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As 2014 comes to a close, PRIMA would like to wish its members, partners and other industry professionals a safe and happy holiday season. As we reflect on the past year for the industry, we would like to provide the readers of the PRIMA Risk Watch a look at the most accessed articles from the year. Our regular publication will resume Thursday, Jan. 8.
11. Wake up! 1 in 5 fatal car crashes involve drowsy drivers
Property Casualty 360
From Nov. 6: Caterina Pontoriero fell asleep behind the wheel nearly three years ago. Pontoriero didn't wake up until she banged her face against the steering wheel. She had been driving at 60 mph when her car slammed into the one in front of hers as it was stopped in bumper-to-bumper rush hour traffic. Thankfully, she only sustained a slightly crooked nose and a few scars, and the person she hit was not hurt.
12. Major League Baseball balks at foul ball safety measures
Bloomberg via Claims Journal
From Sept. 11: From his perch in the Atlanta Braves infield on May 20, third baseman Chris Johnson heard what sounded to him like the crack of two bats in quick succession. The first was a line drive off the bat of Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez. The second was the ball smashing into the head of a 8-year-old in black shorts and a blue shirt, who was seated in the first row behind first base. Johnson watched as the boy’s father and a stadium first-aid crew carried him away. After the game, Johnson and catcher Gerald Laird, toting an autographed bat and ball, visited the hospital, where the boy, barely awake, was hooked up to monitors and an intravenous drip.
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13. New tracking devices for city vehicles to save money, boost safety
New York Post
From March 6: The city is about to start tracking all of its workers’ on-the-clock driving habits and fuel usage with the help of technology more advanced than that of of current “black boxes.” While the event-data recorders that are now in use can store only a few minutes of information, the new gadgets — called CANceivers — are able to record between half a year and a year’s worth of data. And while the EDRs — commonly called black boxes — are typically accessed only after a major crash, data from the new technology can be readily downloaded daily to provide information on a variety of vehicle details, including speed, idling time, harsh braking, maintenance needs, oil pressure and mileage.
14. First responders left in the dark on public safety network
From Oct. 16:
Nobody said it was going to be easy. After Sept. 11 exposed huge holes in the country’s public safety communications capabilities, Congress passed a law on Feb. 22, 2012, creating the First Responder Network Authority (better known as FirstNet) to build a nationwide wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety and emergency response. The nation’s 5.4 million first responders would no longer have to rely on commercial carriers to communicate and transmit critical information during major emergencies. It didn’t work out so well.
15. Prescribed drugs increasing in fatal crashes involving drugged drivers
From June 26:
Since 1993, the profile of a drugged driver has changed substantially. A study released in Public Health Reports shows that more drivers are now testing positive for prescription drugs, cannabis, and multiple drugs, and they are more likely to be older than 50. “While we’ve seen a decrease over the years in motor vehicle fatalities involving people under the influence, the nature of those crashes is changing,” said study author Fernando Wilson, Ph.D., associate professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
16. Arizona inventor's device aims to curb hot-car deaths
From July 10: Scott McDonald's background is in airplanes, but it is an invention for cars that has become McDonald's passion in the hopes that the device will become required for vehicles across the country. It's the latest in a series of inventions designed to address a deadly problem. McDonald, a commercial airline pilot based in Arizona, was horrified to see the statistics of children who die or suffer injuries after being left in a hot car when the driver failed to remember the child was riding in the backseat.
17. Texas school Marshal training begins
From July 17: December will mark two years since 20 students and six adults were gunned down inside of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. In the time since that tragedy, schools across the country have added security cameras and enforced updated security measures. But some school districts in Texas do not believe that those steps are enough to ensure the safety of students.
18. Baltimore may ban criminal history question on job applications
From April 10: Baltimore may soon join four states and five cities that prohibit private employers from asking about criminal history on initial job applications. The proposal being considered in Baltimore is part of a national trend to reduce prisoner recidivism by eliminating barriers to employment. “It removes any implicit bias that employers might have against someone with a past record,” said Councilman Nick Mosby, the bill’s lead sponsor.
19. An open garage, a dead exchange student, and a new debate on self defense
The New York Times
From May 8: Teenagers call it garage hopping. The goal was to sneak into an open garage, steal some beer or other items and slip away into the night. It was dumb and clearly illegal. It was not supposed to be deadly. Around midnight on April 27, a 17-year-old exchange student from Germany named Diren Dede left the host home where he played Xbox and drained cans of Sprite to set off with a friend through his dark hillside neighborhood. They passed a home whose garage door hung partially open. Using a cellphone for light, Mr. Dede headed in.
20. Clogged cell networks during big events: Examining potential solutions to a serious problem
From Sept. 11: After the City of Seattle asked citizens around CenturyLink Field to limit their social media use in the Stadium District last Thursday during the Seahawks opening game festivities, people weren’t too thrilled. “This is a joke, right?” one user commented on our Facebook page. “Such a high tech city, can’t even use my smartphone at the stadium,” someone noted. “So ironic at the CenturyLink Field!” wrote another. The City was concerned that too many people streaming video and uploading photos from their smartphones would clog cell networks and possibly prevent those in need from reaching emergency services.
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