Image result for airbag recallOver the past few years, millions of vehicles equipped with Takata airbags have been recalled across the United States as reports of injuries involving defective airbags have snowballed. Now, a government audit stringently criticizes the federal administration’s product recall procedures, specifically pointing out to the Takata airbag scandal as an example of the agency’s inefficiency.

The USDOT’s Office of the Inspector General clearly states that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration lacks the kind of processes and oversight that is necessary to make sure that product recalls are completed, and keep consumers safe. The audit report specifically blames the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s monitoring process that is not designed to ensure that remedies are tracked in a timely and efficient manner. The federal agency also does not have a system in place to completely and accurately verify recall completion statistics, even though it is authorized to do so.

Continue reading

Image result for text and driveParents who use cell phones while driving are also much more at risk for other unsafe driving behaviors like drunk driving or failing to wear seatbelts while driving that place them and their children at risk of an accident.

Those findings and others come from a survey of parents and caregivers conducted by researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University Of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.  The survey finds that far too many parents take the risks of distractions while driving, far too lightly. Approximately 760 parents participated in the survey. According to the survey, in the preceding three months:

  • Approximately 50% of the parents admitted to using a cell phone while driving with children between the ages of four and 10
  • Approximately 52% of parents had used a hands-free phone to have a conversation while driving with a young child in the car.
  • 47% had used a hand-held phone to have a conversation while driving with a child in the car.
  • Approximately 33% of parents had read text messages while driving with their children, while 26% had sent text messages.
  • 7% or one in seven of the respondents admitted to using social media while driving with their children.

Continue reading

Erb’s Palsy is one of the most common birth injury-related disorders, impacting as many as one or two out of every 1,000 births in the United States. The condition affects the muscles in the shoulder and upper arm, and may result in some degree of paralysis and loss of motion in the area.

Erb’s Palsy typically occurs as a result of a birth injury during delivery. The good news is that in approximately 80% of the cases, the impact of the condition may be minimized by a treatment program that includes immobilization of the arm, and physical therapy. Surgery may sometimes be recommended when there has been nerve damage as a result of the injury.  However, in order for the treatment program to be effective, it is important for the injury to be diagnosed as quickly as possible. A diagnosis made within 4 weeks after birth can help minimize the impact of the injury.

Continue reading

Image result for nursing homeA new report shows that most nursing homes often operate under lower staffing levels than they have reported to the government, placing residents at risk of abuse and neglect.

The report was released by Kaiser Health News, and was based on Medicare data. The agency only recently began collecting such staffing data on more than 14,000 such nursing facilities across the country. The data clearly indicates that there are fluctuations in staffing on a day-to-day basis in most nursing homes. Weekends tend to be critically understaffed, with large percentages of staffing shortages reported over the weekend.

The fact that nursing home staffing levels may not be consistent throughout the year has only now come to light after Medicare recently began collecting this important information. It is a suspicion, however, that Indianapolis nursing home abuse attorneys have had for several years.

Continue reading

Image result for semi truckSophisticated safety systems, like the ones that currently exist on many models of automobiles, can substantially reduce truck accident risks. However, the trucking industry has remained largely skeptical of the benefits of these systems.

Data indicates that there has been an increase in the number of truck accidents in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2016, more than 4,300 fatalities involved people in accidents with tractor-trailers or big rigs. That is an increase of 5.4% from the previous year.

There is still more data that reveals that safety systems could help mitigate those risks, and that the trucking industry has resisted using these technologies. For instance, in 2015, only about 15% of commercial truck fleets in the country came equipped with forward collision warning systems or collision mitigation systems. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates that as many as 107,000 accidents every year could be prevented if trucks came equipped with technologies that have been proven to help reduce the risk of accidents. These technologies include blind spot warning systems and electronic stability control systems.

Continue reading

Image result for hearing lossHearing trouble can mean not just difficulty hearing things properly, but also an increased risk of accidents caused because you’re unable to hear auditory accident cues.

Many seniors suffer from hearing loss as they get older. For many of these persons, hearing loss may be a natural part of aging, and may lead to social difficulties and inconvenience, and not much more. However, according to the results of a new study, hearing loss can actually be dangerous because it can impact a senior citizen’s ability to drive safely.

According to the researchers, hearing is a key sense that can help alert an individual to potential dangers in his environment. On a busy road, that could mean an oncoming car that can be heard, but may not be seen in time. For a pedestrian, it could mean being alerted to the sound of an approaching vehicle.  When hearing isn’t fine-tuned and sharp, injury risks increase.

Continue reading

Image result for bicycle helmetWearing a bicycle helmet substantially reduces your risk of injury in an accident, unless the helmet is designed deficiently and fails to protect your head upon impact. A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated bicycle helmets, and found that all helmets do not offer the same level of injury protection. Some helmets seem to do a much better job of protecting the head, compared to others.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety collaborated with the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab to create a bicycle helmet rating system that the two organizations claim is the first such rating system for helmets. The rating system assigned stars to each helmet based on its effectiveness against injuries.

Continue reading

green eyes 2Lowering accident risks for older drivers continues to be a major challenge for Indiana transportation agencies as the number of such motorists in the state increases. A new study finds that better vision through cataract surgery can help reduce those risks.

The Canadian study found that accident rates for more than half a million drivers actually dropped after the drivers underwent a required cataract surgery. The decline was a fairly modest one of about 9%, but it does establish that improved vision as the result of a cataract surgery can help decrease driving risks.  Cataract surgery also seemed to substantially reduce accident risks among older drivers. Accident rates dropped by as much as 14%, among drivers above the age of 70. Overall, the researchers estimate that one accident can be prevented for every 5000 cataract surgeries that are performed.

Continue reading

penny farthing 1Bicycling is what young children in Indiana like to do during summer. It is also one of the most certain ways to suffer an injury. In fact, new data indicates that as many as 25 American children are treated in hospital emergency rooms each hour, after suffering a bicycle accident-related injury.

That information comes from accident data collected over a ten-year period, which finds that more than 2.2 million American children every year suffer bicycle accident injuries that are serious enough for them to be rushed to an emergency room. According to the researchers, the rate of the injury seemed to decline over the ten-year period. However, there are still far too many children suffering injuries that are often very preventable.

The single most important thing that you can do to keep your children safe this summer is to make sure that they’re wearing helmets. According to the data, children who were not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident were much more likely to suffer a possibly serious traumatic brain injury in an accident.

Velocidad NauticaSummer is here, with all the boating and water craft activity that goes with the season. Indiana officials are on the alert for an increase in collisions and accidents on the water.

Indian officials are warning residents about the dangers involved in boating and operating watercraft on water bodies across the state. One of the dangers involved in boating is how safe everyone seems to think the activity is. Nothing could be further from the truth. The kind of dangers that you can expect when you are traveling on motorways are very similar to the kind of risks that face you as you are sailing on Indiana’s waterways.

According to a recent review of US Coast Guard boating accident statistics from 2006 to 2015, at least 65 of boat accidents during this period of time occurred on the Lake, Porter, and La Porte County waterways. 14 people died in those accidents, and 34 injuries were reported. Those accidents were associated with more than $627,000 in damages.