May 2012 Archives

May 31, 2012

Gun Deaths Versus Motor Vehicle Deaths in Virginia

There are more gun deaths than motor vehicle related deaths in Virginia and 9 other states then in the rest of the United States. According to a 2009 federal government analysis there were 836 gun deaths and 827 motor vehicle related deaths in Virginia. Many believe this is the case because in the United States firearms are not subject to federal health and safety regulations. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is the organization assigned to regulate and enforce the limited gun laws in the U.S., yet it has none of the health and safety regulatory powers given to other federal agencies.

The other 9 states where gun deaths surpassed motor vehicle deaths are:

Alaska: 104 gun deaths, 84 motor vehicle deaths
Arizona: 856 gun deaths, 809 motor vehicle deaths
Colorado: 583 gun deaths, 565 motor vehicle deaths
Indiana: 735 gun deaths, 715 motor vehicle deaths
Michigan: 1,095 gun deaths, 977 motor vehicle deaths
Nevada: 406 gun deaths, 255 motor vehicle deaths
Oregon: 417 gun deaths, 394 motor vehicle deaths
Utah: 260 gun deaths, 256 motor vehicle deaths
Washington: 623 gun deaths, 580 motor vehicle deaths

May 24, 2012

88 Traffic Cameras to Be Added to the Streets of D.C.

Speed camera.jpgOn May 18, 2012, the D.C. Council approved the implementation of 88 more traffic cameras in the District of Columbia. These new high tech cameras will not only ticket drivers who run red lights and speed, but will now also ticket drivers who block crosswalks and /or speed through green and yellow lights. The fines can be anywhere between $75 and $250.

To date, the District of Columbia has 78 traditional cameras that generate about $55 million a year and with the addition of these new 88 high tech cameras it is expected to generate another $25 million a year. Therefore; there will be 166 cameras in the District of Columbia and $80 million in revenue a year.

Therefore; slow down and don't block the box while driving in D.C., or get ready to pay.

May 21, 2012

Bicycle Safety

According to a 2009 study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 50,000 bicyclists were injured and 630 of them died from automobile related accidents, therefore; before going on the road and riding a bicycle, here are a few tips:

- Always wear a helmet
- Use a bicycle that is the right size for you
- Make sure the tires are inflated to the correct pressure and that the brakes work properly
- Wear bright colors to make yourself visible to motorists
- Install rear and front lights onto you bicycle that are bright and visible
- If at all possible, avoid riding your bicycle at night.

In the United States, bicycles are considered vehicles, so cyclists are expected to follow the same traffic rules as a car driver. Therefore; here are a few rules while riding your bicycle on the street:

- Obey all traffic laws
- Yield to pedestrians
- Ride your bicycle in the same direction as traffic
- Make sure to signal when you make turns
- Be careful near parked cars as someone might suddenly open the door
- Be careful with vehicles coming in and out of driveways or side streets

For more information visit the NHTSA's website

May 3, 2012

The Higher Your Body Mass Index the Less Likely a Driver Is To Buckle Up

Obese SeatBelts.jpgIn a study conducted at the University of Buffalo, using data from the National Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it was determined that 67 percent of normal weight drivers wear seatbelts while obese drivers do not.

Drivers considered to be overweight or obese are determined by their Body Mass Index (BMI). A person who has a BMI of 25 or more is considered obese by the World Health Organization, a person with a BMI of 30-35 is slightly obese, a BMI of 35-40 is moderately obese and a BMI of over 40 is considered morbidly obese. Considering that one-third of the US population is overweight and one-third is considered obese, this is of a great concern.

Obese drivers may find it more difficult to buckle up a standard seatbelt and therefore do not wear a seatbelt as often as normal weight drivers, so that means that the heavier the driver, the less likelihood that seatbelts were used.

Not buckling up is very dangerous because it delivers more force to the body much more quickly while also increasing the chances of being thrown about the car. Therefore, morbidly obese drivers have a 56 percent higher chance of death as a result of an automobile crash than normal weight drivers.