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October 2017 Archives

Night shift workers at higher risk for drowsy driving

Night shift work disrupts the ordinary sleep-wake cycle, increasing the risk of drowsiness in the daytime. With over 9.5 million people throughout the U.S. working a night or rotational shift, drowsy driving has become a public health hazard in Illinois and around the country.

Unclaimed life insurance lapsed policies under House Bill 302

Todd Strong recently met with Illinois State Treasure Michael Frerichs for a briefing on a program that he has instituted in the Treasurer's Office for unclaimed life insurance lapsed policies under House Bill 302. This a very beneficial program to individual program to individuals who are beneficiaries of lapsed life insurance policies where the insurance carriers have not paid out life insurance proceeds because formal claims were not paid. This sounds unusual. However, this scenario is all too common. Oftentimes, surviving spouses may have been unaware that they were named on multiple insurance policies purchased by their spouse. Other times, surviving spouses may have undergone severe health issues, such as Alzheimer's or other debilitating diseases which disable them from making the appropriate formal request to life insurance companies to pay out life insurance proceeds that they are entitled to under purchased and paid for life insurance policies.

Medical issues could increase risk of a truck crash

Study results released in January 2017 suggest a continued need to investigate the correlation between poor driver health and the increased risk of a trucking crash, and motorists in Illinois and other states may want to take note. Although the research is focused on risk as it pertains to commercial truck operators, results indicate that accidents involving commercial trucks may negatively impact other vehicles and their drivers. According to the senior author of the study, which was conducted by University of Utah School of Medicine researchers, the health status of commercial truckers could ultimately affect the safety of occupants of other vehicles.

House and Senate bills seek to revive sleep apnea rule

Accidents caused by fatigued truck drivers injure Illinois road users each year, and road safety advocacy groups have long called for government regulators to establish more rigorous sleep apnea testing to combat the problem. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration proposed a rule change that would mandate testing for drivers in categories likely to develop the condition, but the agency announced in August that the proposal had been withdrawn.

Driving safely close to large trucks

Semi-tractor trailers are a familiar sight in Illinois, and many drivers become tense and nervous when they are in close proximity to them. These fears may be rooted in the knowledge that car and SUV drivers generally fare poorly in collisions with commercial vehicles, and data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reveals that almost 70 percent of truck accident fatalities in 2014 were passenger vehicle occupants.

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