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February 2016 Archives

NHTSA to consider software driver in self-driving car

When Google's self-driving cars finally hit Pennsylvania roads, their software will be considered the driver for purposes of federal law based on a Feb. 4 letter the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration posted on its website. This is one of several issues that must be addressed before development on these vehicles by Google and other developers can move forward. The decision by the NHTSA means that issues that a vehicle would have communicated to a human driver via a mechanism like a dashboard alert can be communicated to the car's artificial intelligence.

Data reveals the benefits of crash avoidance technology

Many of the new vehicles available to consumers in Pennsylvania and around the country feature sophisticated electronic systems designed to anticipate and avoid collisions. Many safety advocates have called for these innovative safety features to be made mandatory, and research conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety will likely lead to these calls becoming louder. According to the IIHS, approximately 700,000 rear-end crashes reported to police and an untold number of injuries could have been prevented in 2013 if all vehicles had been so equipped.

Scissor lift users receive OSHA warnings

Pennsylvania companies that rely on scissor lifts to help their staff access elevated jobs may be able to do more to protect their personnel. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says that of the more than 20 scissor-lift injuries and 10 fatalities it investigated in a single year, the majority were caused by employers not providing proper fall protection, placement or stability safeguards.

Road deaths were on the increase in 2015

Pennsylvania residents may be aware that traffic accident fatality rates have been falling in recent years. Experts often credit improvements in road safety to modern vehicle safety technology and aggressive public information campaigns designed to highlight the dangers of behavior like drunk or distracted driving. Road accident deaths fell by 1.2 percent in 2014 and plummeted by almost a quarter between 2000 and 2014, but accident data indicates that fatality rates rose sharply during the first nine months of 2015.

Misconceptions about TBI in Pennsylvania

Traumatic brain injuries are common among both those who have served in the military and among the civilian population. However, signs and symptoms of TBI may be misunderstood, which could lead to a misdiagnosis. For instance, some believe that a TBI cannot occur unless an individual loses consciousness. While many who suffer a brain injury may do so, it is not necessary for a TBI diagnosis to be made.

Safety week for refuse and recycling workers

Refuse and recyclable material collectors in Pennsylvania perform one of the nation's most dangerous jobs. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, garbage collectors ranked fifth on the list of American civilian occupations with the highest rate of fatal injuries in 2014. With a fatal injury rate of 35.8 per 100,000 full-time workers in that year, garbage and recycling collectors were more at risk of dying on the job than farmers, steel workers, truck drivers and electrical power line workers.

Safer cars on the horizon with Volvo

Most of the Pennsylvania populace is concerned with the safety of the cars that they purchase, choosing vehicles that have better safety features than others. Volvo, long known for working to make its cars safer, has now said that they plan to have cars that will prevent accident fatalities by 2020.

The hazards of stored energy in the workplace

When a Pennsylvania worker is servicing or maintaining a machine, the release of stored energy could cause a serious injury. The injury could be caused by the release of steam from a valve or an electrical short that shocks a worker. Each year, there are 3 million workers who service machines and are exposed to hazardous injury. Those workers spend an average of 24 workdays recovering in the event that they are hurt.