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How to drive safely in strong winter wind

If you live in or around Pittsburgh, you know how difficult it is to drive during the winter months. While there are days when the roads are dry and clear, this isn't always the case. Instead, you could find yourself contending with strong wind, ice and snow.

Here are three things you must do when driving in strong winter wind:

  • Keep two hands on the steering wheel: It only takes one gust of wind to knock you off track. By keeping both hands on the wheel, you can make the necessary adjustments should your vehicle begin to move.
  • Beware of areas where gusts are more likely: For example, if you're driving across one of Pittsburgh's many bridges, you're more likely to experience a wind gust.
  • Watch for large vehicles: The taller the vehicle the more difficult it is for the driver to keep it steady. For example, tractor-trailers and buses often struggle to maintain control during windy conditions.

How to prevent my child from being hit by a car

A 6-year-old boy was hit by a school bus in Lawrenceville on Nov. 30, receiving non-life-threatening injuries. An article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette noted that the incident occurred after the boy ran in front of the moving bus.

Crashes between cars and pedestrians can lead to horrific injuries because pedestrians have nothing protecting their bodies from the impact. Children are especially at risk in these types of crashes because they are much smaller than adults. However, children often do not see the danger cars present.

Potential complications following a concussion

If you suffer a concussion, such as in a car accident or slip and fall, you're sure to experience a variety of symptoms. While it's your hope that these go away sooner rather than later, there's no way of knowing the impact the injury will have on the rest of your life.

Some of the most common symptoms of a concussion include:

  • Feeling of pressure in your head
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Blurry vision
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Slurred speech
  • Fatigue

The future of road safety

All drivers, regardless of experience, age or skill, have one thing in common: they must keep their eyes on the road. Any distraction can turn a routine stop at an intersection into a catastrophic injury, but soon drivers may have a new tool to keep them safe.

A new product, which is endorsed by several media outlets, uses facial recognition technology to alert drivers when their attention is wavering. This technology addresses real concerns that people face every single day. However, having one of these devices only helps keep you focused, it does not mean that all other drivers will stop:

How to drive safely on icy roads

Icy roads can make it difficult to safely reach your destination during the winter months. Even though road crews do their part in keeping roads clear, this isn't always good enough.

Here are some tips for driving safely on icy roads:

  • Slow down: There is nothing more important, as the faster you're traveling the greater chance there is that you'll lose control of your vehicle.
  • Watch other drivers: Even if you've slowed to a crawl, other drivers may not take the same caution. Keep as much distance as possible between your vehicle and reckless drivers.
  • Don't rely on your vehicle to save you: For example, some people assume that their all-wheel or four-wheel drive vehicle will help them stay safe on icy roads. It may help in snow but doesn't do anything when roadways are slippery.
  • Watch how you start and stop: If you slam on your brakes, for instance, you increase the risk of slipping. The same holds true if you smash the gas pedal to the floor.
  • Don't stop: If you know the road is icy, do your best to keep your momentum. This is particularly true when traveling uphill, as you may not be able to get started again once you stop.

Traumatic brain injuries linked to higher risk of suicide

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major public health problem, and a study earlier this year linked it to another major public health problem - suicide.

Citing 2010 statistics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported nearly 2.5 million Americans sustained a TBI in 2010 and said TBI is a contributing factor to 30 percent of all injury-related deaths.

Do these things to drive more safely this fall

Fall in Pittsburgh is a beautiful time of the year. The leaves change, the weather cools off and many people spend additional time outdoors.

If you find yourself on the road during this time of the year, you need to take special caution to avoid trouble. Here are four things to keep in mind:

  • Roads can be slippery: It's this time of the year when you really need to worry about rain, snow and ice. Also, when leaves stick to the road, they can make it more difficult to stop your vehicle.
  • Vehicle maintenance matters: From your tires (proper inflation) to your windshield wipers, make sure your vehicle is ready for the weather you're sure to face during the fall months.
  • More kids are on the road: Not only are kids riding in school buses, but they're also standing at the bus stop and walking to and from school. Keep an eye out for youngsters as you drive.
  • Deer are more active: November and December, in particular, are high-traffic times of the year for deer and other animals. If you see a "deer crossing" sign, slow down and watch the sides of the road.

Catastrophic injuries due to car accidents: a guide

When an individual is in a particularly bad car accident, catastrophic injuries such as traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries are not uncommon.

According to reports, car accidents are the most common cause of spinal cord injuries, accounting for nearly 50 percent. As far as traumatic brain injuries go, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle accidents are the third leading cause. Combined, catastrophic car accidents pose a great risk for these types of trauma.

Should I ride my motorcycle in the winter?

As temperatures cool off, more and more factors emerge that impact the risk of riding a motorcycle in the winter. Winter car accidents, after all, have been more dangerous in Pennsylvania than anywhere else across the country in recent years.

Here are a few of the risks to weigh out while deciding if you will retire your ride for the winter.

Winter weather and slip-and-fall accidents: Watch your step

As a Pittsburgh resident, you know that winter has the potential to bring many types of weather to the area. From rain to snow, from ice to sleet, there's no telling what will come next.

Your safety and well-being are of utmost importance, so you must become familiar with the common causes of wintertime slip-and-fall accidents.

  • Ice and snow accumulation: For example, you may find that the store you're visiting did a poor job clearing ice and snow from the walkway leading to the building. If you're not paying attention, this can result in a slip and fall.
  • Slippery parking lots: While most businesses do a good job clearing parking lots in a timely manner, this isn't always the case. It only takes a bit of rain, snow or ice to increase the risk of a slip and fall.
  • Water on interior floors: You pay so much attention to your safety when walking on sidewalks and in parking lots that you overlook what happens when you go indoors. Wet feet, for example, can lead to wet floors. Subsequently, there's a greater chance you'll slip and fall.
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