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August 2017 Archives

Traffic deaths down in first half of year, still higher than 2015

Preliminary estimates sow U.S. traffic fatalities were slightly lower during the first half of 2017 than over the same period last year. Unfortunately, they remained 8 percent higher than in 2015. Worse, the 2016 number was a 6-percent jump over 2015 and represented the largest two-year increase since 1964. Moreover, the fatality rate typically goes up in the second half of the year.

Studies: Lane-keeping, blind-spot systems do prevent car wrecks

Research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that two automated safety systems -- lane-keeping and blind-spot monitoring systems -- substantially reduce both the number and severity of crashes. At the same time, they may cause drivers to be less vigilant or could even act as distractions.

Jury awards $417 million to J&J talc plaintiff, upending theories

A jury in California recently awarded a 63-year-old woman $417 million in a verdict against Johnson & Johnson because its product caused her ovarian cancer.  She had used the company's baby powder for feminine hygiene since childhood. Plaintiffs in several states have brought suits against Johnson & Johnson, claiming that talc-based products cause cancer when routinely used for feminine hygiene.

Coal mining: do you know how to stay safe?

Coal mining is essential to New Mexico’s economy, and an important part of its history. Unfortunately, mining remains a dangerous industry with a number of daily risks. Workers can easily be injured working with the powerful machinery, trucks, occasional fires, slip and fall accidents, chemical hazards and from a number of other causes. Do you know the leading cause of coal mining injuries, and how you can stay safe on the job?

Software issue leads to truck recalls

General Motors issued a recall on about 700,000 2014 GMC Sierra trucks and Chevrolet Silverados.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that the potentially dangerous vehicles could spontaneously lose electric power steering assistance due to a software problem. Those who own or lease recalled vehicles are encouraged to take their trucks to a dealer for inspection and repair. Free software updates are available to fix the problem.

Reasons truck accidents occur

Collisions between a car and a semi-truck can be deadly. An estimated 475,000 large trucks are involved collisions every year. This results in more than 140,000 injuries and 5,000 fatalities. These collisions are caused by distracted driving, over-tired, over-worked truck drivers, failure to properly maintain equipment, excessive speed and a host of other causes, all of which are preventable.

How some dosage errors occur

New Mexico patients may be interested to learn that some harmful errors in drug prescribing occur because of 10-fold dosage mistakes. For example, a trailing zero, such as 1.0 mg, might be misread as 10 mg. Similarly, the lack of a leading zero could lead to confusion between .5 mg and 5 mg.

Increases and decreases in truck accident trends

New Mexico drivers who regularly share the roads with truck drivers may know that, when a large commercial truck becomes involved in an accident, the size and mass of an 18-wheeler is more likely to cause serious or even life-threatening injuries to occupants of other vehicles. While the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that, while the number of large trucks that were involved in injury accidents slightly decreased, the number of trucks involved in fatal accidents increased.