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Don’t make one of these 7 estate planning mistakes

Do you cringe at the thought of creating an estate plan? Do you worry that your current estate plan is missing something important?

It's never easy to contemplate your own mortality and complete your estate planning, but if you take on the responsibility of doing so you can feel peace of mind about your decisions.

Do you know how to pinpoint an impaired driver?

Even though you personally understand how dangerous it can be to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, never lose sight of the fact that others don't always take the same level of caution.

It doesn't matter if you're driving in your home state of Pennsylvania or another part of the country, there is always a chance you could find yourself in close proximity to a drunk driver.

FMCSA reports increase in fatal truck crashes

A new report called the 2016 Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts shows that the number of commercial trucks involved in fatal crashes rose by 3 percent in the year in question. This was published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the agency that regulates the U.S. trucking industry. Truckers in Pennsylvania will therefore want to know more about this increase and what the FMCSA thinks is causing it.

In 2015, there were 4,074 fatal truck crashes. This number increased to 4,213 in 2016. The actual number of victims also rose from 4,094 to 4,317. Of that number, 665 were truck occupants in 2015. Truck occupants constituted 722 victims in 2016. While over 60 percent of the accidents took place in rural areas, 27 percent were on interstate highways. Many took place on rural interstate highways. Also, one in every three fatal crashes took place between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Objects left inside body after surgery considered never event

People awaiting surgeries in Pennsylvania naturally have concerns about complications. The case of a woman in Japan who had surgical sponges that had been left in her abdominal cavity for years illustrates the possibility of what the medical community calls a never event. These are things that medical providers should never let happen.

The 42-year-old woman sought medical treatment for abdominal bloating that had persisted for three years. Her physician could feel two masses near her right and left hips and ordered a CT scan. The scan showed two masses that appeared to be made of very dense material. During the subsequent surgery, physicians took the masses out of her paracolic gutters between the colon and abdominal wall.

Be sure to take these steps after a car accident

Even if you've been lucky enough to avoid trouble on the road in the past, you never know what could go wrong in the future.

In the event of a car accident, you'll have a lot going through your mind. Not to mention the fact that you may be facing some serious injuries, ranging from broken bones to a concussion (among others).

Coalition identifies initiatives to eliminate traffic deaths

Traffic fatalities may drop in the years ahead for Pennsylvania drivers if the efforts of one transportation safety coalition are successful. The 675 members of the Road to Zero Coalition hope to completely eliminate traffic deaths by the year 2050. In 2016, the number of traffic fatalities rose 5.6 percent from the previous year to 37,461.

The coalition has identified a number of initiatives to make roads safer. For example, it wants to encourage a cultural shift toward prioritizing safety over behaviors such as speeding and driving while distracted or under the influence. It has also set a goal to bring seat belt compliance up to 100 percent from the current 90 percent. It's important to note that half of the people who die in car accidents fall in the 10 percent group not wearing seat belts.

Helping your parents manage their estate plan

As your parents grow older, they will probably need some help handling their estate plan sooner or later. Whether they created an estate plan some time ago or have not created one at all and need help to avoid financial disaster, your assistance may have an enormous impact on their ongoing quality of life.

If you find yourself taking the reigns of your parents' estate plan for any reason, you must navigate a number of complex systems very carefully to keep your rights secure and ensure that your parents' best interests remain protected.

Distracted driving is avoidable

Does your mind ever wander as you drive down the road? Do you ever take your eyes off the flow of traffic to answer your phone, see what's going on in the back seat or look at a passenger?

Even if you do your best to avoid distracted driving, you may still be susceptible. Fortunately, once you're in the habit of doing of avoiding distractions, it's much easier to practice good driving techniques and overall safety while on the road.

Startup company testing wearable tech to combat trucker fatigue

Truckers in Pennsylvania often face grueling hours behind the wheel. They might work as many as 70 hours in eight days, and their weariness too often contributes to truck accidents. At least 100,000 crashes every year happen because truckers get sleepy. A new technology company founded by recent university graduates plans to help truckers with safety glasses that measure their blinks. The glasses would alert drivers when their blinking patterns indicate drowsiness.

The company's CEO said that yawning, head tilting and blinks provide reliable warning signs about someone losing focus and nodding off. He described the glasses as an improvement upon in-cab cameras that monitor drivers. The glasses perform with greater accuracy and intrude upon truckers less than cameras.

Dog owners are responsible for medical costs resulting from a bite

The majority of dogs you encounter are probably friendly, well-trained and safe. However, it only takes one poorly trained or inadequately restrained animal to put you and your family at risk for serious injury. Dogs of all sizes, ages and breeds can attack and bite humans with little provocation, leaving behind both physical and emotional injuries that require treatment and care.

If you or someone you love has suffered a dog bite injury, you're probably already wondering about your legal rights. Every case is different, but understanding Pennsylvania laws about dog ownership and liability can help you determine your best options. You do not have to quietly accept the costs associated with a dog bite. In many situations, the dog's owner is responsible for at least the associated medical costs.

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