Tips, Talk and Insight from the Slater Vecchio Team

White Brain Matter, Depression and Concussions

white brain matter damageHave you had a concussion or a mild traumatic brain injury? Do you suffer from symptoms of irritability, depression, and anxiety? A recent study suggests damaged white brain matter, the brain’s signal cables, may be responsible.

On our blog, we often discuss the long-term damage left by concussions including depression. Signs and symptoms of depression include:

  • Loss of sleep
  • Loss of concentration
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Appetite or weight changes
  • Anger or irritability
  • Reckless behaviour

Why do only some concussion sufferers report these symptoms?

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Get the TEXT? – Distracted Driving is Deadly

texting is deadlyDo you text and drive? Of course you do. The phone starts buzzing and you dig for your phone trying to keep one eye on the road.

We all know texting and driving is not only dangerous but illegal. We know that it dramatically increases the risk of an accident but we fool ourselves into thinking “It’s only for a moment. t won’t happen to me”.

To address this dangerous “not me” attitude, advertisers are creating shocking but effective ad campaigns. READ FULL ARTICLE +

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Soccer Causes Deadly Concussions

soccer concussionSoccer player Curtis Baushke died after suffering multiple concussions, despite playing a “safer sport” according to The New York Times.

Sadly, Curtis wrote a paper titled “Concussions” for a college class five years before his death. In his essay, Curtis recalls gruesome migraine headaches after suffering concussions on the soccer field.

Curtis played soccer and baseball during his childhood. Although he excelled at both sports, he eventually chose to concentrate on soccer. “He wanted to play a safe sport like soccer,” his father, Bill Baushke, recalled.

During freshman year, Curtis suffered multiple head injuries while playing for the varsity team. He experienced postconcussive symptoms such as depression, dramatic mood swings and migraine headaches. READ FULL ARTICLE +

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Could New Technology Eliminate Drunk Driving?

drinking and driving technologyDoes a world free of intoxicated drivers sound too good to be true? Vehicle blood alcohol sensors could make it a reality according to TIME Magazine.

The technology was recently unveiled in the US by the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADDS), which advocates technological solutions to drunk driving. This work is a partnership between auto manufacturers, regulators, and safety advocates.

How does this technology function? DADSS detects alcohol levels using two key mechanisms. The first is a breath-based system, much like a Breathalyzer, pulling in exhaled air from the driver. The other method involves a touch sensor using near-infrared tissue spectroscopy to determine the driver’s blood-alcohol content.

This new technology promises to determine a driver’s sobriety in “less than a second,” according to a video released by the organization. READ FULL ARTICLE +

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Road-Rage Incident Caught on Camera

road rage incident According to CBC News, a Toronto road-rage incident was captured on video as a CBC News crew was interviewing an Ontario police officer on a highway overpass.

Two men shouting from vehicles underneath the overpass interrupted the interview. CBC camerawoman Tyna Poulin captured the violent episode on video.

“There’s a road-rage incident, just right here,” CBC’s Neil Herland told the officer. Williamson told the two men to get back in to their cars and to “grow up”.

The two men eventually got back into their cars after almost exchanging blows and kept moving. According to CBC News, it’s unclear about what sparked the confrontation, though the two cars appear dangerously close together. READ FULL ARTICLE +

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80% Of Canadian Drivers Feel Road-Rage

road rage in vancouverNo matter how mild your manners are, driving has a tendency of bringing out the worst in us. Nearly 80% of Canadians admit to driving behaviour that could be deemed as road-rage according to a Kanetix study. The poll suggests:

  • 40% of drivers use profanity during traffic.
  • 20% of drivers tailgate while driving
  • Drivers aged 18 to 34 are most guilty of cutting people off while driving
  • Seeing other drivers distracted is the most common road-rage trigger.
  • Men tend to get road rage when they are cut off in traffic while women tend to get road rage when they are running late.

Typical road-rage behavior includes making rude gestures, driving in an unsafe manner and making threats. These actions lead to roadside altercations, assaults, and even death.

According to The Vancouver Sun, a California woman was recently charged with murder in what police said was a road-rage killing of a motorcyclist on a freeway. She allegedly rammed her car into the back of the victim’s motorcycle and then drove over him. READ FULL ARTICLE +

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Bike Helmet Safety for Children

bike safety for kidsSchool’s out for the summer! Vancouver children are enjoying their freedom by riding their bicycles all day. You’ll see children cycling on city and suburban streets, trails, bridges, and seawalls.

According to the City of Surrey, over 50,000 Canadians sustained brain injuries in 2012 and these injuries involved both adults and children. Head injuries are also the leading cause of serious injury and death to kids on bicycles.

Here are some bike helmet safety tips for children.

  1. The helmet should sit two fingers’ width above your child’s eyebrows. Your child should be able to look up and see the helmet on their forehead and the helmet should sit level on their head. Your child’s head is not protected if the helmet is tipped back.
  2. The helmet straps should form a “V” under your child’s ears. This positioning helps keep the helmet in the proper position.
  3. There should be one finger space between their chin and the strap. This means there should be just enough room to ensure they don’t get pinched when you are strapping the helmet on.
  4. The helmet should not slide around on you child’s head and it should fit snugly.

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How Motorists Can Protect Cyclists on the Road

cyclist safety A drunk motorist struck and killed a cyclist in Toronto this week. According to the Montreal Gazette, this incident comes two weeks after Toronto architect and cyclist Roger du Toit died following a collision with a SUV.

The Canadian Institute for Health Information noted that Canadian cyclists injured in motorist accidents resulted in 3,155 emergency room visits in 2012-13. According to ICBC, 1500 BC cyclists were injured in 2013 resulting in 13 fatalities.

It is important for motorists to keep safety in mind while sharing the streets with cyclists this summer. Here are a few things to remember:

  1. Motorists should never honk their horns at cyclists unless they are doing so for safety reasons. Startled cyclists may lose control of their bicycles and could get injured.
  2. Motorists making right turns must check their mirrors and blind spots to ensure there are no cyclists attempting to go past them.
  3. Motorists should allow cyclists a safe space to ride on the street.
  4. Neighborhoods are full of new and young cyclists. Motorists must exercise extra caution while travelling through residential areas.
  5. Motorists should pass cyclists without forcing them off the road. Motorists should also slow down while passing cyclists making sure not to alarm them.

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Increasing Fines for Distracted Drivers

bigger fines for distracted drivingWhat do you think the fine for distracted driving should be? Should distracted drivers have their cars impounded and receive roadside suspensions similar to drunk drivers?

Texting while driving is a bigger hazard than drunk drivers. Canada’s CTV News reported that 47 out of the 177 deaths on the province on Ontario’s highways in 2013 involved distracted drivers, compared to 32 killed in alcohol impaired driving-related incidents.

Distracted driving is the second-leading cause of deadly car crashes in BC.

Distracted Driver Fines

Currently, BC drivers ticketed for distracted driving are charged a $167 fine and issued three penalty points, the second lowest penalty in Canada.

Fines in Nova Scotia were raised from $176 to $234 for a first offence, and from $350 to $579 for any additional offences. Ontario’s maximum distracted driver fine is $1000.

The BC Government Wants Your Opinion

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Defiant Left Lane Drivers Face Heavy Fines

left lane driver fines BC Drivers clogging highway passing lanes will face hefty fines and penalties.

“Drivers who won’t move over can impede traffic and contribute to crashes. This new rule makes it clear who should travel in the left lane, and when, promoting safety on our highways,” said Transportation Minister Todd Stone in a CBC article. “It’s going to take time and it is going to take a coordinated effort,” Stone added.

No one likes a left lane blocker according to DriveSmartBC. They take over the left lane and are oblivious to surrounding traffic. They wrongly believe if they are driving the speed limit, there is no need for them to share the passing lane with others.

Studies show regularly driving in the left lane causes traffic congestion and encourages dangerous driving and tailgating behaviour.

The new legislation states that drivers must stick to the right unless: READ FULL ARTICLE +

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