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Downtown Atlanta has no shortage of bars, clubs and other nightspots.  Patrons of these establishment need to know that while they are great places to unwind and have some fun, they must also be aware that these places can often be crime and injury magnets.

Nightclub owners must make sure that their premises are safe for patrons.  This includes taking action to prevent falls in the dark unlit areas, as well as taking precautions against crimes like rapes and assaults, and even the threat of terrorism.

All staff must be trained in safety protocols, and these must be followed stringently. Make sure that entry to the club is restricted to persons above the age of 21 only.  Safety checks of all patrons should be enforced to prevent and dangerous or violent occurrences.  Staff should be thoroughly trained about identifying clues that require notification of management immediately.

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The U.S. Department of Transportation is looking to relax current federal regulations that govern the amount of time commercial truck drivers can be on the road without taking a rest break.  This could lead to an increase of fatigued truck drivers on the nation’s highways which, in turn, could result in more deadly trucking accidents.

Current regulations limit the drive time of long-haul commercial truck drivers to 11 hours of a 14-hour on-duty day.  A driver must then take 10 consecutive hours off before the clock can start again, and if they are going to be driving for more than 8 hours, they must take a rest break of a minimum of 30 minutes before they can drive again.  Essentially a driver cannot exceed 70 hours of driving in eight days. This is known as the 70-hour rule.

Even with such drive time regulations for commercial truck drivers, serious accidents involving fatigued truck drivers are all too common.  In 2017, there were 4,657 fatal truck crashes, a 10% increase from the prior year.  A study by the National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) found that a significant percent of fatal accidents involving truck drivers was caused by fatigue.  In fact, sleep deprivation and fatigue has been noted to be one of the most frequent causes of fatal large truck accidents.   The NTSB has recognized that truck driver fatigue is a “pervasive problem” and has declared reducing fatigue-related accidents as one of its “most wanted” safety improvements of 2019-2020.

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A large number of boating accidents on Georgia’s lakes and rivers are linked to alcohol consumption. Unfortunately, far too many boaters believe that the “no drinking and driving” rules that apply when they are driving a car no longer apply when they are operating a boat.

According to statistics, about 16 percent of all boating accidents are linked to boaters operating a watercraft under the influence of alcohol. Unfortunately, far too many boaters believe that it is okay to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol, even though the same boater would never engage in drunk driving.

The effects of alcohol on your brain are the same whether you’re on water or land. In fact, the effects of alcohol may be even more dangerous on water for a number of reasons.   Being exposed to the sun, heat and humidity while out on the water can make you dehydrated and intensify the effects of the alcohol.   The frequent movements or rocking motions of the boat can lull an alcohol-impaired person into a false sense of complacency and security. The noise and vibrations of the craft can also make the effects of the alcohol more potent than they seem behind the wheel of the car.

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Summer is here which means more people are out walking or riding their bikes.  This also means that there more pedestrians and bicyclist are at risk of being struck by a motorist while enjoying their activity.  Preliminary data shows that pedestrian and bicyclist accident deaths increased last year, even though there was a slight drop in the number of traffic accident fatalities recorded in 2018.

The agency projected estimates of the total number of traffic accident fatalities for 2018, and believes that that number may be in the range of 36,750. That is a one percent increase from the number of deaths that occurred in 2018.

That is the good news. The bad news is that there was a significant 4 percent increase in the number of pedestrian accident fatalities recorded last year. Overall, pedestrian accident deaths increased from 12 percent of all traffic accident deaths in 2017, to 16 percent of all deaths in 2018.  Further, bicycling accident fatalities, according to agency data, are projected to increase by 10 percent.

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When you are being treated at the hospital, it is not uncommon for you to interact more with the nurses than with the doctors.   And because of that, the nurse’s role plays a critical part in your treatment.  Many patients are not aware, however, that a nurse’s emotional and mental well-being can have a significant impact on the safety of the patients under his or her care.

There is enough research indicating that hospitals need to invest more in the mental well-being of their nursing staff. Earlier studies have indicated that depression is a fairly common problem among registered nurses. A study published last year in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that far too many nurses report below-average emotional and mental health.

Out of the 1,790 nurses who were included in the study, more than half reported struggling with problems like depression and reported poor mental well being. The lack of well-being also seemed to be directly linked to the risk of medical errors.  In fact, the study found a 26 to 71 percent higher likelihood of the person committing a medical error as a result of their compromised mental condition.

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Summer road-trip season is here, which means thousands of people will hit the roads all throughout the country to travel to their vacation destinations.  Oftentimes these trips involve long drives, sometimes overnight, on a seemingly endless stretch of highway.   During these long road-trips, many drivers will ignore the need to stop and rest adequately, and continue to drive until they reach their destination.   Unfortunately, thousands of people are killed every year in accidents that involve drowsy or fatigued drivers. The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety was recently awarded a grant that will be used to combat this dangerous driving situation.

Drowsy driving is a widespread phenomenon. According to data from the Governors Highway Safety Association, in 2015, at least 5,000 deaths were attributed to traffic accidents caused by drowsy drivers. The National Sleep Foundation estimates that at least 50 percent of American drivers frequently drive under the influence of sleep or fatigue. More than 40 percent of drivers admit to having fallen asleep while driving at least once in the past.

The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety recently received a $15,000 grant from the Governors Highway Safety Association and the National Road Safety Foundation to aid in its campaign against drowsy driving in the state.  The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety strives to promote awareness of the dangers of drowsy driving which is a dangerous but overlooked hazard on Georgia’s roads.

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There have been some cases in the news recently about claims for personal injuries after slip and fall accidents against national retailers and hotel chains.  In one case, a customer in the retail store H&M in Pennsylvania slipped and fell on a wet floor at the entrance.  In another case, a guest at a Hyatt hotel in Houston slipped and fell on a wet floor after it had been mopped by an employee.  In both cases, the injured victim claims that the property owner failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the accident and their resulting injuries.

The injuries sustained in a slip and fall accident can be very serious.  Often times these injuries can involve fractured or broken arms or legs, but can also include a head injury or even a broken neck.  Needless to say, these injuries can have a devastating affect on the injured victim as well as the injured person’s family.  Compensation for these types of injuries can include not only compensation for the medical bills and any future treatment, but also compensation for lost wages and loss of services and companionship to the victim’s family.

The Atlanta area, and the state of Georgia as a whole, is home to a countless number of retailers, restaurants and hotels where thousands of patrons and guests frequent on a daily basis.  At all of these types of properties, the owner or occupier of the property has a duty to exercise reasonable care to make sure the property where the customers or guests will be is safe.  This undoubtedly includes the floor surfaces within the property.

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Riding a motorcycle can be a thrilling experience.  But there is no denying that it can be a dangerous activity on the increasingly congested roads of the metro Atlanta area.  Motorcycle fatalities occur at a rate that is 28 times higher than for deaths in car accidents and other types of accidents. In 2017, there were over 5,000 motorcycle fatalities nationwide.  In Georgia, over 260 motorcyclist died in fatal accidents in 2018.

If you are planning to ride a motorcycle, there are a few simple steps you should take to stay safe on the roads.

First of all, make sure you are properly licensed and trained. You may have many years of experience driving a car, but that does not adequately prepare you to take to the road on two wheels without proper training. Take a proper motorcycle safety training and education program. In Georgia, you require a Class M license to operate or ride a motorcycle anywhere in the state. You will have to pass a riding test and clear a motorcycle inspection before you receive a license.

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Drunk driving kills.  Anyone who has been in a car accident, especially one that was caused by a drunk or distracted driver, will tell you that they wished there were more safety measures available to protect them.  Car manufacturers today have been steadily designing more and more safety and driver protection features, whether it is anti-lock brakes, vehicle detection sensors or even auto-steering.   Self-driving cars are now touted as the ultimate driver safety feature.  One manufacturer, however, is developing technology geared specifically to protect other drivers from drunk or distracted driver.  If the new auto technology that is being developed by Volvo is successful, the chances of you being injured by a drunken motorist could drop significantly.

The Swedish automaker recently announced that it has been working on technology that will allow a car to gauge whether the driver is impaired or driving while under the influence of alcohol. If the technology determines that the driver is indeed impaired and could be at risk of causing an accident, the car will actually report the driver to the police.

Volvo’s autonomous technology has already blazed trails with its forward collision warning systems and other technologies that take over control of the automobile when a motorist is at risk of crashing with objects or pedestrians in the car’s path. Now, the Swedish automaker is designing technology that will go one step further in cracking down on drunk, or even distracted, driving.

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When you have suffered an injury as the result of a slip and fall accident, you may be able to file a claim for compensation. However, Georgia law has a provision called comparative negligence that essentially allows for a reduction of your compensation if it is found that you, the injured party, were responsible for your accident and injuries.

In any slip and fall accident claim, merely suffering a slip and fall accident on another person’s property is not sufficient for you to recover compensation for your injuries. You must be able to prove that the property owner was negligent in his duty to exercise reasonable care and caution in ensuring the premises are safe.  If the owner can prove that he could not possibly have known of the hazard on his property or the risk it posed, you may not have a successful claim.

Georgia’s comparative negligence laws make the burden on the plaintiff or the injured party bringing the claim even heavier.  These laws allow for property owners to claim that an injured party was at least partly responsible for his injuries. This allows the property owner to reduce his liability in the accident.

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