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Butler Personal Injury Law Blog

The top 10 OSHA standards companies violate most often

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducts inspections on job sites and in workplaces across Pennsylvania to ensure that employers follow safety protocols. In some cases, these investigations take place after accidents with serious injuries or even fatalities; other investigations happen after reports from workers who fear for their own safety.

The top 10

Summer road trip safety tips: Don’t forget these 5

Do you have big plans for a summer road trip? Are you looking forward to hitting the road and enjoying every mile you spend behind the wheel?

While there's nothing more exciting than a summer road trip, you don't want to forget about the many steps you must take to maintain a high level of safety.

Pennsylvania truckers honored for 25 years accident-free driving

In order to drive a tractor-trailer safely on Pennsylvania's busy streets and highways, you need skill, patience, an understanding of traffic laws and a relentless focus on the vehicles around you. Those who manage to drive a big rig safely for years deserve recognition for their dedication to hauling goods without causing a truck accident that results in injuries.

The United Parcel Service recently recognized 65 Pennsylvania drivers who "have achieved 25 or more years of accident-free driving."

Critical defensive driving safety tips

In theory, defensive driving should not be necessary. If everyone obeyed all traffic laws and did not make any mistakes, you could zip along with hardly a care in the world. As long as you also followed the laws and never made mistakes, you'd never have an accident.

The reality

Why a crash in Arizona is changing Pennsylvania roads?

Self-driving cars are the wave of the future, but that future might be further off than we think. Recently, an accident in Arizona has caused many to re-evaluate driverless vehicle safety guidelines.

A woman was killed in a car crash involving one of Uber's fully automated cars. This accident was part of a series of mishaps that the ride-sharing tech giant was working through to get their driverless cars ready for mass distribution. The accident has caused Uber to put a hold on their efforts throughout the country, including Pittsburgh.

Steel workers face many on-the-job risks

The steel industry remains alive and well in Butler, Pennsylvania, home of an AK Steel plant and a major regional employer. Its presence supports the economic needs and livelihoods of many families in the area. While the industry supports Butler's economic engine, it also has some pitfalls - primarily related to workplace hazards.

The pipefitters, welders, machinists, motor inspectors and others who work in steel plants are exposed to a number of potential risks that workers in other industries have difficulty understanding. Industrial accidents - some that may lead to serious injuries and even death - are not unheard of in steel plants.

Proper motorcycle preparation is important for vehicle safety

Spring is here and it is time to start getting the bikes out of the garages and taking to the roads across Pennsylvania. There really is nothing like the feel of the engine and the rush of the air. But before you head out, you know that you need to get your ride ready to go for the summer.

If you are like most riders, you put your bike away months ago. Before you get ready to go on that first cross-state ride, you need to make sure everything is perfect in order to be safe. So here are a few ideas to help you get back on the road.

IIHS studies rear automatic braking and other safety tech

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has recently tested the effect of collision avoidance systems on several new vehicle models. These systems included rear automatic braking and rear-view cameras and sensors. Their findings should interest drivers in Pennsylvania and elsewhere in the U.S. due to the frequency of backup collisions.

The IIHS found that backup crashes were reduced by 62 percent in vehicles with rear automatic braking systems. When this technology was combined with rearview cameras and sensors, the figure jumped to 78 percent. Out of the vehicle models they tested, researchers gave the highest ratings to the 2017 Subaru Outback and Cadillac XT5 SUV. While the test results were overwhelmingly positive, there were some hiccups. One car, for instance, failed to detect a car parked at an angle behind it.

OOIDA calls for revised hours of service rules

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's hours of service regulations are designed to prevent accidents caused by fatigued truck drivers and protect motorists in Pennsylvania and around the country. The current rules were put into place in 2013, but they have been widely criticized by trade groups including the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. According to the OOIDA, the present 14-hour regulation compels drivers to remain behind the wheel even when they are tired and forces them onto the roads in poor weather and when traffic is at its heaviest.

To abide by the FMCSA hours of service rules, truck drivers may not drive after they have been on duty for 14 hours, and off-duty periods do not extend this time limit. According to the OOIDA, this encourages drivers to cover as many miles as possible before their 14-hour clocks run out and may deter them from taking breaks when they feel drowsy.

Drowsy driving may factor into nearly 10 percent of crashes

Pennsylvania drivers may be interested to learn that drowsing driving could be a factor in as many as 9.5 percent of car accidents. These figures, which come from a new study, are much higher than U.S. government statistics, which have indicated that drowsy driving is only a factor in about 1 to 2 percent of car accidents.

Part of the problem is that many drivers are not aware of the risks associated with drowsy driving. According to a 2012 study, the hazards of drowsy driving are similar to driving after ingesting alcohol. For example, studies have shown that after about 17 hours without sleep, drivers will function similarly to those who have an alcohol concentration of .05. After 20 to 25 hours without sleep, drivers may function similarly to those who have a blood alcohol concentration of .1 percent, which is over the legal limit.

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