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Jackson Personal Injury Blog

NIH: teens more dangerous after getting their driver's licenses

Virginia Tech University and the National Institutes for Health collaborated on a study that analyzed teen driver behaviors before and after they obtained their licenses. Car crashes are the leading cause of death among 14- to 19-year-olds in Mississippi as in every other state, so both teens and parents will want to be familiar with what this study reveals.

Researchers observed the behaviors of 90 teen drivers in Virginia using dashcams and special software that recorded speed and braking times. The study period began when the teens obtained their learner's permits and ended one year after they became licensed. Researchers then calculated the risk for crashes and near-misses. The likelihood of teens getting into an accident or near-miss increased eight times between the last three months of having their permits and the first three months of having their licenses.

Car crash victims should see a doctor to avoid permanent damage

Roads in Mississippi and throughout the nation tend to see more drivers throughout the summer months. Therefore, the odds of a motorist getting into an accident that could cause a traumatic brain injury are higher. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that car accidents are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries and other types of head injuries. Anyone who has been involved in an accident is urged to see a medical professional right away.

The signs of a head injury include a lack of balance or coordination. It can also be harder to count backward or remember events regardless of how long ago they occurred. Changes in mood, slurred speech and walking into walls are other signs that a crash victim might have a concussion or other type of head injury. The sooner a person is seen, the easier it can be to come to the correct diagnosis.

Women more likely than men to use cellphones while driving

Women in Mississippi may be more likely than men to use their cellphones while driving according to a new study published in Risk Analysis: An International Journal. The research was conducted in South East Queensland, Australia.

Around 25 percent of all car crashes in the U.S. involve cellphone use. In fact, statistics show that drivers who text behind the wheel are six times more likely to crash their vehicle, and drivers who talk on their cellphones are twice as likely to crash. However, many drivers still don't believe that distracted driving is dangerous. The Australian study, which surveyed 447 drivers, found that 68 percent of participants admitted they were skeptical about the hazards of texting and driving. The study also found that separation anxiety and a fear of missing out pushed many drivers to risk using their phones while operating a vehicle.

Reforms proposed for safety scoring of trucking companies

Big rigs haul cargo across Mississippi every day, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has the task of tracking how well trucking companies comply with safety regulations. Since 2015, the agency has been under an order from Congress to update its methods for collecting data and scoring the safety records of companies. A 10-page report issued by the agency has presented the proposed reforms that were developed with input from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

The FMCSA wants to overhaul the safety and compliance scoring system so that it assigns an absolute value to each trucking company. Currently, the system compares scores of all carriers so that records only show their relative performance in relation to other companies.

Tips for detecting nursing home abuse

If you have a loved one who lives in a nursing home, you may have concerns about his or her well-being, since you are not able to monitor your loved one's care on a daily basis. You trust the nursing home to take good care of your mother or father, but, unfortunately, not all nursing homes perform their duties adequately, and some are actually negligent.

There are certain signs of nursing home abuse that you should be aware of, so that if this unfortunate occurrence happens in your loved one's situation, you are prepared to handle it. Even better, if you keep a vigilant eye out for detecting nursing home abuse at all times, you can help prevent further abuses from taking place.

Truck accident injuries are often catastrophic

Thousands of motorists are killed or seriously injured every year in Mississippi and around the country in collisions with semi-tractor trailers. Larger vehicles provide greater protection in a crash, and data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reveals that more than two-thirds of the road users killed in truck accidents are car, pickup truck or SUV occupants.

The injuries suffered in truck accidents can be catastrophic, and this is especially true when distraction, impairment or fatigue is involved. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enforces commercial vehicle regulations and places strict limits on how long truck drivers may spend behind the wheel before rest becomes mandatory, but these efforts have not been enough to prevent a worrying rise in tractor-trailer accident fatalities and injuries in recent years.

How insurance might fare in an era of driverless cars

There has been no shortage of reports predicting the fate of the insurance industry once driverless cars become a reality. Mississippi residents may be familiar with some of the dire predictions: A 2016 Morgan Stanley report estimates that with no drivers needing car insurance, the industry will dwindle by 80 percent by the year 2040.

A more recent report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance paints a different picture, though: not one of sudden declines in revenue but rather one of gradual shifts as new revenue sources open up. Who pays for a policy will change with parts manufacturers and technologies companies being especially likely to need coverage.

How to spot abuse in nursing homes

Of all the forms of abuse prevalent in nursing homes, neglect is the most common one. Simply put, neglect takes place any time an individual does not get the level of care they require; for example, when a man from Mississippi in his 80s has problems feeding himself and doesn't get fed regularly by a caregiver, this is considered neglect and abuse, which is a very serious matter and needs to be handled immediately.

When trying to ascertain whether a loved one is being neglected, there are several things to look for. To start with, the general cleanliness of both the individual as well as their living conditions can be an excellent indicator of how well this individual is looked after. Elderly people may find difficulty in showering, clipping their nails or cleaning their rooms on a regular basis, which puts this responsibility onto the shoulders of the nursing home.

GHSA probes link between drug use and fatal car crashes

Though studies on the effect of drugs on driver performance are limited by certain methodological flaws, one thing is clear: drugs, though their effect may be different from driver to driver, can lead to impairment and increase crash risk. Marijuana, for example, is estimated to increase it by 25 to 35 percent. Mississippi residents should know about a study from the Governors Highway Safety Association that probes the link between drug use and fatal car crashes.

More specifically, the GHSA studied the records of fatal car crashes in 2016 and found that of all those drivers who were fatally injured, 44 percent tested positive for drugs. Some things should be kept in mind: not every driver in a crash is tested, and no national drug-testing standard exists, so the results are not meant to be entirely accurate. The number is a jump from 10 years ago, though, where 28 percent of drivers tested positive.

Is the nursing home chemically restraining your parent?

If your parent resides in a Mississippi nursing home because (s)he suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or some other type of mental disability, you likely live with the nagging doubt and worry that (s)he may not receive the care (s)he needs and to which (s)he is entitled. This does not make you a worrywart. It makes you a concerned son or daughter who loves his or her parent.

Sadly, you may have legitimate reasons to worry. A recent Human Rights Watch investigation revealed that nursing homes nationwide often give antipsychotic drugs to patients who have no need of them, but who the nursing homes desire to make easier to manage. Many times the patients have no idea that they are being drugged, and they certainly do not consent to it.

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