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Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Personal Injury Blog

How drivers can have an accident-free winter

Auto accidents become a major concern during the Pennsylvania winters, and drivers should know that they cannot blame the weather or the roads for any accidents they cause. Rather, there are some basic safety tips that any driver can and must follow so as to minimize the risk for a crash. It all begins with heading out only when work, or shopping or another necessity calls for it.

Once out on the road, assuming that it's an icy, wet or snowy road, drivers should slow down. The faster they go, the less traction their tires have and, therefore, the more likely their car will skid or spin out of control. Accelerating should not be fast and sudden either, or drivers will be spinning their wheels uselessly.

Changing the clocks may result in more accidents

Those who are driving on Pennsylvania roads during the late fall and winter seasons are more likely to do so in the dark. Furthermore, they may be doing so while trying to adjust to the time shift that occurs in early November. According to AAA, there are many risks that drivers face during the first few days after this time shift occurs. First, they may have trouble sticking with their sleep and wake cycles.

Those who have trouble sticking to a sleep schedule may find it harder to stay awake while operating a motor vehicle. In some cases, drivers may not even know that they are too tired to drive. Data from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety survey found that most respondents believed that drowsy driving should be avoided. However, 27% of those who took the survey said that they had driven while tired within the past 30 days.

C-sections come with serious risks

As you prepare to become a mother for the first time or again, you may prepare mentally for the possibility of an emergency C-section. Your goal may be a natural birth, but knowing that complications can occur, you probably keep this possibility in the back of your mind.

Even though the medical community may consider a C-section a routine procedure, it still counts as a major surgical procedure that comes with risks to you. In fact, if you are age 35 or older, the risk only increases.

Advanced safety technology decreasing U.S. traffic deaths

Advanced safety technology might be helping to drive down U.S. traffic fatalities in Pennsylvania and across the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The agency released its annual U.S. traffic accident figures on Oct. 22.

The NHTSA reports that 36,560 Americans were killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2018, which is a drop of 2.4% from 2017's numbers. It's the second straight year that traffic fatalities have fallen, reversing a recent trend of sharp increases. It appears that deaths are falling in 2019 as well. Preliminary statistics from the first half of the year show that fatalities are down around 3.4% from the first half of 2018. The agency says that anti-collision technologies on new vehicles could be partly responsible for the drop.

Nearly 47,000 citations issued in 2019 Operation Safe Driver Week

Every year, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance designates one week as a time for increased enforcement of traffic laws. In 2019, that week-long initiative known as Operation Safe Driver Week was held between July 14 and 20. Both passenger vehicle drivers and commercial vehicle drivers in Pennsylvania and across the U.S. were pulled over and either warned or cited for traffic violations. The results were as follows.

A total of 46,752 citations and 87,624 warnings were issued. Of those citations, 17,556 were for exceeding the speed limit or driving too fast for conditions; 1,454 were CMV drivers while 16,102 were passenger vehicle drivers. Speeding, which was the focus of the 2019 Operation Safe Driver Week, was thus the most cited violation. This was followed by failure to wear a seat belt with 2,748 total citations to 954 CMV and 1,794 passenger vehicle drivers.

These nine diseases are often misdiagnosed

According to the AARP, over 20% of patients have their conditions misdiagnosed by doctors. However, some illnesses are more likely to be misdiagnosed than others. There are nine conditions that are particularly tricky for Pennsylvania doctors to diagnose.

The first is fibromyalgia, which produces fatigue, muscle aches and joint pain. Doctors can mistake this for rheumatic diseases like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. Second is celiac disease, an immune disease that attacks the intestines when gluten is eaten. Testing for certain antibodies in the blood can clear up any misunderstandings.

Lack of research reduces care for male breast cancer patients

Although people in Pennsylvania widely perceive breast cancer as a female disease, some men develop cancerous tumors in breast tissue. Medical researchers estimate that 2,670 men nationwide will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019. Most of them will face a lower survival rate compared to their female peers. The bulk of breast cancer research has focused solely on women and left men with treatment options that may or may not work effectively on male bodies.

One breast pathologist speculated that breast cancer hormone medications aimed at stopping tumor growth might function differently within men. Differences exist between male and female endocrine systems. To identify better treatments for men, the Food and Drug Administration has asked pharmaceutical companies to include men in breast cancer drug trials.

Study shows 41% of truckers are sleep deprived

Ball State University conducted a study involving more than 150,000 working adults in Pennsylvania and across the U.S. In 2010, 30.9% of these responded that they experienced inadequate sleep: that is, less than seven hours of sleep a day. In 2018, that percentage rose to 35.6%. Researchers were able to find out what professions had been most impacted by sleep deprivation, and trucking is in the worst four.

The most sleep-deprived working adults were in the military and police with 50% of respondents with this background reporting poor sleep; others included those in the healthcare industry at 45%, the transportation and material moving industry at 41% and production at 41%. One common thread that runs through these professions is the frequent reliance on 24-hour shift work.

What is hypoxia? When could it be linked to negligence?

If you've ever taken a basic biology or anatomy course, you no doubt learned about the important role oxygen plays in healthy development of the human brain and how necessary it is for daily life function. Hypoxia is a condition where a region of the body is deprived of needed oxygen. Organs can suffer damage within minutes.  

When can this happen? During the birth process in one time that serious injuries can occur if a delay deprives the infant's brain of oxygen. If you are having a baby, you need to be aware of the terminology. It can also occur in the case of delayed diagnosis or botched medical procedure. 

What to do to help reduce road rage

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration , there were 467 fatal crashes caused by aggressive drivers in 2015. This was a 500% increase from the 80 such incidents that occurred in 2006. However, there are ways in which Pennysvlania motorists may be able to reduce their odds of being involved in a road rage accident. For instance, it could be a good idea to allow for more time to get to work in the morning.

Getting more sleep can also help a person remain calm while on the road. This could make it less likely that an individual will make a mistake or get riled up because someone else made an error. It can also be a good idea to avoid driving while distracted, and taking such a step can be especially important while in heavy traffic.

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