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Beckley Personal Injury Lawyer Blog

Car wrecks and coronaries common during Thanksgiving

Residents of West Virginia should be aware that mortality rates spike dramatically during the Thanksgiving season. The reason is twofold: More accidents occur on the roads, and more people have coronary events.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a Fatality Analysis Reporting System that collects data on fatal and non-fatal car crashes. The numbers can be startling. In 2012, for example, there were 764 fatal crashes on Thanksgiving and more than 50,000 non-fatal, while Christmas saw 654 fatal incidents. 40 percent of the fatalities on Thanksgiving were caused by drunk driving, while 60 percent neglected to wear a safety belt.

You may be overlooking these holiday travel safety tips

Even though you're looking forward to spending time with family and friends during the holiday season, you may have some concerns about taking to the road. This is particularly true if you know you'll be embarking on a long road trip.

If this is something you'll be doing over the holiday season, it's imperative that you keep your safety in mind at all times. You never want to do anything that will increase the chance of an accident.

Legs, feet most likely to be injured in motorcycle crash

While some motorcycle riders in West Virginia place a large emphasis on protecting their head with a helmet, these riders may be missing a crucial area of the body that is in need of protection. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 30 percent of all nonfatal motorcycle injuries occur to the lower extremities: Legs and feet.

This conclusion was reached by studying 1,222,000 nonfatal motorcycle injury victims who were treated in an emergency room between 2001 and 2008. Another 22 percent of injuries occurred to the head and neck. Research by the Association For The Advancement Of Automotive Medicine tried to determine whether injury rates were influenced by helmet use. It also looked at the age of a given victim in a crash to determine if that played a role in the severity of injuries experienced.

NHTSA to review autonomous vehicle regulations

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says in a report released on Oct. 27 that it is looking for ways to reduce the regulatory hurdles faced by companies developing self-driving cars. Road safety groups believe that fully autonomous vehicles could virtually eliminate road deaths in West Virginia and around the country and several federal agencies, including NHTSA, launched a Road to Zero campaign in October 2016 that hopes to reach this milestone within 30 years.

The NHTSA says that the issue of autonomopus vehicle regulations should be treated with urgency because the years that it could take to implement any needed rule changes could thwart the development of potentially life-saving technology. The agency says that it is particularly interested in learning about any rules that could stymie the development of fully autonomous vehicles that would require no driver input at all.

Smartphones may be causing more fatal accidents

West Virginia drivers may be at greater risk of being involved in a fatal motor vehicle accident than in previous years. The past two years have shown a sharp increase in traffic fatalities after years of decline, and some experts believe that the increasing use of smartphones could be responsible.

One reason is that there has only been a small increase in the number of miles driven and in people who are speeding or drinking and driving. The highest percentage increase in fatalities has been among pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists. These are all more likely to be missed by someone using a smartphone than a larger vehicle. Furthermore, in more than half of the deadly accidents in 2015, drivers were on straight roads with no obstacles or issues such as blowouts, inclement weather or crossing traffic.

Traffic fatalities increased in 2016

No one can blame West Virginia motorists if they're perplexed by increasing traffic deaths coming at a time when cars have more safety features than ever. For the second straight year, the number of people killed in car accidents has increased.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says road fatalities reached 37,461 in 2016, an increase of almost 6 percent from 2015. In the years prior, however, traffic deaths had decreased. In 2007, 41,259 people were killed in car accidents, the highest in recent years, and the numbers had been going down until 2015. Officials believed the decrease to be due to automobiles having more safety features. These features include advanced air bags, rearview cameras and automatic braking systems.

Safety training strategies for multi-generational workforces

Employers in West Virginia have an obligation to inform their employees about workplace hazards and safety procedures. To ensure successful communication, safety trainers should understand the demographics of their audience. Workplaces today increasingly employ up to four different generations of people.

Various age groups typically grow up with different educational styles, and their familiarity with technology may vary. Older workers from Generation X, Baby Boom or the Silent Generation grew up in learning environments based on lectures and rote memorization. Millennials, however, expect more interactive experiences with short lessons and group activities. A safety trainer should blend these approaches to create effective training sessions that engage everyone. Other mixed media approaches involve making an online presentation available as well as hanging posters in break rooms.

The fall months can cause trouble on the road

As one of our West Virginia readers, you know that there is nothing more beautiful than your home state during the fall months.

You should also remember something else: Driving during this time of the year brings forth a variety of unique challenges. You need to change your approach to improve your overall level of safety.

Hearing loss is the most common workplace injury

Think about some of the jobs that keep this country moving. Many of them place workers in the midst of very loud sounds for prolonged periods of time. Coal miners, factory workers and bartenders are a few categories of workers that might be subjected to these loud noises.

Constant or prolonged exposure to loud noises can lead to hearing loss. This is the most common workplace injury that occurs in this country. Around 22 million workers are exposed to loud occupational noises each year. Each of these cases could lead to serious problems.

Driving safely near large trucks

Driving next to large trucks is relatively safe if truck drivers are trained and have experience. As long as everybody is paying attention, things should go smoothly. However, driving next to a truck does not always feel safe. The risks involved when driving next to a large truck usually stem from the truck itself, and being aware of the potential dangers can help West Virginia motorists drive safely and confidently next to a big rig.

As trucks take longer to stop than other vehicles, motorists must be careful when maneuvering around them in heavy traffic. Big trucks sometimes take twice as long to stop, so a car driver should not plan on cutting in front of a truck. Trucks also have blind spots that other vehicles should not travel in. This is where accidents are most likely to happen with big trucks because the trucker cannot see the other vehicle.

Office Location

Stephen P. New, Attorney at Law
114 Main Street
Beckley, WV 25801

Phone: 304-250-3280
Toll Free: 888-692-8084
Fax: 304-250-6012

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