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Monthly Archives: March 2014

Drivers Often Unaware of Motorcycles, Increasing Risk of Collision

Categories: Auto Accidents

By Jacob W. Gent. Posted on .

Many drivers involved in a collision with a motorcycle state after word that they didn’t see the motorcycle.  A recent study recently published in the journal Bike travelAttention, Perception & Psychophysics examined why drivers might say that.

According to researcher Vanessa Beanland of the Australian National University, “The fact that motorcycles are less common than cars might make it harder for car drivers to see motorcycles.”

Using a driving simulator, the study tested the ability of 40 adult drivers to detect and respond to motorcycles and buses on the roads.  During the simulation, half of the participants were shown a high number of motorcycles and a low number of buses, while the other half of the participants were shown the reverse.  All participants were told to be on the lookout for both motorcycles and buses. The study found that the drivers’ attention favored whichever of the two vehicles they saw more of during the simulation, and this affected the speed at which they detected the vehicles.

Participants who saw motorcycles more often were able to detect them an average of 167 feet farther away than those who saw motorcycles less often.  Driving at a speed of 37 miles per hour, this additional distance gave the drivers an extra three seconds to respond.  At the same speed, drivers who saw buses more often had an extra 4.4 seconds to react.  The findings suggest drivers often fail to see motorcyclists partly because motorcycles are not common on roads.  Researchers concluded that drivers have more difficulty detecting vehicles and hazards that are rare, compared to those objects seen more frequently.



Is Health Insurance More Trouble Than It’s Worth?

Categories: Practical Tips You Can Use

By Steven J. Angles. Posted on .

I recently came across a couple of studies about health insurance that I found truly troubling because of the messages they convey.  One study concluded that having no health insurance while hospitalized can lead to less effective care.  The other indicated that having health insurance while hospitalized can lead to less effective care.  See the problem?

A January 2014 study at the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences found that uninsured patients with a range of medical diagnoses are significantly less likely to be transferred between hospitals for treatment. [1] This was contrary to the study’s original presumption that uninsured patients would be transferred between hospitals on a more frequent basis because they were “unprofitable.”  The projected result?  Uninsured patients face reduced access to health care, and are not necessarily being transferred when they should be.

On the other hand, a February 2014 study published in JAMA Surgery by researchers at Stanford University Medical Center concluded that emergency rooms are less likely to transfer injured patients to trauma centers if they have health insurance because these patients are profitable.[2]  Thus, patients without insurance can be at less risk for receiving sub-optimal trauma care than those with insurance.

As attorneys representing individuals who are seriously injured, we often see clients with and without health insurance.  Despite the conflicting messages of the studies above, it is always our recommendation that those who have access to health insurance carry it, and not simply because it is now the law.  It’s impossible to predict how serious an injury will be, or how much care it will ultimately require.  Having health insurance will afford greater access to care and a greater chance for a speedy recovery. 

[1] Janel Hanmer, Xin Lu, Gary E. Rosenthal, Peter Cram. Insurance Status and the Transfer of Hospitalized Patients. Annals of Internal Medicine, 2014; 160 (2): 81-90 DOI: 10.7326/M12-1977


[2] M. Kit Delgado, Michael A. Yokell, Kristan L. Staudenmayer, David A. Spain, Tina Hernandez-Boussard, N. Ewen Wang. Factors Associated With the Disposition of Severely Injured Patients Initially Seen at Non–Trauma Center Emergency Departments. JAMA Surgery, 2014; DOI: 10.1001/jamasurg.2013.4398


Speeding Is a Problem On US Roads – Particularly for Young Drivers

Categories: Auto Accidents

By Arthur D. Leritz. Posted on .

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a new survey recently that sheds some insight into attitudes on speeding.[1]    According to the NHTSA data, speeding-related deaths account for nearly 1/3 of all traffic fatalities per year, taking close to 10,000 lives.  Almost half of the driver surveyed, 48%, reported that speeding was a problem and that something needed to be done to reduce speeding on U.S. roads.  Yet, of those surveyed, more than 25% admitted to speeding “without thinking.”  Another 16% felt that driving over the speed limit is not dangerous for skilled drivers.

Not surprisingly, those with the least amount of driving skills admitted to speeding more than any other age group.  11% of the drivers in the 16-20 year old age group reported at least one speeding-related crash in the past 5 years – compared to 4% of the population as a whole.  This is statistically significant given that young drivers may not have been driving for all of the past 5 years.

NHTSA also recently launched its “5 to Drive” campaign that challenges parents to discuss the 5 biggest beneficial impacts in the event of a crash:

  1. No speeding;
  2. No cell phone use or texting while driving;
  3. No extra passengers;
  4. No alcohol; and
  5. No driving or riding without a seat belt.[2]

If you or someone you know was involved in a motor vehicle collision where speed was a factor, the experienced attorneys at Adler Giersch, PS are ready and willing to help you.