''HEY PEOPLE! All new cars are gonna have air bags! Got that?"
More than half of the American public would not pass a test asking what an air bag does, and 5 percent has no idea what an air bag is, a recent survey indicates.Meanwhile, U.S. automakers are busily equipping their 1990 models with the safety restraint.
The good news is that two thirds of the adult licensed drivers who know about air bags approve of their use. The survey, conducted by the American Coalition for Traffic Safety, also found that 11 percent who knew what air bags were disapproved of them, and 22 percent had no opinion.
The study, based on 1,500 interviews, optimistically predicted that air bag knowledge likely will increase as they become more widely used. Otherwise, some accident-prone driver could be in for a rude awakening.
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STICKS AND STONES may break my bones, but keep your mouth buttoned next time around.
A meeting of the National Association of Independent Insurers a few weeks ago was the unlikely setting for some serious legislative mudslinging. Rep. Chuck Douglas, a junior Republican congressman from New Hampshire, made a remark he later called a "flip aside" about Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank's sexuality.
Rep. Douglas linked the Democrat's acknowledged homosexuality to the liberal orientation of the House Judiciary Committee, which includes both representatives as members. The committee has examined the insurance industry's antitrust exemptions in the past.
According to an article in Federal & State Insurance Week, a newsletter covering the insurance industry, Rep. Douglas said, "I don't know if you know who Barney Frank is, but he's one of the two members of Congress who are only interested in (people) of their own sex. . . . That gives you a little feel for the committee, so to speak."
The freshman lawmaker later apologized, but the issue still dogs him.
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THERE BETTER BE some strong tail winds in Las Vegas today, or someone is out a bundle.
Complete Equity Markets Inc. of Wheeling, Ill. is keeping its fingers crossed as Rob Knievel, son of legendary daredevil Evel Knievel, attempts a motorcycle ride (flight?) over a 165-foot stretch of parked cars at Caesar's Palace. Complete Equity is providing $1 million in medical coverage to the young stuntman.
Rob's dad tried the feat in 1967 and failed. He ended up breaking the usual assortment of bones and was in a coma for a month.
Speaking of broken bones, young Rob once was on the receiving end of Evel's foot when he wouldn't apologize for some transgression. His schnozz was busted.
Early parental training, I guess.
Good luck Rob. Good luck Complete Equity. And good luck to whoever insured those parked cars.
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WORKERS COMP loss prevention technique #12: reduce job stress.
A recent international survey indicates that business executives are working long hours, experiencing high levels of stress and spending little time with their families.
The survey, conducted by Priority Management Systems of Vancouver, British Columbia, examined the personal and professional lives of 1,000 executives.
The resulting snapshot of life in the late 1980s shows:
* 85 percent of those surveyed worked more than 45 hours a week.
* 81 percent experience stress; 48 percent felt stressed every day, encountering such symptoms as headaches, anger, tension and stomach troubles.
* 89 percent take work home with them.
* 65 percent work more than one weekend each month.
* 42 percent don't read to their children.
* 53 percent spend less than two hours a week looking after their children.
"What this lifestyle survey is telling us is that the average business person is out of balance," said Dan Stamp, president of the management training company. "The demands of technology and an intensely competitive marketplace are taking their toll."
Tell that to the National Council on Compensation Insurance, which for years has bemoaned the alarming rise in stress-related workers compensation claims. NCCI claims stress costs the industry billions of dollars each year.
Take it easy, you hear?