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Milwaukee Personal Injury Law Blog

Why do truck drivers become distracted?

When driving in close proximity to commercial trucks, it's good practice to assume that the driver is not paying attention to the road. This will help keep you on your toes, which reduces the risk of an accident.

While it's farfetched to assume that every trucker is distracted, many of them are. Here are some of the top causes of distracted driving among commercial truck drivers:

  • Lost in thought: Long hours on the road can lead a trucker to daydream, but doing so for even a few seconds can lead to an accident.
  • Eating and/or drinking: Truckers often eat and/or drink while driving as a means of making up time. The problem with this is that they must take one or both hands off the wheel to do so.
  • Technology: This can include everything from talking on the phone to texting to reading a GPS system. Technology is a good thing for truck drivers, but it's also a top cause of accidents.
  • Reaching: When a trucker reaches for something in the cockpit, such as a map or beverage, they take at least one hand off the wheel. It's also likely that they'll remove their eyes from the road, or at the very least take a different angle on what's happening around them.

How to safely approach and drive through an intersection

If you spend any amount of time driving in Milwaukee, you know that you'll travel through one intersection after the next. While this is second nature for most drivers, you don't want to get lazy to the point of assuming that nothing bad could ever happen.

Here are some important safety tips to keep in mind every time you approach an intersection:

  • Make note of the traffic signal: If you don't know if the light is green, red or yellow, there is no way of knowing what to do next. Keep your eye on the signal, as well as everything else happening around you.
  • Use your turn signal, if appropriate: If you are turning at an intersection, turn your signal on as far in advance as possible. This gives all other drivers a clear idea of your intention.
  • Slow down: Even if you have a green light, it's best to slow down to protect yourself in the event of a mistake by another driver. For example, you could be driving through the intersection, but someone coming from the opposite direction makes a quick left turn in front of you. By slowing down, you reduce the risk of an accident.
  • Watch for pedestrians: Intersections are often crowded with pedestrians, including people who are walking, jogging and cycling.

Do you have a broken bone? You’re likely to know it

A broken bone is a serious injury that almost always results in immediate pain and discomfort. However, depending on the location and severity of the injury, you may find it difficult to personally determine if you've broken a bone.

While the pain alone is typically enough to help you understand that something is wrong, here are some of the other symptoms often associated with a broken bone:

  • Bruising and/or swelling in and around the area
  • Deformity, such as the bone protruding from the skin
  • Pain that worsens when you apply pressure to the bone or attempt to move
  • Loss of function, such as an inability to bear weight on a broken leg

Common injuries associated with a ladder accident

Depending on your profession and job responsibilities, you may spend a lot of time on ladders throughout your workday. For example, if you're a painter, you often feel like your ladder is your second home.

Even when you follow all applicable safety tips, there's still a chance you could suffer an injury in a ladder accident. The most common types of injuries include:

  • Broken bones: Even if you don't fall from a height, you're at risk of breaking a bone (or several). For example, an awkward last step could cause you to break your ankle or foot.
  • Head injury: If you fall and hit your head on the ground or another object, you could suffer a concussion or traumatic brain injury. This is among the most serious type of ladder accident injuries.
  • Back or neck injury: From a fracture to a strain to nerve damage, a fall from height has the potential to seriously injure your back and/or neck.
  • Lacerations: Depending on where and how you fall, deep lacerations are always a possibility. For instance, if you fall outdoors and land on a concrete or blacktop surface, lacerations and abrasions are more likely.

Black ice: Things you need to know

Due to the fact that it's invisible to drivers, black ice is extremely dangerous. After all, since you can't see the ice, you're more likely to strike it at a high rate of speed, which increases the risk of an accident.

Fortunately, when you understand where black ice is more likely to form, you can protect yourself accordingly. Here's what you need to know:

  • Black ice is most common when temperatures are right around freezing: Keep an eye on local weather reports and your car's temperature gauge, so you know if black ice is more likely on the roads you're traveling.
  • No sun increases the likelihood of black ice: For this reason, it's more common during the evening, nighttime and early morning hours. When you add in the fact that no sun lessens visibility, the chance of an accident is greater.
  • Bridges and overpasses are more susceptible: Since cold air is able to travel below and above the roadway, it's more likely to freeze.

The treatment of frostbite can be complicated

As someone expected to work outdoors in the state of Wisconsin during the winter months, you may have serious concerns about your health and safety. For example, if frostbite sets in, you understand the impact it can have on your health and ability to earn a living in the future.

Even if you believe you can treat frostbite at home, it's best to visit a local hospital to ensure that you fully understand the extent of your injury. Some of the things your medical team may do include:

  • Rewarm your skin: Using warm water, your doctor will rewarm your skin for a period of 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Pain medication: As your skin rewarms, it's natural to have some pain. Your doctor may provide oral medication to help deal with this.
  • Wrap the injured area: Depending on the severity of the injury, loosely wrapping the area can help protect the skin as it heals.
  • Remove damaged skin tissue: For your skin to properly heal, all damaged or dead tissue must first be removed. It's possible that your doctor may have to wait several weeks or months before removing damaged or dead tissue.
  • Surgery: If you suffered extreme frostbite, immediate surgery may be necessary to repair or remove dead tissue.

Are some more likely to drive drowsy than others?

Drowsy driving remains a serious, yet somewhat unknown, problem throughout the United States.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drowsy driving is responsible for tens of thousands of deaths and injuries every year.

Power tool safety tips to help you prevent an injury

For many workers, using power tools is a way of life. From construction workers to mechanics, these tools go a long way in helping them perform at a high level.

However, when used improperly, a power tool has the potential to cause serious injury or even death. Here are some safety tips you can follow to prevent trouble:

  • Always read the instruction manual: Before using a new power tool, read the instruction manual to ensure that you understand how it works, how to maintain it and other points that can keep you safe.
  • Disconnect tools when not in use: Don't leave a tool plugged in or powered up. If you need to leave the tool, turn it off and unplug it for the time being. This helps prevent an accident upon your return or if another person stops to use it.
  • Maintain proper footing: A slip and fall when using a power tool, such as a saw, greatly increases the risk of an accident. Keep your work area free of debris and wear shoes that will provide good traction.
  • Remove damaged or defective tools from the job site: After tagging the tool as "do not use," remove it from service and report it to your supervisor or employer.

Workers Compensation Lumbar Fusion Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation after workers compensation lumbar fusion can be a slow process during which temporary total disability benefits are paid to you. Many surgeons prescribe outpatient physical therapy beginning about six weeks after surgery. This delay is needed to make sure the fusion is taking. You will probably need to attend therapy sessions for two to three months. Total healing can take 8 to 12 months. Therapy can usually progress faster in patients who had an instrumented fusion.

Knowing how to drive in snow can keep you safe this winter

As one of our Wisconsin readers, you're well aware of the snow that's sure to fall this winter season. Even if you're well-prepared for it, there's nothing more nerve-racking than finding yourself behind the wheel when the weather takes a turn for the worse.

These tips will help you drive safely in the snow this winter:

  • Slow down: If you only do one thing, let it be this. The slower you drive, the less chance there is of losing control of your vehicle.
  • Leave more space: Since it takes additional time to stop in the snow, you'll want to leave a greater following distance between vehicles. Neglecting to do so increases the risk of a rear-end accident.
  • Don't stop when going up a hill: You need to keep your momentum, as coming to a stop will make it extremely difficult to start back up. If you stop and find yourself stranded, consider if it makes the most sense to turnaround and head back to the bottom of the hill.
  • Stay home: Unless you absolutely need to drive in the snow, stay at home until conditions improve and/or road crews make the roads more passable.

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