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  1. Ivan Barry Pless
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ivan Barry Pless, Retired, 434 Lansdowne, Westmount, Quebec H3Y2V2, Canada; barry.pless{at}mcgill.ca

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More gun than car deaths in Louisiana

The Violence Policy Center (VPC) reported that gun deaths exceeded motor vehicle deaths in Tennessee and 16 other states in 2013. It notes that Americans’ exposure to cars greatly outweighs their exposure to firearms, but in 2013, there were 33 636 gun deaths and 35 612 motor vehicle deaths. The latter are declining, but guns remain the only consumer product the US Federal Government does not regulate. These data were released when the National Rifle Association (NRA) was meeting in Tennessee. At its trade show, gun companies feature semiautomatic weapons with high-capacity magazines. The director of the VPC says, “The time has come to stand up to the NRA and its corporate sponsors in the gun industry and regulate firearms for health and safety, just as we regulate motor vehicles and all other consumer products.” (Noted by IBP).

Most truck-driver deaths from crashes

Although not surprising, a recent CDC report confirms that most on-the-job fatalities involving truck drivers are due to crashes. Unexpected, however, is that the number increased between 2009 and 2012. And it was distressing to learn that ‘more than a third of the drivers who died were not wearing a seat belt’. What is needed, says CDC, is ‘strong company safety programs and enforcing state and federal laws’. In light of the seat-belt finding, it was disappointing to discover that about one-third had had at least one serious crash in the past. As well, non-belt wearers ‘tended to engage in other unsafe driving behaviors such as speeding and committing moving violations … and were more likely to work for an employer that did not have a written workplace safety program’. (Noted by IBP).

Technology versus impaired driving?

A study by two groups at the University of Michigan assessed a 15-year-old technology that, if fully implemented, might reduce 85% of crash-related deaths. The device is like a breath analyser …

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