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Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Personal Injury Blog

Video system aims to reduce truck accidents

Drivers in Pennsylvania may be particularly concerned about the catastrophic danger of big rig accidents. There are a number of issues that can lead to commercial truck crashes, including excessive driving and the resulting truck driver fatigue. In response to the threat posed by fatigued or distracted drivers, some companies have attempted to develop technological solutions that monitor safety issues and could help to avoid accidents.

One trucking company uses an advanced video system in its 600 vehicles in an attempt to cut down on trucking accidents. The system differs from other video monitoring technologies in several ways. For example, it focuses on praising positive driving behavior as well as warning against dangerous behaviors. The system offers high-quality video with multiple cameras facing left, right, forward and toward the driver. If there is an incident, the high-resolution video allows for the minute examination of details.

Reducing future delirium in ICU patients

A medical patient only visits the ICU under severe circumstances. While this means that he or she is likely in a medical crisis of some sort, studies show that the ICU experience itself has long-term effects on the body and brain. Patients who undergo such treatment have a higher risk of delirium later in life.

Traffic fatalities down overall

Between 2016 and 2017, crash fatalities were down for a number of different types of collisions. According to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) oversees, fewer pedestrians died in car crashes as well as those in passenger cars or light vans. While the overall trend was seen as good news, traffic fatalities did not decline for large truck drivers or in urban areas.

However, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) pointed out that many large truck collisions involved vehicles that were not monitored by the agency. The increase was partly blamed on the fact that, as the economy improves, there are more vehicles on the road. Economic strength means that more people will need to travel for work or other reasons. With more cars and trucks on roads and highways, there is a greater chance of accidents occurring.

Drivers overestimate car safety systems

Technology has made vehicles safer than ever before with advanced safety features such as automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring systems and adaptive cruise control. A new study done by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has found that most drivers in Pennsylvania and across the United States don't understand that the safety technology has limitations and that most drivers overestimate the protection that such features offer.

The study looked at drivers who used the vehicle safety systems and then looked at the same drivers operating the vehicles without the systems. The study found that when not using the safety systems, drivers didn't operate the vehicles as well. This means that if the technology failed, that many drivers would not be able to operate the vehicle as successfully. Professionals caution that these safety systems are not meant to replace human drivers but are supposed to be used as additional help when driving.

NHTSA urged to mandate crash-avoidance systems

Many of the passenger vehicles on sale in Pennsylvania and around the country are equipped with crash-avoidance systems that are designed to prevent rear-end collisions, but few semi-tractor trailers have this technology. Road safety advocates say that repeated calls from the National Transportation Safety Board to mandate such systems have been largely ignored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration despite a worrying rise in truck accident fatalities. According to NHTSA data, the number of road users killed in accidents involving tractor-trailers has increased by 28 percent in just two decades.

Groups including the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association that lobby on behalf of the trucking industry have also opposed regulations that would require logistics companies to install forward crash-avoidance systems. They say that the adoption of safety systems should be encouraged but not required. NHTSA points out that it can only recommend regulatory changes and has no power to implement new rules, and the agency says that field testing of the latest systems is expected to be completed within two years.

Hydroplaning: what to do when it happens

During the rainy season in Pennsylvania, drivers will want to be more cautious. The first 10 minutes of rainfall are especially dangerous because that is when the water combines with the oily residue on the road to form a slippery surface. Even after the water washes away most of that residue, drivers are at a high risk for hydroplaning.

Hydroplaning happens when cars slide or skid uncontrollably over the thin layer of water that separates their tires from the road. This layer is created when the pressure in the front of the tire pushes the rainwater underneath. The thicker it becomes, the more the tires lose traction. Most of the time, drivers can avoid hydroplaning by slowing down in rainy weather and avoiding large puddles.

Study shows benefits of realistic driver risk education program

The Texas Reality Education for Drivers, or RED, program is just one of the many risk education programs that are offered as a supplement for teens with poor driving skills. Residents of Pennsylvania who have teenage children may want to learn what it is about this program that could help boost traditional drivers' education programs across the nation.

Researchers at Baylor University studied the effects of the RED program on 21 teen participants, particularly when it came to risk awareness. When filling out a questionnaire, the majority of the teens admitted that they had texted or made a call while driving between six and nine times during the previous 30 days, which was the most frequently cited form of risky driving behavior.

Knowing why truck accidents happen can protect you

If you travel on the roadways in and around Pittsburgh, you know that there is no way to avoid commercial trucks. From I-79 to the parkway, there are motor vehicles everywhere, with some drivers not paying any attention to what's happening around them.

Knowing the most common causes of truck accidents can help keep you safe. Here are some things to remember:

  • Reckless driving: When a trucker is driving in a reckless manner, such as changing lanes without signaling, it increases the risk of an accident.
  • Speeding: There is a speed limit for a reason, and every driver should follow it.
  • Inadequate training: Driving a commercial truck is a challenge, so proper training is a must. Every driver should receive training on defensive driving, safety concerns and driving techniques.
  • Drowsy driving: Truckers don't always take as many breaks as they should. This can result in falling asleep at the wheel, thus putting everyone on the road in harm's way.
  • Drunk driving: It's a big no-no for all drivers, but that doesn't mean truckers are never under the influence when they're behind the wheel. Both drugs and alcohol impair a person's ability to drive.

Understanding the nature of Erb's palsy

Doctors have a very important and delicate role in childbirth. They should be ready for any complications that may arise such as larger babies or prolonged labor. Any mistakes they make in the process can have serious repercussions towards the child's future.

One traumatic injury that could result from doctor negligence is Erb's palsy. This condition has been the basis for several birth injury lawsuits, but just what does it do a child and how did the doctor cause this?

Fatal car crash hit-and-run statistics show substantial increase

For residents in Pittsburgh that have suffered the loss of a loved one in a motor vehicle accident, the anger and the pain that accompanies it will be compounded if it is a hit-and-run. Drivers who are in an accident are obligated to remain at the scene to exchange insurance information, check for injuries and call for help if it is needed. Leaving the scene is a criminal act, and the family of a deceased victim will want answers and justice.

Researchers examine hit-and-run fatalities and found that the number of fatal hit-and-run crashes occurring each year is increasing. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted the study. In it, it was discovered that there were 2,049 deaths in hit-and-run accidents in 2016. This is the most ever recorded. In addition, there was a rise of 60 percent since 2009. An estimated 65 percent of those who died were on a bicycle or were pedestrians. Also at risk were those who were working on highways. The number of hit-and-run fatalities across the nation rose by more than 7 percent for every year from 2009 onward.

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