March 2011 Archives

March 28, 2011

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month

In an effort to increase understanding about traumatic brain injury, the Brain Injury Association of America (BIA) recognizes every March as National Brain Injury Awareness Month. According to the BIA, a traumatic brain injury happens every 23 seconds in the United States - that's approximately 1.7 million traumatic brain injuries each year.

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can have a devastating impact on the victim and their family. These types of injuries typically require extensive medical care, which can put a financial strain on the victim's family. In some cases, a person suffering from a brain injury may be unable to return to work and could require assisted living. Traumatic brain injuries can result from several causes including car accidents, falls, physical assault, or sports. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 135,000 traumatic brain injuries treated each year in the United States are linked to sports and recreational activities.

Brain Injury and Car Accidents

Car accidents are one of the major causes of brain injury in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), car accidents are the cause of 17.3 percent of traumatic brain injuries and lead to 31.8 percent of fatalities linked to traumatic brain injury.

A traumatic brain injury results when there is an impact to the head or when there is sudden acceleration and deceleration, as can be the case in a car accident. The extreme amount of force stemming from a rear-end or head-on collision can cause someone to hit their head somewhere in the vehicle and cause a brain injury. It is important to know that a brain injury can also result when the head is subjected to extreme force without necessarily hitting an object. During an accident where the victim's head goes forward and suddenly stops, the brain moves, causing it to hit one side of the skull, and in some cases, both sides of the skull.

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March 21, 2011

Boating Under the Influence (BUI) in Florida

Spring is upon is in South Florida, which means more tourists, busier roadways and the start of boating season. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's (FWC) latest statistics, there were 982,470 registered vessels in Florida in 2009 - over 45,000 of which are registered in Broward County.

Of the top 10 counties in Florida with the most boating accidents in 2009, Broward County ranked number 5, with 30 accidents and 12 injuries. Palm Beach County ranked number 3, with 56 accidents, 21 injuries and 3 fatalities. Miami-Dade County ranked number 2, with 62 accidents, 52 injuries and 4 fatalities.

Fort Lauderdale - also known as the boating and yachting capital of the world - is home to thousands of boats and yachts. As our waterways start to attract more spring breakers, boating enthusiasts and locals, it is important to remember boating safety. While many Florida boating accidents are caused by inattentive or inexperienced drivers, many boating accidents are alcohol or drug-related as well. Boating Under the Influence - or BUI - is a serious crime which puts not only the boat driver and their passengers' lives at risk, but other people's lives as well.

A BUI is similar to a DUI in that the arrested person would have a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher (0.02 for boat drivers under 21) and their boat will be impounded, just as a person's car is impounded when they are arrested for a DUI. According to the FWC, alcohol or drug use account for 18.5 percent of boating-related deaths.

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March 14, 2011

Toyota's Latest Recall Affects 2.17 Million U.S. Vehicles

Just one year after Toyota recalled over 2 million vehicles for gas pedal issues resulting in involuntary acceleration, the company is recalling another 2.17 million vehicles due to gas pedals sticking in floor mats or driver's side carpeting.

The models recalled include the Lexus GS, Lexus RX, Toyota Highlander, Toyota 4Runner, Lexus LX and Toyota RAV4. For more details about the recall, visit this report on cnn.com.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) urged Toyota to issue its latest recall following a lengthy investigation. Since 2009, Toyota has recalled over 14 million vehicles worldwide to repair gas pedals and other safety issues. Several wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits have been filed against Toyota because of gas pedal issues resulting in injuries. One lawsuit involves a Houston man who sued Toyota after his wife was killed in a 2009 car accident.

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