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Jackson Personal Injury Blog

Nursing home abuses impact our most vulnerable citizens

Reports of neglect in Mississippi nursing homes and throughout the country are increasing at an alarming rate. Investigations of these incidents typically reveal the problems to be due to understaffing, a lack of training provided to the staff or a combination of both. Far more pernicious is the rise of intentional abuse inflicted on the elderly residents by their caretakers.

Numerous studies report that elder abuse primarily manifests itself in one of two ways. Physical abuse is the more obvious one, involving battery or assault. The signs can be unexplained broken bones, bruises, cuts, welts or burn marks as examples. Less apparent is emotional or psychological abuse, which can be verbal or non-verbal.

Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury among older Americans

Leaving a loved one in the care of a Mississippi nursing home or assisted living facility is rarely easy. However, it can prove less emotionally taxing if you have complete faith that the facility and its staff members do everything they can to protect residents from harm. Unfortunately, however, this is not always the case, and many American nursing homes have issues relating to understaffing, insufficient training and so on. Additionally, many nursing homes drop the ball when it comes to protecting residents from falls, which are one of the biggest health and wellness-related issues commonly experienced by today’s seniors.

According to the National Council on Aging, falls have become so prevalent among Americans ages 65 and over that they are now the single most common cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries and hospital admissions among people within this age group. Additionally, falls by older Americans lead to more than 800,000 hospitalizations, more than 2.8 million injuries and more than 27,000 deaths every year.

Large truck crashes increase as overall rate declines

The number of traffic fatalities in Mississippi and throughout the nation dropped by 1.9 percent between 2016 and 2017, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. However, the number of traffic fatalities involving large trucks increased by 9 percent. A large truck is defined as a vehicle that weighs more than 10,000 pounds. According to a member of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), many of these accidents involved trucks weighing between 10,000 and 14,000 pounds.

Furthermore, it is possible that trucks that were involved in the fatal accidents were not necessarily regulated by the FMCSA. There was a significant increase in fatalities in accidents involving large trucks and other vehicles. In 2017, this number increased by 280, which was an 8.8 percent increase over 2016. Furthermore, 118 large truck occupants died in crashes involving large trucks in 2017. That was a 16 percent increase and accounted for all accident regardless of how many vehicles were involved.

Avoiding accidents with large trucks

Big rigs pose a special danger for drivers in Mississippi due to their size and weight. Drivers who rear-end a truck are liable to slide under it, and trucks that rear-end cars are liable to ride over it. In either case, it is the car occupants who usually die. It should also be kept in mind that trucks take much longer to come to a stop than vehicles and have a lot of blind spots ("no-zones").

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that a third of all accidents between vehicles and large trucks occur because of blind spots. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety states that in 2014, 68 percent of all truck crash fatalities were car occupants.

3 ways a mechanic can make your car safer

You probably know how important it is to get your oil changed, check tire pressure and bring your car into a mechanic for periodical tune-ups. However, some busy people may overlook all the basics of car maintenance if their vehicles seem to be running fine. The wellbeing of a car is not the only reason to keep up with periodic maintenance, though.

Paying attention to specific mechanical issues can help ensure a car is not a danger on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation survey, mechanical failure was the main factor in 44,000 of the crashes studied in the survey. How does this happen? Here are three common mechanical causes of such accidents.

Mobile workforce more prone to distracted driving

The vehicle management and reimbursement platform Motus has released its 2018 Distracted Driving Report, which focuses on the mobile workforce. Mobile workers are on the road 49 percent more often than any other type of employee in the U.S., so it's important that they stay away from distractions. Mississippi motorists will want to know about the conclusions that Motus has reached.

First of all, the report links smartphone ownership with an increase in auto accidents. From 2013 to 2017, smartphone ownership among mobile workers jumped from 55 to 77 percent. In that same time period, the number of auto accidents among them went up from 5.7 million to 6.4 million. This is a 12.3 percent increase.

HOS, brake violations the most common findings of CVSA roadcheck

Every year across North America, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance holds its International Roadcheck to ensure vehicle- and driver-related safety compliance. Enforcement personnel stop trucks, buses and other commercial vehicles at random and conduct inspections at one of several levels with Level I being the most comprehensive. Commercial truck drivers in Mississippi will want to know about the most common violations.

Out of the 67,502 inspections conducted this year, 11,897 vehicles and 2,664 drivers were mandated to go out of service. These figures included 21.6 percent of all vehicles inspected at Level I and 3.9 percent of drivers who underwent a Level I, II or III inspection. One good thing is that though more inspections were conducted this year than during the previous year, the number of out-of-service orders that were issued went down.

Researchers evaluate real-world teen driving programs

Young drivers in Mississippi could learn valuable lessons by participating in risk reduction programs that combine classroom learning with trips to morgues, intensive care units and emergency rooms. This was the conclusion reached by researchers from Baylor University after observing a group of 21 teen drivers as they participated in such a program in Texas. However, the researchers were not able to establish if learning about driving dangers led to more responsible behavior behind the wheel.

Encouraging teens to improve their driving skills is important because car accidents are one of the leading causes of death for U.S. teenagers, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control. The researchers noticed that hospital visits that included meetings with trauma center doctors and nurses seemed to have an especially powerful impact on the participants. The study was published in the trade journal Transportation Research in June 2018.

Report finds that car safety tech can reduce backup crashes

Backup crashes can result in extensive property damage and serious injuries. Children are especially vulnerable in such crashes. However, drivers in Mississippi should know that there is safety tech out there that has been demonstrated to cut down on the number of backup crashes. A report says that rear automatic braking is linked with a 62 percent drop in backup crashes.

The same report claims that a combination of rear automatic brakes, rearview cameras and backup warning sensors will reduce the chance of a backup crash by 78 percent. However, rear automatic brakes are an option on only 5 percent of new vehicle models.

How drivers can stay safe during the school year

School season brings with it certain challenges to drivers, so it's important to remember the established safety practices. The following tips can help Mississippi residents stay safe on the road. The first part concerns what to do in heavy traffic.

In heavy traffic, it can be hard to see cars coming out of driveways, alleys and parking spaces. It can also be hard to spot pedestrians, especially when they are outside of a crosswalk, and bicyclists, who can sometimes pull up into a blind spot. This is why drivers should check their mirrors often, scan one or two blocks ahead and keep an eye on the taillights of the vehicles in front of them. Taillights can alert them to any dangers ahead.

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