Charleston Personal Injury Law Blog

Study: left atrial enlargement associated with brain infarcts

A study published in the journal Neurology has analyzed the link between enlargement in the left atrium, one of the four chambers of the heart, and vascular brain injuries, which are any injuries that impair blood flow to the brain. West Virginia residents should know that researchers concluded that LA enlargement is independently associated with the presence of brain infarcts, which are areas of dead tissue resulting from lack of blood flow.

Researchers analyzed a total of 5,888 senior citizens living in communities in four different counties who are enrolled in an ongoing observational study called the Cardiovascular Health Study. A 2-D echocardiogram measured each participant's LA enlargement. Some underwent brain MRIs.

Study shows women more vulnerable than men in front-end crashes

A study published in the journal Traffic Injury Prevention has found that women run a higher risk than men for serious injuries in a car crash. West Virginia residents should know that women are especially prone to suffer injuries to the spine, abdomen and legs. In fact, their risk for these lower-body injuries is double that for men.

The study looked at 22,854 front-end crashes that occurred between 1998 and 2015. Of the 31,254 car occupants who were involved in these, 50.6% were women. The median age was 32. Researchers only analyzed occupants who wore a three-point seatbelt at the time of the crash.

The importance of investigating the scene of a car crash

Let us say you sustained an injury in a car crash that required surgery and months of rehabilitation.

The accident happened so quickly that you are not sure what caused it. You will not be in the dark for long. A thorough investigation of the crash scene will produce evidence and, in turn, answers.

Plantation, Florida, shopping plaza explodes, injures 23

On the morning of July 6, 2019, a vacant pizza restaurant in a South Florida shopping center exploded, injuring 23 and damaging several stores. West Virginia residents should know that this took place in the town of Plantation. The town's fire and police departments responded, pulling the victims out of the rubble and closing the street to traffic. They believe that a gas leak caused the explosion, but the case is still under investigation.

The pizza restaurant was demolished with nothing but its metal frame standing. The explosion also blew out the windows of a nearby fitness center, blew off the roof of one section and sent metal pieces flying for at least 100 yards. Concrete bricks were scattered as far as 50 yards. The debris wound up severely damaging two vehicles.

Feds planning to ease hours-of-service rules for truckers

Large truck accidents have increased in West Virginia and across the U.S. over the past few years. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that accidents involving large trucks caused 4,237 deaths and 344,000 injuries in 2017, which represents a 10% increase over 2016. Despite this, the U.S. Department of Transportation is reportedly preparing to loosen hours-of-service regulations for truckers.

Currently, commercial long-haul truck drivers are allowed to operate a vehicle for a maximum of 11 hours out of each 14-hour shift. In addition, they are required to take a 30-minute break within the first eight hours on the road and go off duty for at least 10 consecutive hours between shifts. These regulations are intended to promote traffic safety by reducing the risk of truck driver fatigue. Drivers who break these rules can be taken off the road for 24 hours or more, which could reduce their income.

Of all major holidays, July Fourth sees most DUI fatalities

Independence Day appears to be the most dangerous of the major holidays in the US when it comes to drunk driving fatalities. West Virginia residents should know that the DUI fatality rate for this holiday is 42.4, which equates to an average of 42.4 deaths per day. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics show that there were 1,192 DUI fatalities reported on this holiday from 2010 to 2017.

The Fourth of July weekend is more dangerous than any equivalent span of four to five summer days. For example, 2017 saw 184 DUI fatalities on the Fourth of July weekend compared to the average of 117 fatalities seen during that equivalent period.

Improving floor safety to prevent slips, trips and falls

More workers' compensation claims are filed over slips, trips and falls than for any other kind of accident. This is according to the National Floor Safety Institute. The same institute says that over two million fall-related injuries each year are directly connected with floors and flooring materials. Property owners in West Virginia will want to see how they can improve floor safety. It all begins with identifying hazardous areas.

For example, the lobby poses a risk because entrants will track in mud, rainwater and snow from outside. The breakroom or cafeteria, with its smooth flooring, can easily become the site of an injury if food or beverages are spilled. Employers must also inspect their roof and pipes on a regular basis. Other hazards are not tied to a single area: for example, torn or loose carpeting.

MADD presidents: DUI prevention tech should be automakers' focus

The national president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving has been calling for automakers to devote more research and development in the effort to create drunk driver prevention systems. West Virginia residents are probably aware that DUI is a major cause of auto accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that in 2017, drunk driving crashes led to 11,000 deaths and over 200,000 injuries. DUI is behind 29% of all roadway fatalities.

Yet there are some who are already developing systems to address this trend. Volvo announced a system that can detect alcohol intoxication in a driver based on cameras and sensors. One group has been working for over a decade on a program it calls the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety. Using breath- and touch-based systems, it can tell when a driver's blood alcohol content is over .08 and render the vehicle inoperable in response to it.

IIHS: drivers confuse ADAS with self-driving cars

A recent survey by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety suggests that many West Virginia drivers do not know just how their advanced driver assistance systems work. More than 2,000 drivers across the U.S. participated in the study. They were asked in particular how they would drive with five systems, including Tesla's Autopilot and the Traffic Jam Assist for Audi and Acura, without having the names of the automakers revealed.

The name "Autopilot" led many of the participants to think they could drive without their hands on the steering wheel when it is engaged. Others thought they could talk on the phone or text while the system was on. In reality, this is not the case; Autopilot assists drivers rather than replace them.

Why truck accidents happen

The entire nation relies on commercial trucks for the transportation of goods and supplies. But when these giant tractor-trailers collide with passenger vehicles, motorcycles, bicyclists or pedestrians, there is a high likelihood of catastrophic injuries. Thousands of people die from large truck accidents every year.

Why do truck crashes happen? There are numerous factors, including driver errors, maintenance issues and mechanical failures.

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