Month: March 2017

The Importance of Assessing Our Own Driving Abilities

While most of us would like to think we are capable of being objective when it comes to assessing our driving abilities, it might prove to be a more difficult exercise than we imagine. That's because not only are we inherently defensive when it comes to this issue -- when is the last time anyone admitted to being a bad driver? -- but perceptions of what is acceptable behavior behind the wheel varies from person to person. The good news is that there are certain avenues through which we can find out once and for all whether we can be confident in our driving judgment and abilities, or whether we need to think about making some changes. The first, and perhaps simplest, way to do this is to openly assess whether you engage in any of the following behaviors, long identified as being among the riskiest: Speeding: Surveys show that…

Senate Subcommittee: More Must be Done to Address Trucking Safety

It would perhaps be the understatement of the century to say that there has been no shortage of action -- and controversy -- on Capitol Hill over the course of the last two months. Indeed, from healthcare and immigration to the federal budget and Supreme Court vacancy, there has been no respite in either the halls of Congress or the Oval Office. While this is perhaps not altogether unsurprising, it does raise concerns as to whether lawmakers are still paying sufficient attention to those matters, which despite not being on the same scale as those mentioned above, are nevertheless vital to the functioning of the nation. For example, are federal lawmakers continuing to make road safety a priority? The good news is that it appears as if the fight to make our roads and highways safer have not been abandoned. Just last week, the Senate Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and…

Do You Need to Replace Your Child Safety Seat After an Accident?

While there are basic steps to take after an accident, those steps become more complex with kids, because you will probably want to get them checked for injury even if nothing is immediately apparent, and especially if the children are very young. Most of the time, you will also need to make sure your attempts to repair the damage to the vehicle include costs for a new child safety seat. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends child safety seats be replaced after every moderate or severe accident, but it does state that no replacement is needed in cases of a minor accident. If you are trying to figure out whether or not an accident qualified as a minor one, you need to make sure it fits every criterion covered by this checklist: The vehicle can be driven away from the crash The door nearest the car seat has sustained no…

Study: Most Americans Remain Uncertain About Self-Driving Cars

Over the last decade, we've seen efforts to develop vehicle safety technology undergo something of a seismic shift. Indeed, while the focus of automakers was long centered solely around developing technology designed to limit bodily harm to drivers and passengers in the event of an accident, these efforts have broadened in recent years to develop technology designed to prevent accidents altogether. By way of illustration, a person needn't look any further than the development of automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure systems and, more recently, fully self-driving vehicles. Interestingly enough, as we move closer and closer to having fully self-driving vehicles on the roads and highways -- something that would almost certainly reduce the number of accidents attributable to everything from impaired driving and distracted driving to speeding and reckless behavior -- it seems that many Americans are still apprehensive about this prospect. Last year, AAA completed the…

With Stricter Traffic Laws Come Fewer DUI-Related Fatalities Among Young People

While most of us know that drunk driving occurs all too frequently on U.S. roads and highways, we might not fully appreciate just how much of a cost this reckless conduct takes year after year. However, a recently published study in the medical journal Pediatrics provides some much-needed insight on the scope of the problem, while simultaneously illustrating the need for lawmakers at the state level to start doing more. As part of the study, researchers at Boston University School of Medicine analyzed a large data pool of fatal car accidents occurring from 2000 to 2013, and determined, rather shockingly, that drunk driving is taking a disproportionate toll on children, teens, and young adults. Specifically, they found that there were 84,756 car accident fatalities among people age 20 and under during this timeframe, with more than 25 percent of these deaths involving a drunk driver, and almost 50 percent occurring on the…

Defining Aggressive Driving and Avoiding It

With all of the hundreds of thousands of drivers in Georgia, there are bound to be ones who weave in and out of traffic, ignore the speed limit, and purposefully cut other drivers off. All of these behaviors have one thing in common; they are considered aggressive driving and have many repercussions including fines and revocation of licensure depending on the driver’s age and state of residence. In serious circumstances, aggressive driving can result in accidents that injure or even kill the people involved. When a person understands aggressive driving and its consequences, careful actions can be taken to avoid driving dangerously. The Governors Highway Safety Association explicitly defines aggressive driving in Georgia as such actions including:          Disregarding traffic laws          Disrupting traffic flow          Tailgating          Reckless driving          Carelessly passing another vehicle While some drivers may succumb to their anger and participate in aggressive driving and road rage, there…

Studies Reveal Hidden — and Potentially Deadly — Infection Hazards in Hospital Rooms

In the event you find yourself in a hospital room in the near future -- whether as a patient or a visitor -- chances are good you'll be struck by how clean the room seems and how much emphasis seems to be put on fighting the spread of infection. Indeed, surfaces may be gleaming, linens changed frequently, and hand sanitizer readily available. It isn't your imagination, as hospitals across the nation are making a concerted effort to fight the spread of bacteria such as Clostridium difficile (C. diff), Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and Vancomycin-resistant Enterococc (VRE) that have taken a very real and very deadly toll on patients. Consider that statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that there were an estimated 722,000 infections in U.S. acute care hospitals in 2011 alone and that roughly 75,000 of these affected patients died during their hospitalizations. While efforts to curb deadly infection…

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