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Across the United States, there has been a spike in motorcycle sales during the Covid-19 pandemic, giving rise to concerns about how a new generation of motorcycle riders will cope with the safety issues involved in riding these vehicles.

The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted many industries, and at the beginning of the outbreak the motorcycle industry was not spared. Motorcycled sales tanked as the financial devastation wreaked by the pandemic resulted in people putting off purchases of non-essential items like motorcycles and other recreational vehicles. However, it soon became very apparent that the pandemic would continue for much longer than expected, and most US cities, including the metro Atlanta region placed restrictions on the use of mass transit.

Once some sense of routine returned to the working sector, a very interesting phenomenon occurred.  Large numbers of people who were required to go back to work had to look at other forms of transportation in order to avoid using mass transit and to ensure physical distancing, one of the key ways to prevent infection with the virus.  To that end, two-wheeled personal forms of transportation, such as motorcycles, seemed like the most attractive option. Many commuters also believed motorcycles were safer than bicycles.

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Diagnostic errors are some of the deadliest medical errors causing often irreparable patient harm. A new initiative aims at recognizing hospitals for their efforts in preventing these errors.

The new initiative has been launched by The Leapfrog Group, which is a national organization of patient safety advocates. The initiative is called Recognizing Excellence in Diagnostics, and aims to publicly recognize and applaud hospitals that have done an exemplary job in reducing the risks of diagnostic errors.  The project is a collaboration with the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine and has been funded by a grant by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

According to Leapfrog, diagnostic errors are some of the deadliest medical errors. Across the country, misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis and other types of diagnostic errors figure in the top 10 causes of death every year. Annually, between 40,000 and 80,000 patient deaths are linked directly to diagnostic errors. In fact, these errors are much more widespread than people believe. The Leapfrog report claims that diagnostic errors will affect as many as 12 million Americans annually and 250,000 persons will be harmed by these errors.

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Speed racing or drag racing is surprisingly not uncommon in Atlanta, but much to people’s dismay, these races have become much more widespread during the pandemic. Georgia’s Governor is throwing his weight behind proposals, that would significantly penalize persons for street racing or drag racing.

When the pandemic hit, shelter-in-place restrictions went into effect and there was initially a marked reduction in the number of vehicles on Georgia’s roads. That, unfortunately, led to an epidemic of street racing by drivers using the newly empty streets to race against each other in reckless and dangerous behavior. Such behavior has become even more dangerous now as shelter-in-place restrictions have eased and more motorists are travelling again on the roads and highways. Street racing increases the racer’s risk of being involved in an accident and endangering innocent motorists who may be sharing these roads with them.

Georgia’s Governor has shown his support for new pieces of legislation that aim at keeping residents safer by increasing penalties for street racing and drag racing. These new proposals would penalize not just the street racers themselves, but also promoters of street racing. In fact, one bill would also penalize people who are watching these races. The goal is to discourage such rash practices that endanger the lives and safety of Atlanta residents.

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Research has shown that pedestrians are much more likely to be killed in accidents involving sport utility vehicles, compared to smaller passenger vehicles. The result is not unexpected given the sheer size of SUV’s.  But the reason this is bad news for pedestrians is because SUV’s have become increasing popular over the past decade.

According to the results of a new study by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, accidents where a pedestrian was struck by an SUV travelling faster than 19 miles per hour were much more likely to result in a fatality than accidents involving a smaller vehicle travelling at a similar speed. When vehicles were travelling at between 23 and 25 mph, the accident fatality rate for SUVs was 30%, compared to 23% for smaller passenger vehicles.

When SUVs were traveling at 40 mph, all 3 accidents involving SUVs in the study data resulted in pedestrian deaths, compared to 7 out of 3 fatalities in accidents involving small passenger vehicles. Not surprisingly, there was little difference in the fatality rate when the speed of the vehicles was below 20 mph, with passengers in both types of accidents sustaining minimal injuries.

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Recent headlines across the country have revealed that a significant percentage of COVID-19 deaths in the United States have involved residents of nursing homes.  One of the key reasons for this unfortunate result is understaffing at these facilities.

For decades, elder care advocates have tried to spotlight the problems involving understaffing in the nation’s nursing homes. In far too many nursing facilities that cater to the elderly or the infirm, staff numbers are far too low to ensure adequate care for their residents.

At several nursing homes across the country, the COVID-19 outbreak has raged unchecked. At these facilities, advocates say that the protocols for prevention of infections are simply not being followed as stringently as they should be in order to avoid a massive outbreak. Basic protocols like wearing of personal protection equipment have not been followed at these homes. In addition, hand-washing and hygiene protocols have also been neglected.

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The weather is getting warmer and the roadways have been emptier than they normally are.  This combination can make for a motorcyclist’s dream.

The National Safety Council has deemed the month of May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.   This is the time to bring awareness to both motorcyclists and drivers alike to the special safety challenges faced by motorcycle riders.

Although riding a motorcycle can be an exhilarating experience, it also comes with some sobering statistics.  Fatal accidents among motorcycle riders and passenger vehicles have more than doubled in the past 20 years.  Since 2017, motorcycle accidents account for 14% of all traffic related deaths.  Of these motorcycle death, older riders, age 50 and up, accounted for 36% of the deaths.  What’s more, 91% percent of those who died in motorcycle accidents were male.   And in a recent study, statistics showed that more motorcycle accidents occurred during the weekday versus the weekend.  The study also released that accidents that occurred at night were more serious, and often fatal, than those accidents that occurred during the daytime.

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The number of vehicles on our roads has plunged during the pandemic, but the risk from reckless and speeding drivers is ever present. According to the Governors’ Highway Safety Association, there has been an increase in reckless driving across the country since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Governors’ Highway Safety Association recently released a news alert urging motorists to adhere to their regular safe driving routines to avoid accidents, especially during these highly uncertain times.

The lower number of vehicles on the roads seems to have triggered a false sense of confidence among motorists during the pandemic that they are able to disregard normal driving laws. The organization is reporting an increase in speeding across the country. Several states have reported finding drivers now frequently exceeding the 100-mile an hour mark. In some states, drivers have routinely been found to be driving at speeds exceeding 20 to 40 miles over the limits. Many states are also seeing an increase in negligent or reckless driving.

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During the difficult recent times, there are limited options for people to engage in outdoor or recreational activity.  For those who own a boat, being out on the lake may be one of the few options left. Boating at anytime of the day or year must be approached with skill and care.  However, boating at night presents its own unique challenges.

Boating at night time is not something we recommend, because of the diminished visibility as well as the fact that sudden surprises or dangers might blindside you on the water in the dark. However, many Atlanta boaters do enjoy being out on a boat after sundown. In some cases, people may find themselves inadvertently stuck out on the water well past sundown, and have to make their way back to shore.

There are safety precautions that you can follow, however, to keep yourself and everyone on your boat safe at night. For one, understand all of the safety precautions that you follow during the day also apply, and even more stringently, at night. Most importantly, you absolutely must not be operating the boat without any boating experience or without basic boat safety training.

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If you are injured in an accident, oftentimes the last thing that may be on your mind is starting a lawsuit.  However, your injuries may be severely impacting your ability to work, to interact with your family and to live your daily life.  And, more often than not, if your injuries were the result of someone else’s negligence, your attempts to recover compensation from the other party’s insurance company may not be as successful as you would like.  That’s the time when you may have to consider filing a lawsuit to recover for your injuries.

When it comes to filing a lawsuit, timing is critical.  All states have a time limit for when a lawsuit must be filed.  This is called the statute of limitations which defines the time limits in which an individual may file a civil claim. This time limit ensures that claims are filed while evidence is still available, and it also prevents a party from threatening to sue long after a conflict has been resolved.

In Georgia, the statute of limitations varies significantly according to the type of claim. There is a two-year statute of limitations for personal injuries and fraud, while the state enforces a four-year statute of limitations for trespassing, debt collection, and injuries to personal property. A civil suit alleging libel or slander must be filed within one year, and medical or other professional malpractice claims must be made within two years or a maximum of five years after the act.

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Being in a car accident is enough to ruin anyone’s day.  But when you are a victim of a hit and run accident, it can double a person’s frustrations.

If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, Georgia law requires a driver to stop after an accident and provide identifying information to the other people involved.  In any accident which results in injury or death to a person, or damage to a vehicle, a driver is required to stop at the scene of the accident and provide his or her name, address, and registration number of their vehicle.  The requirement to information applies to any driver who is involved in a motor vehicle accident, regardless of who is at fault.  There are some who may think that they are not required to exchange information with the other vehicle if the police are not called to the scene of the accident.  However, this requirement also holds true even if the police are not called to the accident.

Georgia law also requires a person to provide reasonable aid or assistance if a person is injured as a result of the motor vehicle accident.  This can include calling an ambulance or even transporting the injured person to receive medical care.  If the injury victim is unconscious or unable to communicate, the other driver is required to make reasonable efforts to contact the police and emergency medical treatment.

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