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Toms River, New Jersey, Personal Injury Blog

Red light running poses a serious risk

Red light cameras have been a popular solution introduced by municipalities in New Jersey and across the country to cut down on red light violations and improve traffic safety. They also often have the effect of increasing revenue from tickets because the cameras are mounted on light poles to capture images of cars that run through red lights as well as their license plates. Drivers who run red lights may receive tickets in the mail without the need for police stops for traffic offenses. Red light running is a serious safety concern, especially because 800 people are killed every year in car accidents linked to the practice while thousands more are injured.

However, despite the threat posed by negligent drivers running red lights and causing serious car accidents, red light cameras have been widely criticized. Some say that they are a means of revenue enhancement that fail to make the roads safer and even increase some types of dangers. In Chicago, a widespread red light camera system with attendant heavy fines was put into effect. However, it was combined with the shortest allowable yellow light timing. The cameras were associated with an increase in rear-end motor vehicle collisions caused by drivers attempting to race through yellow lights and avoid tickets.

How anti-drunk-driving IIDs can cause distraction

In the past decade, the number of ignition interlock devices installed on vehicles in New Jersey and across the U.S. has gone up from 133,000 to 350,000. Some 34 states require DUI offenders to install these in their vehicles, and as a result, these states see 15% fewer alcohol-related crash deaths than other states. The CDC says IIDs reduce repeat DUI offenses by 70%.

IIDs are basically breathalyzers that drivers must blow into before starting their vehicle. At regular intervals, drivers must take "rolling retests" to show that they are not drinking behind the wheel. If drivers do not take these retests, the device will set off an alert, which can consist of a honking of the horn, a flashing light or something else that does not interfere with the car's operation.

Spinal cord injuries require additional winter safety protocol

Having a spinal cord injury leads to challenges in various aspects of your life. Many people don't realize just how far-reaching these can be. During the winter months, New Jersey residents who have spinal cord injuries need to be extra careful so they don't suffer from injuries, including frostbite.

Winter safety has to be a priority for anyone who has a spinal cord injury. This is especially true for those who suffer from nerve damage and have changes in their ability to feel.

Heart attack misdiagnosis: Common symptoms for women

A type of medical bias may be placing New Jersey women at risk of increased damage and death following a heart attack or stroke. Emergency medical personnel and researchers alike tend to focus on the classic symptomology, which turns out to be the most common symptoms experienced by men. According to the Daily Nurse, women more commonly present from a set of symptoms that medical practitioners associate with anxiety and other conditions.

Almost everyone will be familiar with the most common symptoms of a heart attack. Chest pain is accompanied by pain that radiates down the left arm. However, the American Heart Association revealed in a study that more women than men present symptoms separate from chest pain. These can include back and stomach pain, nausea, shortness of breath and dizziness. A worsened medical condition can result from failure to diagnose and provide treatment.

NSC calls on employers to do more to prevent workplace deaths

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has determined that there were 5,250 work-related fatalities in 2018: a 2% rise from the previous year's total of 5,147. Residents of New Jersey should know that the truck drivers and sales workers saw the highest number of fatalities with 40% of all work-related incidents being transportation incidents.

The BLS also revealed a 12% increase in the number of worker fatalities stemming from unintentional overdoses on non-medical drugs or from overconsumption of alcohol. There were 11% more work-related suicides, too.

Law calls for mandatory car alcohol detection systems

New cars sold in New Jersey and around the country will one day come equipped with technology designed to prevent drunk driving if bills recently submitted to the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate reach President Trump's desk. The proposed legislation has received bipartisan support from lawmakers who hope that it could save as many as 7,000 lives each year. Drunk driving remains a thorny road safety issue in the United States, and accidents caused by intoxicated motorists claim about 30 lives each day.

If passed, the Reduce Impaired Driving for Everyone Act would not go into effect for at least two years. This would give carmakers time to develop systems capable of detecting alcohol. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is working with the auto sector to test and evaluate drunk driving technology, and money earmarked by the RIDE Act will be used to fund similar programs and run pilot schemes.

Warehouse workers face increased safety risks

New Jersey warehouse workers may face serious dangers on the job. While brick-and-mortar retail may face challenges, the warehouse sector continues to grow, change and expand. One company, Amazon, runs over 150 million square feet of warehouses internationally, and it has been criticized for health and safety practices. However, Amazon is not alone. As more companies focus on shipping and fulfilling digital orders, warehouses are becoming central to the e-commerce economy. At the same time that warehouses are central to successful online sales, they are also being targeted for technical changes themselves. Workers interact with more robots, computers and tracking devices throughout their shifts in a warehouse or fulfillment center.

Between 2015 and 2017, the fatality rate for warehouse workers due to on-the-job accidents doubled; while 11 workers lost their lives in 2015, 22 did two years later. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 5.1 out of every 100 full-time warehouse employees suffer workplace injuries, a similar rate of injuries as farming. Experts note that warehouse workers are interacting more frequently with automated equipment, some of which is heavy and motorized. Autonomous forklifts have become a major part of many distribution centers. Safety rules, however, may not yet be updated to fully catch up with changes.

Health care is one of the nation's leading killers

Preventable mistakes made by doctors and hospitals kill as many as 440,000 people each year in New Jersey and around the country, which makes health care the third most common cause of death in the United States. A recent report from the World Health Organization suggests that visiting a doctor or being admitted to a hospital is just as perilous in other countries. WHO researchers assessed the quality of the health care services available in 36 nations, and they concluded that about 40% of the patients treated in hospitals and as outpatients each year suffer harm at the hands of their doctors and nurses.

The WHO Patient Safety Fact File contains a worrying number of sobering statistics. The report suggests that about 50% of medical mistakes are preventable, and about one in three of them results in the patient's death. These figures are backed up by autopsy findings in the United States revealing that about 10% of the patients who die each year were either misdiagnosed or received their diagnosis late.

Neck injuries: Get support if you're suffering from whiplash

When you were driving home, you were suddenly involved in a car crash. You hadn't expected it, because traffic was light, but you ended up going off the road and into a ditch. The first thing you noticed was that your neck was sore, but you felt like things could be worse.

It wasn't until you developed severe headaches the following day that you realized you were hurt. After a medical exam, you were diagnosed with an acute case of whiplash.

WHO formally defines burnout as a diagnosable condition

Burnout is something that many workers in New Jersey suffer from without even knowing it. Now, however, the World Health Organization has formally defined the condition as something diagnosable. Within its occupational context, burnout is a syndrome caused by work-related stress and characterized by exhaustion, an increasing mental distance from one's job and a reduced ability to carry out that job in a professional manner.

Burnt-out workers usually have low morale, feel anxiety, hold negative or cynical thoughts about their job, become irritable and have trouble concentrating on their work. This last symptom may lead to accidents on the job as burnt-out workers are known to drive poorly and misuse heavy machinery. They may also take to using drugs and alcohol. In extreme cases, they may fight with fellow employees.

Contact R.C. Shea & Associates, Counsellors At Law

Call our Toms River office at 732-505-1212, our Manchester office at 732-408-WILL (9455), our Brick office at 732-451-0800, or call us toll free at 800-556-SHEA (7432). You can also contact our firm online.

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R.C. Shea & Associates, Counsellors at Law
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