Archives for : July2012

Basic Facts About Spinal Cord Injuries

Many people in California are among the approximately 10,000 people in the United States who sustain spinal cord injuries every year. A SCI causes damage to the spinal cord, commonly resulting in paralysis to the body’s muscles and nerves. SCI victims lose at least a part of mobility or sensitivity function below the level of injury.

Most SCI’s are a result of trauma, such as car accidents (36 percent) and falls (21.2 percent). SCI’s are categorized as either complete or incomplete injuries. Complete injuries result in no sensation or voluntary movement below the specific level of injury. Incomplete injuries involve the presence of some function below the specific level of injury.

Neck, or cervical, injuries typically result in quadriplegia. Quadriplegia is paralysis that affects all four limbs of the body, typically from the neck or chest down. Depending on the level of injury, quadriplegics may lose involuntary functions such as breathing or sweating, as well as reduced voluntary function in the arms, wrists, hands and fingers.

Injuries at the thoracic, lumbar or sacral levels result in paraplegia, which typically includes full arm and hand function but varying degrees of functional loss to the trunk, abdominals or legs. Both quadriplegics and paraplegics experience bowel, bladder and sexual dysfunction.

Around 450,000 people in the United States live with SCI. About 82 percent of all SCI’s occur in males between 16 and 30 years old. SCI victims face lengthy rehabilitation periods as well as a lifetime of ongoing medical care and medical equipment needs. Remedies for those who sustain a SCI due to the negligence of others may include recovery of medical costs, coverage of future medical care or medical equipment, pain and suffering or lost wages.

Common Causes Of Motorcycle Accidents And Tips To Avoid Them

California’s climate offers motorcycle riders the perfect opportunity to take to the road. Despite riders’ best efforts, however, motorcycle accidents remain a problem.

The most common motorcycle accidents involve other vehicles, resulting in more than half of all motorcycle fatalities. Drivers of cars and trucks often do not see motorcycles. A motorcycle is small enough to get hidden in another vehicle’s blind spot, so when a driver makes a turn or switches lanes without seeing a motorcycle, an accident can result. Motorcycles are maneuverable in good road conditions and at slower speeds, but they still have trouble getting out of the way of other cars quickly.

Motorcycle riders frequently slow down by downshifting or letting off the throttle rather than hitting the brakes, which leaves them more vulnerable to rear end collisions from drivers who do not see a brake light warning. Riders also tend to shift lane positioning to counteract the effects of road debris, road conditions or passing cars. This sometimes gets misconstrued as an invite to other vehicles to share the road space and accidents occur as a consequence.

Motorcyclists can follow some common sense rules to ride safe on the roads. Because they are often hidden from the drivers of other vehicles, motorcyclists should stay as visible as possible and maintain a safe distance. Many motorcycle turn signals are not self-canceling, so motorcyclists should be sure to turn them off after they change lanes or make turns, to avoid confusing others on the road. Wet roads make it more difficult for motorcycles to stop quickly, so riders should maintain extra space between them and vehicles that they are following so they have adequate room to stop safely.

Source: For Car Drivers, “Ten Things All Car & Truck Drivers Should Know About Motorcycles.”