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Covington Personal Injury Law Blog

More crashes linked to road rage

More people in Kentucky and across the country are driving dangerously and aggressively. Reports indicate that road rage incidents, especially violent ones, are on the rise. This trend has been continuing for some time, but several serious occurrences have drawn attention to the problem. One woman attempted to shoot another vehicle but accidentally shot her husband, and a family with children were injured when fireworks in their car exploded after another driver shot at their vehicle with a gun.

In the past decade, deadly car accidents linked to road rage and aggressive driving have risen by 500%, says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. While there were 80 such crashes in 2006, that number rose to 467 by 2015. According to one anti-gun violence organization, there were 247 incidents of drivers brandishing or firing guns at someone else on the road in 2014. By 2016, that figure rose to 620; in the first half of 2017 alone, there were 325 such incidents, pointing to an ever-increasing incidence of gun-related road rage. Drivers even admit to angry, aggressive behavior when behind the wheel, and they often feel justified due to other drivers' reckless or careless behavior.

PCOS sufferers at risk of misdiagnosis

One out of every five women will develop a disorder called polycystic ovarian syndrome during their lifetimes, according to the Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Awareness Association. Most doctors think PCOS is a result of both environmental and genetic factors, but there is not yet a consensus among medical professionals and researchers as to the exact causes. Women in Kentucky who believe they may be suffering from PCOS should consult a medical professional for an examination.

One problem with PCOS is that it can manifest a large number of different symptoms. A panel of medical experts submitted a petition to the National Institutes of Health in 2013 to have the name of the condition changed in an effort to prevent misdiagnoses. Generally speaking, the disorder is a hormonal imbalance that impacts insulin, progesterone and androgens. PCOS is the number one cause of infertility among women; it often prevents women from ovulating. It can also manifest by causing mood swings, acne, excess hair or weight gain.

Were you involved in a Kentucky motor vehicle collision?

Kentucky roadways are sometimes far from safe. Any number of issues can increase your risk for injury while traveling by motor vehicle. Weather conditions, road conditions, whether you're driving or riding as a passenger, and many other factors may have a significant impact on your ability to safely arrive to your chosen destination.

You might be the type of traveler who tries to avoid busy interstates. The only problem is that signs, traffic lights and other safety features are not always on rural roads. Ultimately, all you can do is adhere to traffic laws, stay alert and drive cautiously, then hope all other drivers nearby do the same. If not, you could wind up in a collision that results in serious injuries.

Underride guards could reduce fatalities in truck accidents

New trucking regulations could potentially improve safety on Kentucky roads, yet significant hurdles stand in the way of implementation. Trucking accidents pose a significant risk of severe injuries and death to pedestrians and occupants of smaller vehicles. Data shows that a particular type of tractor-trailer crash, the side-impact, is responsible for more deaths than other impact types. Underride guards have proven capable of reducing the risk of fatality in these types of collisions, but a political environment wary of new regulations has yet to adopt it nationally.

Of the over 4,000 to die in 2017 U.S. truck accidents, the most common cause of death was the exposed area on the side of trailers. The National Transportation and Safety Board has collected data demonstrating that underride guards reduce injuries and deaths in these side-impact truck accidents. The device covers the exposed space between a trailer's fore and rear tire sets, which prevents smaller vehicles or pedestrians from entering and being crushed.

Auto accident fatalities increasingly due to red light violations

In Kentucky and throughout the U.S., drivers are expected to follow the basic rules of the road to make certain everyone is safe. One fundamental requirement that drivers learn from the start is to stop at a red light. If drivers run a red light, it can result in an auto accident with serious injuries and fatalities. Understanding this problem is imperative to avoiding collisions.

New research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows a dramatic increase in road fatalities because drivers have run a red light. 2017 is the last year for which statistics were available. AAA found that there was a 30 percent increase in these fatal accidents from 2012 to 2017. Across the nation, at least two people die on the road every day because of driver recklessness, distraction and impatience.

What to know about drunk driving

Drunk driving results in thousands of deaths per year as well as billions of dollars in economic damages. In 2017, there was one drunk driving death every 48 minutes on average in Kentucky and throughout the country. In 2010, researchers attributed $44 billion in economic losses to individuals driving under the influence of alcohol. Driving after consuming alcohol is dangerous because it impairs a person's ability to reason and process information.

Furthermore, consuming alcohol can have a negative impact on a person's reaction time. The legal blood alcohol limit in all 50 states .08, and at this level and above, an individual is at a significantly higher risk of getting into an accident. Of course, it is possible for drivers to put themselves and others in danger even if their blood alcohol concentrations are lower than .08.

Study finds technology, attitude effective in safety gains

A study by the National Surface Transportation Safety Center for Excellence indicates that trucking companies can improve performance by prioritizing safety. Management strategies and the implementation of advanced safety technologies can greatly improve the safety of trucks operating in Kentucky and across the country, according to the study. The research was a joint effort by the NSTSCE, the National Safety Council, state trucking organizations, and commercial insurer Travelers. All of the fleets studied experienced fewer crashes and less severe crashes, along with better safety scores.

The study began with the identification of nine companies that had significantly improved their safety records and continued on to examine what those companies did to improve. Six of the nine carriers said that the development of a strong culture of safety improved safety outcomes. An especially important factor was the level to which drivers and management bought in to the safety programs. Trucking companies that established well-rounded cultures of safety saw significant reductions in crashes reportable to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Kentucky travelers are endangered by cellphone addicts

How often do you use your cellphone? Chances are, you know someone who has a serious cellphone addiction. Hopefully, it's not you. Someone you live with, work with or travel with might be addicted to his or her cellphone. Not only can this cause great disruption in a person's life, if someone feeds his or her addiction while driving, it places everyone nearby at risk for serious, if not fatal, injury.

You've likely witnessed a driver or two looking down at their cellphones instead of the road ahead. It can be quite disconcerting a sight, especially if the vehicle in question is headed in a path toward you or coming up behind you on the road. Cellphone addiction is a real problem in Kentucky and most other states, which is why it pays to know ahead of time where to seek support if a distracted driver on a cellphone hits you.

One car model is both the safest and most likely to crash

A new report contains both good news and bad news for Kentucky drivers who own a Subaru Crosstrek. The good news is that the fuel-efficient, affordable model is one of the safest cars on the road. However, the bad news is that it is also the most crashed vehicle in the United States.

Researchers at insurance comparison website Insurify analyzed the company's database of 1.6 million car insurance quotes to find out how many accidents current car models have been involved in. The quotes contained information on what type of car a driver owns and whether their vehicle had ever been in an accident. They found that the Subaru Crosstrek was involved in more at-fault crashes than any other current model on the road, with 25.81% having been in some sort of collision. The Honda HR-V was second on the list, with 25.7% having a crash history. The Hyundai Elantra GT, Infiniti Q50, Subaru WRX, Mazda 3, Acura ILX, Lexus CT, Chevrolet Trax and Hyundai Sante Fe Sport rounded out the top 10.

Vasculitis can be easy to misdiagnose

Medical professionals in Kentucky and throughout the country could be misdiagnosing patients with vasculitis. This is because there are many signs that mimic the symptoms of this condition, and treating patients for vasculitis when they don't actually have it could lead to negative consequences. It is not uncommon for an individual to present with what looks like vasculitis only to have cholesterol emboli or endocarditis instead.

If a patient presents with a fever, it is possible that he or she has endocarditis. Looking at a patient's retina could help a doctor determine if that person has a cholesterol emboli. Finally, a patient may have a rare condition called reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome, or pseudovasculitis. Those who have it may experience symptoms like thunderclap headaches and signs that may point toward vasculitis. In many cases, adults who do have vasculitis develop the condition because they have taken drugs such as cocaine or amphetamine.

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