Getting a driver’s license is an exciting milestone for a teenager, but driving can be particularly dangerous for inexperienced drivers. In 2009, 3000 teens between the ages of 15-19 were killed in the U.S. in motor vehicle accidents and, a year earlier, a staggering 350,000 young adults reported to emergency rooms after sustaining injuries in cars.
There are many factors contributing to teen motor vehicle accidents such as driver inexperience, driving with other teen passengers, night time driving, not wearing seatbelts, and distracted driving.
To make driving safer for teens, improvements to driver’s education and licensing policies go a long way in preventing needless injury and death from auto accidents. One example is graduated driver licensing (GDL) systems that many states have adopted including Iowa. GDL aims to reduce risk factors and research has proven their effectiveness in preventing fatal accidents from occurring.
GDL’s grant driving privileges in stages, so that drivers can gain experience under low risk conditions. As teens move through the stages, they are given more privileges such as driving at night or having passengers in the car. With a comprehensive graduated driving license in place, states can cut the rate of teen auto accident death and injury significantly.
Teenagers trying to obtain a driver’s license in the state of Iowa are subject to a graduated licensing requirement. Teens can acquire their learners permit as young as 14, but must meet several requirements such as passing a written exam, attending drivers education and acquiring the needed hours of driving with a designated licensed driver without incident, before moving on to an intermediate license.
Once they reach the intermediate level at the minimum age of 16, independent driving privileges are given, but teens must comply with specific rules such as limiting passengers and driving during permitted hours, while continuing to acquire valuable supervised instruction for a certain period before applying for a full license, no earlier than age 17.
The Iowa GDL program holds up well to The Center of Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, recommendations, which include:
Getting a driver’s license is considered a rite of passage as teen’s transition from childhood to becoming adults. Keeping them safe it is important to provide them with driver’s education and sensible licensing policies to help prevent car accidents from occurring.
If you or a family member has been injured in an Iowa car accident, contact the Des Moines personal injury Law Offices of John T. Hemminger for immediate assistance at 515-283-2116.
Source: www.cdc.gov, “Policy Impact: Teen Driver Safety” accessed September 25, 2017.
With over 450 nursing homes in located within the state of Iowa, finding just the right one for your family member’s needs could be a challenging endeavor. Ideally your search for long-term care should take place before it is ever needed. Unfortunately, many of us do not start the process of researching and visiting nursing homes for our family member or loved one until a medical event takes place or a worsening of conditions such as Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease make it too difficult to care for a family member at home. Whatever your situation may be, you want to make sure that you find a good nursing home for your loved one so you can be sure they are well-cared for.
Slow down is the most important advise you will receive. Although you may feel rushed to select a nursing home, experts say, slow down and take your time when you are looking for a reliable nursing home. This is one of the most important decisions you will ever make for someone else so do not feel pressured into making a hasty choice on which nursing home is best suited to your loved one’s needs and well-being. Ask friends, clergy, the primary care physician, the geriatric physician, the hospital’s discharge office or the social work office for referrals and recommendations. If your family member is hospitalized, you have a right to tell the hospital that your family member is not ready for discharge and you/they need more time to able to secure reliable long-term care that meets their needs.
Key Factors When Choosing a Nursing Home
(Note: just because a nursing home facility is medicare and medicaid certified does not mean that it has a Government endorsement of good quality nursing home care, nor does it mean the facility has not had serious nursing home violations in the past).
Iowa Nursing Home Ratings. Compare Iowa’s more than 400 nursing homes that are receiving Medicare and Medicaid payments and their rating on a 1-to-5 star basis for the past two years.
Click here to read the Iowa Nursing Home Resident Rights.
If you have concerns about a particular nursing home or one of its employees, contact Iowa nursing home resident rights attorney John T. Hemminger at 515-283-2116.
Officials are working to update Iowa’s dependent abuse law to include violations to nursing home residents’ privacy following incidences of employees posting compromising pictures of residents to social media sites.
Currently, Iowa’s dependent abuse law, updated in 2008 and before the current social media revolution, does not protect nursing home residents from long term care employees snapping and sending pictures online as long as the photos are not sexual in nature, which would include showing certain parts of the body. Unfortunately, the law, as currently written, is falling woefully short on protecting the elderly from sexual exploitation and abuse in the digital age.
Recently, an Iowa certified nursing assistant escaped charges despite posting degrading and humiliating pictures of a dementia-addled resident to SnapChat simply because her photos did not meet the definition of sexual exploitation. As a result, the employee remains eligible to work in any nursing home in the state. Back in 2012, ProPublica, documented 47 cases of inappropriate social media posts by nursing home workers. With the explosion of social media since 2012, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Until the law is updated to address incidences of nursing home employees using social media or electronic devices to the detriment of the residents in their care, nursing homes can only hope that training and diligence will fill the gap. For many families who have a loved one being cared for in a nursing home, this may be an unsettling prospect.
To protect your family member from abuse or neglect in a nursing home, it is important to be alert to the signs of problems and stay in regular communication with your family member and nursing home staff. If you suspect abuse or neglect, it is advisable to visit with an attorney that has experience with nursing home neglect and elder abuse cases.
Contact an Experienced Iowa Elder Abuse Attorney
If your loved has suffered elder abuse or sexual exploitation by long-term care employees, contact Hemminger Law Firm. We provide personalized, focused, dedicated legal service to those seeking justice for elder and nursing home abuse. To schedule a free initial consultation, call us today at 515-283-2116
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Motor Vehicle Accidents
Nursing Home Neglect