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Avoiding car accidents in Georgia

Government traffic accident data shows that the nation's roads have become more dangerous in recent years, and it also reveals that human error is at least partly responsible most of the time. Road fatalities are on the rise in the United States despite improvements in automobile design and safety systems, but there are steps that drivers in Georgia and around the country can take to improve their chances of reaching their destinations unscathed.

Speed makes auto accidents far more deadly, and drivers who hope to avoid injury or death should observe posted speed limits at all times. They should also maintain safe distances and keep their eyes focused on the road ahead. Reading or sending text messages, programming navigation settings and adjusting automobile entertainment systems should only be done when vehicles are stationary.

Tips to preventing machine injuries at the workplace

Modern machines make workers more productive and efficient. However, they also have the power to inflict great harm. In the early days of industrialization, there were few protections for workers using factory equipment. Now, safety standards have made machines a lot safer to use, but incidents still occur. While a small portion of injuries in Georgia are caused by the machines themselves, most are the result of poor maintenance, improper guarding and incorrect use.

Large, powerful machines are most often associated with workplace injuries. However, the reality is that a serious accident can happen on a machine of any size. That's why following proper safety tips is important. Before any worker uses a machine, it should have adequate guarding in place. There are several types of guarding, including barrier guards, two-hand operating devices and light curtains.

Who is liable for a slip-and-fall in a parking lot?

There are a variety of conditions that can lead to a slip-and-fall. According to the National Floor Safety Institute, millions of Americans go to emergency rooms every year for injuries they sustained due to these accidents. 

If you suffer an injury after a fall, then your first thoughts may go toward who should pay for any medical expenses you incur. When a slip-and-fall occurs in a parking lot, the person who is most liable will be whoever owns the lot and is responsible for maintaining it. 

Changing drug laws could erase racial health disparities

Lowering drug penalties in Georgia and other states could reduce racial bias in the court system and also lead to reduced health disparities, according to a new study. The research was published in the American Journal of Public Health in June.

In 2014, California passed Proposition 47, a bill that changed felony drug offenses to misdemeanors. For the study, researchers from the University of California in San Francisco used data from the California Department of Justice's Monthly Arrest and Citations Register to compare racial and ethnic disparities between 2011 and 2016. Over that period of time, approximately 1 million people were arrested on drug charges. During the first 30 days after Proposition 47 went into effect, disparities between black and white drug defendants decreased from 81 per 100,000 to 44 per 100,000. That trend continued over subsequent months.

ICOH: asbestos-related deaths have been underestimated

Georgia residents should be aware that asbestos exposure is causing more deaths every year than previously estimated. This is according to a study, the most extensive yet, from the Rome-based International Commission of Occupational Health. ICOH estimates that in 2016, occupational asbestos-related conditions killed 39,275 people in America and 222,321 people around the world.

These estimates are twice as great as those given by various governmental and non-governmental health agencies. Part of the reason is that medical professionals are now better able to identify lung cancers caused by asbestos. In fact, asbestos exposure leads to six times more occurrences of lung cancer than it does to mesothelioma -- the disease most commonly associated with it.

Types of vehicles associated with the most car accident injuries

Although vehicles are becoming safer with every iteration and model year, Georgia drivers are still at risk for becoming involved in car accidents. Some of these accidents may be due to mechanical issues and weather problems; however, the majority of these accidents are the results of driver error. Regardless of the cause of the crash, vehicle manufacturers still strive to make their cars as safe as possible.

With that being said, there are some vehicles that are safer than others. Based on data that was compiled for 2014-2016 vehicle model years, it was found that smaller, lighter vehicles had a higher frequency of medical payment claims than larger, heavier vehicles. According to the Highway Loss Data Institute, four-door micro cars had the highest relative claim frequency with a score of 215. For comparison, the industry average has a score of 100. Large pickup trucks had a score of 45 while SUVs had a score of 55.

How self-driving cars will be insured

Much has been written in Georgia and around the country about the impact that autonomous vehicles will have on society. Proponents of the technology say that self-driving cars could virtually eliminate highway deaths and injuries within just a few decades, but a series of fatal accidents involving such vehicles have cast doubt on these claims. The advent of autonomous vehicle technology is also seen as a significant threat to auto insurance companies, but analysts at Bloomberg expect revenues in the sector to remain robust in the years ahead, according to a report released on June 14.

Bloomberg analysts say that the recent spate of highly publicized crashes has reminded both consumers and industry experts that self-driving cars will still need to be insured, but the policies covering them will be purchased by their manufacturers rather than their owners. This is because accidents involving autonomous vehicles are likely to be caused by mechanical defects or system failures instead of human error.

Top errors for injured workers to avoid

If you sustained a work-related injury, you may need to rely on workers' compensation benefits to get medical treatment and pay your bills. Applying for benefits can be a complex process and take some time, so it is important to get everything right. Mistakes can cause delays and even lead to denial of your claim.

If the insurer does deny your claim, you may be able to appeal that decision.

AAA study highlights dangers of vehicle navigation systems

The sophisticated navigation and entertainment systems that many drivers in Georgia and around the country regularly use could be contributing to a recent surge in distracted driving accidents and deaths according to a study released recently by the American Automobile Association. The advocacy group called on researchers from the University of Utah to find out how using the latest vehicle electronic systems distracted drivers and whether pairing them to a cellphone using applications form Apple and Android made them safer.

Cars made by General Motors, Dodge, Ford, Kia and Honda were used, and 64 students volunteered to take part. All of the navigation and entertainment systems place high or very high demands on drivers according to the researchers, but using features like CarPlay or Auto reduced distraction. However, the researchers concluded that even paired devices can cause dangerously high levels of distraction in some situations.

GHSA report reveals an alarming rise of drug use among drivers

When accident investigators take blood samples from fatally-injured drivers in Georgia and throughout the country, more than half of them test positive for drugs or alcohol, according to figures released recently by the Governors Highway Safety Association. The nonprofit group's study of drug-impaired driving in the United States reveals that marijuana and opioid use by drivers is soaring while the number of motorists impaired by alcohol is falling slightly.

According to the GHSA report, the number of fatally-injured drivers impaired by alcohol fell by 3 percent to 38 percent between 2006 and 2016. However, the number of fatally-injured drivers under the influence of drugs rose by a worrying 16 percent to 44 percent during the same period. It should be noted that the data only includes those who were tested. Opioid use is another major road safety concern. The GVSA report reveals that 58 percent of the fatally-injured drivers who tested positive for drugs in 2016 had consumed opioids, marijuana or a combination of the two illegal substances before getting behind the wheel.

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