Distracted Drivers as Accident Magnets
Driving is something that is, for the most part, taken for granted. The average driver is utterly confident in their skills as defensive drivers who can react in a moment’s notice to avoid any circumstance that would come their way.
If that were the case there would rarely be motor vehicle accidents at all. Motor vehicle accidents happen at a rate of nearly 11 million per year just in the United States. It is estimated that driver distractions account for 2.2 million accidents, or roughly 20 percent.
A driver can be distracted by any number of things from the radio to cell phone to other people in the car. Lately though, the rash of texting drivers has caused the distraction mode to sky-rocket.
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety notes that “drivers spend more than half their time behind the wheel engaged in distracted behavior. Eating, smoking, adjusting music, and rubbernecking can be as distracting as texting, e-mailing or talking on a cell phone.”
While most of us recognize cell phone distraction as a danger, it seems that most of us still can’t seem to put the phone down long enough to drive. One in four teen drivers admit to texting while driving. Research has shown that the act of just dialing a phone while driving can increase the chance of accident by three times. When texting, the numbers explode by a 23-fold increase of a crash.
As of May 2012, text messaging is banned for all drivers in 38 states, the District of Columbia and Guam. Ten states have instituted a ban on hand-held cell phones for all drivers, making it a primary offense.
Nursing Home Abuse: Don’t Let it Happen to Your Loved One
When our beloved elders are no longer able to care for themselves and we are not equipped to give them the best care, we turn to professionals for help. That can be a very scary place to be in life, so it’s best to know what to look for to be sure they are well cared for.
Nursing home abuse can come in so many forms, one really has to be aware of what the dangers are and how to look out for them. Obvious signs are simple – is the place clean and do the patients seem to be well cared for? Pop by for an unannounced visit before you place your loved one in any given facility to see what they look like when they’re not prepared for your arrival and a tour. This will give you a more accurate view of how things normally look.
Once a place has been chosen, be sure to keep open and frequent communications with the staff and your beloved to alleviate some of your worries. It can be difficult if your loved one is experiencing any level of dementia, so you may have to do some regular body scans to be sure they are well cared for.
Be sure to look for restraint marks, bed sores, cleanliness of their clothes, and bedding. See to it that they are eating properly and are hydrated. Keep an eye out for bruises that look as though they may have fallen out of bed or in the shower.
As we age, we revert back to a state of dependency on someone to be our advocate. Be sure to stand firm in advocacy and report any possible discrepancies.
Recall on 485,000 Ford SUV’s
Ford is recalling close to 485,000 Escapes and Mavericks to fix the gas pedal. The gas pedals can stick and can cause an accident. This will be the third recall for Ford Escape vehicles in two weeks. 11,500 new 2013 models were recalled a week ago because fuel lines can crack and leak gasoline, causing a fire. Just a few days before the 2nd recall, Ford recalled 10,000 2013 Escapes to fix carpet padding that could get in the way of braking.
The latest recall affects vehicles from the model year 2001 through 2004 that are powered by 3-liter V-6 engine with cruise control. The cruise control cables can catch on the plastic cover on top of the engine and cause the gas pedal to stick.
Consumer group, Center for Auto Safety, accused Ford of knowing about the issue since 2005, but not taking any action until the government began to investigate. In 2004 about 590,000 Escapes and Tributes were recalled to fix an accelerator cable defect, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration think that the repairs could have damaged the cruise control cable.
The NHTSA is also investigating the 2001-2004 Mazda Tribute, which were built on the same assembly line as the Escape.
Ford says, if you do experience a stuck throttle, firmly apply the brakes without pumping the brake pedal, shift to neutral, steer the vehicle to a safe location, shut off the engine and put the vehicle in park as soon as the vehicle is safely stopped.
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Pregnant Woman Killed in Car Crash
A Volvo flew through the intersection killing a pregnant woman and amazingly the baby is still alive. Medical officials at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center delivered the pregnant woman’s baby successfully, although the baby was in critical condition.
Witnesses that came out to help said they knew it was a bad crash, some heard the pregnant woman screaming for someone to help her boys. Staff Sgt. Chance Stahl, an Army medic, said that he heard the screeching tires and then the crash. He immediately ran over to the pregnant woman to help but there was nothing he could do.
Karlisha Randolph was a passenger in her mothers 2001 Suzuki SUV with her 2 boys, ages 7 and 2, when a 1997 red Volvo ran a red light at the intersection of 39th Ave and Dunlap when the accident occurred. Before the crash, the Volvo had hit a city bus on 35th Avenue and Dunlap and was fleeing when he ran a red light and broadsided the Suzuki, causing it to roll over. The 21 year-old driving the Volvo slammed in to a wall. Randolph’s boys and mother did not have serious injuries.
The suspect, 21 year-old, who’s name has not yet been released, was hospitalized and will be booked on numerous charges when he is released from the hospital. Police believe he was impaired at the time of the accident.
Randolph’s uncle, Cory Boston, has taken in her 2 sons and is awaiting news from the hospital about the baby boy. Boston says the family has not named the baby yet.
Dog Bites Can be a Costly Affair
We love our dogs in this country. We build parks for them. We dress them up in clothing, jewelry, sunglasses, and hats. We have birthday parties for them. A woman in Phoenix, whose dog went missing, offered $10,000 for the return of said dog. Dogs become part of the family.
But there also can be another side to the dog story. What happens when the dog/human relationship doesn’t go the way of the American Dream? It can often end in tragedy for both human and dog.
Dog bites are far from uncommon, but the compensation for such bites seems to be less common than one would think. Dog bite losses exceed $1 billion each year. Statistics show that each day, there are about 1,000 dog bites in the U.S. that require emergency room care. These injuries can range from minor cuts and abrasions to lacerations and cranial/facial reconstructive issues. Persons can be scarred, maimed, or disfigured in any number of ways. Yet, of the approximately 850,000 victims of dog bites annually, merely 15,000 to 16,000 will seek payment from homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policies. That equates to about one third of one percent of the attacks.
Often times, the injuries occur to young children as they are most likely to provoke an attack. Perhaps the dog is startled, in pain, or feels threatened in some way. Dog owners are sometimes ignorant of how to properly care for or train their canine companions. The most common occurrences happen in a normal social situation, and generally on the dog owner’s property. Most severe injuries occur with children under the age of 10 and often include facial trauma. There can be hospital stays and lifelong results to these injuries.
Any number of situations might provoke a dog bite from an otherwise friendly pet. Regardless of the provocation, there are still costs associated with such injuries. Compensation for those injuries is available.