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Fayetteville Personal Injury Law Blog

Burn injuries in Arkansas

Researchers at a medical school have developed an innovative nanotechnology that has been shown to enhance the healing process of burns. Scientists created a system that releases the biological molecule nitric oxide in combination with a healing action that helps wounds move from the inflammatory stage into the phase of wound mending that supports new tissue growth. The adoption of the new therapy by physicians and health care facilities could have a major impact on the way that burns are treated.

Burns are frequently a reason that people seek medical attention, and nearly half a million cases present themselves in urgent care centers and hospital emergency rooms each year. Treating burns can be tricky because the injury often worsens over the course of a few days depending on the extent of involvement and inflammation. At this time, health care professionals have a limited number of remedies that effectively and efficiently treat severe and complex cases.

Brake inspections yield violations

Motorists on Arkansas roads often see the results of truck accidents. Some accidents are caused by driver negligence, such as speeding and fatigue. Others are the result of negligent truck maintenance.

As part of its annual surprise brake inspection, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance checked more than 50,000 wheels on over 6,300 commercial vehicles around the country and in Canada in May 2015. The inspectors checked for brake component violations as well as brake adjustment violations. As a result of the identified violations, approximately one of every seven inspected vehicles was grounded. The rate of violations is down slightly compared to the results from last year's inspections. Brake-related violations constituted almost one-half of all out-of-service violations during the 2014 International Roadcheck Campaign.

Large truck rollover accidents

Every year in Arkansas and around the country, people are injured in accidents involving large trucks carrying flammable materials. In some of those cases, the accidents happen when the truck rolls over. Across the nation, more than 1,300 cargo tanks roll over every year.

Many people have an idea that such cargo tank rollover accidents happen when the weather is poor, when the truck driver is driving on curvy roads or when a driver is speeding. Statistics demonstrate that those beliefs are not true overall. In 93 percent of rollovers, the roadway is dry at the time, and in 56 percent of them, the rollover occurs on straight roads during the daytime. Only 28 percent of the cases occur while the driver is speeding.

Burns can be very harmful

As many Arkansas residents know, burns can cause significant personal damage and may happen during seasonal activities or due to an accident. Seeking treatment and knowing about the necessary steps to take after the burn occurs may lessen its harmful effects.

The extent of injuries resulting from a burn depends on the tissue damage that occurs. Burns that cover more than 20 percent of the body or ones that involve the face or genitals are considered severe burns. If the burn reaches the deeper tissues, it is referred to as a third degree burn. This type of burn may require extensive treatment since it might damage the muscles, underlying nerves and other structures.

Texting behind the wheel kills more teens than drunk driving

Authorities in Arkansas and around the country have tried for decades to make the roads a safer place for younger drivers. Car accidents are the leading cause of teenager deaths, and this has often been blamed on inexperience behind the wheel made more dangerous by the natural confidence of youth. The issue has been approached with a combination of public awareness campaigns and strict law enforcement, but accident data indicates that these efforts are failing to have a meaningful impact in two key areas. Drunk driving accidents involving teens remain a problem, and the number of distracted driving accidents involving younger drivers is on the rise as well.

Individuals below the legal drinking age of 21 only account for about 10 percent of America's licensed drivers, but they are the cause of approximately 17 percent of the nation's fatal alcohol-related car crashes. Drunk driving crashes claim the lives of 2,000 teens each year, and young drivers will face a DUI charge in most states when even trace amounts of alcohol are discovered during toxicology testing. The legal limit in Arkansas for drivers under the age of 21 is .02 percent.

"See through" technology may reduce truck-related accidents

Motorists in Arkansas who are interested in improved safety on trucking routes may want to know more about the accident-prevention technology that has been introduced by a South Korean electronics company. Samsung has developed and tested what is being called a "safety truck" in Argentina, a country known for a high incidence of traffic accidents.

The technology essentially allows drivers of vehicles following a truck to look through it to the roadway ahead in order to determine when it is safe to pass. According to Samsung, tests indicate that the concept works and that the technology could save many lives.

Thousands of deaths annually a result of drowsy driving

Arkansas drivers may be among the 37 percent that a 2014 study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety say have fallen asleep while driving at some point. The study also found that 11 percent of drivers had fallen asleep at the wheel in the previous 12 months.

These statistics make it seem that people do continue to drive while drowsy even though 96 percent of drivers said that doing so is unacceptable. The study found that more than 20 percent of fatal accidents in 2014 could be attributed at least in part to drowsy driving. Men are twice as likely to drive while drowsy than women are, and most of these accidents occur when drivers drift into another lane. Often, the fatality is the drowsy driver.

The role of speed in Arkansas car crashes

According to the NHTSA, 30 percent of fatal car crashes were related to speeding in 2012, which led to 10,219 deaths. That represented an increase of 2 percent from 2011 when there were 10,001 such deaths reported. The economic impact of such crashes is believed to be about $40.2 billion each year. Male drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 were most likely to have been involved in a speeding-related fatal crash.

Among females, drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 were also the most likely to be involved in a fatal accident in which speeding was a factor. However, they were only involved in 24 percent of these crashes compared to 37 percent for males of the same age range. Both males and females were less likely to be involved in a fatal crash while speeding as they got older.

NTSB recommends mandatory collision avoidance systems

Arkansas drivers may be interested to learn that the National Transportation Safety Board may be in conflict with the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers over making collision avoidance systems mandatory on passenger and commercial vehicles. The NTSB has said that making the systems standard on all new models could save lives and prevent thousands of injuries annually. In the past, however, the industry trade group has stated that consumers should have the choice to purchase a vehicle with such a system.

However, few vehicles come with such systems. The NTSB is arguing that just as people do not have to pay extra to have seat belts in their cars, they should not have to pay for collision avoidance systems. It is estimated that more than four out of five rear-end collisions would be less severe with an avoidance system installed. Approximately half a million people are injured and 1,700 are killed in rear-end crashes each year, according to the federal agency.

Arkansas has high rate of fatal reckless driving car accidents

Fatal car accidents can happen in Arkansas for a variety of reasons. They can be caused by a driver who is impaired by alcohol or drugs, one who fails to observe weather conditions or one who is distracted by a cellphone. A look at statistics that have been compiled regarding what causes these crashes may be helpful in possibly avoiding them.

Research conducted by the Auto Insurance Center examined statistics from all fatal car crashes that were compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the years 2009 to 2013. The data included fatalities to pedestrians as well as drivers and passengers, and was looked at on a state-by-state basis. According to the researchers, careless or reckless driving was the most common reason that motor vehicle fatalities occurred in Arkansas.

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