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Monthly Archives: October 2013

Older Professional Drivers More Likely to Die in Motor Vehicle Collisions

Categories: Auto Accidents

By Jacob W. Gent. Posted on .

Older workers who drive as part of their job have a significantly higher fatality rate as a result of motor vehicle collisions than younger workers.

A recent report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted workers 65 and older are three times more likely to die in motor vehicle collisions than workers aged 18 to 54.  The risk for older drivers begins to increase at 55, and then increases much more at 65 and older. 

According to the CDC report, more than 11,500 workers aged 18 and over died while driving for work between 2003 and 2010. Among these deaths, 26.9 percent were among those aged 55 and older.  The traffic death rate varied with race and ethnicity, with the highest rates among older American Indian/Alaskan Native drivers, more than four times that of younger drivers.  The traffic death rate for older white and black drivers was three times that of younger drivers, while Hispanic drivers aged 65 and older the death rate was twice that of younger drivers.

The risk is not restricted to workers employed in typical transportation occupations, such as drivers of tractor-trailers or delivery trucks.  The risk cuts across all industries and occupations.  Workers in transportation and warehousing accounted for a third of the deaths. The traffic death rate was highest for all age groups in that category, but highest (21.2 percent) for those aged 65 and older, the report noted.  By occupation, the rates were highest among those working in transportation and material moving.  These jobs accounted for 50 percent of all the deaths, with workers aged 65 and older accounting for 22.9 percent of deaths.

Most deaths were caused in collisions between vehicles, and 48 percent of these deaths were of drivers aged 65 and older.  Among those aged 65 and older, 23 percent of the accidents happened while driving a car, 22 percent while driving a tractor trailer and 15 percent while driving a pickup truck.  Drivers over 65  accounted for 9 percent of the deaths involving off-road or industrial vehicles, compared with 2 percent for younger workers.

The report was published Aug. 23 in the CDC publication Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.


Pop Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Your Health Insurance?

Categories: Practical Tips You Can Use

By Steven J. Angles. Posted on .

With open enrollment for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also called “Obamacare,” beginning on October 1st, 2013, now is an excellent time to ask yourself how much you know about your own health insurance.  If you plan on shopping for health care insurance in the Washington State marketplace, are you familiar enough with the terms used by insurance companies to make the most informed decision for yourself and your family?  For example, do you think that a “premium” is an expense at the time of receiving medical service or a prescription? Do you think a “copay” is the cost of obtaining insurance?

According to poll results released in August 2013 by the American Institute of CPAs, more than half of Americans are not equipped with the basic knowledge of health insurance concepts and definitions to understand the basics of health insurance plans.[1]  According to the poll, 51 percent of adults surveyed could not accurately identify at least one of the three most common health insurance terms present in insurance contracts: premium, deductible, or copay.  (Incidentally, the poll also found that 41 percent of those surveyed were not knowledgeable about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, with 48 percent of young adults ages 18 to 34 having no knowledge of this change in health care laws.)  This is especially troubling given that the Affordable Care Act requires all Americans to buy health insurance or pay a penalty beginning in 2014.

If you have suffered a traumatic personal injury and are lost in a sea of unfamiliar insurance terms, understanding the basics of health insurance is important to help you make more informed decisions about your medical needs and expenses, and how they affect your household finances.  However, knowing what your medical provider’s billing department is referring to when you speak with them during an appointment, or how to read the constant stream of statements you receive in the mail will also reduce the stress already there when you are living with and treating for injuries caused by another person’s negligence.

In addition to the many ways available on various web sites to help you increase your Insurance 101 I.Q., we have additional resources on our web site.