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Simien & Simien Personal Injury Law Blog

What's tapping the brakes on self-driving cars?

And that's not that's all bad. Notwithstanding developers' overt disappointment that self-driving cars aren't a flatly done deal on America's roadways, the gains made thus far are still impressive and bode well for the future.

Granted, they have turned out to be far more modest to this point than what many industry insiders and commentators had hoped for. Consider the oft-referenced and notably bold statement made by former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx in 2016. Foxx lauded next-stage developments linked with autonomous technologies and declared without reservation that self-driving cars in final form would be ubiquitous across the country by 2021.

Well, that date is rapidly approaching, with the secretary's declaration having turned out to far more whimsical thinking than a realistic assessment. A recent in-depth article on the subject matter published by the digital media company Vox points to "a lot of knotty problems to solve that are conspiring to delay the arrival of the technology." Surfacing problems relevant to every type of issue are reportedly "giving engineers fits." There is clearly a massive amount of work still to be done.

But, as noted, that reality shouldn't spawn abject negativity for self-driving advocates and the public in general. The bottom line stressed by Vox is that, while the race is not going to be quickly won, material gains are being systematically forged with technological enhancements that literally drive safer outcomes.

Consider this: Adaptive cruise control was an unknown concept just a few short years ago. Ditto enhancements like assisted steering and emergency braking.

We're getting there, notes Vox, although the finish line will mark the end of a marathon rather than a short all-out dash.

Gas fumes can lead to toxic exposure in the long and short term

Working in the oil and gas industry is not an easy occupation. Though you may have tried your best to handle your work-related duties as well as possible, you may not have escaped the potential dangers of your job. Unfortunately, individuals who face long-term exposure to petroleum or oil fumes can face negative health effects.

Though safety measures are undoubtedly in place to help you work more safely, you could still suffer the adverse effects of toxic exposure due to working around gas fumes. Even if you work out in the open, long-term exposure could cause your health to suffer.

Louisiana roadway deaths down, but improvement still needed

Fewer deaths to any degree is a flatly positive development, and Louisiana safety regulators are duly recognizing that fact. State Highway Safety Commission Executive Director Lisa Freeman noted to an audience last week that Louisiana's traffic fatality rate is "the lowest it's ever been."

That is laudatory, of course. State administrators and safety principals duly enthuse over roadway safety statistics recently released by a research arm at Louisiana State University. Relevant numbers indicate that a sharp decrease in road fatalities spanning the state in 2019 reversed a five-year preceding trend of spiked deaths.

An apt reminder: keep the kids safety buckled up

As they say, “If you blinked, you missed it.”

What specifically emerged and is now in the proverbial rear-view mirror is National Child Passenger Safety Week. That specially designated time period is spotlighted annually, and for obviously compelling reasons.

Worksite mishap spotlights regulators' huge concern with crane safety

State and federal workplace safety officials in Louisiana and nationally routinely express outsized concerns with cranes used in construction projects and the need to keep their operations safe.

New findings on traumatic brain injury emerge

Could it largely be about so-called "lymphatic vessels?"

Long held in the scientific community to be nonexistent, lymphatic vessels were first identified only recently by researchers at the University of Virginia. The vessels reside in the brain, serving to clean that organ and keep it free of damaging toxins.

Signs of serious internal bleeding may not show up immediately

The aftermath of a serious car accident can be hectic. In some cases, individuals may think that they have escaped the crash unscathed, but in reality, adrenaline and other factors are masking the pain of serious injuries. Unfortunately, you could find yourself involved in a car or truck accident that leads to injuries that are not immediately apparent.

In particular, internal bleeding is a serious issue that can result from automobile accidents. Because you may not see any immediate outward signs of trauma, you could think that you did not suffer any harm. However, internal bleeding can present other symptoms or could even have delayed symptoms that point to the issue later.

Should collision warning systems be fast tracked for large trucks?

The writing is clearly on the wall, apparent for all to see.

More accurately, its bottom line is prevalent in a study recently released by the research organization Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Will this behind-the-wheel trucking change promote or hinder safety?

Many of our readers in Louisiana and elsewhere have likely heard the term "hours of service" (HOS) in reference to the commercial trucking industry.

Its thrust is quite simple and premised on public safety. Truck drivers across the country were at one time unburdened by any regulation that limited the hours they spent behind the wheel on a given day. They are now limited by federal law to a maximum workday of 14 hours, with no more than 11 of those hours actually spent driving.

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