Maryland Construction Injuries and Deaths Cost State Economy $712.8M Between 2008 and 2010

August 20, 2012 by  
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Workplace injuries and deaths at construction sites cost Maryland nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars between 2008 and 2010, according to a recent report by the consumer watchdog Public Citizen, which concluded that the state would save substantial money if they emphasized the importance of worker safety, by restricting contracts to companies with strong safety records. 

According to the report, which is titled “The Price of Inaction: A Comprehensive Look at the Costs of Injuries and Fatalities in Maryland’s Construction Industry,” Maryland spent $712.8 billion over the three year period paying for workplace injuries and fatalities on construction jobs. That includes both direct and indirect costs, as well as quality of life costs.

Maryland Construction Injury DeathsPublic Citizen found that there were 18,600 construction industry accidents in Maryland during that time, which cost 11,000 work days. The report records 55 deaths during that same time period.

Currently, Maryland does not screen companies for their safety records before awarding contracts, although it does check that their previous projects meet performance standards. Public Citizen is urging the state to change that position to decrease the risk of construction injuries and deaths.

“It’s the right thing to do and would position Maryland as a leader in occupational safety and health,” said Keith Wrightson, of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division, in a press release.

The report notes that Maryland has its own occupational safety department, Maryland Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH). Half of the states in the U.S. rely on their own occupational safety department, but the report states that Maryland’s is woefully underfunded. MOSH conducted safety inspections in less than 1% of the state’s workplaces in 2010, the report determined.

Maryland Accidental Injuries and Deaths Report

June 15, 2012 by  
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About 56 out of every 100,000 Maryland residents will die due to an accidental injury or violence, according to the findings of a new report. However, researchers concluded that Maryland and other states could do more to reduce the risk of injury by passing injury prevention laws.

Maryland Accidental InjuryThe average rate of Maryland accidental injury and violence deaths was right around the average rate for the entire United States, which had an average of 57.9 out of every 100,000 people dying from injury or violence between the ages of one and 44. Nationwide, that includes 12,000 children and teens each year. In addition, about 2.8 million Americans are hospitalized due to accidents annually.

The information was detailed in a report, “The Facts Hurt: A State-by-State Injury Prevention Policy Report”, released last month by Trust for America’s Health (TFAH).

Researchers covered a broad range of injuries, from motorcycle accidents to slip-and-fall injuries, recommending that states pass a variety of injury prevention measures, such as bicycle helmet requirements for children, car seat requirements, motorcycle helmet laws, primary seatbelt laws and other measures.

“There are proven, evidence-based strategies that can spare millions of Americans from injuries each year,” said TFAH Executive Director Jeff Levi, PhD. “This report focuses on specific, scientifically supported steps we can take to make it easier for Americans to keep themselves and their families safer.”

Maryland scored an 8 out of 10 on key indicators for steps that can be taken to prevent injuries, which helped the state have the 15th lowest rate of injury-related deaths for Americans. Maryland currently has primary seat belt laws, helmet laws and other programs in place that are supported by the report. However, the two areas where the state failed to do all it can to prevent accidental injuries and violence were:

  • Drunk driving laws that require mandatory ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers, even first offenders. Such programs were are in place in at least 16 other states.
  • Teen dating violence laws failed to receive an “A” in the “Break the Cycle” report. At least six states and Washington, D.C. received that high grade.

Emerging threats identified by the report include increasing prescription drug abuse, concussions and traumatic brain injuries suffered during school sports, bullying, and auto accidents caused by texting while driving.

Maryland Motorcycle Accident Deaths

May 30, 2012 by  
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According to a new report, the number of deaths caused by Maryland motorcycle accidents decreased last year, but state officials note that the differences between a crash that results in a fatality vs. non-fatal accidents can be very slight. Therefore, continued efforts to increase motorcycle safety and reduce the risk of all motorcycle accidents are important.

Maryland Motorcycle Accident DeathsA study released last week by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) indicates that while there was a slight drop in the number of motorcyclist deaths in Maryland from 2010 to 2011, there was no reduction nationwide, with about 4,500 motorcycle accidents resulting in death each year.

In Maryland, there were 31 deaths during the first six months of 2011, compared with 34 during the first half of 2010. The overall drop over the course of the year has put Maryland back where it was in 2004, prior to the “bike boom”.

The report suggests that the rebounding economy is putting more motorcycles on the road, as more consumers are able to buy them as recreational vehicles. At the same time, gas prices have increased, which may be pushing more people to use their motocycles due to fuel economy. Therefore, researchers suggest that if these trends continue there will be increases in motorcycle travel and accidents unless strong measures are taken.

Several states suggested that specific motorcycle safety programs may have played a role in decreasing or limiting the increase in motorcycle accidents and deaths. The report highlights how effective strategies to prevent motorcylce accidents, injuries and deaths are well known, and many states have made motorcycle safety a high priority.

The GHSA has recommended that states address five major issues:

  1. Increase Motorcycle Helmet Use
  2. Reduce Alcohol Impairment
  3. Reduce Speeding
  4. Provide Motorcyclist Training to All Who Need or Want It
  5. Encourage All Drivers to Share the Road with Motorcycles
To review a potential case with our Maryland motorcycle accident lawyers
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“Click it or Ticket” Seat Belt Laws Reduce Auto Accident Injury, Death Rates

May 17, 2012 by  
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Next week kicks off the national “Click it or Ticket” campaign, designed to raise awareness about the importance of seat belts, as police make an increased effort to be on the lookout for drivers that are not buckling up.

Click it or Ticket CampaignWhile seat belt laws remain a secondary offense in many states, only allowing police to issue a citation for not wearing a seat belt if a driver is pulled over for another offense, states that have adopted stricter seat-belt laws, which make the lack of a seat belt a primary offense, are seeing positive results, reducing the risk of death or serious injury from auto accidents.

According to a recent study published in the American Journal of Public Health, strict seat belt laws have a big impact on teen drivers, creating good seat belt habits that are likely to increase their safety throughout the rest of their driving years.

Researchers looked at the 2006 National Young Driver Survey and a sample of 3,126 high school drivers. They found that teen drivers were 12% less likely to wear a seatbelt while driving in states that do not have primary seat belt laws. The rate was even worse for teen passengers, who were 15% less likely to wear a safety belt in those states where the police cannot pull you over simply for not buckling up.

In states where seat belt laws are only a secondary offense, teens were less likely to get into the habit of wearing a seat belt as they went from learner to unrestricted license holder. Teens were also less likely to wear safety belts in those states if they lived in rural areas, drove pickup trucks, were academically challenged or were African Americans.

The undisputed fact is that seat belts save lives and prevent catastrophic injuries every day. Auto accidents are going to happen (at least until we are all riding in self-driven Google cars), so it is important to establish the habit of seat belt use early and strict enforcement laws have a clear impact on increasing use of seat belts.

To review a potential case with our Maryland accident lawyers
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Auto Accident Head Trauma Risks for Teen Drivers

May 11, 2012 by  
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A new study by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm Insurance indicates that auto accidents cause more fatal head injuries for teens than any other types of events.

According to the report, “Miles to go: Monitoring Progress in Teen Driver Safety”, substantial progress is being made to reduce the risks associated with car accidents involving teen drivers. However, injuries sustained in accidents continue to be the leading cause of death for teens, with traumatic brain injuries and skull fractures following car crashes accounting for about 30% of the 55,000 serious injuries that occurred in 2009 and 2010.

Auto Accident Head TraumaResearchers determined that states with the most stringent driving laws had lower numbers of children who died in car crashes. States with loose driving laws had significantly more teen car accident deaths. Those laws often require the teen to have at least 50 hours of adult-supervised driving experience, limits the number of passengers a teen driver can carry, requires seat belt use and restricts the amount of driving that can be done at night.

The report also found that teens were more likely to adhere to seat belt laws in states with the strictest driving rules.

Overall, researchers saw improvements in teen driving safety over the last several years. From 2005 to 2010 the death rate among teen drivers dropped 46 percent, according to the report.

To review a potential case with our Maryland accident lawyers
Call 1(800) 522-0102 Toll Free 24 Hours a Day, 7 Days a Week
or Complete an On-Line Consultation Request

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