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Steps to take after a car accident

Being in a car accident can be stressful, and sometimes it is so shocking at first that it is hard to remember what exactly you should do. It is a good idea for drivers in California to have the steps written down and readily available in the event of a crash. Even for minor accidents it is a good idea to follow the recommended steps.

According to the US News, the first step should be to get out of the way of traffic if at all possible. If injuries are suspected, call 911 right away. Even without injuries, it is a good idea to call the police, even if it looks like there is no damage to any of the vehicles involved. A police report can help determine who is at fault and, therefore, whose insurance company pays for damages. Next, it is extremely important to exchange contact and insurance information with the other drivers involved. Without this information, you may have difficulty finding someone to pay for damages to the vehicle or occupants. 

Getting back your health with an exoskeleton: 4 options

An exoskeleton is just one of the medical advances that could help people with spinal cord injuries walk again. This helpful tool comes from a few different manufacturers, making sure patients have choices.

There are a few different exoskeletons including the ReWalk Robotics Personal System, e-LEGS exoskeleton, REX exoskeleton and Indego by Parker. Here's a little more about each machine and how it could help those with paralysis obtain the freedoms they've lost because of spinal cord injuries.

What are some typical injuries that occur from car accidents?

Drivers of cars and other motor vehicles in California have a big responsibility to keep themselves and others safe on the road. Car accidents are quite common, and these can result in a multitude of injuries that vary from mild to severe. The following discusses some of the more typical medical damages that can occur.

Some of the most serious types of injuries are to the head and brain. According to the Brain Injury Alliance Utah, injury to the brain can occur from hitting an object in the car such as the windshield or steering wheel. The effects of a brain injury can vary and may include loss of consciousness, confusion and changes in emotional and cognitive behavior. These symptoms may be short-term or last a lifetime.

Drowsy driving and prescription drugs

Drivers can become drowsy for different reasons, whether someone has been struggling with a sleep disorder for many years, had one night of poor sleep or had a very demanding day at work. However, there are other reasons why drivers can become drowsy, even if they sleep well and do not have to work for long hours, such as those who take certain types of prescription drugs. From medication that aims to treat allergies or anxiety to drugs that help with pain, there are many different prescriptions that can affect someone’s ability to drive safely.

Sadly, some drivers may be adversely affected by prescriptions and not even realize that they are putting lives at risk by getting behind the wheel. As a result, it is important to be very vigilant if you take any prescription drugs and ensure that you are not drowsy or intoxicated as a result of the prescription. If you are hit by a driver who was taking certain prescriptions that may have affected their driving abilities, it is essential to look over your options and you may consider taking legal action due to the hardships you are facing.

How many drinks can I have before I cannot drive?

Drivers in California understand it is illegal to drink and drive, but many of them do not realize how few drinks it can take before their BAC surpasses the legal limit. How one absorbs and metabolizes alcohol also varies depending on a number of factors. With the legal limit being only .08, many people get behind the wheel when they should not.

Driving under the influence is a big problem, and the CDC states around one-quarter of traffic fatalities are caused by impaired drivers. When determining the number of drinks it can take before the legal limit is reached, it is a good idea to understand what constitutes a drink. It is a 12-ounce beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine, 1.5 ounces of hard liquor or 8 ounces of malt liquor. However, because the alcohol content can vary depending on the brand or type of each, a serving may equal more than one drink.

How fault of an accident is determined

Drivers in California have a responsibility to keep themselves and other drivers safe on the road. This includes understanding road signs, knowing traffic laws, paying attention and not getting behind the wheel after drinking or taking drugs. Unfortunately, collisions do occur and they are often the result of negligence by one of the drivers involved. There are a number of ways law enforcement authorities can determine who was at fault, and this is important for insurance and legal reasons.

According to FindLaw, finding fault may be as easy as looking up vehicle codes and arguing the other driver did not follow them. In certain accidents, such as rear-end collisions and those involving left-hand turns, it is usually easy to figure out who is liable for damage and/or injuries. Other accidents may not be as clear, and this is when the police should be involved. The attending police report goes a long way when fighting a claim.

Lasting symptoms of TBIs: What to expect

There are some consequences of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) that develop six months or later following an injury. These consequences include headaches, seizures and other serious symptoms of past injuries.

As a patient recovering from a traumatic brain injury, it's very important to stick with the treatment plan your doctor has prescribed for you. Everyone recovers differently, so what works for someone else may vary for you. The good news is that many people recover well from traumatic brain injuries, even if they have some lasting consequences

If you take drugs, stay out of the driver's seat

Law enforcement agents in California, and in many states around the country, have noticed an increase of drivers who are driving under the influence of drugs. You may think that driving after taking medication, especially if it is prescribed, is alright, but this is not the case. The consequences of drugged driving are the same as for those who drink and drive.

According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, drug-impaired driving refers to those who are impaired due to:

  • Over-the-counter medication
  • Prescription drugs such as pain relievers, sleep meds, anti-depressants, allergy medication, etc
  • Illegal drugs
  • Recreational or medicinal marijuana 

California's answer to high prevalence of hit-and-run accidents

Recent data shows that the rate of hit-and-run accidents in the country is at an all-time high. The state of California has taken steps to help decrease these types of incidents, and the results have been positive. Its outcomes may help other states pass similar legislation, which should help limit the number of drivers that flee after hitting another vehicle or person.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the number of fatalities due to drivers leaving the scene was the highest ever in 2016 and that every minute there is a hit-and-run accident in the country. Fleeing the scene of a crash is a criminal offense, and it also places additional burden on the victims, families and law enforcement. There are numerous reasons drivers leave the scene, and many times it is because the driver does not want the police involved due to some illegal activity.

Car accidents and traumatic brain injury

One of the consequences of being in a car accident in California, and elsewhere, is brain injury. Whether from a direct blow to the head from the steering wheel or window, or from whiplash, head trauma can range from mild to serious. Victims should be aware of some of the symptoms so they can get medical help right away.

According to the CDC, traumatic brain injuries from motor vehicle accidents result in the third-most frequent visits to emergency rooms, with falls and getting hit by an object being the two leading causes. Motor vehicle crashes are also the third-leading cause of deaths due to head injuries. The people most affected are those between the ages of 15 and 44.

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