Despite the BAC Limits and the Anti-Drunk Driving Law, many Truck Drivers still Drive while Intoxicated or Alcohol-Impaired

Despite the BAC Limits and the Anti-Drunk Driving Law, many Truck Drivers still Drive while Intoxicated or Alcohol-Impaired

Use of alcohol and drugs by truck drivers, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), remains to be the second most common cause of accidents involving big rigs (also called 18-wheelers, semi-trailers or trailer-trucks). With the enormous size of these vehicles, an impaired truck driver behind the wheel completes the threat of possible accident that may easily result to severe injuries or death (impaired-driving may be due to alcohol intoxication or due to the effect of illegal drugs or legal drugs, such as over-the-counter or prescription medicine).

Operating Class 8 trucks, which include big rigs and other commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GWVR) above 33000 lb., requires that the driver has a commercial driver’s license, possesses the necessary skills in the safe operation of a truck, is not feeling fatigued or sleepy, and is not impaired or intoxicated.

To ensure that the last requirement is met, the government has set 0.04% as the legal blood alcohol concentration limit for drivers of 18-wheeler trucks. A driving under the influence (DUI) charge and heavy punishments await those who will be caught with this BAC limit while driving. While those caught with 0.02% BAC level may not be charged with a DUI offense, they, nonetheless, can be issued a 24-hour driving suspension. These limits are only for drivers who will be discovered to have said BAC levels while operating a truck; those who are off-duty, but registers a 0.08% BAC may still incur a DUI charge.

Despite the BAC limits and the anti-drunk driving laws, data show that prior to crashes, many drivers were, indeed, intoxicated or alcohol-impaired. This is because many drivers consume a bottle or two during stopovers, while sharing stories with other truck drivers; some also choose to bring along extra bottles which will keep them company during the long, tiring and lonely long drives between counties.

For drivers of big rigs, staying sober while on duty is a legal responsibility. It has been explained, time and again, that alcohol- impairment can lessen one’s ability to safely operate a vehicle, much more a big rig. The risk of injury and death, especially to drivers and passengers of smaller vehicles, is the reason why drunk-driving has been made illegal. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 5,000 small vehicle occupants die every year in accidents where trucks are involved; number of deaths among truck drivers, on the other hand, number to about 700.

According to the law firm Russo, Russo & Slania, P.C., “Commercial trucks are some of the largest vehicles on the road, and as a result, they can pose a serious threat to other motorists. Truck accidents are often far more significant in terms of impact than other types of car accidents, due to their size and weight, and the possibility of serious injury or even death resulting from these types of accidents is typically much higher than normal.

Truck accident victims are often left in a difficult situation, trying to recover from a serious injury while coping with costly medical bills and lost income. Fortunately, compensation may be available in these situations.”

To be able to claim this compensation, however, a victim of a truck accident will need undeniable proof and strong argument that it was indeed the truck driver who was at fault in the accident. A seasoned personal injury or truck accident lawyer may be able to help the victim on these aspects for a higher chance of claiming the compensation he/she will need for his/her medical treatment and other losses. This is because proving liability, specifically proving that the truck driver is at fault will not be a simple task. Due to this, a civil lawsuit, even with evidence showing the truck driver’s liability, may still turn out to be a very challenging task.

When Cars, Bikes, And Pedestrians Collide

For health and fitness buffs, one of the best forms of exercise is biking and walking. One cannot deny the positive effect of riding a bike and taking a walk on the health of an individual. But all that healthy lifestyle can disappear if a reckless driver gets into the picture and collides with the bike or the pedestrian. A Georgetown car accident lawyer is aware of the various expenses that may come to the way of the victims.

When the pedestrian or bike gets into a close encounter with a car, the most at risk are the biker and the pedestrian. In situations like these, determining who is liable for the accident will depend on various circumstances. There may be different causes of these accidents and here are some of them:

  • The driver’s failure to see the bicycle
  • A right turning car that did not take into consideration the presence of the biker or pedestrian
  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Unwillingness to share the road with bicycles
  • Not making the proper adjustments for inclement weather

A bicycle is considered as a vehicle and hence is governed y road rules. In the determination of liability, the main issue that will serve as the deciding factor is the right of way. When there is no traffic signal, the vehicle that arrived first has the right of way. If the vehicles arrived simultaneously, the car on the right has the right of way. If there are traffic signals, it will determine who has the right of way. If the bicycle is not detected y the sensors of the traffic signal, it is up to them to place their bikes near their sensors.

Other determining factors in the filing of a lawsuit will also be determined by the type of intersection and whether the car is turning or going straight.

4 Mindsets That Cause Construction Site Accidents

Construction sites are one of the most hazardous places to work in. Exposed wires, falling debris, slippery surfaces, and others can subject a construction worker to injuries or even deaths. According to the website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, construction site accidents can be mitigated by adhering to safety regulations and implementing safe working practices. Construction accidents can be fatal that the employee could even lose his working ability.

However, there are instances when construction accidents are not caused by these hazards or the negligence of employers but due to wrong mindset. When an employee reports for work without the proper attitude, chances are they are opening themselves to injuries. Here are examples of four mindsets that result to construction accidents:

1. Rushing

Construction workers are pressured to accomplish their tasks in the quickest time possible so they can proceed with the next task or finish ahead of time. When a construction worker rushes things, it reduces the quality of workmanship and chances are they will not follow the correct safety guidelines. Construction sites need to adopt a safety first policy even if it means not finishing the task on time.

2. Frustration

There are many factors in the construction site that can make workers frustrated. Poor procedures, bad communication, low salary, and personal problems, and others can contribute to construction accidents. It is then up to the employer to turn their frustrations into something positive.

3. Fatigue

Fatigue plays a huge part in construction accidents and injuries. Again, this has something to do with meeting work deadlines. In order to finish their work on time or even ahead of it, workers would be working long hours and then report for work without sufficient rest or overworked. Employers should set realistic deadlines and achievable goals for their employees.

4. Complacency

Employees have the wrong notion that because they already have gained the experience with the work, they will not be subjected to injuries or accidents. This kind of mindset will give the employee a false sense of security.
A professional and well-trained employee should always carry the proper mindset when working in the construction site. This way, they can keep themselves free from accidents and injuries.

Wrongful Death

Fourteen-year-old Andrew Joseph III died after he was ejected from the Florida State Fair on Student Day in 2014 as he was trying to traverse Interstate 4 to return to the fairgrounds to get to his ride. But for 44-year-old Andrew Joseph Jr. and his wife, 45-year-old Deanna, the fight is just starting. They want action so that other children will be sure that they would be safe at the fair for years to come.

With this in mind, they staged a protest on Thursday, February 4 of the fair’s annual Student Day, noting that measures designed to keep students safe are not well-implemented, and they also filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Florida State Fair Authority, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, and the Hillsborough County School District.

Schools allow students to attend the fair’s Student Day each year, freeing their schedules for the day by canceling classes. However, in 2014, violence ensued in the festivities, causing police officers to arrest 12 individuals and to eject 99 others from the fair, of who Andrew Joseph II was one of. Police deputies dropped him off at a location 2 miles from the fair; he was killed as he was apparently walking by the side of the highway.

The lawsuit that the Josephs filed against the defendants claimed that their son was falsely arrested and taken without probable cause. They also alleged that most of the students who were arrested were of African-American descent, saying, “Student Day has had a continuous history of civil rights abuses” and that it targets “African-American students and juveniles for arrest, ejection, and unjustified law enforcement intervention”.

The Josephs not only want to make the fair safer for future generations, they also want to see the people whose actions contributed to the death of their child held liable for their negligence.

The website of attorneys at Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller, & Overbeck, P.A. says that a wrongful death claim can be made if a plaintiff believes that there is a legal cause to sue a defendant for the death of a person. Plaintiffs should be people who will be negatively affected by the demise of the person because they are directly related to them; for instance they are immediate family members such as spouses, children, parents of unmarried children, life partners, financial dependents, or putative spouses (similar to common-law spouses).

What You Need To Know About Emphysema

Our lungs are made of small air sacs called alveoli that facilitate efficient exchange of carbon monoxide and oxygen in the blood. When the lining of these air sacs become weak, it may rupture and form bigger air sacs. Bigger air sacs would cause the lungs to diffuse less oxygen into the blood. Once you exhale, bigger air sacs can also make it difficult for your lungs to expel old air, which could fill up the air sac and leave no room for gas exchange. This condition is called emphysema.

It is not easy to notice signs and symptoms emphysema until in its further stage. Typically, a person with emphysema experiences shortness of breath. As the disease progresses, the patient may have difficulty in breathing even while at rest. Decreased mental alertness, discolored fingernails and lips, and weakness may also tell you that not enough oxygen is reaching your tissues. Tests such as lab examinations, imaging tests and lung function tests, are recommended to diagnose emphysema and determine its severity.

Although smoking is the leading cause of emphysema, outdoor pollution, such as vehicle emissions, has also been associated with this disease. Unfortunately, not all vehicle manufacturers take the business of reducing exhaust pollutants very seriously. In fact, some even chose to defraud the system. Volkswagen has intentionally sold hundreds of thousands of cars installed with software that could lower the amount of mono-nitrogen oxides emitted by the car during an emissions test.

Although the damages caused by emphysema are irreversible, there are available drugs and treatments that can slow the progression of the disease. Inhaled steroids and bronchodilators, for instance, may help in shortness of breath; while antibiotics may help you fight against lung infection.

To prevent emphysema, you should not smoke or make yourself exposed to second-hand smoke. If you are currently smoking, you may consult with your doctor about the possible ways on how to quit. You should also wear protective mask when outside a polluted road or when working with dust or chemical fumes.

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