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Macon Personal Injury Law Blog

CVSA inspection blitz sidelines 11,897 commercial vehicles

Truckers in Georgia likely encountered safety inspectors this past June during a three-day inspection spree organized by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. The alliance puts together multiple inspection events across North America every year to catch unsafe commercial trucks and buses and educate operators about how to comply with trucking regulations. The International Roadcheck conducted 67,502 roadside inspections in June and took 11,897 vehicles out of service because of safety violations.

Level I inspections were applied to 45,400 of the vehicles, and 21.6 percent of those failed the check and were placed out of service. Brake problems accounted for the bulk of problems at 28.4 percent of citations. Wear and tear on tires and wheels caused 19.1 percent of trucks to fail inspection, and improperly adjusted brakes accounted for 16.3 percent of the failures.

Shock value examined in driver's education classes

Most Georgia parents and educators realize the incredibly high stakes when teens start exercising driving privileges. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States. In addition to inexperience, part of the reason behind the statistics is believed to be a relative lack of awareness regarding the risks and potential consequences of poor driving practices. A recent study examines the impact of shocking teens into awareness and safer driving habits.

Researchers at Baylor University began with statistics showing that adolescents are more likely to drive recklessly or while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs than the population as a whole. Traditional teaching methods have been unable to substantially diminish these trends, so a pilot driver education program took teens to visit intensive care units, emergency rooms and hospital morgues in an effort to raise the level of awareness and reduce risky driving behaviors. The program enrollees were students referred by courts and educators for disciplinary action. A questionnaire completed by participants in the program identified risky driving behaviors from the preceding 30 days. Two months after completion of the program, a follow-up questionnaire was given to evaluate the program's impact on actual driving behaviors.

Reminding drivers of school year safety tips

It's been a few weeks since school started back up here in Macon, and most families are probably falling into a routine by now. This also means that people may be starting to get complacent when it comes to driving around schoolchildren.

It probably wouldn't hurt to go through a few reminders that could keep your children and the other children in your area safe. Every year, the media carries stories regarding children who die or suffer serious injuries while waiting for the school bus or someone else to pick them up. Still, others are riding their bikes or walking to school when tragedy strikes.

Study finds rear automatic braking systems reduce crashes

Equipping all vehicles with rear automatic braking systems could save lives in Georgia and around the world, according to a recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Researchers say the technology is especially effective when combined with other advanced safety features.

IIHS researchers tested several new car models that came equipped with rear automatic braking systems, rear sensors and rearview cameras. They found that the rear automatic braking system reduced backup car accidents by 62 percent. When the technology was combined with rear sensors and rearview cameras, accidents were cut by 78 percent. Of the vehicles tested, the 2017 Cadillac XT5 SUV and the 2017 Subaru Outback earned the highest performance ratings for braking and avoiding backup collisions. Four other vehicles also received high marks, but one vehicle had trouble detecting a dummy car that was parked at an angle.

Roundabouts can save lives, reduce costs

Georgia drivers may have noticed that roundabouts are becoming more popular throughout the United States. This is because state and local municipalities have learned that the circular junctions, which are widely used in the United Kingdom, can reduce serious traffic injuries and save funds.

For instance, North Carolina developers are constructing roundabouts at the intersections of several rural highways in the state. One of the new roundabouts is located at a notorious intersection that has been the site of several serious car accidents, including a crash that killed a 21-year-old pregnant woman in February 2011. Engineers with the North Carolina Department of Transportation estimated that placing a roundabout at the intersection would reduce accident injuries by 89 percent and, therefore, save the state $2.5 million in injury-related costs each year.

Radiology mistakes can be deadly

When people in Georgia go in for a scan or other radiological assessment, it can be critical that they receive a correct diagnosis the first time. Incorrect diagnoses can be particularly dangerous when it comes to radiology. New statistics show that around 80 percent of malpractice claims related to radiology involve mistaken interpretations of test results and misdiagnoses. Furthermore, 80 percent of those claims are very severe and include permanent injury or death as the results of the medical mistake.

Insurance provider Coverys recently released these results as part of an annual study, saying that they are an important tool to improve patient safety. Radiological errors can have a severe effect on a patient's life, especially since tests are often used to identify serious, progressive and deadly diseases like cancer. The failure to diagnose cancer can lead to the growth and progression of the disease, often to a point where the illness is incurable or terminal. Because radiological tests are such a key facet of diagnosis, they can be one of the most common reasons for malpractice claims. Around 15 percent of all claims related to misdiagnosis involve radiology tests.

Driving safety tips to help reduce accidents

Each year, thousands of serious car accidents occur across the United States. However, Georgia drivers can reduce their chances of getting into a crash by following some basic driving safety tips.

According to traffic safety experts, a driver's top priority is to pay attention to the road at all times. This means they should not use their phone or other electronic devices while behind the wheel. Next, drivers need to slow down. Speed plays a role in a significant percentage of serious accidents. This is because speeding reduces the amount of time a driver has to react to emergencies. Furthermore, high-speed collisions tend to be more serious than those that occur at lower speeds. Drivers can also reduce accidents by engaging in "defensive" driving. This technique requires drivers to pay attention to what other motorists and pedestrians are doing and anticipate their actions, including any dangerous mistakes they may make.

With commercial vehicles, negligence can have dire consequences

Commercial vehicles are an ever-present fixture on many Georgia roads. While you may view these vehicles as a necessary means of transporting a variety of goods and materials, you might also consider them somewhat dangerous, as accidents involving commercial vehicles can have disastrous consequences.

Since you likely place a high priority on your safety and well-being, driving close to a semi might not be on your list of favorite things to do. Unfortunately, avoiding similar vehicles entirely can be impossible at times, and if a commercial vehicle hits you, the injuries you suffer in the process could be substantial.

Hospital visits more dangerous in the afternoon

Georgia residents likely hope they never have to go to the hospital. However, if such a trip is necessary, some experts say it's best to avoid going in the afternoon.

First of all, afternoon admittees are more likely to encounter fatigued hospital staff. Like everyone else, doctors and nurses tend to suffer a circadian slump between 2 and 4 p.m. While a tired office worker may only misfile a document or commit some typos, a tired doctor could make a dangerous medical mistake. For example, a Duke University study found that anesthesiologists had a 4.2 percent risk of making a mistake at 4 p.m., compared to a 0.3 percent risk at 8 a.m. Second, afternoon patients may encounter a shift change in the middle of treatment, which could also increase the chances of a medical error.

Car crashes increase during the summer

The summer months generally see more accidents on roads in Georgia and throughout the country. This is because there are more vehicles on the road during this time of the year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, car and motorcycle accidents are a leading cause of traumatic brain injuries. After a car crash, it is a good idea to seek medical treatment even if an individual feels fine.

This is because symptoms of a concussion or other type of head injury don't always show up right away. Symptoms of a brain injury can include memory loss, slurred speech or an inability to stand up. It is also possible to experience a brain bleed in the aftermath of a car accident. The sooner an accident victim seeks treatment, the easier it can be to minimize negative consequences such as permanent brain damage. Making a proper diagnosis is also generally easier when a person seeks treatment immediately after a crash.