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On today’s roads, drivers are more distracted than ever. Whether it is using the cell phone, feeding the kids or even putting makeup on, it is often difficult to keep your eyes and focus on the road when you are driving. Keeping your focus where it should be is easier said than done, but distracted driving consistently ends up as one of the most common causes of deaths caused by accidents.

The consequences of an accident caused by distraction may affect your life for years to come, so you should be aware of the three main types of distracted driving before you hit the road.

1. Manual distractions

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Throughout the school year, students across the country travel for sporting events. Their parents anticipate their safe return home at the end of every event. For the parents of one boys track team here in Texas, a near head-on collision shattered that expectation.

The parents of the 18 students injured in the crash have the track coach to thank for their survival. The bus was headed south on Highway 271 in Texas when a semi-truck careened into its path. The coach managed to avoid a head-on collision with the truck, but the two large vehicles still collided. The 30-year-old assistant coach for the girls track team was in a car behind the bus. Her vehicle was also involved, and she died from the impact.

The 50-year-old driver of the 18-wheeler also died. The coach who was driving the bus remained hospitalized in critical condition at last report. The 18 students injured were all taken to the hospital for a variety of unknown injuries. One of those students was hurt seriously enough to be taken from the scene by helicopter. The conditions of the survivors were not reported.

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You and your parents love the nursing home they are in. It is cheerful and spacious, and the staff members are attentive. However, you hear that the nursing home is making staff reductions. Is that reason to worry? Possibly, since lower staff numbers may lead to increases in abuse. Sometimes, the abuse may even be unintentional like, for example, when there are not enough staffers, and important information falls through the cracks, or medication distribution gets delayed. However, a decrease in staffing is not necessarily cause for alarm.

Communication is key

The hope is that the staff reduction announcement includes solutions. For example, something such as, “Although we will have 10 fewer nurses, our new shift management software ensures that coverage remains as robust as ever,” may be reassuring. Even something along the lines of, “Despite the streamlining of our staff, we will still exceed staff/resident ratios, and will have X nurses for each resident,” is straightforward.

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Far too many Texas residents know how frustrating it can be to go to a doctor and not receive any relief. Obtaining the right diagnosis is sometimes like running a marathon. When a doctor takes the easy route and makes a diagnosis without further testing, the patient is the one who suffers the damage. A failure to diagnose a condition properly could end up leaving a patient with a debilitating and permanent injury from which he or she may never recover.

For instance, if a woman’s doctor had taken the time to perform additional testing when the woman first went to the doctor, she might not be suffering from severe brain damage today. Based on the woman’s symptoms, the doctor said she suffered from anxiety and failed to order additional tests. Over the next eight months, the woman’s condition worsened, and finally, she received an MRI that revealed she suffers from a hereditary condition called Wilson’s disease. Unfortunately, the diagnosis came too late to prevent the damage to her brain.

A jury agreed with the Missouri woman and awarded her over $28 million. The now 24-year-old was robbed of a normal life, and she will require care for the rest of it. The damage to her brain is so severe that she must be fed through a feeding tube.

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If you were arrested on suspicion of DWI, you need to know what is at stake. The potential consequences of a conviction can be harsh and could affect many aspects of your life. Texas law provides for jail or prison time, fines and the loss of your driver’s license for specific time periods, depending on whether this is your first conviction for drunk driving or your third. Depending on the circumstances, you could also face additional penalties for aggravating factors.

If this is your first offense, you face jail time between three and 180 days, the suspension of your license up to one year and fines that reach into the thousands of dollars. A second offense within five years of the first one raises the potential jail time to between one month and one year, the loss of your license for up to two years and escalating fines. A third offense could result in your incarceration for a minimum of two years and maximum of 10 years, higher fines and the loss of your license for two years. In addition, for a second or third offense, you could be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle that keeps you from driving if any alcohol is detected in your system.

If you refuse to take a breath test, are under the age of 21 or have a child in the car at the time, additional penalties could apply. If you are in an accident while impaired, you could be charged with intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter, depending on whether someone is injured or killed. Drivers who hold a CDL can only have a blood alcohol level of up to .04 percent instead of the .08 that ordinarily triggers a drunk driving charge.

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When you turn to a doctor or other health care professional for treatment of a condition, you trust she or he has the knowledge and experience to come up with a successful treatment plan and prescribe you any medications that will help you feel better. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States, and issues with medication are a big part of that. Before you blindly trust your health care professional or pharmacist to have your best interests in mind, educate yourself about what you should do to stay safe from medication errors.

1. Discuss all medications with your doctor

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Driving the wrong way on a highway or otherwise ending up in the path of an oncoming car greatly increases the risk of being involved in a devastating crash. In Texas and elsewhere, a head\-on collision all too often results in fatalities. The damage done to the victims always inevitably extends to their families as well.

The families of four people changed forever on a recent Tuesday morning. Around 5:19 a.m., a 45-year-old man and his 38-year-old passenger were traveling north on U.S. 287. At the same time, a 69-year-old man and his 57-year-old passenger were traveling south on the same roadway. Unfortunately, the southbound driver was in the northbound lanes of the highway at the time.

The northbound driver more than likely had no idea that he was about to encounter a wrong-way vehicle. The two cars collided head-on on the dry roadway. Fortunately, these were the only two vehicles involved in the crash. Unfortunately, even though all four of the individuals were properly restrained, they suffered fatal injuries in the impact.

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A new birth should be an exciting time, but unfortunately sometimes things can go wrong. Birth injuries happen in many ways and affect one or multiple areas: the baby’s nervous system, face or brain, for example. In these cases, pinpointing an injury’s exact cause can be tricky. They may be the result of high risk factors, in which trained doctors and nurses did everything correctly. Other times, however, they result from medical mistakes that can be costly.

Forceps

On occasion, a doctor must use forceps, a tool with pincers, to deliver a baby. Many babies end up perfectly fine, with nary a bruise. But in the worst cases, the infant ends up with nerve or brain damage. Inexperienced wielding of forceps may also lead to facial paralysis – although in many cases, there may be doubt about what exactly caused damage to the facial nerve. It could be a large baby, forceps, a long labor or a combination, in addition to other circumstances.

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Every Texas driver is responsible for paying close attention to the road and any other vehicles. Motorcycles tend to be more of a challenge to see because of their size, but that does not excuse a driver in a car accident. Knowing that some vehicles are more difficult to see should only increase the awareness of other drivers. Remaining vigilant of these smaller vehicles, as well as bicycles and pedestrians, should be a priority for every driver, especially in an urban area.

If one driver here in Texas had paid closer attention to the road and the traffic, a motorcycle rider might still be alive. According to reports, the 20-year-old motorcyclist was traveling west on RR 12. At the same time, a vehicle was pulling out onto the roadway from an apartment complex.

The two vehicles collided. The motorcycle rider suffered fatal injuries at the scene. The driver of the car told police that he or she failed to see the smaller vehicle. The investigation closed that portion of the roadway for several hours, and it was not reported whether any charges are being contemplated against the car driver.

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As parents and other loved ones age and it becomes difficult for you or other family members to care for them, it is often easier to entrust them to a nursing home or assisted living facility. These facilities are designed to care for the elderly with everything from basic tasks like grooming and bathing, to medical treatment for serious diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure. But when leaving family members in the care of others, the possibility of nursing home abuse or neglect may weigh heavily on your mind. If you fear that the facility is mistreating your loved one, here are several signs to watch out for.

The difference between neglect and abuse

Neglect is defined as a failure to provide the basic services that guarantee the patient is free from pain or harm. This included failing to react quickly to a dangerous situation that may cause the patient harm or anxiety.