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South Williamsport Personal Injury Blog

Safety technologies reduce car crashes, study shows

Many people in Pennsylvania are excited about the potential of automated safety features to significantly reduce the number of dangerous crashes on the roadway. Automatic emergency braking and other high-level safety technologies have reduced rear-end collisions by 46%, according to a study released by General Motors. Reverse automatic braking reduced the likelihood of back-out collisions by 81% when installed, according to the report. Safety experts said that using these technologies could make for safer roadways for everyone. They also said that the more autonomous technologies were installed on a vehicle, the greater the level of safety improvement.

These technologies, often called advanced driver assistance systems, or ADAS, are meant to cut down on severe car accidents that lead to catastrophic injuries and fatalities. The study aimed to assess their effectiveness by comparing crash data compiled by police in 10 states. With VIN data from GM, researchers were able to determine which cars had these safety technologies installed and which ones did not and compare those numbers to the overall population of vehicles in the area. They found significant positive results from a number of different technologies. Blind-spot-detection devices were able to reduce collisions by 26% while intelligent headlights decreased nighttime collisions with animals, pedestrians and bikes by 21%.

What's being done to advance research on rare cancers

Medical centers in Pennsylvania and across the U.S. cannot offer many treatment options when it comes to rare cancers, and this is one of the greatest challenges that patients have to face. It stems from the fact that rare tumors are difficult to study. With not enough patients who can be gathered for group clinical trials, doctors only have individual case reports to go off. Furthermore, there are few doctors who specialize in rare cancers in the first place.

However, cancer treatments that target genetic mutations rather than the location where the cancer originated may improve how rare cancers are dealt with. For example, the DNA in some tumors cannot repair itself. This condition is known as a mismatch repair deficiency and can be found in both rare cancers like rhabdomyosarcoma and frequently reported cancers like breast, prostate and colon cancer. Several immunotherapy drugs exist that can treat the deficiency; therefore, they can be useful for these rare cancers.

Tips to avoid getting into a car accident

It may not feel like it, but the road can be a very dangerous place. You probably drive your car almost every day without even thinking about the potential of getting into a car accident. The unfortunate truth is that car accidents are fairly common. In 2017, there were 128,188 car accidents in Pennsylvania. These crashes led to 80,612 injuries and 1,137 deaths.

Given the amount of damage that a car accident can cause, it is only natural to do everything in your power to avoid getting into one yourself. Taking a few simple precautions can help protect both yourself and the people you share the road with.

What to know about lead exposure

Lead is a naturally occurring metal that workers in Pennsylvania and across the country may come into contact with. It is used in a variety of products such as lead-acid batteries, fishing weights and solder. Until 1977, it was a key ingredient in paint used in homes and commercial buildings. Typically, workers will be exposed to lead in fumes that they breathe in or by coming into contact with lead dust.

Those who work in construction or manufacturing are most likely to interact with lead on a regular basis. Lead exposure can occur while creating, using or recycling products that contain this element. For example, a construction worker could be exposed to lead after tearing down a building or while installing or maintaining a pipe. It is also possible to come into contact with lead after accidentally swallowing or otherwise ingesting it.

Steering clear of distracting activities while behind the wheel

Each year, thousands of people in Pennsylvania get injured in car crashes that involve a distracted driver. Everything from phone use to eating and drinking can take a driver's attention from the road. That's why these distracting activities should be avoided. Drivers should put their phones on "do not disturb" mode and only call after pulling over to the side of the road.

That's not all. Even conversations with passengers can become a danger, especially when there are many passengers. Therefore, drivers may want to set a limit on how many people they take with them. The front-seat passenger may be of benefit, though, by checking on traffic conditions and plotting navigation for the driver.

Why patients file medical malpractice suits

Medical professionals in Pennsylvania and throughout the nation could face negligence claims from patients. In 2015, 7% of those claims went to trial, but plaintiffs were only successful in 12% of those cases. It is more common for medical malpractice claims to be made against doctors who are male and who are 55 and older. A misdiagnosis or a delayed diagnosis is the most common reason that a patient will pursue a malpractice case.

The basis for a claim may be that an incorrect or delayed diagnosis resulted in improper treatment or no treatment at all. This can make it more likely that a patient will either pass away or experience long-term negative health consequences. Patients must give informed consent before a procedure takes place, which means they know the risks that they face ahead of time. Failure to obtain informed consent may result in a lawsuit if complications arise during or after treatment takes place.

Medical malpractice can happen to anyone

You never know when an accident might occur. Usually, the first place people turn to is the hospital. We trust medical practitioners with our lives.

Imagine someone, Paul, who was in a car accident where he splintered his right femur. As a result, a rod was put into his leg to assist his movement and help mend his femur.

Construction workers at risk for heat-related illness or death

Pennsylvania construction companies stay busy with building projects during the summer. High temperatures and hard work, however, raise the risks of illness or death for construction workers. A representative from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said that construction workers account for over 40% of heat-related deaths on the job. OSHA has established rules for all types of workers who are exposed to high temperatures indoors or outdoors. These safety regulations become especially important in the summer when heat and humidity create conditions that can cause heat exhaustion or heat stroke. People who perform heavy labor or have to wear bulky protective clothing face additional risk for heat-related illness or death.

Temporary workers, new employees or workers returning from a long vacation sometimes succumb to the heat more easily because they lack tolerance to the hot conditions. In the interest of safety, workers who have not acclimated to hot conditions should have their duties ramped up slowly. They will need additional breaks as well.

Are you doing everything possible to avoid underriding a truck?

Colliding with a semitrailer can be extremely dangerous. Because of their heavy weight and high ground clearance, semitrailers can cause severe injuries and death to the occupants of smaller, more vulnerable vehicles.

One particularly devastating type of collision that can occur with semitrailers is called an underride collision. This involves a passenger vehicle sliding or getting pushed underneath a semitrailer. When this occurs, the semitrailer often crushes or shears the top of the smaller vehicle, which can be especially hazardous to the occupants of that vehicle.

NHTSA estimates a 1% decline in traffic fatalities in 2018

Pennsylvania drivers should know that the number of motor vehicle crash fatalities has been decreasing since 2016. In 2017, a total of 37,133 died in these crashes, which represented a 2% decrease from the previous year. Now, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates in a preliminary report that there were 36,750 such fatalities in 2018, a decrease of about 1%.

On the one hand, the numbers are still tragically high. On the other hand, the risk of dying in a motor vehicle crash is not as high as it used to be. However, there are new factors to contend with. The rise of smartphones and in-vehicle technology like voice commands and touchscreens has led to more and more distraction behind the wheel. With urbanization, more people moving to cities.

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