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New City Personal Injury Law Blog

Most drivers believe texting while driving should be illegal

New York drivers may be interested to learn that, although the majority believe that distracted driving should be illegal, about one-third are still confident in their abilities to multitask while behind the wheel. According to a study by Progressive Insurance, there was a major difference in confidence levels between drivers of different ages and drivers of different genders.

The study found that 64 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 34 believed that using smartphones for either texting while driving or surfing the net was a common cause of accidents. Even so, 62 percent of the drivers in this age group were confident in their ability to text and drive. Comparatively, only 6 percent of drivers who were 55 or older were confident in their skills to text and drive. When the study took gender into consideration, 88 percent of men and 97 percent of women believed that texting and driving should be illegal; however, 21 percent of men and 11 percent of women were confident in their ability to text and drive safely.

Driving safely in the fall

Readers from the New York area may have some understandable concerns about driving in the fall. While fall can indeed be a beautiful time of year, there are also a number of potential hazards associated with the season that are worth knowing more about. Recognizing some of these challenges in advance is an important part of ensuring one's safety on the roads.

Weather conditions can be highly irregular in the fall, and rapidly changing temperatures can have a negative impact on tire pressure levels. For this reason, it's important to routinely monitor one's tires to avoid incurring unnecessary damage. In addition, frost may create slippery conditions that necessitate more cautious driving than usual. Being more careful when slowing for traffic lights and perhaps even leaving home a little earlier can be very beneficial in this time of year to help avoid car accidents.

How collision avoidance systems reduce injuries

Collision avoidance systems reduce the risk of injury accidents, but too few vehicles have them installed. These were among the findings of several different studies that examined 2015 data. Some of the drivers in New York and throughout the country who do have lane departure warning systems and blind spots alerts might also be turning off the alerts if they come in the form of a beep, which annoys some drivers, instead of a seat vibration.

The vice president for research at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety examined data on cars with the safety systems installed and looked at more than 5,000 accidents. She found that in vehicles that had the safety systems, there were 11 percent fewer single-vehicle accidents or accidents caused by side swipes or head-on collisions. Injury accidents of this type were reduced by 21 percent. Studies of Volvos in Sweden and truck fleets in the United States found accident rates reduced by as much as 50 percent when lane departure warning systems were installed.

Symptoms of computer vision syndrome

The average American worker may spend up to seven hours a day looking at a computer. This can lead to computer vision syndrome that features symptoms such as eye strain, headaches and neck pain. In most cases, these will go away once an individual stops looking at a computer or other screen. However, some New York workers will experience long-term symptoms that may have an impact on their quality of life.

In most cases, CVS can be diagnosed as part of an eye exam. Those who have this condition may be advised to wear glasses or contact lenses that have tints or coatings on them to improve their vision. It may also be a good idea to ensure that a computer is 20 to 28 inches away from a person's eye to reduce the odds of eye or other discomfort.

Pipe repair technique could lead to dangerous toxic exposure

One popular method of pipe repair in New York and across the United States could potentially expose workers to dangerous chemical fumes, according to study results. Cured-in-place pipe repair, or CIPP, is an innovative method of repairing cracked or damaged plastic water and sewer pipes that is commonly used across the country.

The repair method involves inserting a fabric tube impregnated with plastic resins inside the damaged pipe. Once the fabric tube is in place, it is "cured" with an intensely hot substance like boiling water, pressurized steam or even a stream of ultraviolet light. This creates a solid and undamaged plastic pipe in place of the previously broken pipe section. Because of the ease of this method, it has become a favored form.

Sustainable organizations do poor job collecting injury data

Sustainable organizations in New York and nationwide are doing an inadequate job of reporting work-related deaths, injuries and illnesses, according to a study. Data from organizations on the Corporate Knights' Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations list was reviewed by researchers at Center for Safety and Health Sustainability.

The researchers examined public data reported by sustainable organizations between June and December 2016. They found that the companies on the list showed minimum improvement in the way they collected safety and health data compared to their last assessment, which was in 2013. For example, researchers found that there was great variance in the way different organizations collected data and formatted their reports. There was also little consensus over which terms and definitions to use when reporting data.

Fat-shaming can lead to worsened health outcomes

Fat-shaming, or the disrespect of people due to their weight, by physicians may lead to worse outcomes for New York patients. Health researchers have published a review of studies that indicates that patients' mental and physical health can suffer when they are subject to shame or disparagement due to their weight at the doctor's office.

In some cases, frequent exposure to thiscan cause patients to avoid seeking medical care or delay treatment, a situation that can cause greater risks. In other cases, patients may not be diagnosed correctly because of health care providers' focus on their weight rather than potential other causes for their symptoms.

Construction industry working to update safety helmets

New York residents who work in the construction industry may be interested in learning that, according to government researchers, more than 2,200 fatal traumatic brain injuries occurred in construction workers from 2003 to 2010. To reduce the risk of fatal traumatic brain injuries from happening, some construction firms are working to develop safety helmets that protect workers better than the traditional hard hats they usually wear.

According to the researchers, the rate of fatal traumatic brain injuries that took place in the seven-year span that was studied was 2.6 per 100,000 full-time construction workers. Workers who were 65 years of age or older had higher rates than their younger counterparts did. Additionally, on-site falls were determined to be the most frequent cause of traumatic brain injuries. To protect against these types of injuries, hard hats are required to be worn by employees in areas that pose fall hazards. This protective headgear works by spreading the force of the impact across the shell of the hard hat, reducing the amount of the impact that gets transferred to the skull.

High blood pressure misdiagnoses

Whenever New York residents and those across the country visit the doctor, they typically have their blood pressure checked. This is to ensure that a patient is not suffering from high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease, strokes and other potentially dangerous conditions. However, many doctors still use manual devices, which could lead to a misdiagnosis.

Part of the problem is that manual devices can give a wrong reading if they are not used correctly. In fact, a study published in a Canadian journal found that 20 percent of Canadian patients who were being treated for high blood pressure did not actually have the condition. This means that these patients were taking medication that they did not need. Wrong measurements are so prevalent because, in addition to not taking the measurements correctly, many doctors take measurements the minute a patient walks through the door. White-coat hypertension, a phenomenon that causes artificially high blood pressure around doctors and nurses, can also result in inaccurate measurements.

Surgery not beneficial for early-stage prostate cancer patients

One common treatment for New York men who have been diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer is surgery. However, a 20-year study provided evidence showing that this surgery not only did not prolong patients' lives, but it also often resulted in serious complications.

The study found that 61 percent of men who were given the prostate cancer surgery died as a result of other causes. Of those who did not have the surgery, 66 percent died of other causes. Of those who did die fromprostate cancer, 7 percent of the men had had prostate cancer surgery while 11 percent did not. Of those who were surgically treated for prostate cancer, 17 percent experienced incontinence while 15 percent experienced erectile dysfunction. Forty-five percent of the men developed other complications associated with prostate cancer surgery.

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