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Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Personal Injury Blog

Top 14 cars with high deadly crash rates

Each year, there are thousands of fatal car accidents in Pennsylvania and across the United States. In fact, there were 34,247 deadly crashes that resulted in 37,133 deaths nationwide in 2017, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. In order to protect themselves and their families on the road, many car buyers are shopping for new vehicles that have more safety features. However, statistics show that not all new vehicles perform well during accidents.

Car-search website analyzed data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, which is maintained by the U.S. Department of Transportation. It found that 14 subcompact cars and sports coupes made between 2013 and 2017 had fatality rates that were at least twice the national average of 2.6 deaths per billion miles driven.

Operation Safe Driver week to focus on putting down speeding

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has announced that its annual Operation Safe Driver Week will be held in 2019 from July 14 to 20. Both passenger vehicle and commercial vehicle drivers in Pennsylvania should know that during this event, law enforcement officials across North America will be increasingly on the lookout for unsafe drivers. Those who are stopped may be issued a warning or citation.

Last year's Operation Safe Driver Week ended with 57,405 citations and 87,907 warnings being given. In all, 51,000 law enforcement personnel stopped 113,331 drivers. Breaking state and local traffic laws was the number one reason for citations while the second was speeding. Speeding citations were handed to 16,909 passenger vehicle drivers and 1,908 CMV operators.

Most truck crash fatalities are in other vehicles

Pennsylvania readers may have heard about the tragic Florida traffic accident that took the lives of seven people, including five children, as they were driving to Disney World in January. The victims' vehicle was one of thousands that are struck by large trucks across the United States each year, and the problem is getting worse.

For example, in Florida, there were 23,515 truck accidents in 2014. By 2018, that number had jumped to 32,513. Furthermore, 72% of truck crash fatalities are people in vehicles other than the truck according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A 2017 report by the Florida Department of Transportation found that speeding is the top cause of large truck accidents linked to driver error. Traffic safety experts point out that the technology to prevent many speed-related accidents has been available for decades.

What are the short and long-term effects of HIE?

Between the excitement of meeting your new baby and the pain that comes with delivery, the process of having a baby can be emotional. When there are complications during childbirth, it can get even more stressful.

Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a broad category of birth injuries that can affect your baby's brain affecting both cognitive and motor function. Many situations leading up to and during delivery that can cause HIE and lead to irreversible brain damage.

Study shows that drivers use phones though they know it's wrong

An online study from Wakefield Research shows that many drivers are using their phones even when they know it is wrong. Pennsylvania residents may have heard the results of this study because it was recently shared by Root Insurance, a company that offers incentives to drivers who avoid phone use.

Nearly 2,000 drivers across the country responded to this study. Of those, almost half said that distracted driving is a top concern for them. All but 1% admitted that phones can be a frequent distraction for drivers. Yet these respondents admitted at the same time to using their phones behind the wheel for an average of 13 minutes per day. Nearly two in five said they do not put down their phones when they see police around.

Study finds drivers distracted by cellphones, makeup and pets

A new study finds that drivers in Pittsburgh and across the U.S. frequently use their cellphones while behind the wheel, but they don't like it when other drivers engage in the same distracting activity. The study was funded by Root Insurance and conducted by Wakefield Research.

The study found that 47% of drivers name distracted driving as their top traffic safety concern. It also found that 99% of drivers say mobile devices are one of the top three distractions to U.S. drivers. However, those opinions don't stop the study's participants from using cellphones behind the wheel. In fact, drivers admit that they spend an average of 13 minutes each day using their phones while driving. That adds up to 91 minutes every week. In addition, 38% of drivers who talk or type on their phone behind the wheel don't even put them down when they encounter law enforcement officers. Despite admitting to this behavior, the study found that drivers don't like the thought of other drivers engaging in distracted driving. For instance, 89% say they would give an Uber or Lyft driver a bad review if he or she used a cellphone while behind the wheel.

Many truck crashes arise in oil regions

Truck drivers in Pennsylvania may be curious to know the reasons for the trend of increasing truck accidents. Data from the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute shows that the majority of truck-involved injury crashes in North Dakota arise in the oil region. About 67% from the years 2012 to 2016 occurred in the state's oil counties. This is according to data from the Vision Zero Plan, a statewide initiative to reduce motor vehicle crash fatalities and serious injuries.

It appears that truck driver fatigue may be a factor. This issue became a new focus of attention after two fatal crashes on the Highway 23 bypass called the New Town Truck Reliever Route. This bypass was constructed in 2014 at the cost of $25 million to ease the truck traffic through Main Street and enhance roadway safety. However, in 2017, two truckers collided after one swung over the centerline of the road. A fire erupted and left both drivers dead. In 2018, another trucker swung over the centerline, this time colliding with a pickup. Both drivers were killed in this accident as well.

Hospital staff's mistakes with gowns, gloves may spread bacteria

A research team recently found that hospital staff caring for infectious patients can inadvertently cause bacterial contamination through mistakes in the disposal of personal protective garments. Healthcare workers in Pennsylvania will want to know more about the study so that they can prevent the spread of harmful bacteria.

In particular, workers may have their clothes or equipment contaminated with antibiotic-resistant bacteria with multiple drug resistance, such as MRSA. For six months, researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago observed 125 healthcare workers, including 83 nurses and 24 doctors, as they cared for patients in four adult intensive care units. More than a third of the workers acquired a multiple drug-resistant organism during a patient encounter.

Roadcheck program aims to improve trucking safety

The annual International Roadcheck inspection blitz will come to highways in Pennsylvania and across the country on June 4. Every year, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance conducts a high-profile series of inspections to highlight the dangers of poor truck maintenance on the road. Poorly maintained trucks that violate safety rules can lead to drivers losing control and causing severe car accidents, with the attendant injuries and fatalities. Truck accidents can be especially devastating to others on the road in smaller trucks and passenger cars.

The three-day 2019 Roadcheck will focus in particular on steering and suspension systems. The safety association noted that large trucks rely on well-maintained systems to stay on the road, haul their cargo safely and prevent problems with tires, brakes and other equipment. While steering and suspension is a focus for the three-day program, inspectors focus on the entire vehicle as well as the driver in these intensive, Level I inspections. Trucks are inspected for cargo security, brake maintenance, lighting systems, tire quality and other potential issues. In addition, driver safety credentials are checked. CMV operators must present logs, commercial driver's licenses and medical certificates.

Studies find misdiagnosis to be the top cause of malpractice

The misdiagnosis of adult and pediatric patients is a major source for medical malpractice claims in Pennsylvania and across the nation, according to two new studies. The studies were conducted by Coverys and The Doctors Company, which are both medical malpractice insurers.

Researchers at Boston-based Coverys reviewed 1,800 closed medical malpractice claims filed against doctors between 2013 and 2017. They found that 46 percent of claims involved misdiagnosis claims. They also found that 68 percent of paid indemnity costs involved misdiagnosis claims. According to the report, 45 percent of all misdiagnosis claims involved a patient who died.

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