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September 2015 Archives

Fog and traffic accidents

Pennsylvania motorists likely know that driving in foggy conditions can be both nerve-wracking and hazardous. A dense fog can present drivers with a variety of risks that could cause severe injuries or death. In many cases around the country, fog has contributed to multi-vehicle collisions that have resulted in multiple fatalities. In November 2014, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released a detailed report on this subject. It used as its benchmark foggy conditions in which visibility was reduced to less than 5/8 of a mile.

New study on brain disease in NFL players

Pennsylvania football players may have a high risk of suffering from a degenerative disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, according to a new study. Researchers from Boston University and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs conducted the study by looking at the brains of deceased NFL players. Brains from deceased people who had played football in high school, college and semi-professional leagues were also studied.

Blood pressure drug reduces inflammation from brain injuries

Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center have identified a protein that can cause damaging inflammation in patients with traumatic brain injuries. They have also found that the protein, which is produced by the liver, can be blocked by a drug used to treat high blood pressure. The research could lead to better TBI treatments in Pennsylvania and worldwide.

Some drivers are unaware of vehicle safety technologies

Although there are many Pennsylvania drivers that are aware that auto safety technology is becoming more readily available, a survey of U.S. drivers revealed that about 65 percent of drivers did not know about the technology. This may be in part because cars are lasting longer. For example, all new vehicles will be required to have backup cameras in 2018. Because cars last an average of 11 years, some drivers may go without this technology for more than a decade.

Hearing protection and arc flashes

While most Pennsylvania workers understand that protection is needed against burns from arc flashes, they may not understand that it is also important to have good hearing protection in the event an arc flash occurs. While the National Fire Protection Association does provide ratings for fire-resistant clothing and protection worn by workers for arc flashes, they do not do the same for hearing protection.

Drivers jailed after crashes involving faulty cars

A woman who plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter in Pennsylvania had her conviction overturned by a judge in August 2015. It was determined that the September 2010 crash was caused by a faulty ignition switch that put the car into an accessory position. This resulted in power being cut from the brakes and steering wheel, and the airbags failed to deploy at the time of the accident.

Auto accident injuries may not always be immediately clear

Motorists or passengers who are involved in a traffic accident in Pennsylvania sometimes seem to have escaped the crash unharmed only to develop injuries days, weeks or even months later. Emergency medical personnel are skilled at spotting injuries that may not be readily apparent, but the equipment that they carry into the field is unable to detect certain types of internal trauma or soft tissue injuries.

Facts regarding Brown-Sequard syndrome

Pennsylvania residents may be familiar with an uncommon spinal disorder known as Brown-Sequard syndrome, or BSS. The condition develops following an injury to a person's spinal cord from a back or neck wound. Other factors causing BSS include an obstructed blood vessel, known as ischemia, a tumor on the spinal cord, multiple sclerosis, tuberculosis, or any other inflammatory or infectious disease.

Dangers of wrong-way accidents

Every year in Pennsylvania, a number of wrong-way driving accidents occur, resulting in serious injuries or fatalities for those involved. Although these types of accidents are rare, they have a much higher capacity for fatalities. As a result, the National Transportation Safety Board, or NTSB, has taken a special interest in them, studying them since the 1960s.