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February 2017 Archives

Central database aims to decrease truck accidents

Truck accidents were responsible for the deaths of 3,744 people in 2014, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Approximately 49 people were killed in Maryland alone. These catastrophic collisions are due in part, to distracted, drowsy, drunk and otherwise negligent truck drivers who fail to adhere to the rules of the road. While truck drivers may be given citations, fail drug tests and commit other illegal acts, there has not been a way to track these truckers and their violations. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has proposed the creation of a centralized database that would allow trucking companies access to this very important information.

What factors can lead to a forklift accident?

Forklifts are used in warehouses in Maryland and across the country. While these essential machines are used to move heavy products from place to place, they may pose a critical threat to operators who are not using them correctly. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, nearly 100,000 workers are injured and killed every year as the result of forklift accidents. Employers have a responsibility to ensure their employees receive the proper training on how to use these large machines correctly.

Cognitive distraction II: Technological distractions

The first cognitive distraction study published by AAA focused on determining whether hands-free cellular devices were any less distracting than hand-held cellphones. Surprisingly, the results showed that the hands-free cellphone was only slightly less distracting than the hand-held model. Interestingly enough, the task that measured highest on the distraction scale was the one involving the use of voice-activated technology. Using this information, another study was conducted to find out more about this technology and the cause of distraction to drivers.

False results: Are medical tests really reliable?

When physicians diagnose patients with a condition, they often order a screening test to help them determine whether or not the condition exists. Doctors rely on these tests to provide accurate information, which will ultimately help them provide the right diagnosis to their patients. According to researchers from the National Institutes of Health, however, false positives and false negatives can occur, which may cause doctors to misdiagnose patients or fail to provide a diagnosis at all.  

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