Drugs and Driving — A Bad Mix

Drugs and Driving — A Bad Mix

Attitudes toward driving under the influence of alcohol have changed radically in the last few decades, thanks to educational programs and national advertising that decry the dangers of drunk driving. Science has learned more about the effects of alcohol on our ability to drive, and consequently laws and police enforcement have gotten stricter about what actually constitutes driving under the influence. Alcohol is not the only drug that can play a role in driver safety, however. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) says that roughly 4,000 drivers who die in automobile accidents every year have drugs in their systems. Worse, a 2010 survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found that almost 10 million Americans drove under the influence of illegal drugs in the previous year. A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that one in five motor fatalities in 2009 tested positive for drugs. The same study found that adults under the age of 26 were the most likely to drive after using drugs. Unfortunately, policies about drugs and driving have lagged behind the ones for drunk driving. At present, only 15 states have DUI laws that make it illegal to operate a vehicle with certain types of drugs in one’s system. The laws vary in other states, with certain ones prohibiting known drug addicts to get behind the wheel of a car, while others prohibit anyone under 21 from driving with a detectable amount of illicit drugs in their bodies. If you or a loved one is involved in a traffic accident that occurred because a driver was under the...
Teen Drivers — More At Risk

Teen Drivers — More At Risk

Automobile accidents take the lives of more than 2,000 teenagers aged 16 to 19 each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Even more teens — about 240,000 each year — acquire serious injuries from car crashes. There’s a reason why the car insurance rates for teenagers are so high — drivers in that age group have nearly a 300 percent greater likelihood of being involved in a fatal auto accident than older drivers. Studies show that many accidents involving teenage drivers are caused by inexperience or poor judgment resulting from immaturity. The main problems are: Teens are more distracted. In today’s ultra-connected world many teenagers drive with their cell phone handy, music blaring, and multiple friends in the car (all of them talking at once). Safe driving requires concentration, and that’s a tall order for many teenage drivers. Teens have less experience behind the wheel. The risk of car crashes are greatest in the first six months after a teen gets a license, simply because many situations that occur on the road are still new to the driver. Teens drive too fast. New drivers often underestimate how fast they are going, or they use poor judgment and drive above the speed limit. Teens are out at night. More accidents occur at night, and more teen drivers are out after sundown. Parents can help their teenage drivers by enforcing some safety rules. Practice makes perfect. Spend plenty of time on driver instruction (even better, make your teen take a certified driver instruction course). Make sure your teen knows the rules of the road, and how...
Truck Accidents – What You Need to Know

Truck Accidents – What You Need to Know

Mаnу drіvеrѕ assume the ѕtаtе laws аnd compensation fоr injuries, wаgе lоѕѕ, еtс., аrе thе ѕаmе whеthеr уоu аrе involved іn a саr or truсk accident. Yеt thеrе are dіѕtіnсt dіffеrеnсеѕ bеtwееn thе two аnd understanding them іѕ kеу tо рrоtесtіng уоurѕеlf іf уоu have been іn a truсk accident. Legal advice on dealing with insurance, medical іѕѕuеѕ and claims has been ѕummаrіzеd bеlоw with thіngѕ you nееd tо knоw аbоut thеѕе types of accidents: 1. Fоllоwіng аnу truсk accident, thе victim ѕhоuld contact the police dераrtmеnt аnd іmmеdіаtеlу ѕееk medical attention fоr аll injuries. Bе ѕurе to rероrt аnd dосumеnt аnу mіnоr раіn that mау ѕееm lеѕѕ іmроrtаnt at thе time соmраrеd tо mоrе ѕеrіоuѕ injuries. Significant іnjurіеѕ аrе often mаѕkеd еаrlу оn, making it difficult tо link them tо thе truсk accident іf they аrе not dосumеntеd. It’s сruсіаl tо оbtаіn contact іnfоrmаtіоn for аnу раѕѕеngеrѕ and wіtnеѕѕеѕ іnvоlvеd іn the accident. This іnfоrmаtіоn wіll be еxtrеmеlу іmроrtаnt іf іt becomes nесеѕѕаrу to hіrе a lawyer, bесаuѕе all too оftеn, the truсk driver who саuѕеd thе accident will сhаngе his ѕtоrу along thе way. Furthermore, if wіtnеѕѕ information is nоt рrеѕеrvеd аt thе scene, оr іf іt’ѕ mіѕѕіng from thе роlісе investigation, it bесоmеѕ muсh more dіffісult fоr аn аttоrnеу tо prove nеglіgеnсе. 2. Nоtіfу уоur auto insurance соmраnу immediately. There are often strict notice requirements in many automobile insurance policies. Notifying your insurance соmраnу is essential fоr рrоtесtіng уоur rіghtѕ, еvеn if уоur іnjurіеѕ dо nоt seem severe. 3. Rеtаіn аn experienced аttоrnеу ԛuісklу. Truсkіng companies are rеԛuіrеd bу fеdеrаl and state law to keep rесоrdѕ...
The Risk of Falls in Nursing Homes

The Risk of Falls in Nursing Homes

People aged 65 and older are at risk for injuries from falls, especially if they reside in a nursing home. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that almost 75 percent of the 1.4 million people in this age group who reside in nursing homes in the United States are injured in falls each year. The injuries can be anything from muscle strains to broken bones to ruptured spinal discs, and even catastrophic injuries to the head and brain, according to a report by the National Institutes of Health. Even a relatively minor fall can have a domino effect on older people, because it can make them limit their activities for fear of falling again. Anxiety about falling can make an older person cut back on social activities, hobbies, and exercise, which can lead to depression and a decline in overall health. As health worsens, the person restricts their activity even more, which leads to more decline. The causes of nursing home falls can be varied, but some of the chief ones are: inadequate lighting; disorganized or cluttered living areas; broken or poorly functioning equipment; uneven walking surfaces. Nursing home patients can also be at risk for falling if they are highly medicated or suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, and the nursing home needs to be staffed with properly trained employees to handle these types of patients safely. If you have a loved one who has suffered a fall in a nursing home in Georgia, no matter what the circumstances, contact Michael McElroy, P.C., for a free consultation. Michael McElroy is an experienced personal...
Neglect and Abuse in Nursing Homes

Neglect and Abuse in Nursing Homes

Putting your loved one in a nursing home is a difficult decision, but the right one for many families and for many seniors who may need a little extra help getting around or even full-time care. Unfortunately, these facilities are not always the safe haven that they should be. Studies show that around 10% of elders experience some sort of neglect and abuse when in a nursing home. Even just 1% of elder experiencing abuse is simply too much. Types of Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Abuse and neglect come in many forms. Elders who are neglected might suffer from emotional or social neglect, meaning that they are ignored or verbally abused by the staff of the nursing home. Their personal hygiene, basic needs like food, water, and a clean space, and even their medical care might be neglected. Aside from neglect, in which a person simply does not get adequate care, nursing home staff might also engage in active abuse, which ranges from hitting, slapping, shaking, yelling at, raping, restraining, or secluding a person. Some elders might even be given drugs that incapacitate them or hurt them. Both neglect and abuse are very serious, but can be difficult to spot, even by family members or friends who visit regularly. Signs of Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Identifying nursing home abuse and neglect is the first step to remedying the problem. Here are some of the signs that you should be looking for: Unexplained weight loss Bedsores or other bed-related injuries Dehydration and malnutrition A change in appearance or in a person’s personal hygiene No desire to interact with...