Boats Are Getting More Dangerous in Florida

If Florida is famous for anything, it’s water. There’s water everywhere here. We’re surrounded on three sides by the ocean and the Gulf, and then, within the state, we have an enormous number of lakes and swamps. Florida is a wet state. We all know that. But it’s time perhaps we put a little more consideration into how we interact with that water. Specifically, it’s time we paid more attention to how we boat around all that lovely water.

A blog post from Glover Law Firm has recently pointed out that there’s been an increase in boat accidents in recent years. To begin with, Glover Law Firm points out that Florida actually leads the country in the number of boat accidents and in the number of boat accident deaths. While it makes sense that Florida would be near the top of the list, since we have so much water and such a large population, it is depressing to think we lead both categories. After all, Texas has a long coast and a large population. The same is true for the country’s most populous state, California. New York has a great lake and access to the ocean, plus rivers and lakes, and it has the fourth largest population in the country. Despite all these contenders, Florida is the undeniable worst for boat accidents and deaths. That suggests more needs to be done to curb these numbers, and more has been done with boat education and safety regulations.

Unfortunately, it appears these efforts have done little or no good. While the number of injuries in Florida boat accidents jumps around a little bit, the most recent numbers suggest Floridians are getting no better about avoiding serious boating accidents. The latest numbers we have, in 2015, show the number of injuries hitting a five year high, at 438 injuries. That is only one more than in 2011, but it is a discouraging 73 more than in 2014.

What does that tell us about Florida? It tells us that all other efforts so far have failed to do much to make the waterways safer for boaters.
That leads to the uncomfortable discussion of what more can be done. The first option would be to simply accept the numbers for what they are. We have a lot of tourists, a lot of people who come to relax and party, and that means drinking, drugs, and irresponsibility. It’s hard to see how we eliminate that and maintain our tourism charm.

I don’t think many residents would be happy about doing nothing, though, so option two is to pass stricter laws against boating under the influence and boat accidents, and then to enforce those laws more strictly. This would almost certainly lead to some dent in those high numbers, but the consequences may be fewer people coming to our state to enjoy themselves and also a more bloated justice system.

I’m not sure which option is better, but the numbers appear to indicate it’s time we seriously discuss which direction we prefer our state to go on this issue.

Innovation Can Save Our Air

The cost of living in industrial areas is extensive. Although many assume the worst parts of living in such places can be the smell or the crime rate or the lack of good schools and housing options, the greatest risk is actually the air itself. If factories are not up to code, industrial exhaust can lead to all sorts of health problems.

These problems can be slight or serious, from asthma to chronic bronchitis, to early aging, emphysema, and even death.

Though it may often be assumed that pollution is a third-world issue, it is actually a very real problem in America. MIT has calculated that 200,000 lives end earlier than they otherwise would every year due simply to air pollution.

Such high figures, and such horrible health problems, can lead to a sense of despair, especially for those located in those heavily industrialized areas. What can be done to reduce these issues?

The answer, as it always is, is innovation. America’s pollution problems have decreased massively over the last few decades because of innovation in the automotive and industrial industries. A continued push for such innovation is sure to find further answers that allow an industry to exist side-by-side with healthy communities.

Many new inventions are already showing great promise. Robovent claims to have already improved over 100,000 lives and says it will help 10,000 more every year. That business works with industries such as welding to clean up their exhaust and thus lower a number of harmful particles entering the air.

Stories like that of the Robovent (a company that says it is very passionate about its mission to clean the air) suggests a number of solutions are just over the horizon.

What is required now is an investment. That investment can and should take several forms, from philanthropists to business investors, to government loans. That last option is particularly crucial. Though some Obama-era investments were derided for their failures, the overall approach of investing in new technological innovations was a sound one, and one that should be encouraged on a bipartisan basis. In this heavily partisan era, one thing all can agree upon is the need for America to be at the forefront of the generation of technological inventions. With much of the world eager to clean the air, particularly in heavily polluted countries like China and India, the potential future profits for companies and the nation should be large enough to convince any skeptical parties that investment is needed and needed now.

Should that investment come, in all its forms, the future looks far brighter for those industrial communities. Cleaner air may be just around the corner. It just takes a few visionary inventors, and a few other visionary investors, to bring it to America, and to the world.

BAC Level is not Based on a Person’s Tolerance to Alcohol

Driving under the influence (DUI) has always been a major concern for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Though considered a serious criminal offense in all 50 states, so many obviously take it lightly, especially those whose age ranges between 17 and 24, the most common offenders of the anti-drunk-driving law.

On the road, drinking and driving is a fatal combination. It does not only put a driver’s life at risk, but also the lives of his/her passengers, pedestrians and other motorists. Thus, in a determined effort to significantly lower the number of road accidents due to drunk driving, the federal government, through the NHTSA, has set the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08% (from 0.10% before the 1980s).

In 2013, a move was made by the NHTSA to still lower the BAC level to 0.05%, the legal limit in many countries. This is based on studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which show that a 0.05% BAC level (acquired after consuming 2 – 3 bottles of beer) is enough to lessen a person’s coordination, full ability to respond or react to emergency situations, track moving objects and steer away from road hazards. Though this new limit is still to be signed into law, the NHTSA is positive that it will merit the lawmakers’ approval.

Drivers should understand that the BAC level is not based on a person’s tolerance to alcohol; definitely, some individuals, even after consuming 10 bottles of beer, can remain more sober than others who may have consumed just four bottles. And four bottles is all it takes to get that 0.08% BAC reading.

Part of the government’s serious campaign to catch drunk drivers includes sobriety checkpoints, higher fines and harsher punishments. Those who are caught violating the legal limit are charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) or DUI, and the punishment in the event of a conviction can include a $200 fine, 1 to 30 days imprisonment and suspension or revocation of driver’s license (harsher punishments are imposed on repeat offenders).

Though no DUI lawyer would ever condone or tolerate the irresponsible acts of drivers who drink and then drive, many lawyers, including the Columbia DUI lawyers, also believe that there are occasions when some individuals have no other choice but to drive, despite having consumed alcohol, due to emergency cases or unavoidable circumstances. At other times, individuals are apprehended and charged despite having a BAC level that is way below the limit set by the government.

It cases such as these, those caught and charged with a DWI or DUI may necessitate the services of a seasoned and determined DUI defense lawyer. Since being charged with a crime can have a lasting negative effect in your life, taking chances with an inexperienced legal counsel may cost you the bright future you have always desired. Thus, entrust your case only to an experienced and skilled DUI defense lawyer.


Prescription Drugs: A New Typed of Killer in the U.S.

Prescription Drugs: A New Typed of Killer in the U.S.

In 2006, a report was released regarding the harm being caused by medication errors. It said that medication errors have been affecting about 1.5 million people in the U.S. for the past two decades. In 2015, nine years after this report was made public, instead of reducing instances of these errors, the problem only escalated. In 2008, for instance, the National Center for Health Statistics recorded 41,000 deaths due to medication overdose or poisoning.

The bigger concern that the government faces, especially the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, is the fact that these overdose problems are not caused by illegal drugs, like cocaine and heroin, but by medicinal pills that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and which doctors prescribed to patients.

Prescription drugs are aimed at maintaining health and sustaining life. To serve their real purpose, though, these will have to be taken in accordance with medical guidelines because if abused, used much longer than instructed by doctors or used in ways other than medically directed, then these can very well cause not only harmful side effects, but even death.

Not all prescription drugs pose harm. The ones that do, however, are those that people tend to use every day (due to doctor instruction), like opiate-based pain relievers, anxiety medications, sedatives and stimulants, despite their addictive and very strong effects.

The positive results, which users claim, opiate-based drugs provide them are the main reasons why they become over dependent and addicted to these drugs. The worst mistake that users commit, though, besides abuse of these drugs is mixing some of these with other drugs, making their effect no less than deadly.

As pointed out by Dr. Russell Jenkins, MD, a member of the Institute for Safe Medication Practices’ (ISMP) board of directors, the most dangerous combinations of drugs include antidepressants and methadone, and painkillers and supplements. Certain antibiotics and oral contraceptives, as explained by Matthew Grissinger, RPh, ISMP pharmacist and education safety analyst, should not be taken together as well, as the former will only reduce the effectiveness of the latter. Both experts also said that, Coumadin, a blood thinner taken by people with heart valve conditions or with blood clots, should not be used with ginseng or aspirin.

According to the Goings Law Firm, LLC, “Personal Injury Lawyers know that the consequences of a serious accident or injury can be devastating. They understand the physical pain and suffering, overwhelming medical bills, lost wages, and stress that often result from the negligence and wrongful conduct of others. Theye also understand the frustration that you may be experiencing in dealing with the insurance company or the at-fault party. Thus, they are determined to provide anyone the strong legal representation they personally need in any type of serious personal injuries, including car accidents, truck accidents, wrongful death, alcohol related claims, falls, and dangerous products (which include harmful pharmaceutical drugs).”

Along this same line, the Amerio Law firm says, “It is important that you understand what your legal rights are, and determine whether you may be eligible for compensation, as a result of your injuries due the negligence of someone else. Through a personal injury claim or lawsuit you may obtain compensation for economic, as well as non-economic, damages. These damages include covering expenses for past and future medical care, physical therapy, and even lost wages from time taken from work for your recovery. Damages can also include compensation for pain and suffering, and emotional distress. There is no financial gain that can undo your traumatic experience. However, legal action can certainly help relieve financial burdens and hopefully help you and your family obtain the justice and closure you deserve.”

Devastating Aftermath of Car Accidents

For people who live in Texas, it can seem impossible to get around without the help of a car. Unfortunately, we live in a dangerous world where even the most cautious drivers can find themselves the victim of car accidents. Regardless of whether you live in an urban center, such as Dallas, or a more rural community, reckless driving takes place all around you. In 2015 alone, drivers lost over 37 billion dollars as a result of motor vehicle accidents. The consequences may also be far more severe. According to Dallas car accident attorneys of the Benton Law Firm, in 2012 there were around 63,000 serious injury crashes in the state, with 87,000 people sustaining serious injuries from these crashes.

After a car accident, many victims experience shock. Shock is a medical condition resulting from low blood pressure, and frequently affects victims of motor vehicle accidents. Symptoms include confusion, chest pain, dizziness, pale skin, unconsciousness, and a variety of others. When these symptoms occur, simple steps such as exchanging insurance information and taking pictures of the damage can become difficult as a result of the trauma. In the event of a serious injury this is especially true.

Many motorists are taken advantage of in the chaotic aftermath of a car accident because they were not able to take proper steps to legally protect themselves. These steps include recording the locations and areas of physical damage of each vehicle. It is important to understand that the insurance company will require huge amounts of information, and to be prepared for detailed recalling of the incident.

Continuing your daily routines without use of your car is challenging, but dealing with the added stress of insurance adjustors and hospital bills can be overwhelming to even the toughest driver.