that driver is distracted, and they can cover their brake when entering the intersection.

NHTSA on drunk driving trends

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has some statistics on drunk driving crash deaths in Pennsylvania and the U.S. For 12 years in a row, from 2006 to 2017, the annual number of drunk driving fatalities exceeded 10,000. In 2017, there were 10,874 drunk driving fatalities reported. In addition, 28% of the motorcyclists who died in 2017 were drunk: a higher percentage than is found among car and truck drivers.

The effect of alcohol on drivers can vary based on the amount. With a blood alcohol concentration of .02, drivers may have difficulty tracking moving objects or doing two things at once. At .05, drivers will start to have trouble focusing their eyes or making the right judgment calls. At .08, they are legally drunk and will experience difficulty controlling their speed, concentrating and detecting traffic signals.

Keeping a healthy form of travel from taking a dangerous turn

A motor vehicle accident can occur in the blink of an eye, and being prepared to handle the fallout of the crash can be a challenging feat. While, in some cases, your crash might involve little more than minor damage to your vehicle, what happens if a car hits you while you are out walking on Pennsylvania roads?

Without the protective barriers of a car to shield you from harm, there is a higher chance you may suffer severe injuries in the process. With the impact the outcome of such an incident could have on your well-being, you may wish to know more about how to reduce the odds such a potentially disastrous event might occur.

Lyme disease is often misdiagnosed

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 300,000 Americans, including those living in Pennsylvania, contract Lyme disease each year. However, the tick-borne disease is notoriously hard to detect, meaning that many people can have it without knowing it.

Lyme disease can cause symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, fever, heart issues, nervous system problems and joint pain. However, in some cases, patients do not exhibit any symptoms. In other cases, the symptoms can mimic those of other conditions. This can lead doctors, who largely depend on physical exams, to misdiagnose the disease as something else. Another factor is that a Lyme disease diagnosis requires doctors to confirm the patient has been bitten by a tick. If the patient cannot recall being bitten, it can significantly delay the diagnosis.

Responsibilities that party hosts have during Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day is the final major holiday of summer and the perfect time for Pennsylvania residents to invite their friends and family over for a backyard barbecue. Unfortunately, it is also an infamous holiday often associated with several different types of injuries caused by people who take their celebrations too far.

Homeowners that plan on throwing a get-together at their place need to understand how crucial their role is as the party host. They have a duty to provide a safe environment and to make sure none of their guests are seriously injured during their stay. Here are some ways that they can prevent any chaos from emerging:

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Ches-Mont Personal Injury Law Center, LLC.
600 Creekside Drive, Suite 605
Pottstown, PA 19464

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