CHP statistics showed a declining number of traffic-related deaths this past holiday weekend. Even though it was predicted that our freeways would have record number of drivers, and some roads were jammed for hours, drivers appear to have been driving more safely.
May through September has a higher rate of fatal motorcycle crashes than other months, with midsummer generally accounting for twice as many crashes as midwinter simply because more people are riding, according to the CHP safety office. Child bicycle fatalities also go up by as much as 45 percent during the summer.
April was Distracted Driving Awareness Month and May is Motorcycle and Bicycle Safety Awareness month. The consistent message here is to be aware of the distractions that take your mind and eye off the road, even for that nano second. Drive safe and keep your family and friends safe this summer.
California is blessed with great weather and many places to enjoy it. Three days off work jammed roads and driving distracted can be a deadly combination this weekend.
Memorial Day Weekend brings increased traffic and a sad history of a high number of highway tragedies and the needless loss of life.
“When everything comes together just right like on Memorial Day weekend, we hit the road and unfortunately some of us hit each other,” reports Chris Cochran of the state Office of Traffic Safety.
Law enforcement throughout California will be looking for drivers and passengers who don’t buckle up during the “Click-it or Ticket” seat belt enforcement campaign. They will be on the lookout for drivers and passengers – including passengers in the back seat, day and night.
So when you load up the family in the car this weekend please do so safely.
Eliminate those distractions you can control. (cell phone, texting, eating, grooming, etc.)
Share the road. Watch out for other drivers, riders and pedestrians on the road.
Don’t put your own life at risk, or the life of your family or friends. One needless car wreck can wreck it all.
Between the California Highway Patrol and local law enforcement agencies throughout the state, 57,000 tickets were issued during Distracted Driving Awareness month, for driving while using a handheld cell phone or texting, and another 3,800 for additional distracted driving violations which could include eating, grooming, programming a GPS, and other functions.
“Unfortunately, we’re seeing that the problem of cell phone use for talking and texting while driving is not going away anytime soon,” said California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) Director Christopher J. Murphy. “There are those who understand the dangers and have curtailed their use, while others think the hazards apply to everyone else but them.”
The ability to safely multi-task while driving is myth. While many people know texting while driving increases crash risk, the lack of understanding about the risks of phone conversation, even hands-free, while driving remains a challenge. Talking on hands-free or handheld cell phones requires the brain to multitask – a process it cannot do safely while driving.
To explain the limitations of the human brain when multitasking the National Safety Council (NSC) released a white paper, “Understanding the Distracted Brain: Why driving while using hands-free devices is risky behavior.“
It only takes a second to swerve a few feet.
Swerving out of your lane to the left could put you in line of another vehicle coming in the opposite direction. Swerving to the right could cause you to hit a pedestrian or another car slowing down to turn right. Big trucks do not have the ability to stop or swerve to miss a car that unexpectedly swerves into their lane.
Looking away for only a second, you could miss seeing the motorcycle in front of you or one that is splitting lanes next to you.
Looking away for only a second is all it takes to potentially cause serious injuries to yourself or another person – or worse – even death. One teenage driver currently under arrest said the distraction of a hand-held cell phone caused her to fatally hit a 44-year-old jogger.
April was Distracted Driving Awareness Month and May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness month. The consistent message here is to be aware of the distractions that take your mind and eye off the road, even for that nano second.
Common sense tips to protecting yourself from distracted driving:
> Put your cell phone out of reach when you get in the car so you won’t be tempted to use it.
> Mention on your outgoing voicemail message that you won’t answer when you are driving.
> Don’t call or text anyone when there is a good chance that they may be driving.
> When you must call or text, pull into a parking space.
> Never eat, groom, program a GPS, check Facebook, run an app, read or otherwise allow your full attention to leave the task of safely driving.
Share the road. Drive safe.
The forecasters are predicting warm and clear weather this weekend, stressing the importance of alertness when out on the road.
April was Distracted Driving Awareness Month and May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. It is essential that all road users are reminded to never drive, ride, walk or bicycle while distracted.
Whether a driver is at an intersection or changing lanes, they should always keep an eye out for motorcyclists. Because motorcycles have a much smaller profile than other vehicles, it can be difficult for drivers to judge the distance and speed of an approaching motorcycle.
Motorcyclists have responsibilities, too. They should obey traffic rules, be alert to other drivers, never ride while impaired or distracted, and always wear proper protective gear, including a helmet.
The warmer weather brings more traffic to the roads, especially near the parks and beaches. During thsi time, it’s important to be more vigilant in staying alert while driving and riding.
“Share the Road” is the message during Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month
April has been declared Distracted Driving Awareness Month nationwide. The effort is designed to educate drivers of the hazards of not concentrating on driving. Ordinarily a few seconds may not seem like a long time. If you’re behind the steering wheel of a moving vehicle, however, just a few seconds can change your life. Cell phones, texting, eating, changing CD’s – all such distractions can be fatal in the blink of an eye.
An estimated 1.8 million crashes are caused each year by alleged distracted drivers, according to the National Safety Council. The AAA Foundation notes that cell phone users quadruple the chance of a crash.
Despite these dangers, countless drivers engage in potentially distracting secondary tasks 30 percent of the time their vehicles are in motion, according to the AAA Foundation report. This law is about protecting the public. During National Distracted Driver Month, law enforcement agencies across the state will be on the lookout for those drivers who seem to believe they’re above the law by violating the hands-free law, eating or applying makeup while not focusing on the road. A distracted driving violation is going to cost you a minimum of $160 and the maximum ranges from serious personal injuries to the loss of lives.
Using a cell phone in the car is a habit. Saving your life and the lives of others can start with making new, safer habits.
1.) Turn your phone off or just put it out of reach.
2.) Stop using the phone when you get in the car. If it rings, let it ring. It’s not a matter of life or death to answer the phone, but it may be a matter of life or death if you do. Let your caller go to voice mail and leave a message and you can call them back when you are no longer on the road.
3.) If you believe the call is really critical – a.) let it go to voice mail b.) find the nearest place to pull over safely and c.) listen to your message, and d.) call back if necessary.
Using your cell phone and texting at stop signs and red lights is just as dangerous and illegal as when you are moving.
4.) Recognize behaviors that are dangerous and make the necessary changes.
A life is far more important than a cell phone call or a text message.
March has been Brain Injury Awareness month, however, just because the month is coming to a close doesn’t take away from the importance of taking care of your brain – it’s the only one you have.
The brain cannot regenerate itself. When someone suffers a severe brain injury, the initial impact can be deadly. However, according to the Brain Injury Institute, if they survive, progressive degeneration of the brain can continue during the hours, days, weeks and months that follow.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports these as the most common causes of brain injury:
- 35 % from falls
- 20 % from car accidents or truck accidents
- 19% from impact with a moving object
- 11% from attacks
- Other causes include sports injuries and shaking – “shaken baby syndrome”
Once your brain is injured, your life will never be the same. Your “thinking organ” can affect the way you act, feel, perceive and respond to others, including your family. It is important to understand, that although a personmay “look fine” on the outside, the brain injury may cause changes which affect their behavior. People who have suffered a TBI may display irritability, depression, apathy, anxiety, agitation, frustration; display a confrontational attitude and/or outbursts of anger; feelings of guilt and feelings of helplessness. They may become impatient, fearful or thoughtless, and have difficulty doing their usual routine or tasks. It can be most frustrating to families and friends because a person with TBI may have little to no awareness of just how different he or she is acting.
Several posts were written this month to assist you in learning more about brain injury and the important of using protection when possible, such as bicycle helmets.
Any traumatic brain injury is potentially catastrophic. Take care of your brain everyday.
Our elderly deserve better care.
This morning’s LA Times reported:
“The California Department of Public Health has issued fines against three nursing homes in Los Angeles County after concluding that poor care led to deaths at each of the facilities.
The three nursing homes got the most serious citations possible under state law, according to the department.
Fountain View Subacute and Nursing Center in Los Angeles in connection with the 2010 death of a patient, who suffered a fatal brain injury after falling out of his bed.
The health department issued an fine against the Motion Picture and Television Hospital in Woodland Hills. In 2010, a 90-year-old Alzheimer’s patient who was in a wheelchair died a week after falling down a stairwell.
And Downey Care Center in Downey was fined for failing to monitor a patient’s blood glucose level after she was released from a hospital in 2010. The woman died from a diabetic coma.”
Read the story on the LATimes website
According to American Psychological Association countless older adults are victims of physical, psychological, or other forms of abuse and neglect. In general, elder abuse is a term referring to any knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable adult.
By learning to recognize signs of abuse and reporting suspected cases, you can make a difference in the lives of elderly and dependent Californians. Visit the Elder Abuse page at Bill Daniels Law for helpful information.
Three Senators introduced the Elder Protection and Abuse Prevention Act, a bill to implement a comprehensive network of elder abuse prevention and response measures.
“A spreading epidemic of seniors who are abused or exploited by family or caregivers must be stopped,” said Blumenthal. “Rigorous screening and reporting to detect and deter abuse, physical or financial, is necessary to help remedy seniors who may be too fearful or embarrassed to report it themselves. This measure would require tough national standards for screening and reporting so wrongdoers can be stopped and prosecuted. There is no excuse for one in ten seniors continuing to suffer the physical injury, emotional anguish and anxiety, and financial hardship, costing upwards of $3 billion every year.”
“Our nation’s seniors deserve the peace of mind of knowing that they are protected from physical and emotional abuse and financial exploitation,” said Whitehouse. “I am proud to be an original cosponsor of this bill, which would strengthen and improve State programs to better prevent and address elder abuse.”
Read more about this bill on the Senate website.
People with certain disorders might be more vulnerable to violence, says American Academy of Neurology, as reported in US News.
Neurologists should screen their patients for abuse by family members, caregivers or other people, the American Academy of Neurology says in a new position statement.
Certain neurologic disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease or stroke, may raise the risk for abuse and neglect, the academy said.
More than 90 percent of all injuries caused by intimate partner violence occur to the head, face or neck and can result in traumatic brain injury, according to the statement.
Read the full article on US News
They’re weak, physically or mentally disabled or both, and often at the mercy of people they depend on the most: relatives and caretakers.
They’re the nation’s fast-growing elderly population, and many are prime targets for abuse — physical, financial, sexual or emotional.
Concern among the elderly and their advocates is mounting as the number of seniors soars and more of them live longer.
Read the rest of this article in USA Today.
By learning to recognize signs of abuse and reporting suspected cases, you can make a difference in the lives of elderly and dependent Californians. Get your copy of A Citizens Guide to Preventing and Reporting Elder Abuse