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Results are in for CVSA's International Roadcheck

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance held its annual International Roadcheck in June. The three-day event ended with 67,502 roadside inspections being conducted across North America, the results of which have just been released. Truck fleet owners in Pennsylvania may be interested in learning about the more unsafe trends.

During the inspection spree, 11,897 vehicles and 2,664 drivers were issued out-of-service orders. The inspections differed in terms of what they covered, but 45,400 were Level I inspections, which are the most comprehensive. Of all trucks that underwent the Level I inspection, 21.6 percent wound up with an out-of-service order.

How to calm an angry dog and avoid getting hurt

Many readers of this blog will know the great dog trainer, Cesar Millan, from his television series, "Dog Whisperer." Millan has offered valuable advice regarding dogs and how to keep them calm to avoid getting attacked and to prevent a dog from attacking others.

Millan claims that one of the most important things anyone can do for a dog is to exude a calm, assertive attitude. According to Millan, asserting a calm, assertive energy is fairly easy to achieve by keeping the following in mind:

FMCSA fielding comments for proposed HOS rule changes

Truckers in Pennsylvania may be interested to know that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently proposed several revisions to the hours-of-service rules. The agency is now fielding comments until September 24 and conducting public listening sessions at various locations before finalizing any of the revisions. The following are just a few of the proposed changes.

The FMCSA may change the 100 air-mile "short-haul" exclusion from 14 on-duty hours to 12. For truckers in bad driving conditions, the agency may allow up to two more on-duty hours for the day; the current limit is 14 hours. It may also revise the rule that truckers take a 30-minute break after eight consecutive on-duty hours. While everyone is required to take 10 off-duty hours, those with sleeper berth compartments may be able to split up the time.

Roundabouts can improve safety at intersections

Many Pennsylvania drivers are aware of certain intersections that are prone to serious car crashes. In some places, roads with speed limits of up to 55 mph can come together with only a stop sign connecting them. These junction points can see serious car accidents that often cause severe injuries or even death. The danger posed by these kinds of intersections is exacerbated when people travel at night or when visibility in the area is obstructed due to vegetation or weather conditions.

There are several actions that traffic authorities can take to improve the safety of these crossings. Planners often decide to install traffic lights, which are shown to reduce the number of car crashes. However, the accidents that do occur can still be severe. Another option is to install roundabouts, or traffic circles. While roundabouts provide less of a reduction in the overall number of accidents, they are far more effective in reducing the types of crashes that lead to serious injuries or fatalities.

A living trust could be a good addition to your estate plan

Although you may struggle with the idea of creating an estate plan, it's something you need to do in order to put your mind at ease. Furthermore, with the right plan in place, your loved ones won't feel nearly as stressed.

There are many things that make up a comprehensive estate plan. While no two people are the same in the approach they take, it's critical to at least consider all of your options.

Risky teen driving can escalate after license approval

Teen drivers in Pennsylvania may be most likely to cause car accidents in the first several months after they receive their driver's licenses. With a learner's permit, a teen driver can only operate a vehicle with another adult driver in the car. However, once these teens receive licenses of their own, they are free to drive on their own. During the first three months of solo driving, newly licensed teens are eight times more likely to have a car accident or experience a near miss in comparison to their last three months of driving accompanied with a permit.

The study, conducted by Virginia Tech and the National Institutes of Health, placed dashcams in the cars of teen drivers, following them from the time they received learner's permits to the end of their first year with driver's licenses. Software that records speed and braking was also installed in the vehicles. The researchers learned that newly licensed teen drivers were more likely to turn sharply, brake quickly and without warning and speed up too rapidly. These driving behaviors led to a number of motor vehicle accidents and near-misses.

Plan your estate now to protect your loved ones and last wishes

Thinking about what happens after you die isn't exactly a pleasant pastime. It isn't surprising that so many people put off planning their estate. While delaying this crucial planning can help you procrastinate in terms of considering your own mortality, it can also leave you and your loved ones at risk.

If you die without a last will, you will not have any control over how the state handles your assets. Instead, the law will dictate which family members receive assets from your estate. More importantly, your wishes and medical preferences won't be available to inform anyone else's decisions. Taking the time now to plan your estate, even if you're relatively young, is a great idea.

All forms of distracted driving are not created equal

Even with distracted driving laws in place, there are millions of people who assume it's okay to take their attention away from the road.

Just because a person engages in distracted driving, it doesn't necessarily mean they'll be part of an accident. However, this behavior absolutely increases your risk.

Important steps to take after a slip-and-fall accident

The steps you take immediately following a slip-and-fall accident will have an impact on what happens in the future. While your health and well-being is more important than anything else, there are other things you need to keep in mind during this challenging time.

Here are some of the basic steps to take:

  • Call for help: You should never assume you can get up, walk it off and receive treatment later on if your injuries don't heal. It's better to be safe than sorry, so call 911 or ask someone to do so for you. The sooner you treat your injuries, the better chance you have of making a full recovery.
  • Notify the store or property owner: This isn't easy to do if you have a serious injury, but it's important to keep in mind. You want to make it clear to the store owner or property owner that you were part of a slip-and-fall accident and may have injuries. This can help protect against a situation in which you are accused of suffering the injury somewhere else.
  • Document everything: The information you collect will come in handy down the road, so make sure you go overboard with respect to the details. Focus on things such as: the circumstances causing the fall, any dangerous conditions and signs warning you of trouble.
  • Follow the advice of your medical team: Again, you don't want to assume that you can let your injuries heal without medical assistance. This is particularly true of serious injuries, such as those to your head, back and/or neck.

Doctor burnout could lead to problems for patients

Research has found a link between doctor burnout and significant medical errors. These errors could put patients in Pennsylvania and throughout the country in significant danger. Burnout occurs when a person faces extreme emotional fatigue after spending too much time on the job. As many as half of all Americans may be burned out at any given time, and it is more common in jobs that cause a lot of stress.

If a doctor is experiencing burnout, he or she may be prone to ordering too many tests or improperly prescribing medication. Individuals who are burned out may also make errors in diagnosing patients. To preserve the mental health of medical professionals, employers should limit the number of hours they work. There should also be an upper limit as to how much paperwork they are required to do in a given time period.

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