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Startup seeks to reduce trucker fatigue

There are more than 3 million commercial truck drivers in California and across the U.S. Altogether, they carry over 70 percent of the nation's cargo. That's why it's important to keep truck drivers safe on the road, especially when fatigue is becoming more and more of a risk. The average trucker puts in as much as 70 duty hours in a workweek. Every year, an estimated 100,000 crashes occur because of drowsy truck drivers.

However, a startup in Oklahoma may soon be able to make a positive impact on truck driver safety. BlyncSync was started by Oklahoma University graduates three years ago to improve trucker safety and efficiency as well as facilitate relationships between truckers and dispatchers. The company, which is currently working on a scalable business plan with the nonprofit i2E, will begin a pilot program with five trucking businesses in Oklahoma and some other states.

4 common causes of burns

Burn injuries are a severe issue in California and around the world. According to data from the World Health Organization, approximately 180,000 people die each year from burns. In 2018, there were more than 410,000 burn injuries in the United States with around 40,000 of those resulting in hospitalizations. 

You can suffer a burn anywhere, such as at work, in your home or while driving a car. Plus, there are a lot of different types of burns. Fire injuries, electrical burns, scalding injuries and chemical burns are all serious. Here are some of the most common causes of burns.

Operation Safe Driver Week set for July

According to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, the vast majority of commercial truck accidents are caused by driver behavior or error. The CVSA hopes that this year's Operation Safe Driver Week will help lower the frequency of commercial vehicle crashes throughout California and the rest of the United States.

The annual inspection spree is scheduled for July 15 through July 21. This week-long nationwide event includes an enforcement blitz from a wide variety of law enforcement agencies. Overall, the goal is to cut down on the bad driver behavior that leads to fatal collisions. According to the CVSA, truck driver behaviors amount to nearly 90 percent of commercial truck accidents.

People admit to more distracted driving despite dangers

California motorists may be more likely to use their cellphones than in previous years. A study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that since 2013, the number of drivers who said they used their cellphones either fairly often or regularly went up almost 50 percent. However, almost 90 percent said they believed distracted driving was serious in the same way as actions like drunk driving and that it was on the rise.

The survey of more than 2,600 drivers who had driven in the past month and were 16 or older also found that almost 50 percent said they had used a handheld phone, almost 45 percent reported reading an email or text and nearly two-thirds said they had sent one. In spite of these behaviors, almost 58 percent believed that talking on a phone while driving was a safety issue and more than three-fourths said that texting was dangerous. Despite this, a majority did not support banning all cellphone use while driving.

California has a high rate of bicyclist deaths

As one of the largest, most populous states in the nation, California provides ample opportunities for bicyclists to suffer injuries in accidents. The Golden State is also known for its favorable weather year-round, so there is not really such a thing as an off-season for biking. As one of the many Californians who enjoys the exercise and fresh air of a bicycle ride, you should also understand the dangers you face each time you ride near traffic.

Serious bicycle accidents are not a new thing in California. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 147 fatalities among cyclists in the state in 2016, the highest number of cyclists killed in 10 years. Bicyclist fatalities are consistently high in California. The hazards you may encounter on your rides include the following:

  • Congested traffic and few lanes marked specifically for bicycles
  • Drivers who are not paying attention to nearby cyclists or who are distracted
  • Aggressive, reckless, impatient or rude drivers
  • Limited visibility of cyclists, especially at night
  • Obstacles on the road, such as debris or pedestrians
  • Adverse weather conditions

Study reveals common causes of trucking accidents

To highway drivers in California, commercial trucks are a frequent sight. After all, more than 15 million truckers travel the nation's roads every year. However, the number of accidents involving commercial vehicles has risen over 20 percent in the past decade. In an effort to determine common accident causes, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration collaborated on a study of 120,000 fatal truck collisions that occurred over a 33-month period.

Of the crashes studied, the Large Truck Crash Causation Study determined that 68,000 were the trucker's fault. Researchers broke down the causes of these fatal accidents into four distinct categories.

Ford recall for steering wheel, clutch issues

California drivers who drive some Lincoln MKZ or Ford Fusion cars from the years 2014 through 2018 may have had their vehicles recalled. The issue in some vehicles is loosening steering wheel bolts. Drivers could lose control of their vehicles if the steering wheel detaches from the column.

Ford believes that the defect has already caused two accidents and one injury. The faulty bolt can be replaced by dealers who will use a longer bolt with stronger threads. A nylon patch can then hold them in place.

Common causes of commercial truck accidents

If you feel nervous anytime you have to share the road with a commercial truck, you are not alone. Regrettably, when cars and semitrucks collide, cars are frequently on the losing end, and given how substantial a role commercial trucks play in modern business and commerce, the risks are unlikely to subside anytime soon.

In fact, there has been a 20 percent increase in the number of truck accidents occurring on American roadways in the last 10 years, and according to Benzinga, many of today’s commercial trucking accidents arise from similar circumstances.

Instant Pot recalls one type of multi-cooker

California consumers who own an Instant Pot Gem multi-cooker might want to check to see whether their product is one that has been recalled by the company. Instant Pot issued the recall on March 1. One week earlier, the company had said consumers should stop using the cookers while they worked out a solution to the fact that the units are a fire hazard because they can melt after overheating. The recall is for only one of the 14 pots the company makes.

Double Insight, the parent company of Instant Pot, reported more than 100 overheating incidents. Five had led to fires that caused minor damage although there have been no injuries.

NGA report provides guidelines for road safety

Motor vehicle accidents claimed 37,461 lives in California and around the country in 2016, and a further 4.6 million road users were left injured.

Road safety experts say that law enforcement agencies, regulators and legislators must work together to make the nation's streets and highways safer, and a report released on Feb. 6 by the National Governors Association provides recommendations that are designed to help lawmakers achieve this goal. 

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