Are Lenient Traffic Laws Making Texas More Dangerous?

  • August 27, 2018
  • Evans & Herlihy

It may not be much comfort if you're the one getting a traffic ticket, but drivers in the Lone Star State may actually be getting off easy compared to other parts of the country. But does lax enforcement of traffic laws make a state less safe? A recent report from personal finance site Wallet Hub puts Texas at the bottom of the list of "Strictest States on Speeding and Reckless Driving." The state ranked 51st overall in a study that collected data from all 50 U.S. states as well as Washington D.C. The study assigned points to states based on several metrics related to speeding and reckless driving; the points were totaled to arrive at the overall strictness rank. Among the factors that kept Texas in last place are: Speeding is not[...]

Big Risks for Big Rigs: Why Are Fatal Large Truck Crashes Increasing?

  • August 20, 2018
  • Evans & Herlihy

Every day, tractor-trailers share the roads with cars, pickups, and SUVs. But what some tractor-trailers don't share is the advanced safety technology that helps the passenger vehicles stay accident-free. According to Consumer Reports, research shows that safety features currently available in passenger cars, such as a forward collision warning (FCW) and automatic emergency braking (AEB), are reducing crashes as they become more available. Now, experts are wondering if those features could help curb a disturbing trend: the increase in deaths in crashes involving large trucks. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 37,461 people died on the road in 2016, the last year for which statistics are available – a[...]

This Mobile App Could Test Driver Impairment

  • June 12, 2018
  • Evans & Herlihy

When the police ask you to take a Breathalyzer test, it's usually already too late. The damage -- sometimes property damage, sometimes injury or loss of life -- has already been done. But what if there were a way you could tell if you were impaired before you got behind the wheel? Well, there’s an app for that. DRUID is one of a recent (and ever-growing) crop of phone-based applications that allow drivers to measure their level of impairment before they turn the key. How It Works DRUID, which was specifically formulated to measure impairment from marijuana, asks users to complete a series of cognitive and physical tasks while sober to establish a baseline performance score. Reaction time, decision making, hand-eye coordination, bala[...]

Dusting off Your Motorcycle This Spring? Here’s a Safety Checklist

  • April 6, 2018
  • Evans & Herlihy

If you’re one of the more than 400,000 licensed motorcyclists in Texas, warmer weather means hitting the open road on your favorite two-wheeled vehicle. But if your bike’s been sitting in a garage for a while, make sure you inspect it before taking that first spring ride. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation recommends that riders complete an annual T-CLOCS inspection, which stands for tires/wheels/brakes, controls, lights/electrics, oil/fluids, chassis, and stands. Here’s what that entails: Tires/wheels/brakes Tires - Check the tread depth, and look for signs of wear, cracks, embedded objects, or bulges. Check the manufacturer’s recommended air pressure, and test your air pressure when the tires are cold. Inflate if necessary.[...]

Safety Tips for ‘March Madness’ in San Antonio

  • March 16, 2018
  • Evans & Herlihy

The NCAA men’s basketball playoffs – otherwise known as March Madness – will end in San Antonio this year, with the four-day Final Four event. The city anticipates around 93,000 visitors will attend the events and games between March 30 and April 2. All of the events that weekend will be downtown, so traffic congestion is likely to be heavy. If you’re planning to attend Final Four events, keep the following safety tips in mind. Use alternative transportation If you plan on drinking alcohol, or if you’d rather not deal with the hassle of finding a parking spot, there are plenty of alternatives to driving. For $5, adults can buy a round-trip bus ticket from Madla Station, Blossom Athletic Center, or Crossroads Park & Ride [...]

Are Doctors Prescribing Unnecessary Medications?

  • May 30, 2017
  • Evans & Herlihy

Do you need medication to control your blood pressure? According to Consumer Reports, the answer depends on whom you ask. Blood pressure consists of two measurements – systolic pressure and diastolic pressure. The normal systolic pressure range is 90 to 120, and the normal diastolic range is 60 to 80. Consumer Reports says that the American College of Physicians recommends blood pressure medications for people age 60 and older only if systolic pressure is above 150, whereas the American Heart Association advocates blood pressure medicine when systolic pressure exceeds 140. High blood pressure and high LDL cholesterol levels increase one’s risk for heart attack and stroke. When LDL cholesterol levels are high, doctors may recommen[...]

Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries Killing High School Football Players

  • March 14, 2017
  • Evans & Herlihy

Researchers at the University of North Carolina released a report in January about the prevalence of fatal brain and spinal cord injuries in high school and college football players. The report stated that 24 high school athletes and four college players died from brain or spinal cord injuries between 2005 and 2014. Given that about 1.1 million high school students and 75,000 college students play football, deaths from brain and spinal cord injury are rare. But these deaths point to a need for additional research on how to protect young athletes. Common Factors The UNC researchers found that 58 percent of the high school deaths and all of the college deaths occurred in the past five years, and 71 percent of the high school deaths occu[...]

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Car Crashes

  • January 24, 2017
  • Evans & Herlihy

In 1980, the American Psychiatric Association added post-traumatic stress disorder to its manual of mental disorders. The official diagnostic criteria for PTSD say symptoms may occur following a distressing or shocking event “that is outside the range of usual human experience.” Initially, PTSD was considered a condition that affected primarily combat veterans, but over the years, psychiatrists have learned a lot about how PTSD affects civilians, including survivors of serious car crashes. The Prevalence of PTSD in Crash Survivors The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says about 9 percent of people who are involved in serious crashes that cause injuries develop PTSD. That may sound like a low number, but roughly 3.5 million peopl[...]

The Dangers of Dehumidifiers

  • January 17, 2017
  • Evans & Herlihy

In November 2016, a manufacturer expanded an existing recall to apply to 2.5 million of its dehumidifiers sold in the United States. Gree Electric Appliances, which is based in China, initially recalled dehumidifiers in 2013, after reports of the devices catching fire and causing property damage. The recall was subsequently updated, then expanded in 2014, and as of the November re=announcement, Gree dehumidifiers had caused 450 fires and $19 million in property damage. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Gree knew about its product defects in July 2012 – 15 months before issuing the first recall. A CPSC investigation found Gree: Knew it was obligated to report the defect to the CPSC within 24 hours of its di[...]

Austin Rolling Out Vision Zero Safety Plan

  • November 21, 2016
  • Evans & Herlihy

In October, workers began making improvements to the intersection at Cameron Road and U.S. Route 183. As reported in the Statesman, the upgrades include raised pedestrian “islands,” high-visibility crosswalks, and a flashing light to alert drivers that the traffic light ahead is red. The project was part of Austin’s Vision Zero Action Plan, a two-year plan to reduce serious and fatal injuries among drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Austin was ranked the 24th most dangerous city for pedestrians, in the Dangerous by Design 2014 report. Hopefully, by the time the initial stage of Vision Zero ends in 2018, Austin will be a much safer city. Specific Goals Vision Zero originated in Sweden in 1997. It’s a comprehensive approach t[...]