Cranwell & Moore P.L.C., Attorneys at Law

Roanoke Personal Injury Law Blog

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The role of a helmet in a motorcycle accident

Motorcycle accidents are a serious issue in Virginia. In fact, in 2009, 77 people were killed in this type of accident in the state. At Cranwell & Moore PLC Attorneys at Law, we know how devastating an accident involving a motorcycle can be. While riding a motorcycle, you are very vulnerable due to the size of your vehicle and the open nature of it. That is why wearing a helmet is always advisable. While it may not protect against every injury, it can save your life.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration explains how a motorcycle helmet works in a crash to protect you as long as it is worn properly. It is important to understand that a helmet serves as protection that you don’t get from your vehicle. In a car, for example, you have the roof and are enclosed in the vehicle, which offers you protection. You don’t have that on a motorcycle, so you have to provide it yourself by wearing a helmet.

The dangers of intoxicated truckers

Many truck accidents that occur on the roads in Roanoke County are avoidable. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute, many truckers violate federal law and work shifts that are longer than 11 hours. Doing so can result in truckers being too tired to give the roads the attention they deserve. Some of them may resort to using medications, drugs and even alcohol to keep themselves alert. Others may use these substances when they are off work.

The problem arises when they drive their vehicles while they are under the influence of the substances they consume.

Senior drivers have a higher risk of injury in an auto accident

Since 1999, the number of licensed older drivers on the road has increased by 50 percent. Over 40 million senior citizens maintain their license to stay independent and mobile. Unfortunately, the risk of being seriously injured in an auto accident increases as a person ages. Fortunately, there are things that seniors can do to stay safe on the road. 

Older drivers already know how to stay safer when they drive, because many seniors tend to stay off the road when it is raining, at night or in bad traffic. Seniors also tend to use their seat belts more than other age groups. Studies show that older drivers are less likely to drink and drive. In addition to these things, seniors can also improve their safety by:

  • Exercising regularly, which improves flexibility and strength
  • Plan your route before you drive
  • Avoid distracted driving; do not eat or drink, text or make phone calls while driving
  • Have your eyes checked regularly
  • Drive a newer model car with added safety features
  • Talk to your doctor and pharmacist about side effects of any medications you are taking
  • Avoid difficult or fast-paced roads

Common causes of truck accidents

Many large trucks travel through and within Virginia, making truck accidents a concern for everyone on the roadways. We know at Cranwell & Moore PLC Attorneys at Law that you try to be safe when you are driving, but sometimes that is not enough. To understand more about truck accidents, it helps to know why they happen. According to UnsafeTrucks.org, common causes of truck accidents include unrealistic company expectations or policies, fatigue, improper loading, driving under the influence, lack of training and equipment failure.

As a driver, you may feel that your company is putting demands on you that you simply cannot meet. Some companies may push their drivers too hard to meet deadlines. If you are in this situation, you may be on the road way too much and not get adequate rest. Driver fatigue is always dangerous because it lowers your reflexes and puts you at risk of falling asleep behind the wheel. In addition, tight deadlines can lead to speeding or rushing, which mean unsafe driving and the possibility of ignoring safety procedures.

Facts about distracted driving

Distracted driving has gotten a lot of attention in Virginia and states all across the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every day more than 8 people are killed due to distracted driving accidents in the United States. Injuries total 1,161 per day. It is an epidemic.

Distracted driving can occur due to three types of distractions. These are manual, cognitive and visual. Manual distractions are those that take your hands off the wheel and controls of the vehicle. Cognitive is anything that takes your focus off driving. Visual is when your eyes leave the road. Texting is often blamed for many of these instances because it is a combination of all three types of distractions, but accidents can happen due to eating, drinking and talking to someone inside the vehicle.

Are you at risk of a hospital-acquired infection?

When you have to stay in the hospital, you expect to get healthy, not come home with an additional infection. The technical term for this situation is a nosocomial infection, which develops after you are under medical care. Could you be at risk when you go to the hospital?

What are hospital-acquired infections?

Even mild brain injuries can cause long-lasting damage

A surprising number of people in Virginia and across the United States receive brain injuries every year. From serious car collisions to slip-and-fall accidents, any sudden impact to the head may cause damage to the soft tissue of the brain. In some cases, people are able to see immediate signs of brain trauma, such as dizziness, tingling in the extremities, seizures and even difficulties seeing and/or hearing. There are other situations, however, where injured people may not know that they have brain trauma until weeks, even months after the accident occurred. Even though mild brain trauma may not present these harsh side effects, studies show that slight damage to the white matter of the brain can still have long-lasting effects.

A study published in the journal Neurology reported that people with mild TBI may experience cognitive difficulties more than a year after the accident occurred. The study tested a group of people with mild TBI, and then rescanned their brain tissue 12 months after the initial evaluation. While some patients showed marked improvement, others still had areas of damaged brain tissue.

4 tips to reduce your risk of medication errors

Patients rely on health care providers, including physicians, nurses and pharmacists, to diagnose, prescribe and fill prescriptions that help to fight illness and limit the effects of disease. In the United States, more than 30 percent of adults take five or more medications regularly, and clinicians have access to over 10,000 medications that may be used to treat a variety of illnesses. Unfortunately, medication errors are all too common. As a patient, you can reduce your risk of a medication error with the following tips.

Motorcycle accidents: The danger of left turns

On Virginia roadways, no vehicle is more at risk than a motorcycle. Their size, when compared to all the other vehicles on the road, means they are harder to see. While motorcycle riders should be alert at all times when on the road, left turns pose an exceedingly larger risk. According to the Motorcycle Safety Center of Virginia, 4,668 motorcyclists died in 2013 on U.S. roads. One of the most common causes of injuries and deaths to cyclists was left hand turns.

The MSCV recommends all riders use the SEE strategy. This stands for search, evaluate and execute. This basically means always being aware of the road and traffic. A rider should always know where all vehicles are around him or her and have a plan for where to go should an accident scenario present itself. In addition, motorcycle riders should always have the headlights on, obey the speed limits and drive according to road conditions.

Prepare for the new electronic trucking log rules

Federal guidelines require truck drivers to maintain a log of their activities in Virginia. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a new rule for trucking logs effective for most truckers in December 2017 requires all logs to be electronically maintained. It is important to note that electronic logging devices are replacing old paper systems and automatic onboard recording devices, but the implementation date for AORDs is later than for paper systems.

The move to electronic logs is to help increase the efficiency and accuracy of the records. One of the biggest benefits of the electronic system is that it is an automatic system. The system will create a log on its own as the truck is started.

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