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Senior Accident Rates on the Decline

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The increasing number of senior motorists has not, fortunately, translated into a higher rate of accidents and injuries involving these motorists. According to new data that was released recently by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the number of accidents and injuries involving senior drivers is actually on the decline.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety report, senior motorists in the United States are now much safer than they were just a few years ago. Thanks to increased auto safety technology, that not just reduces the risk of accidents but also minimizes the risk of injuries or fatalities in an accident, senior drivers are much more likely to return safely home when they are out driving.

There have been a number of concerns voiced recently by geriatric safety experts that the increasing number of senior drivers, who drive well into their 70s and 80s, could increase the risk of accidents involving these motorists. However, the Insurance Institute study found that accident rates involving 80-year-old senior motorists have actually shown some of the steepest declines.

According to the data between 1997 and 2012, fatal accident rates involving licensed senior drivers fell approximately 42% for older drivers. Among middle-aged drivers between the age of 35 and 54, the rates fell by 30%. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study found that the rates of accidents for senior drivers declined at a much higher speed than the rates of accidents involving motorists in the 35 to 54 age category.

Although driving conditions for senior citizens are much better now than they were a few years ago, it is important for loved ones to monitor the driving skills of senior drivers, and look out for signs of impaired driving skills.

Cell Phone-Related Accident Fatalities Involving Younger Persons Up

Monday, March 10, 2014

Distracted driving accidents involving cell phone use is killing more young people than ever before. According to new statistics released by the National Safety Council, however, car accidents are not the number one cause of accidental fatalities in the United States. More people now are killed from poisoning, especially those related to drug overdoses, than any other cause.

However, among younger people, cell phone-related distracted driving accidents are a major cause of fatalities. In fact, according to the statistics, auto accidents caused the highest number of fatal injuries involving younger persons, and cell phone-related distractions contributed significantly to those accidents.

When it came to senior citizens in the above-65 age category, fall accidents were the number one cause of fatal injuries. In fact, earlier studies have indicated that falls can actually increase mortality risks among senior citizens. A senior’s risk of dying increases dramatically in the one year after he has suffered a slip and fall. The report finds that there was an increase of 3.2% in the number of injury-related fatalities in 2012, compared to the previous year.

In recent years, poisonings especially those related to the over use, misuse and abuse of prescription runs, has dominated injury-related fatality data. Earlier, poisoning-related fatalities often involved children, who gained access to household chemical and solvents. However, somewhere in 1993, according to the National Safety Council, the number of people who died from accidental poisoning actually began increasing, and most of those deaths were related to the misuse of prescription drugs.

Meanwhile, to reduce the number of young people dying in auto accidents, it is important to focus especially hard distracted driving. Laws that ban such practices are important, and primary enforcement and more stringent penalties must be attached to those laws. Fall accident strategies meanwhile are vital to help reduce fatality risks involving senior citizens.

To Identify Aggressive Dogs, Look at Owners

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Many breeds of dogs including Rottweilers and pit bulls get a bad rep for being aggressive. However as any dog bite lawyer knows, not all dogs belonging to these breeds are involved in attacks. Often, it is the owner of the dog whose negligence contributes to aggression and a vicious attack by the dog.

There is no denying that breed does have some effect on the dog's temperament and personality. Some breeds of dogs including the above-mentioned Rottweilers and pit bulls, do have a tendency to get more aggressive. However, breed may not be the main effect of factor influencing the dog’s aggression. In fact, it is the owner's temperament that can more strongly determine aggressive traits or his likelihood of being involved in a dog bite incident, than the breed.

Researchers recently sent out 15,000 questionnaires to owners of dogs, and based on the 4000 replies they received, they found that certain owner traits were much more likely to contribute to aggressive qualities. For instance, when dogs were owned by persons below the age of 25, they were approximately twice as likely to display aggressive tendencies, compared to dogs of owners above the age of 40.

Dogs that were enrolled in dog-training classes were approximately 50% as likely to display aggressive tendencies, compared to animals that did not attend such training classes. Dogs that were sourced from rescue centers were also much more likely to display aggressive tendencies, compared to animals that were purchased from a breeder.

Apart from these factors, the owner's methods of training their dogs, and the level of overall care of the dogs also played a major factor in determining aggressive traits. For instance, dogs that were trained using methods like punishment and negative reinforcement, were as much as twice as likely to display different aggressive behaviors, and were three times as likely to attack members of the family.



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