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Trucking Alliance Backs Move for Safer Trucks Through Autonomous Driving Technology

Trucking Alliance Backs Move for Safer Trucks Through Autonomous Driving Technology

Few people would dispute that one of the main dangers on Mississippi roads is the number of large trucks traveling on them. What many people may not know is just why so many fatal accidents are caused. The short answer is: driver error. Anything that can help reduce driver errors on Mississippi highways will reduce the number of innocent people killed and maimed every year. Just look at the statistics for our state, supplied by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Over 280,000 crashes involving large trucks in Mississippi alone; Only a third of truck accidents were on an Interstate. The majority were on rural roads; A third of truck accidents occurred at night; Nearly 90% of fatal truck accidents occurred on a weekday. The main causes of truck accidents in Mississippi are: Driving too fast for the conditions; Distracted driving; Driver fatigue; Reckless or aggressive driving including tailgating; Misjudging changing lanes; Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs Less common reasons for truck accidents included defective brakes, tires or steering; bad weather; load too heavy or badly secured loads. Note that the vast majority of accidents that result in someone being killed or seriously injured are due to driver error of some sort. In the majority of cases when a collision takes place between a large, heavy trucks and a smaller vehicle, such as an auto, the occupants of the smaller vehicle invariably come off worse. Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcycle riders are even more at risk than those in a vehicle with four or more wheels and some sort of all round protection....

Who is affected by the Volkswagen Emissions Scandal?

Widespread vehicle recalls are usually the result of manufacturer’s defects that pose a safety hazard to drivers and their passengers. In recent years, consumers have witnessed large carmakers, like Toyota and GM, issue massive recalls for safety-related issues. For Toyota, it was the result of unintended acceleration in approximately 9 million of their vehicles. For GM, it was an ignition switch defect that was linked to more than a hundred deaths. In September of 2015, Volkswagen (VW) became the most recent automobile manufacturer to make headlines in anticipation of recalling millions of vehicles worldwide. What sets VW apart from the others, however, is the reason for the recall. Where the other manufacturers overlooked known safety hazards, VW is thought to have purposely installed software on millions of their vehicles with an aim at intentionally deceiving consumers and federal regulators. The Volkswagen Defeat Device The software in question has been dubbed the “defeat device.” Its purpose was to boost emissions ratings on VW’s diesel engine vehicles. This sophisticated software could detect when the car was being operated under testing conditions. If the so-called defeat device detected any kind of controlled emissions testing, it would go into a safety mode of sorts that decreased the engine’s performance and overall power. This made the diesel engines’ emissions readout much lower than what it actually was. In fact, when the vehicles in question were driven and tested in real world situations, true emissions results were as much as 40 times that of the legal limit in the United States. Conflicting Emissions Data A European agency was the first to notice discrepancies in VW...

Avandia Sales Slumped on Heart Risks: Adverse Events

On April 25th, 2012, Reuters reported that Avandia sales are collapsing as the drug has been linked to heart risks. Avandia, a popular drug manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, was first approved by the FDA in 1999 to treat Type 2 diabetes in adult patients. GlaxoSmithKline’s first-quarter 2012 sales on the metabolic sector are down 60 percent to £33 million, as Avandia (rosiglitazone) product sales slumped following virtual market removal of the diabetes treatment on safety issues. Several lawsuits have been filed on Avandia side effects. According to court documents, on September 7th, 2011, two plaintiffs, LeMario Holton of Illinois and Rita Catherine Rieger of Delaware, filed a lawsuit in St. Clair County (case no. 11-L-501) alleging they suffered heart attacks and congestive heart failure from their ingestion of Avandia to treat Type 2 diabetes. Plaintiffs claim that they had already begun taking Avandia before warnings of the potential increased risk of heart failure and myocardial ischemia were added to the label in 2007. In May 2007, the New England Journal of Medicine published an independent review of the 2005 clinical data revealing an increase of 43 percent in the risk of heart attacks and an increase of over 60 percent in the risk of cardiovascular death associated with the use of Avandia. AttorneyOne.com, a recognized authority on law, can provide helpful advice and simple solutions including how to get in contact with legal counsel so that, in case of Avandia severe adverse events, someone can easily and inexpensively deal with it. As Mr. Burke, director of media relations for AttorneyOne.com, added, “What all this information really illustrates is that threat...

NOAA Scientists Still Studying Mississippi Dolphins

Researchers with NOAA are wrapping up a two-year study of dolphins in the Mississippi Sound. They’re looking for any health problems that may be linked to the BP oil spill. During a boat trip on Wednesday, the first dolphin is spotted in the East Pascagoula River. Photographs of the dorsal fin give scientists a “fingerprint”. “By looking at those carefully, you can uniquely identify the animal. And that pattern will change over time. But if you’re doing a long term study, you can usually keep up with how it’s changing,” said Dr. Keith Mullin, a marine mammal researcher with NOAA. Dolphins feeding in the shadow of Ingalls shipyard provide another photo ID opportunity. Two years after the oil spill many questions remain about how the oil spill affected the health of dolphins in the Mississippi Sound. “This is a very big eco-system that was potentially affected by the oil. And it will take time to get to the bottom of the damage that was done,” said Tim Zink, who works in communications for NOAA. NOAA has released the preliminary findings from a study of dolphins in Barataria Bay, Louisiana, an area which was heavily oiled by the Deepwater Horizon. Researchers there said the results are alarming. “We’ve had some of our researchers indicate they’re the sickest dolphins they’ve ever studied,” said Zink. Those Louisiana dolphins were underweight, anemic and had compromised adrenal glands; symptoms consistent with oil exposure. The NRDA process will determine how many dolphin deaths may be linked to the BP spill. “It’s not like you can go down to Walmart and buy a new dolphin to...

Pollutants Found in Eggs of Minnesota Birds Two Years After Oil Spill

Researchers say they have found traces of pollutants from the BP oil rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico two years ago in the eggs of Minnesota birds. In examining pelican eggs in the largest lakeside colony of American white pelicans in North America, scientists have discovered traces of petroleum compounds as well as remnants of Corexit, a chemical used to break up the oil spill. The birds migrate back to Minnesota after spending the winter in the Gulf, with young pelicans usually spending a year in the warmer climates, Minnesota Public Radio reported. Mark Clark, an ecologist at North Dakota State University, studies pelican eggs and is helping the state Department of Natural Resources look for contaminants that could cause birth defects in developing pelican embryos. “Even if they’re present in small amounts, they may have a large impact on the development,” Clark said. “Any contaminant that makes its way into the bird could be bad, but it could be especially bad if it gets into the egg because that’s where the developing embryo and chick starts. And when things go wrong at that stage, there’s usually no recovery.” Clark said the research on how petroleum affects developing bird embryos is scant, meaning scientists are unsure of what will happen when the pelican eggs hatch. The Environmental Protection Agency has said Corexit contains carcinogens as well as endocrine-disruptors, which Clark said could interfere with growth hormones at play during an embryo’s development. Nearly 80 percent of the eggs tested so far contain Corexit, while 90 percent contained petroleum...

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