Nicholson, Silverbach, & Watson

Kennesaw Personal Injury Law Blog

Report: 40,000 traffic fatalties in U.S. for third straight year

Despite a growing focus on traffic safety, it appears that the high rate of vehicle accident deaths did not improve last year. Recent figures show a continuing trend related to fatal accidents that is affecting drivers across Georgia.

According to a recent study by the National Safety Council, the United States topped 40,000 vehicle accident deaths for the third year in a row in 2018. This review of traffic data reflects that 2018 had more than 14 percent more traffic-related deaths than in 2014. If there is a silver lining, it is the fact that fatalities declined 1 percent from 2017. However, that is a small drop considering the total number of fatalities was still above 40,000.

New Technique Could Reduce Shoulder Injuries Among Truck Drivers

An under-reported cause of workplace injury in Georgia and across the United States is shoulder injury related to landing gear cranking. A recent study now shows that through strategic positioning, it is possible to prevent injury to truck drivers while raising or lowering trailers.

The study was performed by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries in conjunction with North Carolina State University. The study oversaw 12 male truck drivers during the raising and lowering of their trailers. The researchers tracked 16 muscles affecting shoulder operation on each of the 12 workers during cranking operations. The researchers also studied the range of motion for each of the 12 workers' shoulders during cranking.

Car seat safety tips parents should know about

Installing a car safety seat properly is one of the most important steps a parent can take to keep their children safe. Parents in Georgia and throughout the country are encouraged to install seats in a rear-facing direction until the children meet requirements established by the manufacturer. Once those thresholds have been met, the seat should face forward. The child should use the seat until he or she is too heavy or too tall for it.

Parents can use booster seats designed for older children until they are able to use a seat belt safely. This usually happens by the time a child turns 12, but children should not sit in the front seat before they turn age 13. Parents are encouraged to take their time regardless of what type of seat that they are installing. A representative from the American Academy of Pediatrics said that 95 percent of parents leaving a hospital with a newborn make errors installing a car seat.

Avoiding the five most common workplace accidents

All employees in Georgia, whether they work in the construction, retail or agricultural industry, should know about the following five types of workplace accidents and how to avoid them. First on the list are slip, trip and fall accidents. Slips can be caused by wet or oily surfaces, weather hazards and spills that are not taken care of in time. Workers may also trip in poorly lit areas and on torn carpeting, loose cables and clutter.

Good housekeeping, proper footwear for employees and level walking surfaces that have traction are all important factors in preventing such accidents. Workers should also be urged to report spills and other hazards as soon as they appear.

Car accidents, violence top causes of workplace deaths

Every day, thousands of workers in Georgia and across the U.S. face dangerous work conditions. In fact, a recent report found that nearly 5,200 American workers were killed on the job in 2016, which was an increase from the 4,836 who were killed in 2015. The report, entitled "Death on the Job, the Toll of Neglect, 2018," was issued by the AFL-CIO federation of unions.

According to the report, hazardous working conditions led to approximately 150 worker deaths every day in 2016. Car accidents and other transportation incidents represented the top danger for workers, accounting for 2,083 deaths. Workplace violence was the second most common worker hazard, accounting for 866 deaths. In addition, workplace violence caused 27,000 lost-time injuries, two-thirds of which were suffered by women.

Were You Injured at a Private Residence?

Your home is your castle. It's one of the biggest investments a person can make. If you live in a neighborhood under the auspices of a homeowner's association, upkeep and maintenance aren't just matters of pride, it could be a matter of neighborhood reminder letters or even fines.

ZF develops airbags to protect against side collisions

Georgia motorists may have heard of external airbags, which some car parts manufacturers are working to develop. It will likely be a while before such technology is implemented on vehicles. When external airbags are made standard, however, they could prove beneficial to drivers and other vehicle occupants. The ZF Group has found that external airbags lessen the severity of injuries by up to 40 percent.

ZF is developing its own external airbags to go on the sides of vehicles. By providing an additional crumple zone, they can absorb some of the force of a side impact. It all depends, of course, on having a predictive system that recognizes the vital details of an impending crash. The system must be able to deploy the airbags a split second before the crash. Another challenge is keeping the airbags from deploying needlessly.

Automatic emergency brakes reduce chances of rear-end collisions

From 2013 to 2015, General Motors sold 10 vehicle models in Georgia that offered automatic emergency braking systems as an option. Researchers from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety compared accidents involving these vehicles to identify differences in collisions between those equipped with the emergency braking system and those that only sounded a warning if a collision was imminent.

Researchers collected data from police accident reports. They determined that vehicles with automatic emergency brakes that stopped a vehicle without requiring action from the driver avoided rear-end collisions 43 percent more often than vehicles without the automatic safety system. When looking specifically at crashes that caused injuries, researchers found that automatic emergency brakes reduced crashes with injuries by 68 percent.

Nearly 5,000 trucks put out of service during Brake Safety Week

From September 16 to 22, 2018, inspectors certified by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance stopped a total of 35,080 commercial vehicles in the U.S. and Canada as a part of Brake Safety Week. The inspection spree ended in 4,955 vehicles, just over 14 percent, being put out of service for brake violations. Truckers and truck fleet owners in Georgia may want to know more details.

Inspectors mainly focused on the vehicles that need antilock braking systems, an important safety feature. They sidelined 234 out of 5,354 hydraulic-braked power units (4.4 percent) for ABS violations. The next highest percentage of ABS violations were among air-braked power units: 2,176 out of 26,143, or 8.3 percent. Trailers saw the most violations with 2,224 out of 17,857, or 12.5 percent, being sidelined.

Survey points to drop in hospital infections

Hospital-acquired infections can cause big problems for patients. Given this, the numbers from a CDC survey are encouraging. These numbers suggest that recent years have seen a decrease in the likelihood of patients at American hospitals developing infections.

The survey was done in 2015. In it, a random sample of patients from around 200 hospitals in 10 states was looked at to see how many of these patients had health-care-associated infections. It found that around 3.2 percent of these patients had such infections.

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