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Two Workers Injured in Longfellow Bridge Accident

Author Jarod Cassidy

Two workers were hospitalized Tuesday afternoon following a construction accident at the Longfellow Bridge in Boston, Massachusetts.

About the Boston Construction Accident

According to the Boston Globe, the two men were working in a 35-foot-deep hole when chute funneling concrete collapsed on top of them.

The men were unable to climb the ladder leading out of the hole due to their injuries, requiring firefighters to use a Stokes basket to extract the men.

The men were taken to Massachusetts General Hospital for treatment.

Construction Accident Statistics

Following information provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration:

  • 4,628 workers were killed on the job in 2012. This averages to 89 deaths a week or more than 12 deaths every day.
  • Of those fatalities, 4,175 were recorded in the private industry and 806 were in the construction industry.
  • The leading causes of death for construction workers, called the “Fatal Four,” are:
    • Falls
    • Struck by object
    • Electrocutions
    • Caught-in/between
  • These for types of accidents result in 437 construction worker deaths every year.

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Is the Vehicle Recall System Broken?

Author Tina Robinson

Since General Motors began recalling cars with defective ignition switches in February, recalls have been announced at a seemingly non-stop pace across the auto industry. With long wait times to get repairs and millions of unrepaired vehicles on the road, some question if the recall system is broken.

A new article in the Detroit Free Press takes an in-depth look at how effective the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the agency responsible for overseeing vehicle recalls, really is.

Recalled Vehicles Go Unrepaired

According to Carfax estimates, more than 3.5 million cars are for sale online with open recall notices and about 36 million cars on the road are unrepaired. On average, 75% of all recalls get repaired, but that number drops significantly when the recall covers older cars. Such is the case with the GM recall, which covers older model Chevy Cobalts, Saturn Ions, and Pontiac G5. Notifying the owners of older cars, which may have had multiple owners, can be difficult, and many owners won’t bother to get repairs due to the age of the vehicle.

GM has been at the forefront of the recall news as federal investigations look into why the company failed to recall these dangerous vehicles for over a decade. The defect has been linked to 13 deaths and 47 crashes by GM’s own estimate, and records indicate many of those lives might have been saved if a recall had been conducted sooner. In May, NHTSA announced it would impose the maximum fine of $35 million for the delay, but safety advocates suggest that is not enough.

Auto Safety a Shared Responsibility

The current recall system relies heavily on self-reporting from automakers. Each year NHTSA receives over 45,000 complaints and only has 51 people who review those complaints. Although NHTSA has the power to initiate investigations and force recalls, the vast majority are self-reported and voluntarily initiated.

In the case of the GM recall, NHTSA was aware of some airbag failures but was unable to link the problem to the faulty switches. The agency has said that if GM had been more forthcoming with information, including a memo in 2009 from Continental that linked the two, it would have initiated an investigation.

Focus on Driver Safety

Although NHTSA has the power to police automakers, the primary focus of the safety agency over the years has been on raising awareness of issues such as drunk driving or seat belt use. “Human behavior remains the leading cause of highway crashes and deaths,” said Acting Administrator David Friedman. “These programs have shown enormous success over the years in driving down the number of deaths involving alcohol and driving up the percentages of vehicle occupants who wear seat belts.”

Traffic fatality statistics back-up NHTSA’s method. Since 1975, traffic fatalities have dropped from 44,525 to 33,516 in 2012 even though the number of drivers has increased. 

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Annie’s List Exec Director Killed in Six-Vehicle Crash

Author Jarod Cassidy

At least one person was killed and several others were injured in a six-vehicle collision on Interstate 35E in Waxahachie on Monday.

About the Fatal Waxahachie Collision

“This is bad. If there was anybody in the back seat of that Focus, we don’t know it yet because they haven’t been able to untangle it. It crushed it.” – Justice of the Peace Jackie Miller as published by the Daily Light

According to the Daily Light, the accident began after a Dairy Farms tractor-trailer rear-ended a 2014 Ford Focus carrying 59-year-old Grace Garcia, executive director of Annie’s List.

The impact forced the Focus roughly 40 yards forward and into an Acura, causing that vehicle to flip.

Meanwhile, a Ford F150 pulling a U-Haul trailer crashed into the Dairy Farms semi. An RV and another vehicle were also hit during the incident.

Grace, was killed on impact from multiple blunt force trauma injuries to her upper torso. Several others were rushed to nearby hospitals for treatment.

Officials are unsure if there were any other passengers in the Focus and claim the back of the vehicle was crushed so badly that the truck was forced into the front passenger compartment.

National Trucking Accident Statistics

  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,921 people were killed in trucking accidents along U.S. roadways in 2012.
  • This marks a 4 percent increase for the 3,781 deaths recorded in 2011.
  • Another 104,000 people were injured in trucking accidents in 2012 – up 18 percent from 88,000 in 2011.
  • Of those killed in trucking accidents:

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