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Car crash risk increases with daylight saving time

Daylight saving time could increase the risk of getting into a car crash, according to to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. As a result, Georgia motorists should use extra caution when they hit the road.

it is recommended that drivers get at least seven hours of sleep each night for optimum safety. Researchers from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety say that drivers who miss one or two of those recommended sleep hours are almost twice as likely to get into a car accident as those who get the full recommended amount. In fact, drivers who get less than five hours of sleep are just as likely to crash as a drunk driver. Further, a National Sleep Foundation study found that individuals who get less than two hours of sleep in a 24-hour period are "unfit" to drive. According to AAA, almost 30 percent of drivers admit they have engaged in drowsy driving in the last 30 days.

Studies raise questions about opioid impairment and tolerance

Motorists in Georgia and around the country who cause fatal two-car accidents are almost twice as likely to test positive for prescription opioids as the other drivers involved. This was the conclusion reached by researchers after scrutinizing 18,321 crash reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Fatality Analysis Reporting System. However, medical studies suggest that traces of narcotics like oxycodone and hydrocodone in the blood are not necessarily a sign of impairment among chronic pain sufferers who have developed a tolerance for the drugs. The research was published on Feb. 15 in the open access medical journal JAMA Network Open.

The FARS data indicates that deadly two-car accidents are more likely to be caused by drivers under the influence of prescription drugs or alcohol. It also reveals that drivers are most often involved in such crashes after straying out of their lanes. This even goes for those who are not impaired. Worryingly, the rate of accidents caused by drivers with opioid indicators has risen by more than 5 percent to 7.1 percent since 1993.

Common reasons for automobile accidents

It's not uncommon for drivers on Georgia roads to see car accidents. When a collision is severe, multiple parties may investigate the causes. However, it's not always easy to determine the reason for an accident. There are usually a number of factors involved.

Law enforcement agents as well as insurance companies are interested in getting to the bottom of accidents. Police will use this information in determining who, if anyone, should be ticketed or fined for the accident. Insurance companies are interested in identifying the responsible party to determine what they will have to pay and what compensation their clients may be entitled to.

Cranking techniques that may reduce truck driver injuries

Many truck drivers in Georgia routinely crank landing gears and perform similar strenuous tasks. Unfortunately, raising or lowering trailers is also a repetitious and physically stressful process that can lead to painful shoulder injuries. Results from a recent joint study show that strategic positioning may help drivers reduce their risks of sustaining shoulder injuries.

Given the demands of most jobs in the trucking profession, it's not unusual for truck drivers to file workers' compensation claims related to injuries sustained while performing job-related tasks. In order to determine the safest cranking technique, researchers observed a dozen male drivers as they performed cranking-related operations. Specifically, they looked at several muscles that are involved in shoulder movements and measured the drivers' scapular range of motion as they cranked.

Rideshare workers face high risk for drowsy driving

Drowsiness is a risk for many rideshare drivers in Georgia. Their industry is characterized by various salary incentives, and these can sway drivers into working past their safety limits. Sleep deprivation could alter circadian rhythms and make it even more difficult to operate in the early morning and late at night.

The ridesharing industry is not entirely unregulated. Uber requires its drivers to go offline for six straight hours after working 12 total hours. Lyft requires the same but after 14 hours. However, these measures can do nothing to prevent drivers from working in those peak periods for sleepiness. Companies are also failing to consider how many drivers can circumvent the purpose of these rules by holding multiple jobs.

Latest workplace fatalities report contains good and bad news

All jobs in Georgia have the potential to expose workers to some type of workplace hazard. Risk factors vary among occupations, but the latest figures on workplace fatalities have shown some overall improvement. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017 saw a slight reduction in the overall fatality rate from 3.6 percent in 2016 to 3.5 percent. The National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2017 prepared by the BLS concluded that 43 fewer people died on the job in 2017 compared to the previous year.

When focusing on specific industries, the BLS identified progress among crane operators, manufacturing and wholesale trades. These sectors achieved their lowest worker fatality rates since the government started collecting data in 1992.

How would you deal with an uninsured motorist in a crash?

In the state of Georgia, drivers must carry minimum auto liability insurance. Many motorists feel the minimum will prove sufficient if there is a crash with injuries, and many others carry no insurance at all.

How would you handle a crash situation in which you were the victim and the driver who caused the crash was uninsured?

Car accidents major cause of deaths worldwide

Many people in Georgia are deeply troubled by the growing number of traffic fatalities found on the roads. This is far from a local concern, however; global health experts at the World Health Organization have identified traffic-related deaths as a major worldwide problem. Across the globe, motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 5 and 29. Across all age groups, crashes are the eighth most common cause of death, outstripping HIV and tuberculosis on the list of fatal global health concerns. In 2016 alone, 1.35 million people lost their lives in car crashes, a statistic cited by the WHO in its 2018 Global Status Report on Road Safety.

The WHO urged countries to beef up their programs to improve roadway safety, identifying traffic fatalities as a major concern. It noted that the United Nations' goal of reducing collision deaths by half between 2016 and 2020 is unlikely to be achieved. However, the WHO also said that while the number of fatalities is growing in the absolute, the death rate in terms of the world population has remained stable. For the past 15 years, that rate has hovered at around 18 traffic deaths per 100,000 people.

Improving retail worker conditions during the holidays

Retail workers in Georgia, including both permanent and temporary ones, are often the busiest during the holiday season. OSHA is reminding company owners to protect retail workers' safety and pay during the annual holiday rush. After all, this is the time of year when customer traffic typically increases, which can boost the potential for work-related injuries. Part-time workers may also have issues with receiving proper compensation, especially from retailers not accustomed to routinely hiring seasonal workers.

Long workdays, overtime hours and expanded schedules can also contribute to increased stress and fatigue as people lose sleep and sacrifice time with their families. Workplace stress also increases the risk of individuals sustaining the type of injuries that commonly lead to workers' compensation claims and days missed from work. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) stresses the importance of making retail workers feel safe and supported in various environments.

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