Three people died in New York following a collision between two buses—one a tour bus carrying people visiting the city, the other a New York MTA owned bus that operated for people living in the city as part of its public transportation. The accident occurred in the early morning, and the two buses collided while one was attempting to make a ride turn on a busy street. The tour bus, after colliding with the MTA vehicle, hit a nearby KFC, starting a fire inside the building. The three people killed include the tour bus driver, a passenger on the MTA bus, and a pedestrian who was pinned by a bus and died at the scene. In addition to those, 16 people suffered injuries of various degrees. Five of those are in critical condition, and if or how long they’ll be able to survive is unknown.
An accident like this is obviously a terrible occurrence. As this Des Moines car accident website says, poor decision making by the drivers, can end or permanently alter people’s lives. Even those who aren’t killed or severely harmed by the crash may be suffering in other ways, such as minor injuries and the trauma associated with going through such a terrible event. Seeing that kind of destruction and damage to other human beings isn’t something that one forgets easily. Even those who were not directly involved in the crash may still be affected by it. One resident who lived in a nearby building witnessed the aftermath of the crash and described how horrifying it was.
For the people who have to deal with these situations on an everyday basis as part of their jobs, such as police and EMTs, that horror can be magnified. Dealing with trauma and stressful situations like that is not an easy thing to do regularly. Many studies have shown the problems that can be associated with professions such as these: significantly higher rates of alcohol, tobacco, and drug abuse, rates of PTSD that rival those of professional soldiers, and much higher rates of family problems. Emergency services are some of the vital jobs in our society. They save lives, keep people safe, and help manage dangers of chaotic life in modern cities. But often, they don’t receive the help or attention they deserve. A study showed that 2.5% of new EMTs show signs of PTSD. But among those with seven or more years of experience, the rate is close to 15%. New initiatives have been formed to try to combat this, such as offering counseling services, managing workloads better, and campaigns to increase mental health awareness. But it’s difficult to tell how much of an effect they’re having.
Crashes like one in New York are at the end of what a paramedic might have to deal with. But smaller crashes can be just as horrific, and the slew of other situations they have to deal with can easily take a toll. The safety of our emergency service workers is a key issue and one we should all be aware of.
The recorded aviation accidents over the last 10 years only show why air travel is acknowledged as modern day’s safest, fastest and (probably) most convenient means of long-distance travel. The sole fatal plane crash for the past half decade, despite the thousands of planes taking off every day in the US, is clear proof of this. And where fatality rates are the issue, data from the US Department of Transportation shows that deaths resulting from aviation accidents total only to 138 per year (there have been years when no accidents involving planes occurred), while those resulting from motor vehicles are 36,600+ and motorcycles has 3100+.
Such high safety rate was never the case in the past; however, it cannot be denied that the advancement and majority of the improvements in the aviation industry are factors learned from past minor and major accidents. Some of these improvements include: upgrade of the air traffic control (ATC) system; eradicating the concept of the “captain is god,” and ensuring cockpit teamwork; installation of lavatory smoke sensors and downdraft detection; use of transponders or electronic devices and the installation of TCAS II collision-avoidance systems for collision avoidance; improvement of the rudder Rx; equipping the cargo holds (all commercial airliners) with smoke detectors and automatic fire extinguishers; upgrades that would eliminate any possibility of electrical spark; and, replacement of the Mylar insulation with fire-resistant materials. Many other safety equipment have been made standard parts, especially in heavy commercial aircrafts, to ensure safety of all passengers and crew, from the moment everyone boards the plane until everyone has gotten off it.
All improvements and upgrades, however, can easily prove useless if flight procedures are violated, regular aircraft maintenance is not regularly done, fuel supply is not replenished, a pilot is not in perfect health or performs his task while under the influence of alcohol, or a needed manufacturing phase was missed, and so forth.
Often, the only reason why aviation accidents happen is grave negligence on the part of a pilot, a plane, ground or maintenance crew, an air traffic controller, or even people from an airline’s top management. And when an accident occurs, there need not necessarily be injuries for those liable to be required to answer for the consequences of their errors. A mental or emotional trauma is enough, but an injury, more so, death, will definitely make matters very serious.
According to www.habush.com, while some airlines would be happy to offer victims compensation, the amount they would award on their own volition may not be enough. Thus, it is important that victims seek the help of competent lawyers, whose dedication in fighting for victims’ rights have been proven many times.
There are the Appleton personal injury lawyers and Green Bay personal injury lawyers, who are all highly capable of effectively fighting for the rights and interests of those affected, traumatized, injured or killed in a plane accident.
Without a doubt, the trucking industry plays a very important role in the US economy, keeping businesses alive through delivery of tons of essential goods required by clients and demanded by consumers. Despite this major role, however, federal agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), know that big rigs or 18-wheelers are constant threats on the road for drivers of smaller vehicles, motorcyclists, and pedestrians. Being a road threat is not only due to the vehicle’s huge size and super-heavy weight, which can cause it to smash anything, or severely injure (or kill) anyone in its path, but primarily because of the negligence of many individuals in the trucking business (including truck and truck parts manufacturers, owners, dispatchers, drivers and mechanics) in ensuring that their vehicle will never cause any road tragedy. Some of the most common causes of road accidents involving trucks are improper loading of cargo, defective truck parts (especially parts of the braking system), worn out wheels, improperly maintained equipment, driving under the influence (DUI), hiring of drivers who lack the required skills, and driver fatigue, which is accountable for majority of all truck accidents in the US. The FMCSA, which is responsible in ensuring the compliance of truckers with federal rules, has these two standards, among others, to enforce:
- Licensing Requirements – Drivers must possess the minimum skills necessary to operate a big rig. This is derived from a mandate from the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986, which also requires drivers to pass a test arranged by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and to have unsafe and unqualified drivers removed from the highway.
- Hours of service (HOS) – the most recent rule on this (which took effect on February 27, 2012) states that truck drivers can drive for 11 hours maximum (within a day); this shall be part of drivers’ 14-hour work day limit.
- Maximum average work week – this mandate took effect on July 1, 2013
- It limits truck drivers’ work week to 70 hours (instead of the previous 82 hours)
- Requires that drivers take a 30-minute break within the first eight hours of their shift
- After rendering the maximum 70 hours or work within the week, drivers should be allowed to rest for 34 hours straight. This rest period should include two nights.
Failure to comply with the above federal mandates can easily lead to tragic accidents that can inflict severe personal injuries (injuries resulting from people’s negligence) to victims. Victims, on their part, ought to realize that seeking help from highly competent lawyers, such as an Oklahoma personal injury lawyer, can be an absolute necessity to enable them to receive the full amount of compensation (from the liable party) that the law permits.