Posted On: November 30, 2010

Report: More Traffic Accident Deaths Could be Prevented

U.S. traffic safety groups, along with the federal government, have been applauding the significant reduction in highway deaths that seems to be a nationwide trend over the last few years. However, other nations have even a better record of traffic safety and two new government reports say we could be doing more in the U.S. to save lives on the nation’s roadways, according to Consumer Reports.

The National Research Council lists several improvements, including frequent sobriety checkpoints to find drunk drivers (saving 1,500 to 3,000 lives); enforcement of speed limits (saving 1,000 to 2,000 lives); making the motorcycle helmet laws universal (saving 450 lives); and increasing seat belt use from 85% to 90% (saving 1,200 lives).

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Posted On: November 29, 2010

NHTSA Issues Warning on 15-Passenger Van Use

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is urging anyone who rides in or drives a 15-passenger van to use special caution to keep occupants safe while traveling in this dangerous vehicle. Because of the high center of gravity, a 15-passenger van has a tendency to rollover and coupled with a weak roof structure, the 15-passenger van has been called the most dangerous vehicle on the road.

There have been two recent 15-passenger van accidents, one in Georgia and one in New York, that led to 10 fatalities. The NHTSA is warning drivers to be especially wary of defective tires that will cause a vehicle to rollover. Because tires degrade, it is advised NOT to use the spare tire as a replacement tire for any distance other than to get to a tire store.

Posted On: November 24, 2010

Number of Elderly Drivers Expected to Double in 30 Years

Expect to see more and more elderly drivers on the road over the next three decades, reports online news outlet FairWarning.com. The National Transportation Safety Board says it’s difficult to predict whether that will translate into more car accidents. The number of people age 65 and older with a driver’s license is expected to make up around 20 percent of the total driving population in about 15 years.

People who drive often are less likely to be involved in a traffic crash, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In order to reduce the number of traffic accidents among the elderly, two states, Illinois and New Hampshire, require road tests for drivers over the age of 75. Other states require vision tests and do not let drivers renew their license by mail. Other safety precautions that have been discussed are larger warning signs along the side of the road, and seatbelts that inflate if someone is in a car accident, similar to an air bag.

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Posted On: November 22, 2010

CPSC Recalls over 523,000 Window Shades Made by Hanover Direct Inc.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is recalling over 523,500 window shades made by a New Jersey company, Hanover Direct Inc., after the cord of the defective product strangled a 22-month-old and was found hanging by his neck.

Hanover Direct Inc. makes Roman shades and roller blinds. The blinds were made in China and sold at the company stores also called Domestications, the Company Store, and Company Kids stores between January 1996 and October 2009. A year ago the company was the subject of another CPSC recall over hazardous and defective window shades after a youngster almost lost his life due to cord strangulation.

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Posted On: November 16, 2010

Three-Vehicle Hit-and-Run Near Orlando Kills Man

An elderly man was killed in a hit-and-run crash Friday night, November 12, following a three-vehicle collision on State Road 44 near Ridgewood Avenue in DeLand, Florida about 7:25 p.m., according to The Orlando Sentinel.

The driver of the first vehicle, a 2006 Dodge pickup, was westbound on SR 44, also known as New York Avenue, when he crossed into the oncoming eastbound lane traffic where he sideswiped a 2000 Dodge Stratus and then struck the left front of the eastbound 2002 GMC truck driven by the 77-year-old man.

The elderly driver of the GMC truck died after being taken to a local hospital. The female driver of the Dodge Stratus suffered minor injuries. There is no word in this article on the identity of the driver of the first vehicle, however charges are pending in the multi-vehicle Florida car crash.

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Posted On: November 15, 2010

New Report Finds 17 Percent of Fatal Crashes Caused by Drowsy Drivers

A study released his week by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety states that almost 17% of fatal crashes are caused by drivers who are drowsy, reports The Patriot Ledger. The AAA believes drowsy driving is under reported and up to 41 percent of drivers have nodded off behind the wheel at some time. The study concludes that falling asleep behind the wheel is responsible for 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries and more than 100,000 crashes every year.

Other interesting points:

  • Drivers between the ages of 16 and 24 are twice as likely to be involved in a drowsy driver crash as older drivers ages 49 to 59.

  • Two-thirds of these crashes involve men.

  • Some of the drowsy drivers have been drinking with a blood-alcohol level of 0.10, just over the level considered legally intoxicated.

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Posted On: November 12, 2010

Jacksonville Fatal Accident Caused by Drugged Driver

A 32-year-old woman was found guilty and sentenced to 30 years in prison for DUI manslaughter when she forced the car of a mother of two off the Buckman Bridge in February, reports The Florida Times-Union.

On Tuesday, November 9, Sasha Pringle was convicted of several felonies – DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide, and leaving the scene of the accident on February 27 that ran Luma Kajy’s SUV off of the bridge. Tests after the collision showed Pringle had pain killers, marijuana, and an anti-anxiety drug in her system while behind the wheel.

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Posted On: November 11, 2010

Jacksonville Rollover Crash Kills One Man and Seriously Injures Another

A Jacksonville man was killed and another man was critically injured when their pickup truck overturned on Heckscher Drive near Somer Road around 6:15 on Sunday morning, November 7, reports Channel 4 News.

It is unclear in the article who was driving the motor vehicle, but the Florida Highway Patrol reports the driver lost control of the Nissan pickup and it rolled several times across all of the lanes of traffic. The man that died at the scene of the fatal Florida car crash was not wearing a seat belt, and the other occupant of the vehicle was taken to a hospital in Jacksonville and is in critical condition.

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Posted On: November 9, 2010

Early Morning Car Crash Kills Two Palm Coast Residents

The St. Augustine Record reports that two Palm Coast residents of Flagler County died on Wednesday morning, November 3, when their motor vehicles were involved in a Florida head-on car collision on Colbert Road near Beverly Beach around 6 a.m.

The Florida head-on car accident occurred when a 52-year-old male driver of a 2004 Nissan SUV crossed the center median line on Colbert Road and drove head-on into a 2001 Honda SUV driven by an 83-year-old woman. The resulting crash totaled both vehicles and both drivers were killed at the scene of the fatal Florida car accident.

The Florida Highway Patrol does not know who the at-fault driver was in this tragic Florida car crash, but the FHP does say that alcohol was not a factor. The female driver was wearing a seat belt while the man was not.

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Posted On: November 3, 2010

St. Augustine Hit-and-Run Driver Arrested

A St. Augustine man went on a wild ride Wednesday night, November 3, crashing a truck belonging to his boss into a telephone pole after fleeing the scene of a hit-and-run at U.S. 1 and West Castillo Drive, reports The Florida Times-Union.

St. Augustine police jailed the 47-year-old man around 9 p.m. after he hit the power pole, knocking out power to residents in one block around San Marco and Myrtle avenues. The man told police he left the first crash where he side-swiped another vehicle because he was driving a truck belonging to his boss. He is being charged with reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident causing about $25,000 in damage.

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Posted On: November 2, 2010

Ball Player Leyritz DUI Trial to Start Monday in Fort Lauderdale

The trial of major league baseball player, accused of driving drunk and killing a mother of two, begins on Monday, November 1, in Fort Lauderdale, according to The Palm Beach Post News. A jury was chosen Thursday, October 28, in the DUI manslaughter trial of Jim Leyritz, 46, who was a catcher during an 11-season big league career.

He is accused of running a red light in December 2007 and crashing into a vehicle driven by Fredia Ann Veitch, 30, who was thrown from her SUV and later died. Leyritz blood alcohol level was 0.14, almost twice the legal limit of 0.08 under Florida law and his BAC was taken three hours after the fatal Florida drunk driving car crash.

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Posted On: November 1, 2010

How a Second Opinion Could Save You from an Unnecessary Surgery

As patients, most of us overwhelmingly trust our doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. At times, we literally put our lives in their hands. We trust they will make good decisions regarding our health and well-being. However, what if some doctors are a little too eager for a patient to undergo extensive surgery?

An article from 1985 in Health Letter, a publication of Public Citizen, found that between 1971 and 1978, coronary bypass surgeries performed on men who were 65-years-old and older rose by a shocking 955 percent. The bypass surgery rate for younger people also increased significantly. At the time, the cost for a coronary bypass surgery was around $20,000, so for every 100 patients who underwent the extensive operation, about $1.4 million was spent in medical expenses, some of which was completely unnecessary.

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