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Jackson Personal Injury Blog

Promoting impaired driving awareness in December

Nov. 30, the White House issued a proclamation stating that December 2017 is to be designated as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. Impaired driving can impact the lives of drivers, passengers and pedestrians; even one drink can negatively affect driver performance. Residents of Mississippi and the rest of the U.S. have ways to combat and prevent this trend.

According to the proclamation, one person in the U.S. dies every 50 minutes in an alcohol-related traffic accident. Approximately 28 percent of traffic fatalities in 2016 involved impaired drivers, which comes out to over 10,000 people. Though traffic fatality rates due to alcohol were higher in previous decades, sometimes claiming two-thirds of the victims, the trend has been returning in recent years.

Concussions a major cause of death and disability

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that can usually be detected only by the symptoms it produces. Every year in Mississippi and across the U.S., about 250,000 people are hospitalized, and about 50,000 die because of traumatic brain injuries. Concussions lead about 1.8 million people to the emergency rooms every year while an estimated 2 million either do not seek treatment for their concussions or visit an outpatient clinic.

The danger of concussions, which can include physical disabilities and even death, became widely known in the field of competitive sports, especially football. Issues with members of the Pittsburgh Steelers, in particular, led to the development of many concussion detection tools and technologies.

Nursing home abuse and neglect statistics are staggering

Many Mississippi residents have loved ones that are in nursing homes and may be shocked by the prevalence of nursing home neglect and abuse. A recent congressional report highlighted the extent of the problem, pointing to a need for major reforms.

According to the House Government Reform Committee, there were more than 9,000 abuse and neglect incidents in a two-year period. These occurrences included patients that had limited access to medical care, ones that had untreated bedsores, some who suffered from poor hygiene or sanitation and individuals who were dehydrated or malnourished. Out of the cases, 1,601 were serious enough to merit involvement from law enforcement officers.

Crashes involving large trucks

The individuals in Mississippi who are in the most danger from large truck accidents are the drivers and passengers of smaller vehicles. Whether or not car drivers are taking every precaution while driving, they are susceptible to being injured if the operator of the truck is distracted or driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs. Because of the vast differences in the size of the vehicles, there is a higher chance that serious injuries or death will occur.

For individuals whose passenger vehicle is involved in a crash with a large truck, they should immediately contact emergency services and request medical assistance for the injured. If it is possible and safe, they should move their vehicle on the side of the road so that it will not be in the path of oncoming traffic.

Your gut feeling and other signs might signal elder abuse

It was probably a heart-wrenching decision to put your elderly parent in a nursing home. It can be difficult to trust others to care for your loved one, but the care your parent needs had become too much for you to manage on your own. However, like many other Mississippi residents, you may have concerns over whether your loved one is receiving the highest level of care. What if he or she is being abused or neglected?

Signs of elder abuse

People who fail to take their ADHD medications may cause wrecks

In Mississippi, people who are diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder can face distraction on the road. Past studies have shown that people who have ADHD are more likely to be involved in car accidents than are people who do not have the disorder. A new study shows that people who take medication to control their symptoms are less likely to get in car accidents.

According to a study that was recently published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, people who have ADHD but who fail to take their medications as prescribed are significantly likelier to be involved in car accidents. Among men, those who took their ADHD medications were 38 percent less likely to have accidents than were men who failed to take their medications. Women who took their medications were 42 percent less likely to have accidents than were women who failed to take medications for their ADHD diagnoses.

Wildlife collisions increase with shorter daylight hours

Drivers in Mississippi will want to exercise more caution around areas where wildlife is present. The reason is that with the shorter days after the clocks were turned back, wildlife may be harder to spot on the roadside. Bears will appear in search of food before hibernation, and deer will be up and around since autumn is their peak mating season. Wildlife is commonly most active between dusk and dawn.

Experts say that drivers should be on the lookout for the signs posted by transportation authorities. When traveling through areas where wildlife is present, drivers should moderate their speed so as to shorten their braking time, and when they do spot wildlife on the road, they should stop and honk their horn or flash their headlights. This will keep the animals from crossing and alert other drivers.Wildlife can usually be spotted through movements and their shining eyes. When drivers see one wild animal, they can expect others to be in tow. Drivers can reduce the risk for serious injuries and death by half as long as they wear their seat belts.

NHTSA faces roadblocks to driverless car safety regulations

In early October, a Senate committee approved a bill that will grant exemptions to automakers for up to 80,000 self-driving cars produced annually in the next three years. These exemptions, which will speed up the production and testing of such vehicles, are applied to current auto safety guidelines. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will be granting the waivers and formulating new regulations at the same time. However, the agency has hit a bit of a roadblock, which means that Mississippi residents may not see self-driving cars on the road anytime soon.

The NHTSA has asked for further comments regarding the kind of research it should conduct before deciding whether to rewrite or eliminate current regulations. It claims that the unsuitability of these regulations, of which there are close to 75, to the reality of self-driving cars is an unnecessary roadblock. The Senate bill has given the agency 10 years in which to write permanent rules, but the research itself may take several years to complete.

Night shift workers run the risk of drowsy driving

In Mississippi and around the country, night shift workers are endangering themselves and others on the road because of drowsiness. Drowsy driving is considered a public health hazard, and investigators at Brigham and Women's Hospital have conducted a study to see just how dangerous it can be.

Sixteen night shift workers participated in a study composed of two driving sessions on a closed track. The first session was conducted after drivers received an adequate 7.6 hours of sleep on average. The second session took place immediately after the 16 were done with their shift. Investigators measured performance through the number of times that drivers weaved in and out of lanes, lost control of their vehicle, or had near-crash events, while an EEG measured drowsiness during micro-sleep episodes.

Bed sores are an evident sign of likely neglect in nursing home

With the recent loss of eight elderly residents of a nursing home, the spotlight is again on nursing home neglect, and people in Mississippi have taken note. USA Today reports the sister nursing home to the one that housed these seniors had recently and temporarily lost its right to accept new patients after findings of abuses and neglect.

Family members whose loved ones live in a nursing home should be able to rely on the nursing home professionals to competently perform their duties. However, that is not always the case. Loved ones visiting their elderly family members should keep their eyes open for some tell-tale signs of neglect. One of those signs can manifest itself right on the body of the beloved senior. Bed sores, also known as pressure sores, are not a natural occurrence for a properly cared for resident.

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