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Thomaston Legal Blog

Cities with most car accidents ranked in new report

Though Georgia sees a fair share of car accidents every year, none of its cities made the top 10 list that has been compiled by Go Safe Labs, a San Francisco-based nonprofit. Researchers ranked not only the 10 cities with the most car accidents in 2019 but also the 10 most accident-prone regions. The results may be surprising.

The report looked at 2 million crashes arising in 2018 and 2019. Nationwide, auto accident numbers rose 6.8% from 892,615 in 2018 to 953,630 in 2019. Of those accidents in 2019, 22,188 occurred in Houston, putting it at number one on the list. It was followed by Charlotte with 21,818 accidents, Los Angeles with 19,660 and Austin with 16,635. The top 10 ended with Phoenix at 9,876 accidents.

Study finds 'big three' linked to most misdiagnosis claims

A new study estimates that medical misdiagnosis kills between 40,000 and 80,000 Americans each year, including many living in Georgia. The report, which was recently published in the journal Diagnosis, also claims that diagnosis errors might cause serious harm to another 80,000 to 160,000 people annually.

To get a clearer picture of America's misdiagnosis problem, researchers from Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore analyzed more than 11,000 U.S. misdiagnosis cases and divided them into general medical categories, including cancers and vascular events. It is believed to be the first study to categorize misdiagnosis cases in this way.

When you drive may have an effect on your personal safety

Like most of your neighbors, you drive to work every day of the workweek. When you are not on the job, you also go to shops, entertainment venues and other places. You should know, though, that when you drive may have an effect on your personal safety. 

Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveal that Saturday is the most dangerous day to be on the road. Tuesday, by contrast, is your best bet for staying safe behind the wheel. Because you probably cannot stay off the road, you should understand why you have a greater chance of sustaining a serious injury in a car crash at certain times. 

Red light cameras improve safety, unpopular nonetheless

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has reported that 92.9% of drivers surveyed categorized running through a stoplight that was turning red as unacceptable. Still, 42.7% of those surveyed said they'd done it in the prior 30 days. Drivers in Georgia are aware that red light cameras can increase driver safety have on driving behavior, but many argue the devices are inaccurate or unfair.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says more than 800 people were killed nationwide due to running red lights in 2016, and most of the fatalities were bicyclists, pedestrians and others who were hit by a driver running a red light. The IIHS has also reported that the presence of red light cameras lowers the number of red light violations by roughly 40%. The managing director for AAA Government Relations and Traffic Safety Advocacy said that red light cameras improve safety and help law enforcement when properly implemented.

Misdiagnosis of stroke and heart attack in women

Some people in Georgia may not be aware that heart disease is the leading cause of death in women. With so much focus placed on breast cancer, a lot of women may not have learned very much about heart attack symptoms. In addition to the typical symptom of severe chest pain, heart attack can also cause symptoms like back pain, nausea and vomiting.

A study by the American Heart Association found that nearly 62% of women have over three symptoms besides chest pain when they are having a heart attack. Men are less likely to experience these symptoms when they are having a heart attack, and that may be why women are misdiagnosed more frequently. When a woman is misdiagnosed while having a heart attack, the consequences of the delayed care can lead to heart damage and heart failure.

Bill proposed that would mandate alcohol detection tech on cars

Drunk driving crashes claim the lives of 30 people each day in the U.S. What Georgia residents should know is that there is technology out there that can help prevent these crashes by keeping an intoxicated person from driving in the first place. In particular, the ignition interlock device, or IID, makes it so that drivers cannot start their car until they pass a breath test.

Since 2006, IIDs have forestalled more than 3 million attempts made by drunk drivers to start their cars. Many states require DUI offenders to install these devices in their vehicles. Now, seeing the need for alcohol detection systems on all cars, lawmakers have introduced a bill called the Reduce Impaired Driving for Everyone Act of 2019.

How to avoid a DUI during the holidays

Getting a DUI is a long and intensive process. Last year around the holiday season, former Husker defensive back Alfonzo Dennard, who is a native of Rochelle, faced arrest and DUI charges, to which he pleaded "no contest." 

While there are resources available if you find yourself on trial for driving under the influence, it would be best to avoid arrest in the first place. The best advice during this season, which is rampant with holiday parties, is to avoid drinking and driving. Here are some tips for resisting the temptation so that you can have a safe holiday season with your family: 

How opioids factor into many fatal two-car crashes

Georgia residents may be aware that there is a nationwide opioid crisis. This has had its effect on crash rates. A new study published in JAMA Network Open analyzed 18,321 fatal two-car crashes recorded in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System and found that 1,467 of the drivers involved in these crashes tested positive for opioids. Not only that, but there were twice as many at-fault opioid users than there were users who were not at fault.

Specifically, 918 of the opioid-using drivers were to blame for a crash compared to the 549 who were not to blame. Researchers discovered that these fatal two-car crashes were most commonly caused by drivers drifting out of their lanes. Among opioid users, the most frequently detected opioids were hydrocodone at 32% and morphine at 27%.

The increasing danger presented by driving while distracted

Georgia residents may find it interesting to learn that according to the National Safety Council, around nine people in the United States die every day, and approximately 100 others are injured in automobile accidents stemming from distracted driving.

There are a lot of sources of distractions for drivers. Cellphones, which are illegal to use while driving in many areas, are on the top of the list of distractions. There are other non-tech distractions that drivers face, including interacting with passengers, disciplining children, handling pets and eating while driving.

Four safety risks that patients face in ambulatory care

The ECRI Institute Patient Safety Organization has released a report detailing the safety hazards that patients face in ambulatory care settings. Georgia residents should know that diagnostic errors were the top risk, accounting for 47% of the 4,300 safety events analyzed in the study. After this came medication-related safety events at 27% and patient falls at 14%.

The safety events analyzed occurred between December 2017 and November 2018. Ambulatory care settings provide patients with doctor consultations, diagnoses, interventions and a range of other services. Among the diagnosis-related safety events that arose in these settings, 69% involved laboratory tests, and 21% involved imaging tests. Researchers recommend the use of decision support tools so that the right tests are ordered.

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