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Can Self-Driving Cars Really Maneuver Safely On Our Roads?

Remember all of those science fiction cartoons that promised artificial intelligence and self-driving vehicles? Well, they've made good on their promises. The age of automated intelligence has arrived, and self-driving cars are part of present-day technology rather than futuristic predictions. As automotive companies race to be the first to produce the first fully-automated car, many consumers are carefully monitoring the progress of this technology. 

Unfortunately, there seems to be an ever-growing list of risks associated with these new vehicles. According to a recent report from ABC 7 News in California, the car company Tesla is now embroiled in a federal investigation after one its self-driving vehicles failed to take into account a nearby truck, resulting in the death of a 40-year-old man in Florida. 

Who faces the highest risk on their job every day?

There's not a job in Denver in which an employee is completely safe from illness or injury. Every position in every industry carries with it a set of unique risks, from the office positions that leave people prone to ergonomic injuries and stress-related injuries to the construction jobs that require people to operate heavy equipment and endure hours of physical labor to complete their tasks.

While there's always a chance you could slip and fall in your Denver workplace, it's important to note that some industries suffer from more work-related injuries than others. Let's break it down:

Should trucking companies be able to drug test using hair?

Nowadays, it is virtually impossible to travel Colorado’s roadways without encountering a commercial truck, but many motorists still try and do so as much as possible because of the inherent risks these big rigs pose for other motorists. In addition to the size and weight of semi-trucks, which can threaten smaller, lighter passenger vehicles, substance abuse is also prevalent among many truck drivers, and it can place you and everyone else on the road in serious danger.

Per TheTrucker.com, transportation companies that are members of the Trucking Alliance, an organization that seeks to promote safety in the trucking industry, are asking that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration make changes to its drug-testing regulations. More specifically, they are asking that the agency let trucking companies perform drug tests on prospective employees using hair follicles, rather than urine.

Colorado fatal crash statistics are on the rise again

It's a moment that no one wants to experience and a phone call that everyone dreads. When you get the news that someone you love has been involved in a fatal car accident, you're entire world halts in its place. In an instant, life becomes a blur and the aftermath becomes a puzzle that is difficult to fit together — particularly since one critical piece is now missing.

Unfortunately, more and more Colorado residents are finding themselves in this same unimaginable circumstance. The number of fatal crashes throughout the state has risen by more than 30 percent since 2014, according to The Denver Post. Perhaps more alarming is the fact that this steep rise in fatal motor vehicle accidents can be directly attributed to the poor decisions that drivers make every day. 

Injuries to dental and medical assistants

It's usually the patients that are more intimidated to step into a doctor's office or dental practice, but the workers who are employed at these facilities actually face a wide variety of risks on a daily basis. Given the nature of their work, dental hygienists and medical assistants are prone to suffering from many different types of work-related injuries, some of which can be life-altering and severe. 

Medical assistants, dental hygienists and other workers who interact directly with patients within a clinical setting should be aware of the occupational hazards within their own work place, and should work with their employers in order to minimize risks and subsequent injuries.

Avoiding injuries from cold if you work outdoors

A deep winter freeze has descended upon Colorado and much of the United States. In these short, dark days of January, some outdoor workers may feel like the season of snow might never end. While there's fun to be had in the fresh powder, the cold weather brings along with it unique risks and challenges. It's particularly dangerous for those in Colorado who work outside in order to earn a living. 

Recently, a Colorado journalist was hospitalized due to severe frostbite. The television news reporter was out in the field, reporting on the extreme winter weather in the Colorado Springs area. He was delivering the news to his audience, all while being subjected to diving temperatures and winds that exceeded 25 miles per hour. 

More than 13 percent of Colorado drivers are uninsured

Driving in Colorado comes with a certain degree of risk, thanks to steep mountain roadways, snowstorms and other common hazards, but one of the riskiest aspects of driving in Colorado involves its high percentage of uninsured drivers. At the Law Offices of Cliff Enten, we understand that not everyone follows state laws regarding auto insurance requirements, and we have assisted many people who suffered injury in accidents with uninsured drivers seek appropriate recourse.

Per CarInsurance.com, 13.3 of all drivers on Colorado’s roadways in 2017 did not have insurance, despite the fact that current laws mandate that all drivers have coverage. What, exactly does this mean for you, should you collide with one of them and injure yourself? That will depend to some degree on the type of insurance policy you personally have in place, but it does not necessarily mean you are out of luck.

When children are injured on school playgrounds

For children, the winter season is particularly magical. Not only are they captivated by the splendor of the holidays, but there's nothing that excites them more than a fresh snowfall. When weather permits, their teachers are still apt to send them out onto the playground, because they need to burn energy in order to focus for the rest of the day. 

Unfortunately, there are moments of tragedy amid all of this winter fun. According to  KTLA-5 story, a 6-year-old girl was happily playing on a swing set on a Colorado playground in December 2017, when she got tangled in the straps of the swing. The swing wrapped around her neck, and she tragically died as a result of the accident.

Injuries to tailors, dressmakers and seamstresses

Tailors, dressmakers and seamstresses may seem like career options from the past, but the reality is there are many hard-working people earning a living in these fields right in the heart of Denver. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more than 21,000 people working as professional sewers in the United States, many of whom are employed at clothing shops, laundry facilities and department stores. In fact, there are many professional sewers who operate independent, local businesses in which they alter, seam and mend clothing items for their clients. 

This profession is not without its risks. It is critical that professional sewers, including those who are employed as tailors, dressmakers and seamstresses, understand Colorado worker's compensation laws.

Colorado traffic fatalities rise again in 2017

Colorado’s motorists have good reason to exercise caution when traveling the state’s roadways, as traffic fatalities continued to rise in 2017. While most the state’s traffic deaths occurred in the Front Range, with many happening in and around cities including Denver and Boulder, more rural areas and counties, too, saw an uptick.

Per the Denver Post, there were 615 fatalities on Colorado’s roads as of Dec. 27, 2017, compared with 608 traffic fatalities the year prior. In 2016, the number of Colorado traffic deaths climbed higher than it had in a decade, and this year’s numbers indicate a continuing trend. Just what is causing the increase in traffic fatalities?

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