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July 2015 Archives

Diseases that can be transferred from animals to humans

California residents may be surprised to learn that 60 percent of the infectious diseases that affect humans originated in animals. Three quarters of all emerging infectious diseases are also zoonotic. Most people are aware of the dangers of zoonotic conditions such as rabies, but there are a number of other conditions that can be contracted by contact with wild animals or pets.

The causes of tanker truck rollover accidents

Semi-trucks hauling containers of gasoline, flammable gas or crude oil are not an uncommon sight on California's highways, and they are generally given a wide berth by passenger vehicle drivers. While the vast majority of these commercial vehicles arrive safely at their destinations, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that over 1,300 such vehicles are involved in rollover accidents every year. These can rupture cargo tanks and lead to dangerous chemical and fuel spills.

Learn the facts about drinking and driving

Every day, a person in California or another state dies every 51 minutes because of an alcohol-impaired driver. This means that about 30 people die every day in this country in perfectly preventable accidents. In 2013, about one-third of traffic-related deaths were due to impaired driving with many of these deaths being of children age 14 or younger. About half of the children who died in alcohol-related accidents were in the same vehicle as the impaired driver.

Teenage drinking and fatal auto accidents

California parents of teenage children may be alarmed to learn that while drivers under age 21 account for roughly 10 percent of licensed drivers, they account for significantly more fatal alcohol-related accidents. Approximately 17 percent of alcohol-related accidents that result in a fatality are attributed to drivers in this age range. Teenage drivers are also disproportionately involved in accidents caused by texting while driving. These rates are partly due to the tendency of teenage drivers to believe that they are invulnerable to the consequences of dangerous driving behavior.

Most common type of motorcycle wreck in 2014? Single-vehicle

If you're like most motorcyclists, you've probably been told to take special care at intersections, because drivers often don't notice motorcycles when they make turns. Another hazard is following or being followed by passenger vehicles, because drivers often don't understand how quickly bikes can stop -- or they themselves stop on a dime without any warning.

Should collision-avoidance systems become standard issue? Part II

In our post last week, we began a discussion about safety features in automobiles. Specifically, the safety features we tend to take for granted (like seat belts and air bags) were once optional add-ons for which car buyers paid a premium. Through common-sense regulatory efforts, however, truly crucial safety features have become standard in all new vehicles.

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