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IL injury lawyerA hospice social worker is a certified medical social worker (MSW) who has had specific training in end-of-life care. In hospice care, the social worker plays an important role in assisting with a patient’s wishes for care. This may include directives like a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order, planning a funeral, suggesting grief counselors, and more. Sometimes the social worker simply provides a listening ear or an expression of sympathy. A hospice social worker’s compassion, support, and knowledge can greatly improve the experience of the patient and his or her family during a very emotional time. But what benefits does a hospice worker receive if they are injured on the job?

Types of Injuries

Many hospice social workers travel to nursing homes, hospitals, assisted living facilities, and even patients’ homes to perform their jobs. They typically use their own vehicles for transportation to and from sites, but this travel time is usually considered part of their workday. Inclement weather can sometimes put them at risk for car accidents due to icy or snowy road conditions, traveling in all kinds of weather, rain or shine. Distracted drivers on the roadway can also cause crashes or rear-end collisions.

Since a hospice social worker often enters patients’ homes, the potential for possible injury can occur there, too. For example, if the social worker trips on stairs, obstacles, or an uneven walkway in or around the house or facility. Slip and falls could also take place due to water or ice on the pavement. The social worker could also sustain a back or neck injury if he or she tries to help a nurse or family member transfer a patient from a chair to a bed.

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IL injury lawyerMany rear-end collisions are minor fender-benders that result in little to no vehicle damage and minor, if any, personal injury. However, some back-end accidents are much more severe. In many cases, the sudden, rapid, back-and-forth jolting of the neck during impact causes whiplash. When that occurs, tendons, bones, and muscles of the neck are put under extreme stress, resulting in multiple symptoms that can have lasting, long-term effects. If you are involved in a rear-end collision, you should contact a personal injury lawyer to understand your options for compensation. Note: If you are seriously hurt and need immediate medical assistance, always call 9-1-1 first.

Recognizing the Symptoms of Whiplash

When a rear-end vehicle collision occurs, whiplash symptoms can be intense and immediate. However, in some cases, the severity of symptoms is not immediately felt. Instead, they intensify over the course of hours or days. Frequently, those drivers or passengers rear-ended in a collision decline medical treatment at the scene, but later begin experiencing the full effects of whiplash.

Common symptoms of whiplash include:

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IL injury lawyerThe first diesel engine patent was issued in the 1890s. Over the decades this combustible engine variant slowly gained in popularity. Its popularity comes from the ability of its fuel-air mixture to produce better energy efficiency than most gasoline engines. It became popular in the 1990s, especially in Europe. Studies showed that it released less CO2 carbon emissions than its gasoline counterparts. Many European countries began encouraging car manufacturers and their citizens to switch over to diesel. However, diesel emits Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) which caused air pollution. By 2014, Paris had pollution near the level of Beijing. This diesel related pollution has created health risks for Parisians living in the city.

The Potential Diesel Health Risks

The diesel engine is a great invention, but like all fossil fuel powered engines it has potential environmental and health risks. Those who work closely with diesel are usually the last to know of risks. Such as the possible relationship between diesel fumes and lung cancer. The American Cancer Society has released lab studies that have found that diesel fumes (like soot) can change the DNA in a cell which could lead to cancer. Others studies have found that there is an increased chance of cancer in individuals who work closest to diesel fumes, such as railroad workers, diesel truck drivers, miners, and heavy equipment operators. While the studies are not conclusive, other agencies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have also done similar studies, which point to similar conclusions.

How to Stay Healthy

While diesel fumes do pose a threat to your health, thankfully, there are a few simple things you can do to minimize the risk.

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IL injury lawyerIn the past several decades there has been a rise in workplace injuries related to carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). In 2010 a study by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 3.1 percent of employed adults suffered from CTS. This injury occurs when the median nerve becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist resulting in numbness, weakness and even pain in the wrist, hand, arm or elbow. Studies have shown that CTS is prevalent among those who work includes repetitive hand movement and is a fairly common office injury. If not treated CTS can become debilitating and lead to nerve damage. Thankfully, there are several treatments and methods to avoid this outcome.

Conventional Non-Surgical Treatments for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

There are many non-surgical options to ease or cure the pain of CTS. Many are simple and can be purchased over the counter.

  • Wrist Splinting: Those who suffer from CTS can purchase a simple wrist brace from any convivence or drug store. If the CTS is moderate wearing it during the night can relieve pressure on the median nerve. If the CTS is aggressive the suffer can wear the brace during the day while performing the task that aggravates the injury.
  • Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): Using over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen or Advil can ease the inflammation caused by CTS. If the pain is particularly severe a doctor can prescribe something a stronger medication.
  • Corticosteroids: This is a simple injection from a doctor which helps to ease inflammation and swelling. It is injected in the aggravated area.
  • Stretches and Breaks: The simplest thing to do is to take regular breaks from the activity with aggravates the CTS. During such breaks stretching the hand, wrist and arms can relieve the tension around the nerve.

Surgical Options for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

In some cases, non-surgical options are enough to eliminate the pain caused by CTS. In those instances, surgery is an option to consider. There are two popular surgeries offered to individuals ailing from CTS.

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Posted on in Car Accidents

IL injury lawyerIf you haven’t already, you will likely be in a car accident at some point in your life. Studies have shown that the average driver will have at least one vehicle-related accident once every twenty years. This likelihood increases when the driver regularly engages in bad driving practices such as drunk driving, driving while tired, or while talking on the phone. The likelihood of a car accident also increases based on the age of the driver with teenage drivers having a significantly higher probability than adults. If, or when, you get into a car accident there are five tips you should keep in mind.

Assess the Situation

After you have been in an accident, remain aware of your environment. If you feel that you have been injured then stay in your vehicle. Remain inside until emergency services arrive. If the circumstances demand that you leave your car then do so slowly and careful while remaining aware of your surroundings. Move to a safe location and stay there.

Call the Emergency Services

If you can move then call 911 and alert the police and the emergency services that an accident has occurred. Once they’ve arrived be polite and cordial and work with the police in relaying what happened.

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Posted on in Car Accidents

IL car crash lawyerDriverless cars are the latest buzzword in the tech and car industries. This led the public to believe that soon the road would be filled with 100% autonomous self-driving cars. While many early adopters are excited at this prospect, many drivers are uneasy by this idea. It also creates interesting legal questions regarding who could be at fault for injury if an accident involving a driverless car occurs. Without a doubt, the driverless car could be the future, but it is unlikely that the first models will be entirely autonomous. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has organized the types of driverless cars into six stages based on their level of autonomy.

Stage 0: No Automation

At this stage, the car is entirely dependent on the driver and offers no self-driving features. In other words, most, vehicles on the road today fit into this stage.

Stage 1: Driver Assistance

This includes some features like steering and acceleration to assist the driver. However, at this stage of automation, the driver has to remain actively aware of road conditions. The driver must still keep their hands on the steering wheel and be ready to operate the pedal

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Il truck crashDriving a large truck, such as a semi-truck, is a different experience than driving a small passenger vehicle. The drivers of a semi-truck are often hauling around thousands of pounds of cargo and traveling long distances. The truck drivers may also have to deal with any manner of mechanical failures on the truck, which is increased by the number of miles the trucks are driving. Accidents do happen, whether they be passenger vehicles or large trucks, and injuries or fatalities from large truck accidents are likely. The cause of large truck crashes was studied by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and some common causes were identified.

What Are the Causes?

The FMCSA was looking to determine why large trucks were involved in serious crashes. The total sample of the study was 963 crashes involving 1,123 large trucks and 959 vehicles that were not trucks. Out of those crashes, there were 249 fatalities and 1,654 injuries. 77 percent of the trucks included were single semi-trailer trucks and 5 percent were hauling hazardous materials. Crashes involving at least one other vehicle occurred in 73 percent of the crashes sampled.

The FMCSA study used two main definitions in their data. The critical event is the “action or event that put the vehicle or vehicles on a course that made the collision unavoidable” and the critical reason is the reason for that critical event. The critical events in the data the FMCSA observed were as follows:

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IL truck crash lawyerMany drivers do not like driving near semi-trailer trucks and other large trucks. The sheer size of the vehicles make normal passenger vehicles feel minuscule in comparison, so it is understandable that many people would be nervous around them. The weight of a semi-trailer or large truck is much more than an average passenger vehicle as well. Weight affects a vehicle’s behavior in a number of ways, including less maneuverability, greater stopping time and distance, and more impact if something is struck by the truck. These factors all combine to make their involvement in automobile accidents something to be wary of when you are a driver because they can cause serious injury or death. Drivers can follow some simple best practices when around semi-trucks or other large vehicles to lessen the likelihood of involvement in a collision.

Keep Calm

Often when passenger vehicles drive around large trucks, they get frustrated about how long it takes trucks to accelerate and brake. It is important to keep in mind that large vehicles are not going to be able to accelerate or brake as fast as your vehicle when they can weigh 20-30 times what your vehicle does.

Wide Turns Will Happen

When driving around large trucks, keep in mind that they need to take a wider turn than your vehicle. The length of their vehicle does not allow them to make sharp turns, so they need to compensate for that length by swinging around, sometimes in other lanes. Watching out for any large trucks or buses that are swinging wide to turn will prevent an accidental collision.

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IL injury lawyerDaylight savings time is a practice put in place in the United States in 1918 and has long since been a topic of heated discussion and debate. Advocates say having an extra hour of daylight in the evenings during the spring will help people be more active and will keep the roads safer because it is lighter longer. Detractors say it decreases productivity and can make people sick. Regardless of which side you are on, daylight savings time is a part of most people’s lives in the United States. However, there is evidence that daylight savings time is actually hazardous to the general public, due to an increased risk of car accidents following the clock change in the spring.

How Does Daylight Savings Increase Car Accident Risk?

A study in 2014 at the University of Colorado Boulder examined data regarding the prevalence of car accidents in the time period six days immediately following the change in clocks every spring. The results of that study found an increase of 6.3 percent during the six days after we change our clocks. The data was collected over a 10 year period. The reason for this increase in fatalities is because our bodies have a natural clock, known as the circadian rhythm. When the sudden shift in time occurs, it throws our natural clock off temporarily, and our bodies take time to readjust because of the sleep deprivation. This data is also corroborated by a study from Manitoba Public Insurance, an insurance agency in Canada. They found there was a 20% increase in car accidents the day after daylight savings time began compared to the other Mondays of 2014.

How Can This Be Prevented?

If you are worried about your drowsiness affecting your ability to drive a motor vehicle, you should take steps to lessen the likelihood of sleep deprivation. Making sure to go to bed early when you know the clocks will change, staying well-rested, and keeping an eye out for those drivers who were not as prepared as you were will help you stay accident-free after the time change.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_work-related.jpgWorkers’ compensation claims can cover work-related injuries for a wide variety of reasons. Injuries at work will often qualify you to receive compensation and benefits, so it is vital to understand the background on workers’ compensation claims in Illinois. Using these statistics to have a discussion with your personal injury lawyer about the best course of action for your case will be beneficial to all who need to file a workers’ compensation claim.

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission releases a report on the workers’ compensation claims and the results of those claims filed in Illinois every year. The report filed in 2017 for injuries occurring in 2016 states that there were just over 200,000 instances of workers reporting injuries to their employers in Illinois during 2016, with 45,000 claims filed by the employees to the worker’s compensation commission. Here are some of the key takeaways from that report.

Most Common Reasons for On-The-Job Injuries

The commission’s report states that overexertion and bodily reaction are the most common cause of work-related injuries by a wide margin. The five most common reasons below overexertion are: slip and falls, vehicle collisions, workplace violence, being exposed to dangerous substances or conditions, or contact with a part of the equipment or an object.

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IL injury lawyerBicycles are increasing in popularity for exercise and recreation, as well as an alternative method of transportation. Bicycle riders need to take measures to protect themselves while riding their bike. It is important to remember bicycles do not have the same safety measures built-in to their vehicle as an automobile does and take the proper precautions, such as wearing a helmet, having proper reflective surfaces on the bike and clothing, wearing pads, etc. However, there is a growing problem regarding counterfeit bicycle helmets and the possibility of injury due to the poor quality of those helmets.

Lack of Protection

Counterfeit helmets often do not meet the federal safety standards for the protection a bicycle helmet should provide. During tests to compare fake bicycle helmets with real ones, the counterfeit ones completely break, while the real ones do not. The counterfeit helmets are more likely to not protect at all against injury or death from a bicycle accident, which is not something people want to hear about their bicycle helmet.

How to Determine If the Helmet Is Counterfeit

A counterfeit helmet may look just like a normal helmet at first glance. However, if examined closely, there are some key differences between the two. The first factor to evaluate is the price. If the helmet is cheap, especially if it is a specialized helmet, chances are good it is fake. Additionally, for a safety measure that is going to protect your life, it may not be the greatest idea to buy a cheap helmet anyway. Doing the research on what normal bicycle helmets should cost from reputable dealers and comparing the prices you see will go a long way towards making sure your helmet is not counterfeit.

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IL injury lawyerInjuries are a normal part of life for most people. Simple things such as paper cuts do not require much treatment, but more serious injuries require more serious medical care. Treatment for injuries or ailments is often done in an emergency room or urgent care center. However, many people may not realize there is a difference between the two treatment facilities and they both are intended for different types of problems.

Urgent Care Center

Urgent care centers do not necessarily treat urgent injuries. The urgent care center is mainly used for when you are unable to go see your regular doctor but have something that needs to be examined by a medical professional. Often urgent care is used after a doctor’s office has closed, but the patient can not wait to make an appointment. Typical injuries treated in urgent care include abdominal pain, dehydration, cuts that may need stitches, high fevers, etc. Urgent care centers are typically less expensive than emergency rooms, especially if an ambulance ride is involved in the trip to the emergency room. Additionally, depending on location and type of injury, urgent care is often faster than the emergency room. Many urgent care centers are also located conveniently around shopping malls and commercial areas.

Emergency Room

The emergency room is most commonly used when someone has severe wounds or is at risk of loss of limbs or death. Common reasons for using the emergency room include heart attacks, strokes, extreme shortness of breath, poisoning, suicidal or homicidal feelings, coughing blood, and major amputations or wounds. The emergency room does have at least one major benefit over an urgent care center. Most emergency rooms are staffed and prepared for a wide variety of serious and life-threatening situations.

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IL injury lawyerEveryone has injuries now and then in their lives, but the older generation has a greater likelihood of injuring themselves in a fall. As we grow older, many people are less able to navigate obstacles and hazards as they once did. The human body changes with age and minor inconveniences become more difficult to maneuver. However, below we discuss a few easy tips that can be taken to prevent as many injuries as possible.

Discuss Falls with Your Doctor

A discussion with your doctor about your health and risk in a fall will give you an idea of the type of methods you should be taking to reduce the likelihood of a fall. The methods you take can depend on the types of medication you take, and how they combine with other medicines. Medicine can have side effects such as dizziness, being light-headed, and drowsiness. Knowing the types of side effects you may have will let you know more about your fall risk. Your doctor can also make a recommendation on the necessity of a walking aid such as a cane or walker. Using walking aids is sometimes necessary to decrease your danger of falling and injury.

Household Tips

It will also help you to take steps to reduce falls in your living space. Eliminating any unnecessary clutter on the floor or moving around furniture to make sure you have wide enough spaces to walk will decrease the chances of a fall. One of the more common rooms for a fall in the bathroom due to the wet surfaces. Installing a grab bar in your bathtub or shower and near the toilet will make it easier for you to stand up and decrease the likelihood of a fall. Railings may also be necessary on any stairs in your home. Making sure all areas of the house are properly lit to make sure there are no obstacles in the dark to trip on would also be beneficial.

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IL injury lawyerMany people drive motorcycles because they are fun to drive and are a much different experience than driving a normal car. However, motorcycles do come with their own risks. A motorcycle driver has less between them and the road than a car driver does, and less built-in safety features in their vehicle. Due to the nature of motorcycles, it is important that motorcycle drivers be prepared as much as possible in case of an accident.

One of the easiest ways to increase your safety on a motorcycle is to wear a helmet. Some people may not want to wear helmets because they do not like how they look or they do not think helmets are effective. Nevertheless, the statistics on helmet use do prove that wearing a helmet when driving a motorcycle saves lives.

Breaking Down the Statistics

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) collects data on all types of crashes, including motorcycle fatalities. The NHTSA estimates that drivers wearing motorcycle helmets prevented the deaths of 1,772 motorcyclists in 2015. In addition, there were 740 drivers which could have been saved if they had worn helmets. To put that in perspective, there were 4,976 motorcycle deaths total in 2015.

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IL crash lawyerAutomobiles today have many different styles and variations. When buying a vehicle there are a multitude of factors to consider, such as gas mileage, how old the vehicle is, and whether or not you like the look of the vehicle. One of the most important factors that should be considered when buying a vehicle is how safe it is in the event of a collision. Vehicles have varying degrees of safety depending on a variety of factors, and one of those factors is the type of vehicle. There are three main vehicle types for passenger vehicles: small cars (sedans), pickups, and SUVs. Each of these types has a vastly different body type than the others, which impacts the likelihood of a collision causing an injury or death.

Head-On Crashes and Vehicle Type

Most crash test scores will simulate two vehicles which are the same size hitting each other. However, researchers at the University of Buffalo found that car size also impacts the result of a crash. It would make sense that a larger vehicle is going to do more damage to a smaller vehicle, but the study by the University of Buffalo illuminates how much of a mismatch there is between the two sizes.

When a car crashed head-on with an SUV in this study, the data indicated that the likelihood of death was 7.6 times higher for the car driver. If the car possessed a better crash-test rating than the SUV, the car had a small increase in the likelihood of survival, but they were still 4.5 times more likely to pass away than the person driving the SUV.

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 IL injury lawyerWinter may not be a good time to drive a motorcycle but it may be a time when people are considering buying a motorcycle to drive for the spring and summer. Driving a motorcycle is a different experience than driving. It can also be less safe than a normal automobile. If you are considering buying a motorcycle, there are some important tips to remember to make sure you do not get in an accident and suffer a severe injury or death.

Buy the Correct Bike

The first safety tip is to make sure your motorcycle is the right one for you. Getting educated about the different types of motorcycles and engines will be helpful to make sure you are as safe as possible when you are driving your motorcycle.

Take a Safety Course

Taking a safety course to learn how to drive a motorcycle properly and the ins and outs of what you should be doing will definitely be beneficial to lessen your likelihood of a crash. In addition, taking a safety course may allow you to be eligible for a discount on your insurance premium. Manufacturers also may give you a credit to the cost of buying a new motorcycle if you sign up for a safety course.

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IL injury lawyerWhen children grow up, many of them are excited to receive their driver’s license. To them, it represents a sense of freedom and exploration they have not had before. Finally being able to go where they want when they want is something many children look forward to for quite some time. However, parents may view teens driving a little differently. Parents may worry about their children driving for a variety of reasons, including their safety. Below we discuss some statistics regarding teen drivers and their likelihood to be involved in a crash or incident.

Statistics on Fatalities

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released a sheet of statistics regarding “young drivers.” They classify “young drivers” as those between the ages of 15 and 20. There were 221.7 million drivers with licenses in the US in 2016. Of those, young drivers were 12.1 million or 5.4%. The good news is that total fatalities in vehicle collisions with young drivers have declined from 2007-2016. During that time period deaths among young drivers went down by 40%, fatalities for passengers with young drivers declined by 50%, and fatalities of occupants of other vehicles involved in a crash with a young driver went down by 27%. However, over the last two years of that data period, 2015 and 2016, there was an increase or no change in those same statistics.

The involvement of young drivers in fatal crashes has also decreased in the 2007-2016 time period, by 36%. Nine percent of fatal crashes involved young drivers, but young drivers are 5.4% of all drivers with licenses, so there is a discrepancy in the rate in which young drivers are being involved in fatal car accidents. The statistics also indicate that male drivers who are young are more likely to be involved in fatal crashes compared to females in the same age group.

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 IL injury lawyerAutomobiles are a great convenience for getting from one place to another, but many people do not pay attention to them as much as they should. There are many important aspects of making sure your vehicle is as safe as possible, and tires are one of them. Improper care of tires can cause severe injury or death, so it is important to check on your tires along with the other components of your vehicle to make sure they are running at peak efficiency and performance.

Inflation Tips

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, only 19% of people properly inflate their tires. Having tires inflated to the proper pounds per square inch (PSI) can improve fuel economy by as much as 11 cents per gallon. Proper tire inflation helps your tires last much longer.

Checking your tire pressure with a gauge once a month before the car has been driven will let you know what your tire PSI. Some vehicles have different PSI needed for them to be properly inflated, but you can find your vehicles PSI requirements on the driver’s side doorjamb, the rear edge of the driver’s door or on an inward-facing surface next to the driver’s seating position. Make sure to keep a tire pressure gauge in your vehicle and periodically check the pressure at least once a month.

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IL injury lawyerDriving a vehicle is dangerous for a number of reasons. Other drivers, road conditions, or mechanical failure are just some of the things that can cause a car accident while driving. The injuries or deaths due to many car accidents are preventable, and the Illinois Department of Transportation is constantly working to improve road safety to reduce these injuries and deaths.

The Illinois DOT strategic highway safety plan has five main categories in their mission to make roads as safe as possible, which are explained in depth below.

Engineering

The engineering aspect focuses on working to improve the roadway itself and the safety features on the roadway. Evaluating and updating the infrastructure of roads is key in this step since the road needs to be safe in order for the drivers to be safe. Some examples of engineering working to make roads safe are the implementation of rumble strips in the center and shoulder of more roads, updating and implementing more markings on roads, and adding more roundabouts.

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IL crash lawyerVehicle collisions are often traumatic incidents which can cause injury or death. Car accidents themselves are bad enough, but if your vehicle rolls over it can be even more traumatic. Safety measures have advanced greatly in recent years, but a rollover is still one of the most deadly types of serious crashes.

Even though vehicle rollovers only happen in about 3% of major crashes, they cause around 30% of deaths in passenger vehicles. Injuries or death due to vehicle rollovers can be decreased with more people wearing seat belts, better safety measures, and vehicle designs that focus on rollover avoidance. Until more of those measures are put in place, drivers should focus on learning what causes rollovers and how to prevent them.

Causes

Most rollovers are caused by a vehicle swerving onto something such as a median, curb, or pothole. When a vehicle swerves onto a pothole or something similar, it is called “tripping” because the vehicle is tripping over the obstacle and rolling over. When vehicles “trip” over obstacles, they are thrown off balance and much more likely to roll over.

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