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Federal Study Urges Spotlight on Truck Driver Health

Monday, February 24, 2014

The health of commercial trucking drivers doesn't normally receive a lot of attention in the media, although the accidents that are caused when unfit drivers doze off at the wheel, or have a medical emergency, do make the headlines. Burbank trucking accident lawyers find that the commercial trucking driver population is at a high risk of poor health, because of a number of factors. A new study that was conducted recently by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found that a high incidence of several lifestyle-related conditions in commercial trucking drivers, including obesity, hypertension, and a number of other cardiovascular conditions.

The study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health actually found that long-haul truck drivers in this country have a risk of being obese that is twice as high compared to the general adult population. This population was also much more likely to be at risk for smoking, and other risk factors for chronic disease, including hypertension. About 69% of the drivers studied as part of the research were reported as being obese, while 54% smoked, and 88% reported at least one risk factor for chronic disease. In the general population, just about 54% had a minimum of one risk factor for chronic disease.

Truck driver health is a major safety concern because a truck driver, who is obese, suffering from hypertension, diabetes, or any other kind of medical condition, is more likely to have a medical emergency at the wheel. An emergency like this can cause an accident with catastrophic consequences not just for the truck driver, but also other motorists on the road. Besides, obesity contributes to a sleep condition called sleep apnea, which contributes to fatigue and could lead to a truck driver dozing off at the wheel, increasing the risk of being involved in an accident.

Cat Bites Found to Be More Dangerous Than Dog Bites

Saturday, February 15, 2014

More than 4 million Americans every year fall victim to dog bites, most of them children below the age of five. However, while dog bites, especially those involving mail carriers and children make headlines frequently, you don't hear as much about cat bites. That's in spite of the fact that cat bites, even though they are rarer than dog bites, can be just as, or even more dangerous.

According to new research that was conducted recently by Mayo Clinic, cat bites are much rarer than dog bites, but can be very dangerous. Feline jaws are smaller compared to dogs, and may not seem as powerful. The danger in a cat’s bite comes from those tiny teeth. According to Mayo Clinic researchers, those teeth can release bacteria deep into your body, affecting tissue quickly, and creating breeding grounds for an infection.

Cat bites very often result in infections, and according to the researchers, compared to dog bites, cat bites, although they are much less common, are much more likely to result in hospitalization. According to the Mayo Clinic study, which was conducted over a period of three years, one out of every three patients who suffered a cat bite actually had to be admitted into the hospital. Approximately 2/3rd of hospitalized patients who were injured after a cat bite, needed surgery as part of their treatment.

The study also found a difference in the profile of victims of cat bites, compared to dog bites. Middle-aged women were found to be much more likely to be bitten by a cat, compared to other age groups.

According to the researchers, it is not as if cats pack more bacteria in their mouths which cause infections. It is that they have much sharper teeth that can quickly inject the bacteria deep into your body tissue, resulting in infections spreading much more quickly than in the case of a dog bite.

New Auto Safety Laws Go Into Effect in 2014

Thursday, February 06, 2014

A number of new traffic safety laws in California are expected to roll in or go into effect in the year 2014.

At least one of those laws targets distracted driving. California’s distracted driving laws are already some of the toughest in the country, and make it illegal for persons to use a hand-held cell phone or text while driving. The new law makes it illegal for drivers below the age of 18 to use handheld cellphones or texting devices at the wheel.

That applies to the use of hands-free sets by motorists below the age of 18. It also includes the use of voice-activated communication systems that do not require a driver to use his or her hands to operate the cellphone. Basically, motorists in this category are now prohibited from using any type of cell phone at the wheel.

Burbank car accident lawyers believe that this is an important law, specifically targeting distracted driving in the below 18-age category. Teenagers are some of the heaviest users of smart phones, and also are at the highest risk for distracted driving.

Another law that is expected to go into effect in September 2014 is related to bicyclist safety. Effective September 16, 2014, motorists in California will be required to maintain a three-foot distance when they are passing by a bicyclist. The 3-foot law was passed in 2013, and is specifically aimed at helping keep bicyclists safe from taunting, and aggressive driving behaviors by motorists.

A motorist may sometimes taunt a bicyclist by driving too close, or in other cases, may simply ignore the need to maintain a safe distance from a bicyclist while passing by. Driving too close to a bicyclist increases the chances that the bicyclist will panic and fall off his bicycle. From September 2014, motorists will be required to maintain a minimum gap of 3 feet when they pass by a bicyclist.


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From our offices in Woodland Hills, California, Freeman & Freeman, LLP, provides legal advice and representation for clients in communities throughout the state, including those in Burbank, Glendale, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, Tarzana, Santa Clarita, Agoura Hills, Reseda, Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Northridge, Granada Hills, Pacoima, Panorama City, North Hollywood, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Lancaster, Palmdale and Alhambra.