Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tractor Trailer Crashes Increasing

According to a report released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 2010 was one of the worst years for truckers and those who crossed their path. Last year, 5,000 people lost their lives and some 100,000 were injured in crashes involving this type of vehicle, compared to the 3,200 deaths recorded in 2009. And the outlook is even worse, says the IIHS, as more new trucks will hit the roads in the years to come.  Read more.

National Safety Council Finds Fatal Intersection Crashes Declined

A new study issued by the National Safety Council reports that fatal crashes at intersections with traffic lights decreased by 17% and fatal crashes at intersections involving red-light running decreased by 27% from 2005 to 2009. "This report shows that we are making large strides as a nation in reducing crashes at intersections," said Janet Froetscher, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. "However, despite the improvement there were still 12,396 fatal crashes at intersections with traffic lights, including 4,394 fatal intersection crashes involving red-light running during that five year period. While we are making progress, the 13,266 fatalities from these crashes remind us that we have much more to do." The study analyzed fatal crash data in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, using statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  Read more.

FDA Official: Another Public Health Crisis "Inevitable"

CNNMoney reported, "A senior Food and Drug Administration regulator warned that another public health crisis may be inevitable because the agency can't guarantee the safety of many drugs and food products manufactured overseas." John Taylor, FDA's acting principal deputy commissioner, "said the safety agency must reinvent itself to operate more effectively globally, or 'another public health crisis like Heparin seems inevitable.'" Taylor said the agency is "crippled in its mission to protect the health of Americans since a lot of medicine sold in the US is made abroad and outside of strict FDA oversight."

Monday, March 14, 2011

NHTSA Still Needs Crash Test Dummies for Children

The Washington Post reported on NHTSA's difficulties in developing crash-test dummies that will allow it to set safety standards for car seats and booster seats intended for children over 65 pounds. At present those seats "are not held to any government safety requirements."  Problems with developing child dummies are a "key reason why seats for all children have no federal requirements for effectiveness in side-impact, rear-end and rollover collisions." NHTSA Deputy Administrator Ronald Medford said that "NHTSA tests 75 to 90 models each year." The Post notes that under federal law, "a dummy to mimic a 10-year-old's body was supposed to be developed by late 2004," but "is still in development." And "Medford said the NHTSA hopes to have safety standards for higher-weight seats finalized this year and the dummy's flaws corrected in 2013." One expert said that "'NHTSA doesn't have the money to fund all the research we need' to develop accurate dummies."

Monday, March 7, 2011