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Less Fatal Truck Crashes If Truck Drivers Paid by the Hour, Not the Mile?

July 28th, 2015 by admin

Many folk here in Indiana and Illinois drive alongside big rigs, semi trucks, and those long 18-wheeler tractor trailer trucks on congested highways like the Borman Expressway without thinking about how dangerous any kind of accident might be with one of these heavy, fully-loaded commercial trucks. When there is a collision between a big rig semi truck carrying cargo and a smaller sedan, or SUV, or minivan, that smaller car usually gets the worst of it. All too often, someone dies in a truck crash.

Which is why there are all sorts of regulations at both the state and federal level regarding the trucking industry. The routes that the trucks can drive is regulated, for example. How many hours the tractor-trailer truck can be driven before the truck driver takes a break is regulated by “hours of service” (HOS) rules under federal law.

However, one thing that is still being debated that might make the roads much safer for all of us — including the truck drivers — is changing how most of these truck drivers are paid.

Many are arguing that it is time that laws be passed to make trucking companies pay the truck drivers by the hour. The driver would get an hourly rate, just like construction workers or nurses or some lawyers, for that matter.

This is because right now in the United States, most truck drivers are paid by the mile driven, not by the hour they spend behind the wheel.  Truck drivers that are paid by the mile have an incentive to speed to cover more miles because miles = money.

1. Factors in How Truck Drivers Are Paid

Truck drivers get paid based upon a number of factors. These include things like the type of truck they’re driving, and the years of experience they have behind the wheel. Truckers who are driving vehicles that have a gross truck weight at or over 26,001 lbs are considered to be driving “heavy trucks” and they get paid more.

Truckers with a Class B commercial driver’s license don’t earn the same as a truck driver with a Class C CDL. Hazardous cargo? The truck driver gets paid more. Hazardous route – like Alaska? Ditto.

2. The Argument that Paying Truck Drivers By the Mile is Dangerous

In a recent op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, the argument is made that changing how the majority of truckers are paid to by-the-hour from by-the-mile would not only make the roads safer for all of us, but it would encourage people to become truck drivers.

Right now, there is a big shortage of people willing to enter the profession of driving these heavy, big commercial trucks. It’s a real issue for the trucking industry, this lack of truck drivers – especially for the heavy trucks and long truck routes. If truck drivers could have the security of knowing they were being paid by the hour, then the argument is more applicants might come forward to learn how to be big rig drivers.

And these truckers wouldn’t have the financial temptations to ignore federal HOS rules, etc., to keep driving when they shouldn’t just to get those miles. Roads would be safer because no longer would the trucker’s incentive be to tally up their mileage because miles = money and time at rest is time they’re not being paid.

Will There Be a Federal Law to Make Hourly Pay the Standard for Trucker Pay?

Last year, Senator Cory Booker introduced a bill in Congress that would make it federal for truck drivers to be paid by the hour. The Senator is reported to have been inspired to draft the legislation after the fatal truck crash involving famed comedian Tracy Morgan in New Jersey.

Additionally, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has started the process of formally studying the possibility of paying truck drivers by the mile. In February, FMCSA reportedly was submitting a plan for a study on “the impact of driver compensation on commercial motor vehicle safety” to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, and asked for comments on its proposal. For the full text, see the Federal Register published February 4, 2015.

“The study will evaluate the relationship between property carrying motor carriers compensation methods and incidences of unsafe driving,” explains the FMCSA. “In particular, the research team will determine if there is a potential relationship between method of driver compensation and safe driving behavior.”

With efforts being made in both the executive and legislative branches of the federal government, movement is being made to change the industry standard for how truck drivers are paid in the United States. This will be advanced as a means of making Americans safer on the roads; however, we can expect the trucking industry to fight against this major change just as they fought against the HOS Rule changes. For the trucking companies, paying by the mile is better for their bottom line and it’s working just fine for them.

NSAID Pain Pills Can Seriously Injure or Kill Someone Already Hurt in an Accident

July 23rd, 2015 by admin

The FDA has issued a warning about how are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) increase the risk of heart attack and stroke for anyone using them (see our post for details). The federal government is requiring drug makers of these popular pain medications (think Motrin, Aleve, Advil) to put new warnings of the dangers of using these pills on their package labels.

What are NSAIDs?

They are pain medications. Aspirin is one; others are various drugs known as COX-2 inhibitors. You don’t need a prescription for most of them. Some you do. Names for NSAIDs include:

  • Motrin
  • Aleve
  • Advil
  • Celebrex
  • Bayer Aspirin (and other aspirin brands)
  • Arthrotex
  • Cataflam
  • Voltaren
  • Nalfon
  • Ansaid
  • Ocufen
  • Indocin
  • Tivorbex
  • Mobic
  • Daypro
  • Feldene
  • Disalcid
  • Clinoril

These drugs lessen the pain that an accident victim is experiencing. They also help lessen inflammation, and they can lower fever, as well.

NSAIDs Can Cause Harm To Accident Victims: Brain Bleed, Intestinal Damage, Slow Healing of Fractures

The FDA is warning that using these pain pills may bring on a stroke or a heart attack. However, that’s far from the only dangers involved in using these pills.

Accident victims who are recovering from a car accident, motorcycle crash, on the job accident, or other type of injury, will be experiencing lots of pain. In fact, “pain and suffering” is something that is recognized as worthy of compensation in an negligence case or personal injury claim.

It’s understandable that accident victims will be needing pain medication. However, their doctors need to be monitoring their recovery and warning them not only of the new FDA concerns about heart attack and stroke, but also the possibility of “brain bleed” if they are using NSAIDs at the same time that they are taking antidepressants.

Since recovery from a serious accident with long term if not life-altering injuries can lead an injury victim to depression, it’s understandable that they may have been prescribed antidepressants.

These injury victims need to know that taking Motrin or Aleve with those antidepressants may cause them even more serious bodily harm.

Taking NSAIDs can also impact the digestive system in a bad way. Even at low doses, these pain pills can cause bleeding ulcers (which can be fatal in some cases) as well as permanent liver damage.

Furthermore, injury victims should be aware that they are studies out there that show taking NSAIDs can mean they will need longer time to recover from their fractures. Studies are showing that taking NSAIDs can impede the body’s ability to heal broken bones.

Recovery from a serious accident and severe injury will come with days, weeks, or months of pain – and medicating that pain is a good thing. However, accident victims should be informed and monitored closely by their treating physicians during their recovery to insure that the use of NSAIDs isn’t creating another personal injury for someone who has already been the victim of someone’s negligence and bad judgment.

New FDA Warning of Dangers From Taking NSAIDs (like Motrin, Aleve, and Advil)

July 21st, 2015 by admin

At school, kids complaining of pain may be given a “non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug” (NSAID); so may some working on the job, a patient at the doctor’s office or in the dentist’s chair; as well as anyone here in Indiana or Illinois that watches TV or listens to their car radio.  The advertisements for Motrin, Aleve, Advil, and all those other popular pain medications seem to be airing all the time.

However, the risk of being hurt from taking one of these pain medications, or exacerbating an existing injury or medical condition resulting from an accident, by taking one of these drugs, is serious.  And, according to the Food and Drug Administration, it’s even more dangerous than many people realized.

New FDA Warning for Pain Medication NSAIDs

So much so, that the FDA is making the drug companies put new warnings on the product labels for all these NSAIDs.  The new drug labels must explain that taking one of these very, very popular pain pills can increase the risk of a life-threatening heart attack or stroke.

Which means if you are recovering from a car crash or slip and fall accident at work, taking that over the counter pain pill may not help you — instead it may increase your chances of dying of cardiac arrest or a serious stroke.  Accident victims need to be aware of these risks even more than the general public since they’re much more likely to reach for a Motrin or Advil or Aleve or Tylenol, often with their doctor’s okay.  “If you get to feeling pain in your neck [or leg or jaw or hand, etc.] then just take a couple of Aleve and rest for awhile.”

FDA Safety Announcement: Dangers of Popular Pain Pills Like Ibuprofin and Naproxen

The FDA official safety announcement gives details over the increased danger of death from taking these popular pain pills.  From their notice, the new NSAID labels will be revised to reflect the following information:

  • The risk of heart attack or stroke can occur as early as the first weeks of using an NSAID. The risk may increase with longer use of the NSAID.
  • The risk appears greater at higher doses.
  • It was previously thought that all NSAIDs may have a similar risk. Newer information makes it less clear that the risk for heart attack or stroke is similar for all NSAIDs; however, this newer information is not sufficient for us to determine that the risk of any particular NSAID is definitely higher or lower than that of any other particular NSAID.
  • NSAIDs can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke in patients with or without heart disease or risk factors for heart disease. A large number of studies support this finding, with varying estimates of how much the risk is increased, depending on the drugs and the doses studied.
  • In general, patients with heart disease or risk factors for it have a greater likelihood of heart attack or stroke following NSAID use than patients without these risk factors because they have a higher risk at baseline.
  • Patients treated with NSAIDs following a first heart attack were more likely to die in the first year after the heart attack compared to patients who were not treated with NSAIDs after their first heart attack.
  • There is an increased risk of heart failure with NSAID use.

From the FDA:

“As always, consumers must carefully read the Drug Facts label for all nonprescription drugs. Consumers should carefully consider whether the drug is right for them, and use the medicine only as directed. Take the lowest effective dose for the shortest amount of time possible,”   says Karen M. Mahoney, M.D., deputy director of FDA’s Division of Nonprescription Drug Products. 

Seek medical help if you experience symptoms that might signal heart problems or stroke, such as chest pain, trouble breathing, sudden weakness in one part or side of the body, or sudden slurred speech.

 

Dangers of Commercial Truck Traffic and Operation Truck Stop

July 16th, 2015 by admin

Earlier this month, there was a joint operation crossing three counties here in Indiana as various law enforcement agencies worked their “Operation Truck Stop.” Seems that lots of commercial truck traffic had been noticed using U.S. 20 in Indiana and along with all that big rig semi truck traffic, there were concerns over violations of the traffic laws as well as other safety concerns.

What are some of the dangers of commercial trucks on Indiana roads?

.

1. Fatal Traffic Accidents

Having tractor trailer trucks, big rigs, semi trucks, and other large cargo-loaded vehicles on the roads we all drive brings with it all sorts of dangers. Of course, heavy commercial trucks moving through our part of the country carries a risk of serious motor vehicle accidents where truck crashes often result in deaths.

2. Hot Trucks and Food Poisoning Outbreaks

Additionally, big rigs and semis have other concerns here, like the “hot truck” problem. Cross-contamination and temperature-affected perishables can mean serious health hazards, especially when the cargo is food being transported by truck to local supermarkets and restaurants. State police routinely stop and inspect commercial trucks going through Indiana for violations of Indiana’s new food transport safety law. With the high summer temperatures, the problem of “hot trucks” delivering items that can cause serious food poisoning outbreaks is not only real but a growing problem here.

3. Overweight Trucks and Other Violations

Trucks are required to carry only so much weight for safety reasons. They are also only supposed to carry certain types of cargo on their vehicles, and things like volatile materials either cannot be transported via big rig semi trucks or they have to be moved only on certain routes. This is because not only can these vehicles cause a lot of injury and death if they were to be in an accident, but the products alone are dangerous enough that they could explode, or gases could be released, liquids could spill, etc., that would endanger the public.

Operation Truck Stop Results

It’s tough out there, and the pressure is on commercial truck drivers to meet their deadlines and get that cargo delivered can be intense. So intense, if fact, that drivers may decide to take the risk of driving their hazardous cargo through highly populated areas, or to risk the heat of a hot afternoon drive to get that food to its destination. The truck drivers may opt to drive a rig that is over the weight limits, too.

Trucking is a business where the bottom line can seem so important at the time, and the risk of personal injury to innocents so remote, that bad decisions are made and people get hurt.

Results Applied Statewide: Lots of Danger

Which means that things like the recent Operation Truck Stop act to stop these violations and prevent bad things from happening. Consider this, the statistics for the recent joint operation by the Indiana State Police, etc., on U.S. 20 in just three counties in one week’s time found:

  • 243 citations issued
  • 289 warnings given
  • 36 overweight violations
  • 10 impounded trucks
  • 105 violations of Federal Motor Carrier Regulations
  • 14 commercial vehicles pulled out of service
  • 1 arrest for Operating While Intoxicated
  • 1 recovery of a stolen assault rifle
  • Confiscation of $6,700
  • 1 arrest for possession of marijuana
  • 3 arrests for reckless driving.

Now, consider multiplying those numbers gathered in one week on one stretch of US 20 here in Indiana, to all 52 weeks of the year. That’s a lot of problems along US 20. Now, consider our other highly used interstates for commercial trucks … and think about the dangers of truck crashes and other trucking accidents that exist everyday in our part of the world.

A good lesson for all of us as we driving alongside those heavy vehicles today — be careful out there! 

New Federal Law for Commercial Trucks: ESC Required to Fight Fatal Truck Crashes

July 14th, 2015 by admin

Recently, the federal government via the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began requiring a new safety feature on many of the big rigs, semi trucks, and other commercial trucks that we share the roads and highways with here in Indiana and Illinois. Some buses are included in the new federal regulation too, specifically intercity buses. School buses are not covered by this new safety regulation.

New Federal Rule is Preemption of State Personal Injury Accident Laws

This new gizmo is called “electronic stability control” or ESC. It’s going to be required on heavy commercial motor vehicles driving on U.S. roads — and the new regulation also impacts state law regarding negligence law and accident claims.

Specifically, the federal rule states that Indiana and Illinois state law causes of action based on tort law (e.g., negligence, product liability, etc.) against motor vehicle manufacturers will be preempted by federal law if the state law has a lower standard than the one set up by this new federal regulation. However, if there is a higher standard set by the state, then the rule keeps it in place.

In other words, this new federal safety standard sets the minimum standard or bar for truck makers in accident cases.

Read the new federal rule here. It is effective on August 24, 2015.

Why Have ESC on Commercial Motor Vehicles Like Tractor Trailer Rigs?

NHTSA believes that implementing ESC requirements across the country for heavy weight vehicles will mean less tractor trailer truck crashes and fewer bus accidents and less people dying in commercial vehicle accidents.

According to the federal research estimates, each year NHTSA expects ESC will protect against 1,424 to 1,759 truck crashes, 505 to 649 injuries, and 40 to 49 fatalities.

“Reducing crashes through ESC in these trucks and buses will save lives – nearly 50 each year. It will move goods and people more efficiently and reduce the toll crashes take on our economy through traffic delays and property damage,” said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind. “It’s a win for the safety and convenience of the traveling public and for our economy.”

What is Electronic Stability Control or ESC for Trucks and Buses?

The NHTSA describes it as “ESC works instantly and automatically to maintain directional control in situations where the driver’s own steering and braking cannot be accomplished quickly enough to prevent the crash.“ Essentially, there is computerized assistance to the driver that allows for emergency intervention if the gizmo senses that the vehicle is veering off the road or the steering is otherwise out of control.  The ESC will hit the brakes if its sensors read a loss of steering control, and the ESC will also slow the vehicle until its sensors report that the danger of a loss of control has passed.

For details, check out the explanation on HowStuffWorks as to how ESC applies to sedans made by car makers like Mercedes-Benz and BMW, who have been including ESC on their models for several years now.

Many may recognize electronic stability control by other names, like an “electronic stability program” or a “dynamic stability control.”  Whatever the label, bottom line it is another step toward automation of the commerical truck through advancing computer technology.

ESC is being promoted for use in heavy vehicles as a way to keep people safer on the roads.  It’s true that the likelihood of dying when you are in a big rig semi truck crash is high, we’ve discussed that tragic reality in many prior posts.  However, whether or not using computerized technology  to drive those big heavy vehicles on the road is wise is an issue that is being debated right now — ESC is the law, however: that debate is done.

Motorcycle Accidents: Highest Risk for Fatality is in July

July 9th, 2015 by admin

The National Safety Council has circulated its warning that July is dangerous: accidental death rates jump up over ten percent (10%) this month, with fatalities in all kinds of preventable accidents: from drownings, to heat stroke, to traffic accidents. (See our last post for details.)

Higher Risk for Motorcycle Accident Deaths in July

One area of special concern in this increased risk of fatality this month is the danger of motorcycle accident deaths, given the controversy in Indiana and Illinois over the use of motorcycle helmets for both drivers and passengers of a motorcycle. Unlike some states, our area does not require everyone who is traveling on a local road via motorcycle to wear a protective helmet.

Motorcycle Helmet Laws in Indiana and Illinois

In Illinois, there is no law that requires you to wear a motorcycle helmet. In Indiana, you only need to wear a motorcycle helmet if you are under the age of 17 years. There is no federal law that requires someone taking a ride on a motorcycle to wear a helmet. (Read the Indiana statute here.)

Why Some Argue for Helmet Laws: To Protect Against Head Injury in Motorcycle Accidents

Research shows that traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes. Trauma to the head and skull in a motorcycle accident, even one where the bike isn’t going fast, can be fatal.

Those who want to mandate wearing motorcycle helmets back up their argument with data that shows motorcycle helmets protect accident victims from a TBI death in about 37% of the time for the motorcycle driver, and at an even higher rate (41%) for the bike’s passenger.

These percentages sound great, except for a lot of folk who ride motorcycles. They insist that wearing motorcycle helmets pose dangers to the motorcyclist, too. They argue that wearing one of those big, cumbersome helmets prevents the motorcycle driver from having a good view of the road around him and what other vehicles are doing (as well as road hazards, etc.).

Since it’s all too often a problem of a vehicle driver explaining “I just didn’t see the motorcycle,” after the accident, motorcycle drivers argue that they need all the advantages they can get in driving defensively on roads shared with bigger, heavier vehicles. To them, helmets are dangerous because they thwart the ability of the driver to drive as defensively as possible because the helmet inhibits a clear view.

Motorcycle Accidents in Indiana and Illinois

This month, as well as the rest of the year before the weather gets bad for riding bikes, motorcycle enthusiasts are going to be taking advantage of the sunny days to explore the roads and enjoy the freedom that riding a motorcycle provides.

It’s important for everyone driving motorcycles here, as well as all of us who share the road with them, to acknowledge the dangers of motorcycle accidents and keep safe: especially in the Most Dangerous Month of July.

July is Dangerous: Deadliest Month for Accident Victims

July 7th, 2015 by admin

Once again, Itasca’s National Safety Council has issued its warning about July, which statistics show is the most dangerous month of the year for fatal injuries due to accidents. For a variety of reasons, deaths due to preventable events jump up 11% this month – making it all the more important for everyone in Indiana and Illinois to take precautions to keep safe and to protect loved ones from danger.

Higher Risk for Accident Fatalities in July

Research studies have been done for years, charting accident fatalities and times of the year, both by season (weather conditions) as well as calendar month. This month — July — has been found to be the highest risk of being in a fatal accident for Americans based upon this ongoing research from Indiana’s NSC.

July is notorious for an increased percentage of fatalities due to things like:

  • Fatal car crashes
  • Deaths due to drowning
  • Deaths due to heat stroke
  • Fatal motorcycle accidents
  • Fatal aviation crashes (e.g., helicopters).

Accordingly, the NSC has issued the following safety tips for July, the most dangerous month of the year, and here they are for your convenience:

  1. Avoid speeding, using cell phones and driving under the influence.
  2. Place children in age-appropriate car seats.
  3. If you are flying, buy a ticket for children ages 2 and younger and place them in an FAA-approved child seat.
  4. Do not hold young children on your lap during a flight.
  5. Learn about your vehicle’s safety systems and how to use them.
  6. Do not operate a boat while drinking or without a boater’s license.
  7. Make sure children use flotation devices and everyone in your group knows how to swim.
  8. Stay hydrated and avoid being outside for long periods of time in the extreme heat.
  9. Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle.

Teenagers At High Risk of Serious Injury in July

Particularly vulnerable during the summer months, and especially July, are teenagers involved in summer fun activities as well as those teenagers driving their cars. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) considers the summer as a teenager’s “deadliest driving season,” and has researched fatal accident statistics to find that the following seven days are the most dangerous days for teenagers to be driving on the roads:

  • May 20
  • May 23
  • June 10
  • July 4
  • July 9
  • August 8
  • August 14.

 

Car Crashes: Fatalities Down But Still Too Many Killed in Motor Vehicle Accidents

July 2nd, 2015 by admin

A new research study published this month entitled “The Facts Hurt: A State-By-State Injury Prevention Policy Report,” has given details, state by state, regarding injury deaths in our country.

Not only does it include research on accidents and injury fatalities, it is also providing information on how things are getting better in some areas, like motor vehicle accidents and what we can do (and keep doing) to make our families and loved ones safer as they go about their daily lives.

According to the study, fatal motor vehicle accidents have decreased significantly over the past few years. Their studies show that motor vehicle accident deaths have dropped 25% over the past decade. That’s a great victory against car crash deaths, accidents that can cause so much tragedy so quickly.

 

10 Things to Know About Fatal Car Crash / Auto Accident Deaths in 2015

Nationally we have a ways to go: over 33,000 people will die in this country in an auto accident. We also know from this new study that:

  • Men are 3 times as likely to die in motor vehicle crashes than women.
  • Approximately 2,300,000 people needed emergency room treatment after a motor vehicle accident in 2013.
  • Motor vehicle accidents result in approximately $90 Billion in direct medical costs and lost productivity (loss because victim cannot work) annually.
  • Even though seat belts are the law in Indiana, Illinois, and most other states, 1 in 7 adults still don’t bother to buckle up before driving on every road trip.
  • Men are 10% more likely to not wear a safety belt than women.
  • In rural areas, adults only use their seat belts on an average of 78% of the time.
  • Motor vehicle accidents are the second leading cause of death of children between the ages of 4 and 14.
  • One-third of the deaths of children ages 0 – 12 years involved kids who were not wearing seat belts or riding in car seats or booster seats.
  • When used correctly, child safety seats can reduce fatal injuries by more than 70 percent for infants and more than 50 percent for toddlers.
  • Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers: the reason for 33% of teen deaths in this country is because of a car accident.

For teens in Indiana and Illinois, as well as children under the age of 14 years, the danger of being seriously injured or killed in an auto accident here in Indiana or Illinois remains particularly high.  

Couple this with the risking rate of epidemic proportions of prescription pain medication misuse and overdose, and concern for the safety of young passengers and teen drivers in our part of the nation remains high, even if the statistics show that nationally, the overall danger of dying in a car accident is falling.  

Injuries Report by State: Illinois is Safer than Indiana; Drug Overdoses Leading Cause of Death in Both States

June 30th, 2015 by admin

Accidents that kill people and cause the wrongful deaths of innocent victims are a real tragedy whenever they happen, whether it is to someone close to home here in Indiana or Illinois, or elsewhere in the United States. It is frustrating and horrible to think how someone, through no fault of their own, loses their life because of a mistake (negligence). Sadly, this happens all the time — in car crashes, medical malpractice, truck accidents, on the job work injuries, and more.

Researchers are always studying how these accidents happen and what can be done in the future to prevent them. We report on their findings regularly as they are released by places like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institute for Health (NIH), and more. For instance, read our 2013 post, “Prescription Drug Abuse is a National Epidemic: How Are Indiana and Illinois Faring in Dealing with Prescription Drug Problem Per New 2013 Report?

New Study of Causes of Fatal Injuries in U.S.

One study released this month is particularly reveaaling about fatal injuries in accidents; it is entitled “The Facts Hurt: A State-By-State Injury Prevention Policy Report.” (You can read the full report online here.)

This report was compiled by the non-profit group Trust for America’s Health – Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Its results are important for everyone to know about — from the general public, to parents, teachers, coaches, etc.

Why? This research shows that:

1 person dies from an injury every 3 minutes in the U.S.A. That’s 20 people every hour.

Injuries are the leading cause of death for people living in the U.S. between the ages of 1 year and 44 years of age.

Some states have a higher risk of death from an injury than others: the safest state from injuries is New York (rate of 40.3:100,000); the most dangerous is West Virginia (97.9:100,000).

Prescription drug abuse causes more accidental deaths than car accidents in over half of the states (36 out of 50) as well as the District of Columbia.

Illinois Injury Research Report

From the report’s findings specific to Illinois we know the following:

  • Illinois had the 7th Lowest Rate of Injury Deaths in U.S., which means it’s much safer to be in Illinois than Indiana which had the 25th Highest Rate of Injury Deaths.
  • Rates in Illinois remained stable over the past four years for injury deaths, which includes drug overdoses, motor vehicle crashes, homicides and others.
  • Drug overdoses have become the leading cause of injury in Illinois, surpassing motor vehicle-related deaths.
  • Illinois ranked 38th highest for drug overdose deaths.

Indiana Injury Research Report

From the report’s findings specific to Indiana:

  • Indiana had the 25th Highest Rate of Injury Deaths in U.S., which means it’s much riskier to be in Indiana than Illinois which had the 7th Lowest Rate of Injury Deaths.
  • Rates in Indiana increased over the past four years for injury deaths, which includes drug overdoses, motor vehicle crashes, homicides and others.
  • Drug overdoses have become the leading cause of injury in Indiana, surpassing motor vehicle-related deaths.
  • Indiana ranked 15th highest for drug overdose deaths.

From the TFAH News release:

“Injuries are persistent public health problems. New troubling trends, like the prescription drug overdose epidemic, increasing rates of fall-related deaths and traumatic brain injuries, are serious and require immediate response,” said Corrine Peek-Asa, MPH, PhD, Professor and Associate Dean for Research at the College of Public Health, University of Iowa. “But, we cannot afford to neglect or divert funds from ongoing concerns like motor vehicle crashes, drownings, assaults and suicides. We spend less than the cost of a box of bandages, at just $.028 per person per year on core injury prevention programs in this country.”

 

Drunk Driving Car Accidents Are Big Danger Over 4th of July Holiday Weekend

June 25th, 2015 by admin

The upcoming Fourth of July weekend may be exciting to many Hoosiers and lots of us may be planning fun trips, going places with family and friends on the long holiday weekend. However, it’s also important for all of us on the roads over the Fourth of July weekend to be careful and prudent as we travel in traffic over the holiday.

Why? Because the risk is very high that we’ll be driving in traffic with people who are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs – which greatly increases the risk of a serious traffic accident or car crash where people are seriously injured or killed over the 4th of July weekend.

 

Why the Fourth of July is So Dangerous for Drivers on Indiana and Illinois Roads

Consider the following facts from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the lessons we can learn from their findings:

1. Over the July 4th holiday period from 2009 to 2013, 750 people lost their lives in crashes involving drivers with a BAC of .08 or more. These fatalities account for 39% percent of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities over this same five-year period.

We all need to know that this is a REAL danger as we get behind the wheel over the holiday: almost half of the total number of traffic accident deaths in the United States in the years 2009-2013 were caused by drunk drivers.

2. In 2013, over the Fourth of July Holiday Weekend, of the fatal car accidents that happened between the hours of nine o’clock at night and midnight (9 pm – midnight) over half — 55% — were caused by drunk drivers.

So, driving between 9 pm and midnight — or after dark — is even more dangerous for serious and fatal crashes caused by a drunk driver.

3. During the Fourth of July holiday in 2013, studies found that it was 300% more likely that drunk drivers were the cause of fatal traffic accidents where someone died in the crash in accidents that happened after dark rather than in the daytime.

Lesson here: if at all possible, try and not be out on the roads over the 4th of July holiday weekend after dark, especially in areas where you know there are nightclubs, bars, or other places where alcoholic beverages are served.

4. Studies have found that not only are drivers more likely to be driving under the influence over the holiday weekend and especially at night over that time period, but that they are more than a little buzzed: over one-fifth of these drivers tested out at TWICE the legal BAC limit.

Which means we all need to be aware of just how seriously impaired some of these holiday drivers may be who are sharing the roads with us.

5. Young drivers (18-34 years) who died in traffic accidents over the 2013 Fourth of July holiday were legally drunk.

The dangers of driving over the Fourth of July holiday here in Indiana and Illinois really need to be considered by teens and young adults who are out enjoying the holiday because they are statistically shown to be the most likely to be vulnerable to the drunk driving risk.

From everyone here at Kenneth J. Allen Law Group, please have a safe and happy 4th of July holiday!!