Monthly Archives: June 2006

Summertime and Auto Accidents

Summertime is usually a period when families go on vacation, kids are out of school, and adults re-charge their worn batteries. Yet, it can also be a time when accidents happen. As more people take to the streets and highways, be careful for kids playing in nearby yards and parks. As the rains fall in the afternoon, be wary of slippery roads while operating your vehicle. Keep the summer a safe one by remembering the safety tips you’ve heard repeated so often.

42,636 Auto Fatalities in 2004

When you think about it, that’s a staggering number of deaths related to auto accidents. During the entire Vietnam War 58,000 Americans died. Auto deaths in 2004 come close to that tragic number! Age, gender, and alcohol use play a significant role in these statistics. Approximately 2 out of every three teen auto fatalities involved males. Teen auto fatality rates in the USA are higher than most other countries because of the lack of restrictions on these drivers coupled with their inexperience and immaturity.

ESC Key to Avoiding Auto Accident Fatalities

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 1/3 of all fatal car crashes could be avoided and rollovers could be reduced by 80% if more cars were equipped with electric stability control. ESC brakes individual wheels automatically to keep the vehicle under control.
When a driver makes a sudden emergency maneuver or, for example, enters a curve too fast, the vehicle may spin out of control. Then ESC’s automatic braking is applied and in some cases throttle reduced to help keep the vehicle under control. ESC is relatively new. Only in the last few years have researchers had sufficient data to analyze its effects on real-world crashes. The new Institute study is based on data from the federal Fatality Analysis Reporting System and police reports of crashes in 10 states during 2001-04. Researchers compared crash rates for cars and SUVs without ESC and the same models in subsequent years when ESC was standard (note: some vehicles with optional ESC were included in the no-ESC group because so few buyers choose this option).

If You Want to Go Without a Helmet, Pay More Insurance

Today’s St. Petersburg Times featured a provocative editorial concerning the repeal of the motorcycle helmet law by Gov. Jeb Bush in 2000. Since that repeal, motorcycle deaths in Florida have soared. The paper’s editorial points out that if people choose to act foolishly, they should pay more in insurance so that the average taxpayer isn’t saddled with the consequences of such foolishness. Not a bad idea.

Reinstatement of Florida Helmet Law a No-Brainer

Since the repeal of Florida’s mandatory helmet law, motorcycle deaths have skyrocketed. A report by the Florida Today newspaper analyzing federal motorcycle crash statistics found “unhelmeted” deaths in Florida rose from 22 in 1998 and 1999, the years before the helmet law repeal to 250 in 2004, the most recent year of available data. Total motorcycle deaths in the state have increased 67 percent, from 259 in 2000 to 432 in 2004, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics. It seems like an easy decision for lawmakers to re-instate the helmet law.

Don’t Rely on Your Insurance Company to Protect You in the Event of an Auto Accident

If you’ve been involved in an auto accident, you know the sad truth. Your auto insurance company doesn’t always act “like a good neighbor”. The truth is that the auto insurance company is often too busy trying to deny your claim or minimize the amount of money they pay you to actually assist you with your claim. Just this past legislative session, the insurance lobby spent countless millions of dollars trying to minimize their risk after auto accidents. That’s not a good neighbor.

Auto Insurance Industry Protects Their Own Interests Rather Than Policy Holders

When you purchase auto insurance you naturally think that the policy will provide a certain piece of mind if you’re involved in an auto accident. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. The auto insurance companies have spent large sums of money devising ways to NOT pay you if you’re the victim of an auto crash! It seems ridiculous but if you talk to anyone who’s recently been involved in a crash, you find it’s true. That’s why you need to find a lawyer who’ll fight these insurance companies and hold their feet to the fire.

Car Crashes Can Cause Permanent Brain Injury

Auto accidents can cause injuries to all parts of the body. Yet, the most significant injury usually results when the brain is traumatized as a result of the car crash impact. Symptoms of such head injuries include loss of vision, loss of cognitive ability, hearing loss, alteration of smell and taste, and endocrine/glandular dysfunction. Especially in cases of moderate and severe brain injury, patients should be routinely given blood tests to see if the human hormonal glands are functioning normally. The pituitary gland is particularly at risk, and blood work should be done to show whether or not the gland is functioning properly. If there is a decrease in the production of growth hormone, rather expensive hormone therapy may need to be implemented because of the long term ill effects of low pituitary output which may affect the heart, the psychiatric status of the patient, and may have other effects not fully know at this time. Many physicians feel that there needs to be observable damage to the small but powerful glands in the brain in order to consider testing for output. There does not have to be observable damage for such an injury to occur, if there otherwise was a moderate to severe brain injury involved in the patient. These glandular disruptions would be the cause of the very common sexual dysfunction seen in TBI survivors.

Auto Accidents and Brain Injury

Brain injury is the leading cause of death of Americans under the age of 45. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) ruins lives and debilitates millions of people. TBI occurs every 15 seconds. Approximately 5 million Americans currently suffer some form of TBI disability. The leading causes of TBI are motor vehicle accidents, falls, and sports injuries. In a brain injury scenario there are two actions (coup and contrecoup) wherein the brain is impacted and the force of the blow jerks the brain back into the rear of the head causing a second trauma.

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Motorcycle Injuries

Now that Ben Roethlisberger has left the hospital and been charged with not wearing a helmet and lack of a proper license, he has vowed to wear a helmet each and every time he hops on his motorcycle. This is important because he’s a star and people watch and imitate what he does. Roethlisberger is very fortunate that he didn’t suffer traumatic brain injury or other serious injury.