How to Keep Truckers from Drinking and Drugging

Truckers are responsible for a massive number of the serious accidents on the road. This is a statistic almost any driver would know without even having to look it up. After all, who hasn’t seen truck drivers driving erratically not once but on a regular basis? Who hasn’t seen truck drivers disobeying the rules of the road by driving too fast or in the wrong lanes? Who hasn’t seen trucks pulled off on the side of the road due to mechanical issues? And who hasn’t heard of multiple serious truck accidents every year in their area?

Some of this is unavoidable. Truckers are on the road more than other drivers, so they are more likely to be in accidents. They are driving massive vehicles that are difficult to stop or control when an obstruction suddenly shows up ahead of them, so they are more likely to be in serious accidents than in fender benders.

Some things can be done to minimize these problems, though. For instance, among the major causes of trucker accidents is the use of alcohol by drivers. This is, on some level, counterintuitive. Another of the major problems for truckers is exhaustion, which alcohol is only likely to increase. While stimulant use is obviously also negative, the association of stimulants with truckers makes sense. What drives truckers to drink, though? And how can we stop it?

Part of the problem is the stress of the job itself. The hours are long, many would argue too long. The job is a lonely one with whole days spent without talking to another person. The job is also very stressful, with extremely difficult deadlines to meet for pickups and drop-offs. Also, while the money remains reasonably good compared to some professions, it isn’t as good as it once was, meaning some truckers may be struggling with financial issues pushing them to deliver even faster than their already difficult deadlines demand.

All these stressors can drive anyone to drink, all combined, and with a person left only to police themselves, it’s easy to see why many are tempted to drink more often than they should.

So, what can be done?

First, more should be done to relax the deadlines placed on truckers. There is too little legal supervision over the demands put on truckers. If companies were forced to ease these, it would remove a great deal of stress. This would potentially also allow truckers to take more time to recover if they have been drinking. If they’re driving day can be shortened in such a case without penalty, they are likely to wait until completely sober to drive.

Other options are possible, but far more extreme, such as breathalyzers to start all trucks.

By far, the best option is to ease the stress put on truckers. This will lower transportation efficiency, obviously, but it will make us all safer, which seems like a good bargain.

Divorce rate doubles for Baby Boomers, according to studies

There is a social phenomenon that is developing and catching people by surprise, and that is the significant increase in divorces among couples who are 50 or older. This raises sociological and societal questions surrounding the baby boom generation. Since the baby boomers, the divorce rate has doubled since the 1990s. This generates interest in family lawyers that may be surprising to newer generations and Millenials. Perhaps there is a stronger bridge between the baby boom and Millenial generation than many people had previously believed.

In 201, up to 10 out of every 1,000 people over the age of 50 are divorced according to the Pew Research Center. Though these rates are lower than younger generations, the increase in the number of divorces is piquing the interest of Houston family law attorneys like this firm, and other experts. Divorce lawyers claim that older couples are seeking divorces related to reasons earlier in life: lack of mutual interests, loss of deep connection or “growing apart.” We are now in a modern world that views marriage differently than it did 50 years ago. Baby boomers may be realizing that they want to explore their interests and choosing to go solo to check items off of their bucket lists. Something that complicates the legal nuances of “gray divorces” is chief on financial considerations. This presents the conflict for spouses who are near retirement. Couples who divorce earlier have time to recover financially. Even if a spouse did not have a career in their marriage, a decision to divorce in their 30s or 40s still allows the spouse to acquire the skills to build a career for a life of their own. When divorce occurs in the 50s, spouses are often living on fixed incomes provided through Social Security or retirement benefits. The presumption is that these marriage benefits include shared revenue and security. The challenge for lawyers is to decide how each spouse will adjust their lifestyle to pursue their interests.

Certified family law specialists often approach families by determining the plan they had when they chose to be married. Then he looks at financial considerations such as retirement so he can best advise the client on the best options for their financial future. These may result in difficult conversations and recommendations, such as selling a large family home no longer needed for a single adult.

This may be difficult for mothers who don’t want to let go of a home where they raised their children. Adult children may complicate the process by feeling entitled to having a say in the divorce process and having the home for their own future family. It is important for a spouse to fully consider their option and decision for divorce if they no longer want their ex to be listed in their wills or documents. While the transition may be difficult, I believe it is imperative for each person to pursue their happiness and rediscover their true path, whether that means staying with the partner they married originally or moving on, even later in life when others choose to stay for convenience or other reasons.

Child Custody for Unmarried Couples

Child custody is one of the hottest disputes during a divorce, and that is saying something, considering that there are many other possible areas of dispute, such as alimony, child support, and division of assets and liabilities.

But what if the parents are not married? In these cases, the process will be faster. This is because the parents, their legal representatives, and the courts can focus on child custody alone.

Child custody can be decided in two ways: First, it can be decided through negotiations between the couples and their respective legal representatives, or through collaborative proceedings like mediation. Second, it can be decided by the court.

According to the website of these Fort Worth child custody attorneys, many couples can’t come up with a compromise, so they end up using the second option to resolve disagreements regarding child custody.

But how does the court decide? The court primarily considers the primary caretaker of the child and works from there. The primary caretaker of the child refers to the parent who has more responsibilities when it comes to childcare, including the following aspects:

  • Bond with the child, such as bedtime reading, and doing extracurricular activities
  • Domestic responsibilities, such as doing laundry, ironing clothes, and packing school lunches
  • Hygiene needs of the child, such as bathing, brushing teeth, changing diapers, and styling hair
  • Medical needs of the child, such as taking the child to dentists, doctors, and orthodontists
  • Nutritional needs of the child, such as feeding, and preparing meals and milk
  • Other parental responsibilities, such as taking to and picking up the child from school or recreational areas

Another factor is the best interest of child, so the parents that are more capable of taking care of their children’s needs are more likely to get custody. These needs vary, but typically, they involve food, shelter, education, healthcare, and other aspects that may help the child have a dignified life.

Slip and Fall Accidents in Office Spaces

Employers have the legal responsibility of ensuring the safety of their employees. This can be achieved by doing several methods, such as giving the employees the adequate safety equipment, enforcing safety regulations to avoid accidents, and maintaining the work area to avoid defects, malfunctions, and fires.

Getting injured because of the negligence of employers and property owners is one of the worst things that could happen to you. Injury not just causes pain and suffering, but also financial damages like medical costs and lost time at work.

One of the most common accidents that cause injuries in the workplace is called slip and fall. This occurs when a third-party object makes an employee slip and fall, resulting into injury or even death. Typically, slip and fall claims can be viable only if they can prove the following:

  • The condition that has caused the slip and fall accident has existed because of the negligence of the sued party
  • The condition has resulted into bodily harm and damages associated with it, such as medical costs and loss of earning capability, either temporary or permanent
  • The condition has existed long enough for a reasonable party to see it and act accordingly

It is important to note that these accidents can happen not just in dangerous work environments like construction sites, factories, and mines, but also in relatively safer environments like offices. In fact, there is a possibility that those who are in offices are at greater risk of slip and fall accidents because of their complacency and over dependence to the inherent safety of a building or office. The most common factors that cause slip and fall accidents in these spaces include:

  • Slippery substances on floors, like spilled drinks, leaks from air conditioners and pipes, and floor wax
  • Objects that can trip, such as opened cabinets, loose cables, and worn carpets
  • Malfunctioning elevators and escalators
  • Defects in staircases

Those who are lucky will not sustain injuries in slip and fall accidents, but those who are not as lucky can suffer from a variety of conditions, such as the following:

  • Head trauma for hitting the head on a hard surface
  • Back and neck injuries for landing harshly
  • Arm fractures for extending the arms upon landing

No-zone Truck Accidents

A driver operating vehicle as long as an 18-wheeler, which is 70 feet long and weighs around 80,000 lbs., will most likely find maneuvering it a little challenging and seeing all other vehicles on the road, impossible. This is due to an an 18-wheeler truck’s “no-zone” or blind spot areas, wherein smaller vehicles which may be driving in these (areas) become invisible or unnoticeable to truck drivers.

“No-zone” areas or blind spots refer to spots where crashes are most likely to occur because smaller vehicles are almost always never noticed by truck drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), these areas include a truck’s:

  • Front, where smaller vehicle can be rear-ended or crashed by a truck if ever its driver suddenly slows down or makes an emergency stop.
  • Cars slowing down right after overtaking a truck is actually one of the things truck drivers badly hate;
  • Rear, where smaller vehicles tailgate a truck. Tailgating is not just really dangerous and a major traffic safety issue; it is also legally prohibited in all states; and,
  • Right or passenger side, where a truck driver can totally fail to notice smaller vehicles. If a truck makes a right turn, the vehicle to its right can easily be crushed.

This is issue of “no-zone” area is a real concern in 13 states (Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota and Utah) where triple trailers, also called road trains, are still allowed to operate (a road train refers to a normal tractor unit pulling two or more trailers instead of just one).

According to a West Palm Beach accident attorney, though many truck drivers and trucking companies do everything they can to stay safe on the roadway, the sad reality is that not everyone exercises this level of caution, putting unsuspecting motorists in harm’s way. There are even instances when drivers are forced to exceed the set hours of service restrictions, abuse alcohol and/or amphetamines while behind the wheel, or drivers/companies that fail to keep their trucks in good working order regularly, exposing everyone on the road to serious risks.

Getting harmed in a truck accident or, worse, losing a loved one, is nothing short of tragic. Though filing a civil lawsuit against the liable driver and/or a trucking company may involve lots of legal challenges, this is still the most sane thing to do in order to claim the compensation that the victim deserves.

Toxic Substances: Their Illness-causing Effects Go Beyond the Workplace

Work-related injuries and work-related illnesses caused by regular exposure to toxic chemicals in the workplace always register a high rate of claims lawsuit in the U.S. While all types of workers may be exposed to risk of injury or illness, some of those in the greatest danger are people in the construction business where hazardous chemicals are always present and regularly used.

Toxic chemicals can surely inflict harm on anyone who is not properly suited when handling these substances or who is exposed to these substances every day. Worst, the workers themselves are not the only ones who may be harmed by these substances: family members, who come in contact with the fumes or harmful fibers which stick to workers’ clothes or skin, as well as residents who live near areas where these substances are used and stored, can be harmed too. And if an illness actually develops, its symptoms and harmful effects are usually not immediately obvious; there have been many occasions, in fact, when the harmful effects of substances became manifest only after months or years have already passed.

Toxic substances can cause skin rashes and, if its fumes get inhaled often, this can cause disease in the lungs, kidney, or liver. The most common substances that can cause these medical problems are disinfectants, acids, solvents, caustic substances, pesticides, petroleum products, glue and heavy metals (like aluminum, cadmium, lead and mercury).

To help ensure the safety of workers, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a by-product of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 which is tasked to ensure the protection of every worker in the workplace, put into effect the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) in 1986. The HSC, also called the Right-to-Know law or the Worker Right-to-Know Legislation, mandates employers to inform workers about the hazardous and toxic substances found and used in the workplace.

Though OSHA has significantly reduced the number of workplace accidents since its creation in 1971, 4,500 fatalities and 4.1 million serious injuries every year continue to be recorded. This is because so many employers continue to ignore OSHA’s stipulations on safety standard, others, though, just have very poor management style: these directly result to acts of negligence.

As pointed out in the website of the Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, law firm, exposure to toxic substances can be due to failure to quarantine toxic chemicals; chemical explosions or fires; failure to provide workers with protective gear or equipment; chemical spills; and, failure to find toxic chemicals in demolished materials.

Employers face great responsibility towards those they may harm due to very poor ways of handling toxic substances. A person, who develops an illness and suspects that this is due to his or her exposure to toxic substances, may find it wise to contact immediately a personal injury lawyer who can explain to him or her the possible legal action he or she may be able to pursue.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

With the advent of this year’s Super Bowl Sunday on February 7 and the latest release of 47-year-old Willard Carroll “Will” Smith, Jr.’s new movie, concussion, parents are reminded once again that football is a very dangerous sport, what with its capacity to inflict players with the most critical of head injuries – the concussion.

Parents of high school and college football players certainly have reservations when it comes to being happy for their children, who are playing for their dreams and sports aspirations. However, Lurie Children’s director of trauma at the division of general pediatric surgery and at the same time Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine assistant professor of surgery Rashmi Kabre says that concussions may not only occur during football accidents but in fact happen more frequently during activities like skateboarding, biking, sledding, climbing, skiing, car or all-terrain vehicle riding, among others.

For her part, Lurie Children’s medical director at the Institute for Sports Medicine and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine associate professor of pediatrics Cynthia LaBella said that the Concussion movie is portraying a very specific kind of concussion injury. She claims that the type of brain injury featured in the movie – chronic traumatic brain encephalopathy – is caused by multiple trauma to the head that can only be gained by accidents spanning an entire football career. That type of disease is characterized by progressive brain damage and significant changes to the brain’s structure, whereas a concussion causes only temporary changes to the brain’s function and does not alter its structure.

According to attorneys at the Abel Law Firm, concussions – granted that they have the same impact and force – can cause different children to experience different levels of brain effects. Textbook symptoms of them include confusion, loss of consciousness, vomiting, dizziness, headache, among others, with some less obvious signs including new-onset emotional instability, mood swings, forgetfulness, nervousness, agitation, inability to concentrate, and unusual sleeping patterns.

Cruise Ship Excursions: Common Hazards and Accidents

Plenty of people consider going on a cruise as the ideal way to travel and experience many different locales. While on a cruise ship, one can make their journey towards the destination while enjoying the comfort provided by the many amenities and attractions available on board. Tourists can also enjoy the breathtaking view provided by the open sea as they may their way from one stop to the next. It comes as no surprise that cruise ships are enjoyed by vacationers of all ages.

The experience becomes even more enjoyable once cruise ship passengers reach their destination and take part on excursions and other in-land activities. Many cruise lines provide their passengers with the choice to take part in a variety of activities they can enjoy while the ship is docked in a given location. Travellers can try snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, and kayaking, as well as hiking and horseback riding. Some ships also provide the opportunity to eco-cultural tours.

Unfortunately, certain incidents that could take place in these cruise ship excursions may put the safety of passengers at risk. As noted by the website of the cruise ship lawyers at The Vucci Law Group, P.A., there have been plenty of cases when excursions and in-land activities end in accidents caused by certain hazards and errors. In some occasions, these accidents are serious enough to cause injuries.

The following are just common examples of excursion hazards and accidents:

  • Dock Accidents – Cruise ships that fail to properly dock could cause sudden lurching and other unexpected movements that lead to slip and fall accidents.
  • Tender Accidents – Before going on excursions, passengers are transported from the ship to the shore through small boats called tenders. Accidents can happen while people are boarding and disembarking this vehicle, as well as if the tender is being operated by a reckless driver.
  • Motor Vehicle Accidents – While on the excursions itself, passengers are transported from different venues in cars that could be susceptible to collisions.
  • Defective Equipment Accidents – Malfunctioning equipment and defective gear can also make excursion activities particularly dangerous for passengers.

Distracted Driving: One Common Cause of Car Accidents

The frequency by which car accidents occur in the United States is becoming more and more alarming in recent years. According to the website of Spiros Law, P.C., data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that more than 6 million motor vehicle crashes were reported in the year 2007. For the following year, around 34,000 car accident fatalities were reported.

One of the most common reasons behind why these accidents continue to occur is distracted driving. For the year 2013, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 3,154 fatal vehicular crashes were caused by distracted driving. In particular, data shows that drivers in these cases were mostly focused on texting or using their mobile phones while driving their vehicles.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC generally defines distracted driving as instances when a driver is operating are or her vehicle while doing another activity at the same time. It is considered potentially dangerous because it causes a driver to split his or her attention between two different things. The CDC identifies 3 different situations that describe what happens when a driver is distracted behind the wheel. Visual distraction refers to situations when drivers take their eyes off the road. Meanwhile, manual distraction refers to scenarios when drivers take their hands off the stirring wheel of the car. Lastly, cognitive distraction is used to refer to situations when a driver becomes absent minded while operating a vehicle. The use of mobile phones while driving is a combination of all these three different kinds of distracted behavior.

Distracted driving may seem like a minor infraction compared to serious traffic violations such as speeding and driving while under the influence (DUI). Still, it’s worth noting that it can still lead to losing control of one’s vehicle and unintentionally causing a collision to occur. According to the website of the Oklahoma car accident attorneys from Abel Law Firm, distracted driving can cause victims to suffer long-term consequences resulting from injuries like brain trauma and whiplash.

What Happens in Explosion Accidents

Explosions involve the extreme and powerful release of energy and high temperature. As such, it’s easy to see why such an even can be extremely dangerous and catastrophic. Explosions are known to result in very severe and mostly fatal injuries. They cause rapid bursts of flames and gases, as well as strong shock waves that can damage anything within a specific radius near the site of the accident.

Those that are present in the area where an explosion occurs are likely to suffer from a host of traumatic injuries. One of the most common injuries sustained by people involved in explosion accidents are severe burn. Damage to the lungs and other internal organs are also typical outcomes of these devastating scenarios. Respiratory damage is caused by hazardous gases and smoke omitted by an explosion, while other types of internal trauma can be due to crushing injuries. Other common explosion injuries include severe lacerations, broken bones, loss of limb, and brain damage.

According to the website of Williams Kherkher, explosions are caused by a number of risk factors. However, the most common causes of explosion accidents involve the accumulation of flammable gases in poorly ventilated areas. Failure to properly secure and handle certain combustible materials can also result in explosions. This is why explosions are a common industrial accident, typically happening in chemical or manufacturing plants. In some cases, explosion accidents can also occur in residential areas due to leaks in gas pipelines, tankers, or stoves.

Fortunately, these terrible accidents can be prevented as proper safety precautions are followed. In the workplace, employers can significantly reduce the risk of explosions by maintaining a work environment that follows all the required protocols mandated by the law. Any Milwaukee personal injury attorney could probably explain how appropriate maintenance and upkeep of pipelines could spare residential buildings from the devastation of explosions. Explosion accident victims who suffer trauma because these standards have not been met can pursue legal action.

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