Hospitals have expended significant effort over the years to reduce the number of infants who die during childbirth. A recent study concerning a spike in severe complications striking mothers has brought attention to the need to do more to make childbirth safer for mothers, as well. From 1999 to 2009, medical emergencies such as cardiac arrest, kidney failure and respiratory distress struck mothers 75 percent more frequently than in the preceding decade according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The spike may reflect a change in demographics for delivering mothers, but it is still important for hospitals to take steps to address this trend.
Earlier this month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration made a proposal that would require the installation of event data recorders in all new vehicles starting in September 2014. The head of the NHTSA has now said that black boxes are "essential to auto safety" and also indicated that the government will take steps to protect the privacy of motorists. At the same time, he indicated that he does not support the suggestion of some privacy advocates that motorists be given the option to turn off the event data recorders.