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In a previous blog post, we addressed the national Labor Day Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest. campaign and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) drunk driving survey. With groundbreaking data from the survey reflecting that 8% of all drivers have operated a motor vehicle while drunk at least one time during the past year, law enforcement was on high alert over the weekend to help keep motorists, passengers, and pedestrians safe.

No traffic fatalities were reported in San Diego County for the first 60 hours of the Labor Day weekend, according to the California Highway Patrol. A recent news story states that the reporting period started at 6:01 p.m. Friday and ended at 6 a.m. on Monday. During this timeframe, the CHP made 72 arrests throughout San Diego on surface streets and highways for motorists driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. However, this number does not take into account any drunk driving arrests made by city police officers. One reported traffic fatality was reported in 2009 and 82 drivers were arrested for DUI.

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Study Highlights Prospective Spinal Cord Injury Treatment

Traumatic spinal cord injuries affect nearly 1.25 million people in the U.S., leading to incomplete or absolute paralysis and a loss of sensory below the point of injury. A recent Reuters story reports that a study published in the Public Library of Science Journal has revealed the potential of fixing damaged spinal cords within weeks or even months after an accident.

The study’s results derive from immature human nerve cells that were transferred into the spines of mice, in which the mice were able to walk better after the insertion. Some mice received the cells a month after their spines were surgically severed, which demonstrates that the potential of spinal cord injury treatment may exceed the few days after an accident in order to be successful.

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Commercial vehicle drivers, including tractor trailer and bus operators, are required to follow state and federal laws relating to driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs in addition to many other rules and regulations to ensure motorist and passenger safety. Bus drivers who transport passengers while under the influence of alcohol or drugs do a huge disservice to the public. They are not only putting their own lives at risk, but also the lives of others on the road and passengers who trust them to safely transport them from one place to the next.

According to a 10News.com article, a bus driver in San Diego is expected to confess to driving under the influence, drunk driving in a commercial vehicle, and public drunkenness for a June 1 incident. Before his arrest, the 41-year old had been driving for the bus operator, First Transit, for three months. A passenger of the bus reported the driver, saying that he was driving slow and stopped at bus stops that did not have anyone waiting at them.

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A bike crash in La Mesa left a cyclist with serious injuries after he was struck by a trolley, a News10.com article reports. The male bicyclist was taken to the hospital after being hit around 5:20 p.m. close to the Amaya Station. Although it is not known at this time what caused the accident, several bicyclists are injured due to motorist distraction or negligence, dangerous roadways or improper signage, and even defective auto parts that cause a vehicle to lose control and strike a cyclist. Since this particular bicycle accident involved a trolley, it is likely that investigators will examine the trolley driver’s actions in the moments leading up to the crash.

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A preliminary hearing has been set for a 19-year old driver who struck and killed a 4-year old boy, a 10News.com article reports. The motorist is being charged with hit-and-run causing death and has been accused of not stopping after hitting the child on South Encanto Street in San Diego. According to the article, the driver dragged the young boy for 25 feet and returned to the scene of the accident after telling his mother that he thought he struck someone. If the teen is convicted, he may face up to four years in prison in addition to other possible charges.

This fatal hit-and-run San Diego pedestrian accident emphasizes the serious consequences of drivers failing to see pedestrians and not stopping at the scene of a crash. Not only does a motorist potentially face criminal charges, but he or she may also face civil penalties to compensate an injury victim or a wrongful death victim’s family.

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As the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Labor Day Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest. Campaign continues (the DUI crackdown began on August 20 nationwide and will last until September 6), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released new data on August 25 revealing that one in five U.S. drivers has admitted to drinking and driving. This data indicates that 8% of all motorists, which amounts to approximately 17 million individuals, have operated a vehicle while drunk at least once during the past year. Considering that the Governors Highway Safety Association notes that 12,000 people nationwide were killed in accidents in 2008 involving drivers or motorcyclists with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, the need for emphasizing the consequences of drunk driving to the public cannot be stressed enough.

The NHTSA drunk driving survey shows that an estimated one in five U.S. drivers have driven within two hours of consuming alcohol within the past year. Even so, four out of five Americans consider drunk driving a “major threat” to their own personal safety as well as to that of their families. The study also revealed a significant trend of drinking and driving among young motorists, especially in young males.

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Construction work involves several inherently dangerous tasks that are frequently performed under hazardous conditions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that although approximately 8% of U.S. workers are in the construction industry, about 22% of fatalities occur within this division. In comprising the largest number of on-the-job deaths reported for any of the industry fields, understanding common causes of San Diego construction accidents is one step towards prevention.

In order to help prevent construction accident injuries and fatalities, workers should be aware of the following risks:

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The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has fined SeaWorld $75,000 for the death of a trainer at the Orlando theme park in February. The Orlando Sentinel reports that the federal fine raises the question of trainer safety when interacting with orcas during the well-liked Shamu show at SeaWorld parks in San Diego, Orlando and San Antonio. If the penalty remains intact, SeaWorld may be required to adhere to new safety standards and even eliminate their popular attraction that involves trainers swimming with killer whales. Ever since the SeaWorld employee’s death, SeaWorld establishments have prohibited trainers from entering the tanks with the whales.

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A head-on car accident in San Diego close to Qualcomm Stadium resulted in two drivers sustaining several broken bones. According to 10News, one of the injured motorists, a 70 year old man, lost control of his Ford pickup truck as he was headed westbound. As a consequence, the man suddenly changed direction and crossed the roadway, striking an oncoming small passenger Dodge Stratus being driven by a 25 year old man.

The impact was so great that firefighters had to free both men from their smashed vehicles. The older man endured rib, hand, foot, and thigh bone fractures and the younger man required emergency care for breaks in both of his femurs. While it is unclear at this time why the pickup truck driver lost control and veered into oncoming traffic in the opposite lane, distracted driving or driver fatigue may have played a role.

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