Can a Sleeping Disorder Lead to Truck Accidents?

Everyone knows that you should never drink alcohol and then operate a motor vehicle because it impairs your judgment, makes things blurry, and can disrupt the motor skills necessary to make turns or even simply stay in the center of a lane. However, being sleepy can impair your ability to drive just as much as being tipsy, but there is much less public discourse about it. Because truck drivers are on the road much longer than the average person, they are more at risk of being sleepy at the wheel, and the results of this can be disastrous.

According to an article in the StarTribune, researchers at The University of Minnesota campus at Morris found that more than a quarter of all truck drivers suffer from sleep apnea, which prevents them from breathing properly while they sleep. Sleep apnea has been shown to lead to increased fatigue and feeling tired during waking hours. In addition, they also found that truckers who had diagnosed sleep apnea but refused to get it treated had, on average, 70 preventable serious crashes a year (100,000 miles driven), compared to only 14 serious crashes a year by truckers who either did not have sleep apnea or had sleep apnea but followed a treatment plan. The treatment plan given to this control group was an electronically monitored device worn while sleeping that regulates breathing. Another study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania has shown that 28% of truck drivers have some form of sleep apnea. And commercial truck drivers seem to be particularly at risk for sleep-related accidents; from 2004 to 2013 sleepy truck drivers were responsible for 8,900 traffic deaths according to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation. This does not even take into account how many other crashes must have happened in that nine year period.

This article was from March 2016, but that does not make it any less worrying. It is incredibly important that truck drivers be getting enough sleep, so there should be government mandates that require commercial trucking companies to at least screen for sleep apnea and require their drivers to get treatment, but I believe they should go a step further and provide for the treatment themselves to ensure their truckers are getting the help they need. Surely a small breathing device will be a beneficial investment if it prevents the loss of potentially millions of dollars worth of cargo and property damage.

Driving while tired is a huge cause for the vast number of traffic deaths that occur every year in the United States. Whether you have been affected by someone who caused an accident due to being sleepy, or if you’re a truck driver who caused an accident, lawyers like Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. suggest seeking out an attorney specifically trained for semi-truck accidents who will help you learn about your rights. Trucking companies should always provide plenty of resources to their drivers so that they feel rested every time they drive.

Child Custody and Divorce

When you are going through a divorce, the process can be much more challenging there are children involved. There are child custody issues that are going to be in the middle of the divorce process. Parents always want the best for their children, so making sure that the best interests of the child are considered in a divorce proceeding can be a challenging task. Additionally, there are numerous types of child custody, so understanding the difference between sole custody, joint custody, legal custody and physical custody can be quite helpful. According to Kessler & Solomiany, LLC, becoming knowledgeable in these types of custody can make the difference when you are a parent that is facing some child custody issue.
When sole custody is awarded, one parent can have either sole legal custody or sole physical custody of a child. In some cases, sole custody is awarded to a parent if the other parent is declared unfit, possibly because of alcohol abuse, drug dependency or charges of child abuse or neglect. Yet, even if one parent gets sole custody, the other parent can play a role in their child’s life. In some cases, sole custody is awarded to one parent, but the two parents still share joint legal custody. In this case, the noncustodial parent gets a visitation schedule to see the child on a regular basis. The parents would both make joint decisions about the child’s upbringing, but one parent would be the primary physical caretaker, and the other parent would have the visitation rights. In the best interests of the child, sole custody is not recommended unless the other parent can cause direct harm to the child.
Joint custody, sometimes called shared custody, is usually when parents don’t live together, but they share the decision-making responsibilities and custody of the child. This joint custody can occur if the parents are no longer living together, if they have never lived together, are separated or are divorced. Joint custody can be characterized as either joint legal custody, joint physical custody, or joint legal and physical custody. However, there are some disadvantages of joint custody, as the child goes back and forth from each household and any lack of cooperation from the parents tends to have detrimental effects on the child.
Legal custody of the child allows the parent to have the right and obligation to make important decisions about the child’s upbringing and future. For instance, this parent would make decisions about where the child goes to school, the child’s medical care, and sometimes religious upbringing. When joint legal custody is issued, these decisions are shared by both parents. In custody decisions, providing for the best interests of the child is crucial, and courts frequently weigh in on the parents’ ability to provide an overall stable environment for the child.
When the child is granted the right to live with a certain parent, that is considered physical custody. When joint physical custody is awarded, the child spends a significant amount of time with both parents. This custody works best if both parents live close to one another so that the child is not stressed traveling and gets to maintain a daily structured routine.

How You Can Injure Your Spinal Cord

The spinal cord is involved in a variety of bodily functions, so it is not hard to believe that damaging it can have serious implications. In fact, spinal cord injuries, along with brain injuries and heart complications, are arguably the worst medical conditions a person may sustain.

According to the website of this Toronto personal injury lawyer, those who have sustained spinal cord injuries may have legal options, such as seeking more benefits from their insurance companies or compensations from the party who has caused the injuries. But how can a spinal cord injury be sustained?

Generally, it can be sustained by receiving a significant blow to the back and damaging the spinal cord or its parts. The damage may come in many forms, such as dislocations and fractures. But whatever form a person sustains, it doesn’t change the fact that he or she is going to have a serious medical condition.

A person can injure his or her spinal cord in two ways – by doing reckless behaviors or getting involved in an accident. It can also be said that doing reckless behaviors can lead to accidents.

  • Falling – A person falling, especially from an elevated height, may receive enough force once he or she hits the floor. This force may be enough to damage the spinal cord.
  • Sports and Recreation – Contact sports, such as basketball and football, and aggressive recreational activities, such as diving, may also cause spinal cord injuries, usually by getting hit in the back or landing on a hard surface.
  • Traffic Crash or Collision – Road accidents, especially the abrupt forward and backward motion during a crash or collision, are also known to cause back and spinal cord injuries. The aggressiveness and abruptness of the jolting motion are often to blame.
  • Violence – Receiving incidental force in the back can also damage the spinal cord, especially if a hard object or deadly weapon has been used. These objects and weapons usually come in the form of baseball bats, knives, and guns.

To minimize the risk of sustaining spinal cord injuries, it is advisable for a person to avoid reckless behaviors and enforce their own safety rules. Wear proper footwear to avoid slipping and falling. Wear protective gears during sports. Avoid drunk driving, speeding, and other dangerous acts while on the wheel.

The Consequences of Marijuana Possession

Marijuana is one of the most commonly abused products in the United States. This means that more people are in possession of it, whether they are on states where marijuana is legal or not. This also means that the law and its enforcement is stricter than ever.

But according to the website of the Flaherty Defense Firm, marijuana possession charges can be defended, especially because these charges can greatly affect students and those planning to get into the military. Their scholarships and Federal financial aid can get cancelled.

Factors that Affect the Severity of Punishment
Jurisdiction: Different states have different laws regarding marijuana possession, so penalties may vary depending on the state where you have been arrested. Federal law enforcement should also be taken into consideration, for they likely have arrested you not just for possession, but also for other offenses relating to it, such as drug trafficking.

Legalization and Decriminalization: There are some jurisdictions where marijuana is completely legal, especially if the product’s amount is relatively small and for personal use only. There are also some jurisdictions that treat marijuana possession as a minor violation and not a crime.

Drug Paraphernalia: If you have been arrested for possessing marijuana, the charges against you may have greater consequences if you also possess drug paraphernalia, such as bongs.

Place of Arrest: Getting arrested near schools, parks, and other areas where you may be suspected of selling or giving marijuana to others, especially to the youth, can make your punishment more severe.

Driving Offense: Driving while under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or any other product that may cause impairment is against the law. If you have been arrested for marijuana possession while you are driving or while you have committed a driving offense, you may experience an elevated punishment.

Possible Penalties for Possession
Again, the severity of the penalties will depend on the jurisdiction and other factors stated above, but the penalties themselves have the same ideas, such as fines reaching up to thousands of dollars, jail times and license suspensions of up to 1 year, and less severe punishments like probation.

Explosion Accidents in Industrial Sites

Three of the worst industrial disasters that occurred on US soil were: the March 25, 1947, Centralia No. 5 Coal Mine explosion, which took the lives of 111 miners; the March 23, 2005, BP Texas City Refinery fire and explosion that killed 15 workers and injured 170 others; and, the February 7, 2008, dust explosion at the Imperial Sugar Refinery, where 13 people lost their lives while 42 others got injured.

Just a few years back, in July of 2013, an explosion shook a propane gas refilling plant in Tavares, Florida; it caused injury to eight plant workers and required a half-mile evacuation area around the plant.

Propane explosions, in particular, have become more frequent in the U.S. This cause of serious injuries and deaths in several homes and work places are often due to improper maintenance of propane facilities, equipment failure, improper use of the propane, gas leaks and human error. Only a small amount of propane is required for an explosion to occur. Thus, in case of a hint or suspicion of propane leak, one should never switch on or use any device or appliance which can cause a spark; make sure too that repair of the leak is entrusted only to a qualified individual.

Propane, which can be made into liquefied petroleum gas, is a type of fuel very commonly used both domestically and commercially. People use it to cook food, barbecue, heat their homes and fuel engines. It is a highly flammable gas though, and, therefore, very dangerous if not used with proper care. Thus, to avoid propane explosion accidents from occurring, propane systems and propane-powered appliances should be checked by qualified service technicians regularly. Home residents should also refrain from using propane grills inside their home or in small and enclosed areas, and avoid using damaged propane cylinders or tanks. In refilling plants or propane facilities, maintenance should be done regularly to avoid any possibility of gas leaks and equipment failure – the two most common causes of propane explosion.

If an exploding propane tank inside a residential unit is enough to tear down an apartment, imagine what a 10,000-gallon propane tank could do to a plant facility and the workers inside that plant. Propane explosion injuries are brought about by accidents that can very well be avoided. Mere compliance with the stipulations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on the proper handling, labeling and storage of propane and other hazardous elements can significantly reduce, if not totally ensure zero accident involving propane.

According to an explosion accident attorney from the law firm Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, the serious threat posed even by a minor explosion has the potential to cause burns and other severe injuries that can permanently alter victims’ lives. In explosion accidents, however, especially those occurring in industrial sites, victims may be eligible to pursue financial compensation for their injuries and damages. It can be an advantage for injured victims to seek the services of a highly-competent explosion accident attorney who has the capability in helping them seek and get the compensation that they legally deserve.

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