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Baltimore Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog

Cardiac patients may be misdiagnosed with an aspirin allergy

Some Maryland patients who suffer from cardiac disease may be told that they have an allergy to aspirin if they have a reaction. In many of these cases, the patients are told to stop taking the effective medication. However, a study by the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology showed that about one-third of these patients had gastrointestinal symptoms, not an allergy to aspirin.

The study analyzed more than 5,000 medical records and found that none of the patients who had reactions to aspirin were tested by an allergist. In 39 percent of the cases, the type of reaction the patient had was not properly documented. About 2.5 percent of the patients were found to have aspirin hypersensitivity, which is not the same thing as an actual allergy.

How drowsy driving impacts Maryland drivers

Speaking at a recently-held forum in Washington, D.C., a representative of the NHTSA said that 5,000 to 7,000 deaths occur each year because of drowsy driving. The forum was part of National Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, which aims to educate drivers in Maryland and around the country about the dangers of getting behind the wheel while tired. The NHTSA representative was a former National Transportation Safety Board member who shared data collected by that agency over the past several years at the forum.

Between 2001 and 2012, nearly 40 percent of all major highway investigations conducted by the NTSB included fatigue driving as one factor that contributed to the incident. Overall, 20 percent of all major accident investigations involved a fatigued driver. According to a study recently conducted by AAA, approximately 43 percent of the respondents said that they had operated a motor vehicle while nodding off or falling asleep at least once.

The new NHTSA drunk driving campaign

Maryland parents may have seen the October 2015 campaign on 'party fouls," aimed at reducing the prevalence of teenagers getting behind the wheel while drunk. The campaign is a partnership between the Ad Council and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that has continued since the 1980s. Between the debut of the famous 'Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving" campaign in 2005 and 2013, the number of young male drivers who said they would seek transportation as opposed to driving while buzzed increased from 38 to 47 percent.

The NHTSA campaign uses iPhone footage and seeks to raise awareness among teenagers about the dangers of drinking and driving. Nearly one-quarter of teenage drivers who are involved in fatal car accidents have alcohol in their system. Car accidents are a leading cause of death among American teenagers. Despite the legal drinking age of 21 in the United States, teen drinking remains a fatal problem.

Running red lights leads to serious consequences

Red-light running remains a serious concern in Maryland and around the country. An estimated 165,000 people are injured by red-light runners each year. In 2008, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 762 fatalities resulted from people who had broken the law and ran red lights at intersections causing crashes, and approximately half of those victims were not the violators, but pedestrians, drivers or passengers hit by the person running the red light.

In a 1999 survey, one in three respondents claimed that they knew someone who had been injured or killed in a red-light related intersection accident caused by a negligent driver. In another survey, 97 percent of drivers believed that those who run red lights are a threat to others who are on the road. Nevertheless, red-light running remains a major safety concern at intersections despite measures such as cameras and automated enforcement.

Determining fault in an autonomous car crash

According to Google, 94 percent of car accidents are attributed to human error. It is believed that making the transition to autonomous vehicles could significantly reduce the number of collisions in Maryland and around the country. However, there is still a chance of an accident occurring regardless of who or what controls the vehicle. Currently, several automakers plan to introduce autonomous vehicles in the future or have begun testing them already.

However, these vehicles tend to have trouble in rainy or snowy weather, and they have difficulty understanding hand signals from pedestrians. Therefore, it is expected that the first autonomous cars to be sold to consumers may not be 100 percent effective. In the event of an accident, there is some question as to who would be responsible for compensating those involved for damages.

Low oxygen levels may be dangerous in perinatal period

As Maryland parents likely know, the amount of oxygen a baby receives before and during the birthing process and after birth is important. Low levels of oxygen might cause significant difficulties for the baby and result in multi-organ problems. There are ways to recognize perinatal asphyxia as birth progresses and increase oxygen saturation to both the mother and the child.

Low oxygen levels, or hypoxia, may cause acidosis. This lowers the pH level in the baby's body. The initial symptoms may be insidious and not recognized. There are ways to identify hypoxia with careful monitoring and suspicion of low oxygen in some mothers.

Head-on collision leads to 4-vehicle accident on bridge

An accident took place in Maryland on Sept. 28 involving four vehicles at around 7:55 a.m. The collision occurred on the Thomas Johnson Bridge, and charges are pending against the driver believed to be responsible. He was operating a 2004 Chevrolet Trailblazer when he crossed into the southbound lane from the north by driving over the solid yellow center line for unknown reasons.

Calvert County Sheriff's Office Deputies, EMS personnel and the Solomon's Volunteer Fire Department all responded to the crash that ended in the southbound lane with one person trapped. The Chevrolet sideswiped a 2014 Toyota SUV, which ripped off the driver side mirror before hitting a 2015 Toyota SUV head-on, and the 2015 Toyota was pushed backwards onto a 2004 Honda passenger car.

Convictions overturned as car defect is revealed

Maryland drivers who own General Motors cars may have heard about a recall the company issued in February 2014 in connection with the ignition switch in 2.6 million of its vehicles. Several people were criminally charged in fatal accidents in which the defect is now considered the cause, and others may be forthcoming. The people had described their cars as increasing speed or stopping on their own and were not believed.

One woman spent three months in jail for reckless driving and involuntary manslaughter after she was the driver in an accident that killed a 16-year-old friend. Her guilty plea has been erased, and she applied to and received compensation from a fund General Motors set up for victims of accidents caused by the defect. Another woman's negligent homicide plea in connection with a 2004 accident has been reversed. A man who pleaded guilty to negligent homicide has since received a settlement and will seek the assistance of General Motors in getting his plea overturned.

Factual information about cancer may improve the outcome

As many Maryland residents know, the effects of having a sense of involvement in personal health can include a longer life span. This is true when it comes to cancer. Several studies show that knowing what type of cancer one has as well as details concerning the treatment protocol a health care professional envisions leads to a better resolution. In addition, not being properly diagnosed leads to a poorer prognosis.

Misdiagnosis is, according to multiple reports, more common than many doctors realize. One Massachusetts study in 2013 found that errors were present in 28 percent of all diagnoses. Certain cancer diagnostic tools also lead to faulty detection. Such errors are found in mammograms and lung scans.When patients are provided with a fully detailed account of the type of cancer, how the doctor intends to treat it and how the cancer will influence the patient's life, it has a favorable effect on overall treatment results. However, some details may not enhance a positive outcome. For instance, being informed of potential side effects may actually be detrimental. Some doctors believe that worry about side effects may affect the immune system, resulting in a poorer outcome.

Accident injuries in Maryland

Maryland residents who have been in auto accidents often incur injuries without realizing that they have been harmed. Whether a victim has suffered serious trauma that is overshadowing less noticeable problems, or the shock of the collision has left an individual unaware that he or she has suffered harm, symptoms may not show up for hours or days after a crash.

One of the most common conditions that is caused by car accidents is whiplash. The stiffness, pain and decreased mobility that occurs with neck injuries may take hours or even days to develop. Whiplash usually involves sprain and strain of the cervical muscles and ligaments, but the pain may also be caused by more serious problems such as spinal fractures and vertebral displacement. People who experience neck pain after being involved in a collision should undergo an examination including X-ray or CT imaging in order to rule out severe injury.

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