Is Sweden’s Vision Zero Achievable on U.S. Roads?

Is Sweden’s Vision Zero Achievable on U.S. Roads?

In 2013, motor vehicle crashes claimed the lives of 32,719 individuals in the U.S. During the same year the number of people killed in road accidents in Sweden was 264. Sweden’s roads have become one of the safest roads on earth – with only three deaths out of every 100,000 Swedes as compared to the 11.4 per 100,000 individuals in the United States.

On September 3, 1967, a Swedish legislation that was passed in 1963, took effect. This legislation, also known as Dagen H or the Right-Hand Traffic Diversion, ordered a switch to right-hand traffic. Though everything seemed almost hilarious, but contrary to what so many said that the switch is murderous, road fatalities dropped more than 50% to the surprise of many. This was because everyone drove carefully; drivers had both of their hands on the wheel and both of their eyes on the road. Nobody or very few dared to fight for the way too.

Stating confidently that deaths or injuries on the road are not acceptable, the Swedish parliament wrote into law in 1997 its “Vision Zero” plan, which promises to eliminate road injuries and fatalities altogether. With the way they are handling and managing things, they are slowly proving that, indeed, mobility and safety can be enjoyed at the same time.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an estimated ninety-four percent of car crashes are due to errors committed by drivers. Driving errors are clear manifestations of irresponsible and bad road behavior. These activities, which have actually become an epidemic on U.S. roads and highways include, but are not limited to, speeding, drunk-driving, reckless driving, aggressive driving, failure to use signal lights, tailgating, changing lanes improperly, improper way of overtaking and distracted driving. Of all these, distracted driving is one contributing factor in accidents that can be committed by even the most careful drivers.

Distracted driving involves turning one’s attention from the act of driving to an activity that takes away a his/her attention off the road and/or his/her hand/s off the wheel. There can be an endless list of distracted driving activities, but to name a few of those most commonly committed, there is eating, drinking, conversing with a passenger, reading a map, grooming, using/adjusting a GPS, watching a video, adjusting a radio, a CD player, or any portable electronic device, fixing a tie, lighting a cigarette, driving while angry, texting or conversing with someone over a hand-held phone (these last two happen to be the leading cause of driving distraction, especially among young drivers).

Driving distractions are so normal that a driver, most often than not, will not even realize that he/she is already guilty of distracted driving. Unfortunately, whenever a driver gets distracted or makes mistakes, the most often result is a crash that can injure or even kill another.

With our smart phones and GPS devices within arms reach, our minds are easily distracted. This type of negligent behavior can lead to serious and sometimes fatal consequences. According to the attorneys at Erez Law firm, negligence is the “legal concept that serves as the basis for most personal injury lawsuits.”

As clearly pointed out by a Louisville car accident attorney, however, “If there is a single expectation that we should be able to have of other drivers, it should be that they will take every reasonable precaution to avoid causing an accident. Nonetheless, there are drivers out there who are so completely unaware of themselves and their surroundings that they end up causing serious accidents that should have been avoidable. That being said, drivers who do anything else to cause an otherwise preventable accident—like looking at their phone instead of the road—can usually be held financially liable for the accidents that they cause.”

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Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Resulting to Life-threatening Injuries

Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Resulting to Life-threatening Injuries

After her 77-year old grandmother suffered a stroke and developed a pressure sore on her lower back and buttocks during her six weeks stay in hospital, Donna had her transferred into a nursing home, which claimed to have experience and knowledge in treating pressure sores. Her grandmother’s pressure sore (or bed sore) was at Grade 3 stage at the time of the transfer (Grade 1 is the least serious).

Rather than managing the bed sore and giving her grandma the best possible care, the bed sore only worsened, deteriorating to a life threatening Grade 4 wound which became all the more painful. Due to this, Donna’s grandma was rushed back to a hospital. Today, while nearly recovered from the once life-threatening bed sore in a new, but definitely wonderful nursing home, Donna is able to recall how her grandma lived with the pain, discomfort and distress of an entirely avoidable pressure sore for more than a year.

According to the police, not everyone was able to recover as Donna’s grandmother did; one resident died due to complications, while several others continued to suffer from extremely severe pressure sores – all in the same nursing home.

Bedsores resulting to death of residents have become frighteningly common in nursing homes. While neglect is the major cause for the development of this extremely painful wound, especially if it is not treated, or properly treated in time, its victims include hospital patients or nursing home residents who stay seated in wheelchairs for a long time or who stay immobile in their bed without being repositioned, turned, or cared for properly. These potentially life-threatening injuries frequently occur at the hips, lower back, elbow, ankles, and heels – areas where the bone and skin are very close in contact. One government body that sees an alarming increase in nursing home neglect lawsuits related to the development of bedsores are the courts.

West Palm Beach nursing home abuse lawyers of Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller and Overbeck, P.A. know how “moving an aging family member to a nursing home or other assisted living facility can be one of the most difficult decisions that a family makes, and it is usually done with the assumption that their loved one will be provided with the dedicated care and attention that they need and deserve.” Difficulty in making decisions is easily replaced with anger and resentment, though, as soon as family members find out that their loved one has been subjected to abuse, neglect or medical malpractice, which have become all too common and which expose vulnerable individuals to deplorable conditions that can result in serious injuries, illnesses, emotional trauma, and even death.

With the same thought, Chicago bedsores attorneys of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, say that “Families that entrust the care of their loved ones to a nursing home facility have every reason to believe that they would only be treated with dignity and compassion throughout the duration of their stay.” This is because nursing home staff members know and should know how often residents, especially those with limited mobility, will need assistance shifting in their beds to prevent injuries, such as bed sores, from forming — in fact, residents probably need assistance shifting positions with greater frequency just to be comfortable. In any event, bed sores can be as potentially dangerous as they are thoroughly avoidable. Families that suspect that their loved ones have been abused or neglected at a nursing home can take decisive legal action against the responsible party to pursue compensation for all of their loved ones’ suffering.

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