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Covington Personal Injury Law Blog

How to be a responsible driver

An auto accident may lead to significant injuries and property damage. However, there are ways that Kentucky drivers can reduce the risk of one occurring. Eliminating distractions such as a cellphone may make it easier to focus on the road. Drivers should also refrain from eating, reading, chatting with passengers or applying makeup when operating a motor vehicle.

Remaining mindful of traffic laws can also help drivers get to their destination safely. Individuals who are operating a motor vehicle should be sure to keep their headlights on as it makes them more visible both during the day and at night. They should also maintain a safe following distance and obey traffic control signals at all times. Furthermore, individuals can decrease their chances of getting into a crash by maintaining a safe speed and not following vehicles ahead too closely.

More car crashes in summer means more TBI cases

Summer usually means more people taking long road trips, which in turn means more chances of people getting in a car crash. Kentucky residents who have been in a crash will want to consider the risk for incurring concussions and traumatic brain injuries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has even reported that car and motorcycle crashes are the leading causes of TBIs that lead to hospitalization.

Crash victims will want to be tested for concussions as soon as possible to avoid a false diagnosis. Concussion symptoms can appear minutes or days after a crash. Slurring speech and bumping into walls are just two symptoms. Exaggerated changes in mood and a loss of, or change in, cognitive function can also be attributed to a concussion.

A tired truck driver is a threat to your safety

Kentucky readers understand the important role that trucks have in the American economy. The transportation of goods and products across the country and beyond is essential, but the people behind the wheel of these large vehicles must practice safety. Truck driver fatigue is a serious problem that may be getting worse.

There is evidence that truck drivers often work more than their allowed number of hours, which means there are more tired truck drivers on the road at any given time. Tired truckers tend to be more reckless and cause more accidents. Fatigue is one of the leading factors in collisions between large trucks and passenger vehicles.

Protecting your family's interests after the death of a loved one

The unexpected death of a loved one is more than just an emotionally traumatic event. It can leave your Kentucky family dealing with unexpected financial losses and other complications. If your loved one's death is the result of the negligent actions of another person, your family may be able to recover some of your financial losses.

Through a wrongful death claim, your family can seek appropriate financial damages experienced after the death of your family member. The thought of taking legal action may seem like an overwhelming prospect during your time of grief, but this step could be beneficial for your family's future interests. If you are unsure about this option, it may be prudent to seek an understanding of your legal options.

Fleet operators use technology to combat distracted driving

Traffic deaths in Kentucky and around the country have risen alarmingly in recent years despite improved road layouts and more sophisticated automobile safety systems, and many safety advocates say that the prolific use of cellphones by motorists and an ensuing surge in distracted driving is chiefly responsible. Distracted drivers rarely take evasive action before crashing, which makes this behavior especially dangerous when heavy commercial vehicles are involved that can be difficult to control even with an alert driver behind the wheel.

Regulations alone do not appear to be solving the problem, and companies that operate fleets of tractor-trailers are now turning to technology firms to help them combat distracted and drowsy driving. The fleet services provider Omnitracs has answered this call by adding a module to their Driving Center that relies on hours of service data to predict potentially dangerous situations. Fleet operators are alerted when their commercial vehicle drivers may be fatigued by hours of stop-and-go traffic or when they begin long shifts after just a few hours of rest.

Burnout may be to blame for many medical mistakes

Kentucky residents who work in high-stress environments that involve many intense interactions with others are at a high risk for burnout. This reversible condition is characterized by physical fatigue and emotional exhaustion, sometimes revealing itself in cynicism, depression and thoughts of suicide. A study published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings has revealed that more than half of all doctors in the nation suffer burnout.

Furthermore, it has found that burned-out doctors are twice as likely to commit a medical error, such as misdiagnoses and technical errors during a surgical or other procedure. Previous studies have shown how burned-out doctors will prescribe the wrong drug or the wrong dosage, request too few or too many lab tests, and cause patients to fall or become infected.

Cars that generate the most injury claims

As today's vehicles are being equipped with more and more safety features, drivers can avoid accidents and be protected from serious injuries should a crash occur. However, the risk of accidents taking place will remain until perhaps all vehicles become fully automated. In addition, different vehicles offer different levels of protection. Drivers in Kentucky should know about a recent list that has been compiled of the most dangerous vehicles.

Using data from the Highway Loss Data Institute, the list ranks the 10 vehicles (limited to 2014 to 2016 model years) that generated the most personal injury claims. The HLDI reports that the small four-door Mitsubishi Lancer has a rate of 215 claims per year, which is well above the industry average of 100. This was followed by various models from Nissan, Toyota and Kia. Most vehicles were small four-door cars with exceptions like the Dodge Charger and Toyota Corolla iM, a station wagon. The usual rule is the lighter the car, the less protection it affords.

Research suggests automated cars won't harm insurance industry

Despite several dire predictions in 2016, recent data suggests that automated vehicles may not lead to the death of the car insurance industry after all. As a string of fatal accidents involving self-driving cars have shown, liability issues will still affect drivers in Kentucky and across the country. The most likely scenario is that the industry will evolve, not die.

According to analysts with Bloomberg New Energy, revenue for auto insurance companies is unlikely to decline due to self-driving vehicles. Reports in 2016 had speculated that the car insurance industry could virtually collapse by 2040. However, the data since then suggests that is unlikely to happen. To date, car insurance companies have taken steps to evolve their business to address changes in technology, and it's unlikely that automated vehicles will be any different. It's not hard to see why liability issues will continue to exist. Computers are capable of making mistakes, and automated vehicles have already failed to detect the presence of other vehicles or people with deadly consequences. It's hard to imagine a world where automated vehicles are so effective that liability insurance is not necessary.

An accurate diagnosis can be elusive for women

When female patients are evaluated for heart disease, they face a 50 percent possibility of being misdiagnosed; when they are admitted to the emergency room with stroke symptoms, they are 30 percent more likely to be misdiagnosed than male patients. In the case of diseases such as lupus and multiple sclerosis, women often have to get five medical opinions over more than four years before they can get an accurate diagnosis.

Clinical researchers from the Health Sciences Center at Texas Tech University have traced the issue of misdiagnosis among female patients to curriculum deficiencies in medical school. A 2016 longitudinal survey conducted in medical schools across the United States revealed that less than 45 percent of students felt that gender differences in medical care were adequately addressed in their courses of study.

Don't let big rigs intimidate you -- practice these safety tips

If you are a licensed driver in Kentucky, you are likely accustomed to big rigs on the highways. Tractor-trailers can be sizeable hazards to dodge when you change lanes, and a drive during peak hours can become nerve-racking. Some of the most dangerous areas to navigate when there are careless or negligent truck drivers present include Interstate 75 and Interstate 71 along with the Cut-in-the-Hill stretch of highway in Covington.

Tractor-trailers, semis and 18-wheelers are only as safe as their drivers are. Although commercial truck drivers need special licenses, that does not make them safer. Overloaded trucks or unbalanced loads can make it impossible for the drivers to maintain proper control of their vehicles, and fatigued truckers who exceed allowed driving hours could cause catastrophic crashes.

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