Distracted driving was linked to more than 3,000 deaths last year, according to estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Cell phone use was a primary culprit in many of those fatal car and truck accidents. The size of the problem has led the National Transportation Safety Board to recommend a nationwide ban on using personal electronic devices, including cell phones, in any capacity while driving.
Wisconsin drivers are about to get a reminder about the dangers of driving drunk and riding in a car without a seat belt. The statewide campaign known as "Booze and Belts" will last until December 17th and is intended to reduce the number of deaths and injuries due to car and truck accidents. Police departments all over the state have been cracking down on people who do not wear their seat belts in connection with the nationwide Click it or Ticket campaign. Now the state is further stepping up efforts to arrest and convict drivers for not buckling up.
A sightseeing tour at the Lake Mead National Recreation area outside of Las Vegas ended in tragedy Wednesday. The helicopter crash claimed the lives of all four passengers as well as the pilot. The crash occurred around 5 p.m. while the helicopter proceeded on its normal course to Hoover Dam. The weather was clear with good visibility and low winds. It is unclear what caused the helicopter to go down. Local agencies and investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board are continuing recovery efforts and are still seeking an explanation for what caused this fatal aviation accident.
Cost cutting decisions by an airline can compromise the safety of passengers and airline personnel. The Federal Aviation Administration has ordered an increase in safety checks of American Airlines and its affiliate to ensure that the company's financial difficulties do not lead to aviation accidents. The inspections are geared toward the areas where an airline might be tempted to save money, such as employee cutbacks during non-peak hours and pilot training. The orders to increase safety checks were given shortly after the company filed for bankruptcy.
A 23-year-old model was struck by an airplane propeller last week at a private airport. Lauren Scruggs had just exited the plane when the accident occurred. As a result of the catastrophic injuries she received, she has had her left hand amputated and has undergone several surgeries. She is currently listed in stable condition, though the long term affects of the incident are not yet known. The propeller hit her hand, shoulder and face and may have caused permanent injuries to her brain. She has been able to respond to voice commands and is able to move her arms and legs.
A 73-year-old man ordered the chicken on an American Airlines flight from Barcelona to New York. The meal was allegedly contaminated with deadly bacteria. He became ill and his condition worsened on the next leg of his flight from New York to Miami. The man died shortly after the flight emergency landed in Virginia. The surviving family members have filed a lawsuit naming the airline and the catering company used by the airline to supply its meals. The wrongful death suit is seeking more than $1 million in damages from the two companies.
In 2007, the drug maker Merck agreed to a $4.85 billion settlement with the individuals who suffered heart attacks, strokes or other injuries associated with the use of Vioxx, as well as with the families of those who died as a result of using the drug. The makers of this defective drug have now settled their case with the U.S. Justice Department for their illegal marketing of an off-label use for the medication. Despite the heavy financial toll, the company was quick to point out that the settlements do not indicate an admission of liability or wrongdoing.