- Look out for potholes, loose gravel, and leftover salt and black ice as we transition into spring! If the weather is hovering around freezing, the roads may be especially dangerous.
- When driving a car, be extra vigilant and look twice to avoid hitting motorcyclists who are out sharing the road. Remember, most motorcyclists have not ridden all winter and may still be acclimating to riding their bikes again.
- Be especially careful when switching lanes around a motorcyclist, as it can be easy to misjudge speed and distance.
- Motorcyclists: wear helmets, even if it is not required by Pennsylvania state law!
- Motorcycle riders should also stagger bikes instead of riding side-by-side to avoid accidents and/or injury.
- Teach your child situational awareness, such as staying on sidewalks, looking before crossing a street, and taking care when grabbing anything they may have dropped on the road.
- Pay special attention to higher-risk areas for car/pedestrian accidents, such as by a school and near area bus stops.
- Supervise your children after school hours when they are playing outside.
- If you child is participating in an activity that takes place on a street, such as biking, rollerskating, riding a scooter, or skateboarding, make sure they wear proper protective gear. Also make sure the child knows how to safely stop and move out of the way of oncoming traffic.
This week, Department of Transportation organizations across the country kicked off National Work Zone Awareness Week. This is an annual event to encourage safety for both workers and travelers through our country's highway work zones. This campaign is especially important at this time of year, when so many highways are undergoing spring and summer maintenance to repair the damage left by the harsh winter weather. This year, the theme of National Work Zone Awareness Week is "Expected The Unexpected". This theme was used 15 years ago, and is focused on showing drivers why it is so critical to be alert, cautious, and attentive while driving through road construction.
Hopefully, the awareness week will help to prevent some of the accidents and fatalities that occur every year when drivers pass through work zones. Last year, PennDOT reported that just under 25 people were killed in highway construction site crashes. PennDOT is also launching a social media campaign to encourage safety while driving through work zones, which is called #Slow4Zone. To learn more about the program, please go to JustDrivePA.org.
Many people who have traveled on Pennsylvania's state highways have most likely noticed the large amount of aggressive and inattentive drivers. Although many travelers are conscientious and considerate, many others are aggressive, speed, and frequently switch lanes without signaling. This is a serious problem, especially when traveling through work zones. As a result, Pennsylvania has a high number of car accidents, which can lead to serious injuries and fatalities for people in neighboring cars and trucks, as well as for our state's highway construction workers. If you or a loved one has been in an accident due to the fault of another, it might be time to consult with an attorney. Attorney Doug Stoehr represents clients in Blair and the surrounding counties in central and western Pennsylvania. For more information on his law firm, please visit his website at http://www.stoehrlaw.com or call his office at 814-946-4100.
Many Farm Bureaus across the states are working hard this year to implement their Agricultural Safety Awareness Program. As a component of this initiative, last week was designated as Agricultural Safety Awareness Week, and had a theme relating to riding safely while using farm machinery. One of the big pushes of the safety week was to raise awareness about all-terrain vehicle safety, especially the use of helmets.
As stated in an article about the safety week, ATVs are used often on farms and are considered a very valuable tool for transporting people and equipment. Many farm workers also overload their ATVs with equipment, which can cause the vehicle to become unsteady and lead to an accident or death. ATV injuries are much more common than many people realize. Annually, about 30,000 children alone are admitted to to emergency rooms for ATV related injuries. The good news is that many local Farm Bureaus have ATV safety classes that workers can attend in an effort to reduce farm-related ATV injuries and accidents. According to the related article, some common tips to reduce ATV injuries include wearing a helmet that includes face protection, using the right size ATV for your age and stature, not carrying multiple riders, and use ATVs in off-road terrain only.
Off-road vehicles, such as snowmobiles and ATVs, are potentially dangerous vehicles for many of our state's youth. Improper ATV use is leading cause of serious injury among Pennsylvanians. Attorney Doug Stoehr of Altoona, PA handles cases involving injury as a result of accidents involving off-road vehicles. For more information about Attorney Doug Stoehr and his central Pennsylvania practice, please call his law firm at 814-946-4100.
Chronic pain is often a blanket diagnosis used to explain pain that persists consistently over a period longer than 3-6 months. However, chronic pain can result from many different disorders and injuries. Unfortunately, many of these problems come from common accidents, such as motor vehicle accidents or slip and falls.
Perhaps most frequently, chronic pain can often occur after a back injury. The major back injuries that can lead to chronic pain are slipped/bulging discs, spinal stenosis, compression fractures, soft tissue damage, traumatic fractures (such as from accident or crash injuries), or diseases like lordosis and scoliosis. Additionally, headaches and joint pain are also major sources of chronic pain. Chronic pain can also be neuropathic (affecting nerve endings), such as sciatica and carpal tunnel.
Chronic pain can take many forms, but the important thing to remember is that this pain should not be ignored or underestimated. If not properly treated by a trained physician, it most likely will remain the same or worsen over time. Chronic pain is much more common than you might initially think. You might not realize just how many Americans suffer from chronic pain without taking a look at recent statistics and surveys.
- about 1 in 2 Americans suffer from some type of chronic pain.
- 31% of American adults report chronic back/neck pain
- 26% report a leg/knee condition, and 18% have another type of chronic pain.
- 47% report 1 or 2 types of the pain listed above
- 7% report experiencing all three types of the pain listed above.
- When the numbers from the survey were broken down further, it was reported that one in five people between their 40s and 80s experienced recurring pain. Interestingly, reports of chronic pain increased between ages 18 and 59 (from 16% to 37%), but those chronic pain reports stopped increasing once people turned 60.
These numbers suggest that the occurrence of chronic pain among the nation's adult population is much higher than most people realize. Chronic pain is also often caused by a traumatic injury, such as ones that result from a car crash or slip-and-fall. If you have pain that persists more than 6 months, it is often considered chronic and may require a lifetime of medical care and expenses. In those situations, it may be prudent to consult with an attorney if you have chronic pain that has resulted from an injury due to the fault of another. Attorney Doug Stoehr takes cases for central Pennsylvania residets who have been injured and are experiencing chronic pain due to the fault of another, such as a car accident or slip-and-fall injury. For more information, please contact his law firm at 814-946-4100.
- Plan and encourage participation in inside, social activities. The local YMCA or community center may have activities that will appeal to seniors in the area.
- Keep a close eye out for signs of frostbite, which tend to affect older adults because they often have diminished circulation.
- Check in frequently, and see if elderly neighbors need help with things like shoveling, grocery shopping, and outside maintenance.
- If elderly adults have to go outside to do maintenance, encourage them to take frequent breaks to come inside, rest, and warm back up.