Appreciating Truckers Doesn’t Mean Letting Them Off the Hook

I know a lot of truckers. Some of my best friends are truckers or they were at some point. I think it’s a great career for a certain kind of person. It’s a meaningful and important career. We couldn’t do much as a consumerist economy without truckers moving our supplies and products around. Many major companies would fail overnight if they didn’t have such a large team of truckers around to help them provide such great service at such low prices. I say all that upfront to establish that I am not the enemy of truckers or the trucking industry. I want the industry to thrive.

I have to say, though, that I was honestly shocked when I read the recent truck accident fatality numbers published by Glover Law Firm. According to the statistics they quote from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the number of fatalities have been on the rise, 2014 excepted, since 2009. While they haven’t reached their highest number of all time (set in 2005), they’re trending that way.

And what are those numbers? In 2015, in just one year, there were 3,598 fatal truck accidents. Unfortunately, the death total is even higher than the accident total. That number is actually 4,067. More than 4,000 people died in one year from truck accidents. That’s simply unacceptable. The biggest states to suffer these deaths were the obvious ones: California, Texas, and Florida. In other words, big states with big populations have big truck accident problems.

The real story here, though, is that there are too many truck accidents, those accidents are increasing, and we aren’t doing enough (or maybe anything) to cut down on them.

What can we do? That’s the question I’ve been asking myself. Trucking is a tough business that is already heavily regulated. I know that from my friends who have been in the industry. Recent changes have made it harder for truckers and trucking companies to cheat the system and further endanger others on the road. However, even with those changes, we aren’t seeing the decrease in fatalities you’d hope to see.

So, what can we do? I honestly don’t know. We could increase regulations, which would dissuade more people from becoming truck drivers, would raise the costs of products across the country, and may also do little to actually reduce the rate any further.

On some level, perhaps there is little we can do, since we need to move products, and we need truckers to move them. Building up a better rail system is not very realistic at this point. There are large parts of the country that lack access to water routes. We need truckers trucking. Such large vehicles on the road for such long hours will inevitably lead to accidents and deaths.

I refuse to believe we just have to accept these numbers, though. So, what I’ve decided we need to do is to publicize truck accidents more, including the trucking companies that are responsible. Perhaps shaming those companies after an accident and during any lawsuits will make them regulate themselves better. I certainly hope so, because I really hope those numbers go down soon, for your sake and for mine.

What Happens if You Are Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?

Bikers are often seen as colossal safety hazards on the road, to themselves and others. Although being a biker comes with the added danger that nobody can deny, it’s important to realize exactly how often bikers are at fault and how often others are. Bikers are undeniably posing more of a danger to themselves and others by doing what they do, however, oftentimes other people aren’t entirely aware of how to behave around bikers on the road. This occurs even if motorcyclists are following all the laws of the road.

Bikers choose to live and drive the way they do for a plethora of reasons. In many ways riding a bike is liberating, both spiritually and financially. Gas is a little cheaper on a bike, and overall the experience can be chalked up to a way of life. Bikers are rarely looking to cause trouble on the roads or make others uncomfortable, and most of us are aware of the laws of the road and try our best to be courteous to everyone around us. Most bikers are aware of the stigma and increased threat they may pose. However, a lot of people don’t pay attention to the road and fail to notice bikers. Sometimes they get nervous and start driving a little sporadically, which is a significant threat to a motorcyclist. When accidents happen with bikers, it can be a catastrophic event for the person on the motorcycle, sometimes leading to severe injury and worse, death.

This motorcycle accidents page was my go-to when I was trying to learn about what bikers can do to protect themselves in the event of an accident. In a lot of cases, it’s difficult to tell what exactly happened on the road, so it’s essential to hire an attorney to protect you since the bike isn’t able to. An attorney can help protect you in the event of a motorcycle accident, especially if you have paid proper attention to the rules of the road and the accident was no fault of your own. Careful and courteous bikers shouldn’t be penalized for the negligence of others, and it’s important that someone stands up for them. Even in cases that involve insurance companies and claims, an attorney can be a big help in sorting out any paperwork involved. Insurance companies often try to weasel their way out of paying for damage caused by an accident, and an attorney can help keep them honest. The help of a professional who is on your side is always beneficial if you find yourself in a legal situation. For people who drive dangerously, it’s important to find a good legal representative in case there is an accident. An attorney could be the difference between an accident with compensation, and an accident in which you’re injured and fully liable.

Anonymous confession

I have a story that I think it’s time I finally told, but being a bit of a coward, I want to keep it all anonymous, so I’m not using my name and no real names will be used here.

This was twenty years ago or so, and I was twelve at the time. Even though I was young, I still somewhat blame myself. I know that’s ridiculous, but…well, it’ll make more sense by the end.

What happened was, I saw someone almost drown in a pool. It was my neighbor’s pool, and I was spying on it from my room. It was evening, and there was nothing to do. I wasn’t in the mood for TV or anything, so I just watched the pool and waited to see who would jump in or something. I think there was supposed to be a party, but no one was there yet.

Anyway, I saw one of my neighbor’s kids, who was maybe eight, place some water on the tiles next to the pool. Very foolishly, they had tiled the entire outdoor patio that led right to the pool’s edge. I suppose he thought this would be funny somehow, either it would annoy a parent or it would get someone to slip comically maybe. I don’t know. I didn’t ever talk to him about it.

Anyway, the father did come out, and he did slip, but it wasn’t funny. I don’t know if the boy even saw. He had gotten distracted and run off somewhere by then. I don’t know if he was off watching or anything. So the father slipped, hit his head, and fell in the pool.

I know now I should have done something, but I didn’t. I didn’t call out or do anything. All I did was turn away from the window and just turn on and stare at the TV. I tried to focus on what was on, but I couldn’t.

I didn’t do this because I was callous. I think I was in shock, and I didn’t know what to do. In the end, someone did come out and get him. I heard some shouting. They dragged him out, and I think he was okay.

I don’t actually know everything that happened after that because the whole family moved away shortly. I heard something about the father recovering. And I definitely heard about a lawsuit. It wasn’t wrongful death since he didn’t die, but it was something along those lines. I don’t know if they won or not, but I sort of hope not, since it was no one’s fault really.

Really, in fact, the only person to blame is me. I should have done more, and I didn’t. I’m glad he didn’t die, my neighbor, and I hope it somehow had a happy ending, but I’ve always hated myself for not reacting better in that moment. I wish I’d had the presence of mind to act. Now I fear, no matter the circumstance, I can never trust myself to react in the right way.

Restraining and Protective Orders

,In issues that involve domestic violence, survivors of the abuse have some civil and criminal protection and restraining order options available to them. These orders can deter further abuse, as they permit the victim to contact the police and have the abuser arrested if they break the order. Yet, there are abusers that will attempt to stalk or hurt the victim, despite orders that may be in place.

In numerous states, if the police encounter a domestic violence situation, one of the two parties is requested to leave the home. This person is often the abuser; however, the police can determine who the aggressor is. The police can give the victim an Emergency Protection Order (EPO) in an urgent situation. This EPO is a short-term protection order that is usually given by the police to the victim when his or her abuser is arrested for domestic violence. The EPO is limited, as it can last about three to seven days. This permit allows the victim some time to get the longer-term protection order.

All US states have statutes for a protection order. It may be called a protective order, orders of protection or a domestic violence restraining order. They all serve the same purpose — to protect the victim from the abuser. The long-term protection order can last one to five years, and in some extreme circumstances, for up to a lifetime. Additionally, the protection order can be renewed by the victim, if he or she still feels that there is a real threat from the abuser.

The protective orders have different provisions, including no contact provision, peaceful contact provision, stay away provision, move out provision and a firearms provision. Then there is the counseling provision that orders the abuser to attend counseling, such as batterer’s intervention or anger management classes.

These protection orders not only cover the victim. These orders can include children of the victim, other children, family members, roommates or anyone that may be living in the same household as the victim, such as a significant other. The same rules of no contact and staying away apply to the other listed individuals, even if they have not been physically harmed by the abuser.

As part of the protection order, some states include visitation and custody for children of both the victim and abuser. This is typically temporary and can be changed or modified by divorce or further family court orders.

However, if protection orders are violated, it can be treated in one of three ways – as a felony, misdemeanor or as a contempt of court. The felony charges are usually reserved for repeat or serious violations. In many states, it is the policy for police to arrest violators of these orders automatically.

No one should have to deal with domestic violence. If you or your children are in immediate danger, law enforcement needs to be contacted immediately. Furthermore, a family law attorney in your area, like Kessler & Solomiany, LLC, can file necessary paperwork on your behalf and can advocate for you in court.

Accidents in Harris County

According to figures released by the Houston Department of Health and Human Services (HDHHS), accidents accounted for 1,185 deaths in Harris County in 2002. While the statistics are approximately five years old at this point (it isn’t often that you find the most up-to-date stats from government entities) it is still important to note just how many people are injured in Houston each and every year.

What is worse is that so many of these accidents could have been avoided if an individual or party involved had behaved in a responsible manner, but so many of them are ultimately found to be caused by reckless or negligent actions of one or more parties. When you dig into the details of these accidents, you discover that a large number (nearly half) of these fatal accidents are vehicle collisions.

This, unfortunately, is unsurprising, given how many cars are on the road in Houston each and every day. The city has experienced explosive growth over the past decade (or more) and drivers in Houston find themselves in gridlocked traffic from Katy to Downtown, or from Downtown to the Woodlands, and every suburb and neighborhood in this city.

The 577 total deaths in “transport accidents” only tells part of the story. A full 520 of those fatalities occurred in car, truck, or motorcycle accidents, while 20 could be attributed to other land transport accidents (ATVs, bicycles, etc.), and the final 17 could be attributed to water, air, space, and unspecified accidents.

The majority (by a rather slim margin, comparatively) are non-transport accidents, which totaled 608 fatalities in 2002. Of those, 110 individuals died in a slip-and-fall accident, 40 from accidental drowning, 26 from exposure to fire, flames, or smoke, 254 to accidental poisoning, 4 to accidental discharge of firearms, and 174 to non-reported accidents that were not transport related.

Overall, these numbers tell a strong tale of how individuals in Houston are exposed to daily dangers that can potentially lead to fatal accidents. While some accidents are unavoidable, a large majority of them could be prevented if people had taken the proper safety precautions or had behaved in a responsible manner. When it comes to vehicle accidents, people have a responsibility to obey speed limits, drive while sober, and drive without distractions behind the wheel to help prevent unnecessary accidents. Property owners have a responsibility to maintain their homes or businesses in a manner that prevents unnecessary falls or slips, and if an area presents a danger to others, they must put up proper signage to warn people of the potential dangers.

Dangerous industries such as factories, refineries, and oil rigs should have proper training and safety procedures in place to prevent workplace accidents such as explosions and fires, which are often very deadly for workers who happen to be present.

All of these precautions can help people stay safe while working, traveling, and going about their daily lives in Houston. While Harris County is a busy area and is constantly growing, it’s citizens must remember to protect each other while living and working in this area.

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