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Collision avoidance systems save lives, says IIHS study

A study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that collision avoidance systems, such as lane departure warning systems and blind spot alerts, can cut down crash injury rates in Georgia and across the U.S. Researchers came to this conclusion after studying over 5,000 accidents that took place in 2015.

All the cases under analysis involved the types of accidents that collision avoidance systems are designed to prevent. Researchers compared how vehicles equipped with such technology fared with those that were unequipped, discovering that crash rates were 11 percent lower among the former group. Injury accident rates were 21 percent lower.

Being productive at your job can sometimes be a real pain

You have been working in the same industry for years, and you might notice some pervasive aches and pains that you did not have when you first started out. No, this does not necessarily mean you are getting old, or that you should just deal with it without complaining. Like many other Georgia residents, your job might have contributed to a repetitive motion injury.

But my job is not that difficult or physically strenuous, you might think. How can I have a repetitive motion disorder? The unfortunate truth is that repetitive movement injuries can occur even with light labor, if you have been doing the same job for a few months or years. You might develop chronic pain in your shoulders from carrying food trays as a restaurant server. You could get carpal tunnel syndrome in your wrists, or painful elbows if you are a nail technician or massage therapist. Repetitive movement injuries are also common with typists, assembly line operators, artists, surgeons and practically anyone who performs the same motions over and over in his or her daily work.

Reducing fatigue in the EMS industry

Because emergency medical service workers are so prone to fatigue, there has been a call for new guidelines to address the situation. The goal is to improve working conditions and safety for both EMS professionals and patients throughout Georgia and the U.S.

The guidelines are the product of a collaboration between the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the National Association of State EMS Officials. In preparation, researchers studied the conclusions of more than 38,000 pieces of literature regarding fatigue among EMS workers. Reports have shown that roughly half of all EMS personnel sleep less than six hours a day. In addition, more than half suffer from poor sleep and lack of recovery between shifts. This affects them negatively whether they're driving an ambulance or caring for a patient.

Drugged driving a growing factor in car crashes

When Georgia motorists think about the dangers of driving under the influence, they likely associate it with alcohol. Massive public health advertising campaigns as well as strong enforcement have highlighted the dangers of drunk driving across the country. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants to raise awareness about another type of impaired driving, one that involves drugs.

The number of car accidents that could be attributed to driving under the influence of drugs has risen in the past several years. This has been associated with two different developements - the growing movement towards cannabis legalization and decriminalization as well as the national opioid public health crisis. The numbers have promoted the NHTSA to state that it is seeking to develop innovative answers and programs to improve roadway safety and cut down on the number of fatal car crashes and those that lead to serious injuries.

Speed a major factor in car crashes according to NTSB

According to a study from the National Transportation Safety Board, speed has led to an increase in traffic deaths in Georgia and throughout the country. The agency believes that a driver who is speeding is similar to one who is drunk. Both types of motorists are likely to get into accident, and both are likely to hurt or kill someone as a result.

The key difference between drunk drivers and those who speed is that there is less of a stigma surrounding speeding. One NTSB recommendation would be to increase the penalties for speeding to match those a driver receives for driving while impaired. Research has shown that the speed at which a pedestrian is hit has an impact on the odds of surviving it. After being struck by a car going 30 miles per hour, a person has a 60 percent chance of survival. A person who is hit by a vehicle traveling 40 miles per hour only has a 40 percent chance of surviving the collision.

The importance of reporting a collision to an insurance agency

Car accidents never occur at convenient times. Everyone has some other place to be and deadlines to meet. That's why many Georgia drivers find it tempting to put off reporting collisions to their insurance agencies. While it's always critical for drivers to address their medical needs first, there can be severe consequences for a driver failing to make a timely report to their insurer.

To be sure, not all car accidents are worth reporting. While these circumstances are uncommon, some minor accidents will cost a driver less than their insurance deductible to repair. This is especially true in single vehicle accidents where there are no other drivers that need to be considered. Since an insurer might raise rates even after a minor collision, reporting could make little sense financially.

How stores can make for hazardous premises

Going to stores is a fact of life for many people, if not most. After all, you need food, clothes, gas and entertainment. Of course, you may have noticed that some establishments seem safer than others. For example, while ascending the staircase of a furniture shop, you might see that the stairs are uneven or cracked.

The fact is that some stores can be more hazardous than you realized, and there are many ways in which customers suffer injuries at the places they frequent often.

Coal mining deaths nearly double from 2016 to 2017

Some Georgia workers might be interested to learn that coal mining deaths significantly increased around the country in 2017 to 15 from an all-time low of eight in 2016. However, the number still remained under 20 for the fourth year in a row after hitting 20 each year from 2011 to 2013. In 1966, there were more than 200 coal mining deaths, and 100 years ago, there were more than 2,000 annually. The drop in deaths has been attributed both to improved safety and fewer coal mining jobs.

Eight people died in coal mining accidents in West Virginia in 2017. The state often has the highest number of coal mining accidents, and in 2010, an explosion killed 29 miners there. The other 2017 deaths were in Kentucky, where two workers died, and Alabama, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, Montana and Colorado, with one death each. Two of the deaths involved machinery, and hauling vehicles were involved in eight of them.

Right-of-way laws to know

Georgia motorists should be aware of the right-of-way laws for the road. These traffic laws determine who is permitted to advance first in a wide range of driving circumstances. Drivers who are knowledgeable about these laws can avoid incurring an expensive traffic violation, making sure that their driving record is clear and their vehicle insurance rates are low.

Driving through a red light is a moving violation that occurs often and can result in vehicle accidents and injuries. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the running of red lights was the cause of 709 fatalities and injured almost 126,000 people in 2014. Over half of those people who were killed were people other than the driver who drove past the red light; the victims included other drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and passengers.

OSHA report reveals increase in worker fatalities

Every year, thousands of workers throughout Georgia and the rest of the U.S. are injured or killed while on the job. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the rate of workplace fatalities increased sharply in 2016.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that 5,190 workers were killed in 2016, which was an increase of 7 percent from the previous year. A quarter of the fatalities happened in transportation incidents. Injuries that resulted from workplace violence increased by 23 percent during the year, making them the second leading cause of workplace fatalities.

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