Safety panel discusses highway safety issues regarding bus and truck accidents

Last week, the National Transportation Safety Board held a two day conference on bus and big truck accidents and highway safety. The forum heard from safety experts and federal regulators regarding truck and bus accidents and why some past safety measures have still not been enacted. The deadly tractor-trailer accident that killed ten people in Oklahoma in 2009 as well as the recent deadly tour bus accidents in the East were at the forefront of participants’ minds.

Truck fatalities in recent years have decreased but safety experts warn much work remains to be done and that the improved statistics may only be temporary. Big truck fatalities have dropped significantly between 2005 and 2009, according to the most recent figures available from the Department of Transportation.

In 2005, there were over 5,200 fatalities from truck accidents, and in 2009 there were 3,200 truck accident fatalities. The decline is an improvement, but the number of overall highway fatalities has also declined. Experts believe the overall decline is related to a decline in driving caused by the weak economy. Some believe the fatality rate will increase when the economy further recovers.

The annual number of tour bus fatalities is much lower than truck fatalities. Between 2000 and 2009, there have been 338 fatal tour bus accidents, which is about 20 tour bus fatalities per year. The tour bus industry serves over 700 million passengers per year in the United States, comparable to the airline industry.

The Obama administration would like to improve current tour bus and large truck highway laws and plans to focus on mitigating the effects of tired drivers. Next time, we will talk about the administration’s proposals and about opposing arguments from the industry.

Illinois legislature looking out for deployed members of the military

It is the job of members of the military to protect the country making a variety of things possible for its citizens including the preservation of individual rights. In the process of taking care of others’ rights however, there are times that members of the military inadvertently lose some of their own. One area in which this is sometimes true is in matters of child support.

Sadly, for some members of the military who have been deployed oversees, the fact that they are not able to physically be present has been held against them. Legislators in Illinois are doing what they can to make sure these parents who are either deployed or are waiting to be deployed have the assistance they need to level the playing field when it comes to child custody matters by introducing House Bill 1589. There are a couple ways in which the bill attempts to do this.

The first has to do with the hearing process. In addition to making it possible for the deployed parent to call into the proceeding to provide testimony rather than appear in person, it also changes the timeline for the hearing process making it possible to speed it up when necessary.

Another part of the bill would make it possible to temporarily modify the agreement regarding custody or visitation when the parent is deployed. One way in which this might be utilized would be for the deployed service person to name a person to fill in for them during their visitation time. One such person might be a grandparent.

So far House Bill 1589 has been passed by the Senate. We will post updates on this matter as they become available.



Prenuptial agreements become increasingly popular

Some people mistakenly believe only celebrities and the wealthy can benefit from prenuptial agreements. However, that is simply not true. These days, more and more people are finding that prenuptial agreements formed with a boca divorce attorney can provide protection and peace of mind.

It is no secret that the divorce rate has increased in the past 30 years. Today, nearly half first-time marriages end in divorce. By getting a prenuptial agreement while couples still have feelings for each other, rather than when they are emotional and angry, makes sense.

A prenuptial agreement can address a number of issues. Essentially, it spells out who gets what in the event of a divorce, therefore saving divorcing couples money and time. It can be used to protect a higher-earning spouse’s assets or one spouse’s business interests. It can also be used to protect one spouse’s assets for children from a previous marriage.

Studies show that the age of a first marriage is climbing. Since 1980, it has increased two years for men to 26.8 and nearly three years for women to 25.1. This allows people to accumulate more assets than if they entered into marriage right out of school. Therefore, attorneys say some couples are using prenuptial agreements to protect retirement savings or other assets they have acquired.

According to a recent survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 73 percent of attorneys noticed an increase in prenuptial agreements during the past five years. Further, 52 percent of the respondents reported more women requesting these agreements.

While a prenuptial agreement can alleviate significant stress down the road, it cannot contain decisions about child custody or care. Courts do not let couples make advance agreements concerning children.

Delayed marriages, better matches lead to lower divorce rate

It seems almost hammered into us: the divorce rate is 50 percent. Half of all marriages end in divorce. One out of every two marriages will fail. It is said with such regularity that most of us don’t even bother to challenge that notion anymore.

But according to a new report, we should be thinking more critically about marriage and divorce. If we looked closer at the statistics around those two institutions, we would likely find that the divorce rate has been falling in recent decades, especially among younger people.

Specifically, the Census Bureau’s periodic report on marriage and divorce has found that people under the age of 50 are less likely to fall into the category of “ever divorced” than a decade ago. But for people over 50 – the baby boomer generation – the number who listed themselves as “ever divorced” has remained constant or increased.

This trend began in the 1970s, when women began working outside the home in much greater numbers, giving them the financial independence they needed to leave unhappy marriages. That started a societal shift that continues today. Now, statistics indicate that the median age at first marriage has increased by about three years for men and six women.

More importantly, people have a “greater sense of marriage as being a less secure institution,” says one expert, and are therefore proactively working to evade divorce by taking longer and working harder to find a spouse that is a good fit for them.

What do you think? Has the divorce rate dropped in the past few decades?



Teterboro Airport Crash

A small airplane crashed after taking off from Teterboro Airport in New Jersey Tuesday. The aircraft reportedly spiraled out of control before crashing into the wooden median on Interstate 287. The plane skidded onto the roadway and exploded, spewing debris along the Interstate. Five people aboard the plane perished in the fatal crash; authorities say no injuries to people on the ground have been reported, and a Naples personal injury lawyer has been retained.
Air traffic controllers report that the plane disappeared from radar shortly after takeoff from Teterboro. The pilot apparently requested clearance to fly at a higher altitude shortly after takeoff and then radio transmissions became garbled. The Federal Aviation Administration says that Air traffic controllers report that the plane then disappeared from radar.
A witness in Morristown says he saw the plane spinning out of control. He tells the Associated Press that, “It was like the plane was doing tricks or something, twirling and flipping. It started going straight down. I thought any second they were going to pull up. But then the wing came off and they went straight down.”
Wreckage from the plane crash was scattered over at least a half-mile area along the highway, with debris lodging in trees near the accident site. A second witness in Morristown says he saw smoke billowing from both sides of the wings before the crash. He says upon impact, the plant spewed a “huge plume of thick black smoke” into the air.
Two investment bankers from a New York firm were aboard the plane, which was bound for Georgia. The wife and two children of one of the banking managers were also aboard the plane.

NTSB Probes Rollover Tanker Truck Accident for Prevention Clues

An Indianapolis tanker truck accident has prompted both an investigation and policy review by the National Transportation Safety Board. The NTSB is considering whether commercial trucks generally, but particularly tanker trucks that carry liquid hazardous materials, should be required to have electronic stability control systems to prevent rollover accidents.
The car accident lawyer in Lauderhill that prompted a two-day hearing on the subject occurred on October 22 of last year. An International truck tractor hauling a 11,600- gallon cargo tank semi-trailer carrying liquefied petroleum gas (propane) along I-69 in Indianapolis struck a bridge guardrail, rolled over, and slid into the bridge abutment and pillar of an intersecting overpass on I-465.
The trailer, filled with propane, pulled free of the tractor part of the truck, rolled on its side and caught fire. A breach in the trailer allowed the liquefied petroleum gas to escape, vaporize and ignite, resulting in a fireball that could be seen for miles. Eight other vehicles caught fire — one at such a high temperature that its fenders were melted off the car.
The tanker’s driver and four others were injured in the catastrophic truck accident. I-465 was closed for more than a day.

NTSB Considers How to Reduce Rollover Truck Accidents

The two-day public hearing was held on August 3rd and 4th in Washington, D.C. with the goal of considering a range of safety issues and strategies that could help reduce the incidence of commercial truck accidents generally and of cargo tanker rollovers in particular.

Nationwide, there is an average of 1,265 tanker truck rollovers. According to the NTSB, driver error is accounts for 78 percent of those accidents, but semi-trucks’ high centers of gravity and their lack of electronic stability systems may be significant causes as well.

One of the issues the NTSB considered during the meeting is whether electronic stability control systems similar to those required for all new cars could prevent tanker rollover accidents. In an electronic stability control system, sensors tell the vehicle’s computer when the vehicle’s or cargo’s weight is shifting. The computer then automatically applies brakes to one or more wheels to compensate.

Federal law requires all new cars to have the systems, but federal trucking regulations have not required them on semi trucks. Rollover prevention technology is more expensive to implement on commercial trucks than on passenger cars, and it is generally considered impractical to retrofit all existing tractor-trailers with the technology.
“This technology is somewhat more expensive,” admits Henry Jasny, general counsel for the nonprofit Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, “but that it wouldn’t be required for trucks when they are so over-represented in crashes doesn’t make sense to us.”

In addition to the question of mandating rollover prevention systems, the group of truck accident investigators, highway safety engineers and trucking industry representatives discussed:

• Crashworthiness standards for cargo tanks transporting high-risk hazardous materials
• Vehicle design changes to lower their centers of gravity
• Improving driver training and testing
• Roadway factors, such as shoulder grade, that contribute to vehicle instability
• Initiatives to protect highway bridge piers from vehicle impacts

What Are the Rules Considering Truck Drivers and Mobile Phones?

Most of us know about the dangers of using mobile phones. Particularly when attempting to dial a number it is all too possible for a driver to become distracted. And in the event the driver in question is behind the wheel of a semitrailer going at highway speeds, all other road users are in danger.

Research performed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration bears out that truck drivers who dial while driving are much more apt to be concerned in so called “safety-critical” episodes than motorists who do not. As a result, the FMCSA has created particular regulations concerning the use of mobile devices by truck drivers.

Truck drivers are forbidden from doing the following while operating their rigs:

Reaching for a cellular device in this manner that she or he ceases to be correctly seated and in driving situation while limited by means of a safety belt.
Holding a mobile phone in one or both hands while creating a call.
Pressing greater than one button on a mobile phone.
Truck drivers cited for being in breach of those rules may be fined just as much as $2750. And employers who coerce or force their drivers to control apparatus that are cellular while behind the wheel can receive fines Regrettably, the prospect of such fines does not always prevent truckers or their employers from acting counter to the regulations.

And should such scenarios lead to an accident, those hit by the truck could suffer devastating injuries.

Should you or somebody in your family was injured in a truck accident which you believe was due to a distracted motorist, an investigation could be carried out by a Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer. The lawyer could be able to show obligation on behalf of the truck driver or the driver’s company. In turn, you might wish to file a civil suit from the responsible parties.
Reduced Motorists Responsible for Fatal Accidents On State’s Roads

Seeing a motorist who’s certainly in some way impaired is one of the most distressing experiences you could have while traveling on a Pennsylvania roadway. To drive a motorist will need to have full possession of her or his faculties.

Based on advice found on the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles’ web site, 30 percent of the state’s traffic fatalities are associated with the utilization of booze. Yet, despite the risks of drinking and driving, authorities are still making tens of thousands of DUI arrests per annum. Making matters worse, there continues to be a growth in the amount of charges levied against drug-impaired motorists.

The penalties for these serious infractions can change on the basis of the defendant’s blood alcohol concentration and if he/she has prior DUI convictions. Traffic fines can reach up to $10,000 with a host of other expenses as good as the chance of the cancellation of insurance.

One strategy which has proven fairly effective at keeping drunk drivers off the road is requiring those who have received a second or subsequent DUI conviction to have ignition interlock systems installed in their vehicles. These devices prevent from starting their cars motorists who’ve been using alcohol.

Regardless of all the dangers and the penalties that are possible, some people still choose to get behind the wheel while impaired. It appears certain that there will soon be more tragic events on the roads in our state.

Intoxicated drivers ought to be held responsible for their reckless conduct. If you or a household member have been involved in a collision using a drunk or otherwise impaired driver, a Philadelphia car accident lawyer may have the ability to enable you to pursue compensation and justice.

Incidents Not Due To the People Required

In a few cases, crashes are caused by factors unrelated for the conduct of any specific driver. Like, an automobile collision might happen because of flaw in the vehicle of someone. In this case, provider or a vehicle supplier may not be irresponsible for injuries the result of a trouble within the automobile underneath product liability’s legislation. A product liability match is a lawsuit brought contrary to the seller of the product for selling a faulty merchandise that induced physical problems for user or a consumer. If a company of the solution produces a flawed merchandise – both in manufacturing, developing, or labeling the item – the manufacturer is likely for any incidents the merchandise causes, regardless of whether the manufacturer was responsible.

Other elements, for example malfunctioning traffic-control signals and poorly managed paths could give rise to cause a collision as well. Improper style, maintenance, construction, signage, illumination, or different freeway defects, including poorly positioned woods and electricity poles, may also cause serious incidents. In situations like this agencies might be defendants that are likely. Particular guidelines connect with claims and lawsuits brought against governmental systems, however, and suitable legal advice is important to succeeding and protecting states that are such.

Learn More About Your Claim Using A Free Consultation

If you or a family member has experienced a vehicle accident injury, some critical concerns need to be answered. Reviewing your claim by having an attorney will help you establish if your damage was caused by that neglect and who, if anybody, was responsible. That’s why an excellent first step is always to contact a car accident attorney for a state evaluation that is free. An Altoona injury lawyer assist you to determine the next step that is logical and may measure the merits of one’s case.

Some Other Things to do After You Are Involved in a Truck Accident

Keep at the Landscape

Never keep at the accident scene till it really is correct to take action. In case you depart, specifically where somebody has sustained injuries or was murdered, you are able to confront considerable legal fines for being popular-and- driver.

Check on All Owners and Passengers

Before examining property destruction, make sure everyone involved in the collision is alright. Receive medical consideration proper who desires it. If a person is spontaneous or has throat or back-pain, do not transfer them until capable medical aid arrives, unless a danger involves going the individual.

Contact Law Enforcement

If there is substantial property damage, actual injury, or death, you have to call the authorities. Inquire that there be a police survey registered in conditions where cops do get to the picture, and obtain the label and banner variety of the performing officials.

Exchange Data

Have numbers, the names, addresses, motorists’ permit numbers, license plate numbers, and basic insurance information from all drivers involved. If you’ll find guests, furthermore obtain their names, amounts, and details. Play the role of supportive and helpful in conversing with additional owners.

Nonetheless, you shouldn’t apologize for-anything at the world. For example, should you claim, “I’m so sorry that light that is red was run by me! Is everyone okay?” perhaps you are admitting legal obligation for what happened. Immediately after a collision, it might bounce who was at fault or even more responsible. Additionally, in several states, problem is not determinative that almost any damage will be paid for by insurer. Consequently, do not declare unnecessarily or shame inadvertently.

Talk to Witnesses

Request every experience what she or he saw. Get their names, numbers, or handles, if possible. When they’ve ever noticed other injuries within the same location inquire natives.  See if they know any truck accidents lawyers in Texas that they can refer you to.

Notify Your Insurance Provider

Rapidly inform your insurance company you’ve been in an accident. Work with them and tell the reality in what occurred and the scope of the injuries to them. Clarify the reality clearly. In the event the insurance provider finds out that you just’ve lied about anything in their mind, you might get into significant trouble, including probable denial of insurance for that collision. Receive and evaluate any authorities record recorded, so you can point out who was at fault or who smashed what traffic laws.

What to Do After a Car Accident

First thing you need to do should you be able to proceed would be to make certain you as well as your passengers (if any) are okay. Go as far-off the roadway as you possibly can, but stay in the scene of the car accident. Warn on-coming traffic by activating placing flares or your hazard warning lights.

Second, trade critical information with other motorists involved in the auto crash. Make sure you notice colours, models, makes as well as descriptions of vehicles involved, and remove the plate figures, at the same time.

Phone law enforcement to report the injury. A police report is required by most injuries. In case your injuries don’t appear until well following the injury a police report might be useful. Back and neck injuries have a reputation for cropping up times as well as months following the injury happened.

Interview all witnesses and document their opinions either in the scene of the injury or when you can afterward. Info collected very shortly or instantaneously following the injury is likely to be more precise than any remembered at some later day.

Make sure you notice what color the traffic-light was (if appropriate). As possible don’t forget to write everything down promptly or as near the period of the injury. You also ought to remember that whatever you say to anybody following the injury is likely to not be inadmissible and isn’t considered hear-say, therefore it is essential the advice that you supply is as precise as you possibly can.

Seek medical care for the injuries as fast as you possibly can. Subsequently, contact a reliable and experienced vehicle wreck attorney as fast as possible because there are time-limits involved with filing any vehicle accident injury claims. Any delays could impact your entitlement to your litigation claim.

Get a replica of the police force report. Review the police force report to be certain that it usually coincides along with your memory of the injury. You’ll want it, even though it can not. A skilled car accident lawyer will likely have the capacity to supply in the event the report will not coincide along with your memory counsel.

The data on this particular page is intended to give an overall summary of regulations. The regulations in your own state or city may deviate from those. You need to talk to a local lawyer or locate competent local Car Crash Attorneys on LawInfo for those who have particular questions related to your scenario. Or, click to discover Coral Springs Personal injury lawyer in a place that is particular.