Errors a Truck Driver can Commit that Could Result in a Truck Accident

A study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reveals that majority of truck accidents are due to errors committed by drivers of semi-trucks, also called 18-wheelers or big rigs. This result is in contrast with other studies which say that more than 50% of the 500,000 truck accidents in the U.S. are due to the fault of drivers of passenger cars.

According to the FMCSA, the most common errors committed by truck drivers include fatigue; driving beyond the set speed limit, driving too fast for road conditions; drivers impaired due to use of prescription or over-the-counter-drugs; overspeeding; unfamiliarity with the road; lack of experience in operating a semi-truck; lack of focus on the road; distracted driving; improper attachment of trailer; failure to check “no-zone” areas or blind spots; failure to make sure that truck brakes are in good working condition; and, depowering of the front brakes to lessen wear and tear of tires and breaks. All these errors lead to many other things that directly affect the capability of truck drivers to react to danger correctly and on time.

In 2013, there were 3,500 fatal large truck accidents. These accidents resulted to the death of 570 truck drivers; other fatalities were drivers of smaller vehicles, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Non-fatal injuries, on the other hand, exceed more than a hundred thousand.

After a trucking company does everything to ensure that both the vehicle and driver have all the necessary things for a workload to be done and completed safely, the responsibility for safe conduct shifts to the truck driver. Unfortunately, some drivers fail to take this responsibility seriously and cause catastrophic and preventable accidents as a result.

Any failure to be aware of their surroundings or their limitations may result in a trucker causing a life-threatening accident. Due to this, truckers should be aware of all the inherent risks of their vehicle and know just how quickly their negligence or recklessness can become dangerous. Those hurt in a trucking accident, on the other hand, may find it necessary to pursue legal action against the liable driver or his/her employer to pursue compensation.

Who Can File A Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death claim can be filed so that the family of the deceased can recover damages due to the untimely death of their loved one. According to the website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, the sudden death of a loved one can have a huge effect on various circumstances in the lives of the survivor. However, the law has put certain restrictions on who can file a wrongful death claim to recover damages.

In the olden days, filing a case against someone in a civil court for the death of another individual was not allowed. Although the defendant could still be put to jail, the family of the deceased could not recover damages. As a result, the perpetrator of the killing was in better shape financially if the victim dies either right after getting injured or any time during the trial.

Times have changed even in the filing of a lawsuit against the perpetrator of the crime. Now, every state has laws that superseded the harsh nature of the old rule. Current laws now allow family members to file a wrongful death case.

Current wrongful death statutes are based on two systems namely the Lord Campbell System and the Loss-To-Estate System. Let us briefly discuss each element of the system:

The Lord Campbell System

Patterned after the Lord Campbell Act of 1846, a wrongful death claim can be filed by a designated beneficiary specified by the statute, based on relationship to the deceased. For example, the surviving spouse can be declared as the statutory beneficiary. Only those identified shall be allowed to exercise the right to sue.

The Loss-To-Estate System

In this system, a personal representative of the estate is allowed to file a lawsuit. While the chosen representative can file the suit under their own name, the proceeds of the case shall first be subjected to a trust fund for distribution to designated beneficiaries. The amount of losses will vary from one state to another.

The Top Reason Why Millions of Drivers are Uninsured

Records from the Insurance Research Council, an independent, nonprofit research organization, show that one in every eight drivers in the US continues to drive freely despite being uninsured. Car liability insurance, which is a necessary document during renewal of driver’s license and car registration, is mandated in 48 states. Drivers will also have to readily show proof of their insurance coverage whenever a traffic enforcer asks for it or when they get involved in an accident. However, if millions of drivers are truly uninsured, then how are they able to renew their license and register their car?

New Hampshire and Virginia are the only two states that allow their drivers to choose whether to have insurance coverage or, in the case of New Hampshire, simply post a bond with the state, while in the case of Virginia, to pay the uninsured motor vehicle fee to their state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. To be able to renew their car registration, what uninsured drivers actually do is purchase an insurance policy (this will give them access to having an insurance card), re-register their car and renew their driver’s license, and then discontinue paying their premiums.

The most common reason given by drivers for not maintaining their insurance is the high cost of insurance premiums. Obviously, these drivers think that, by not maintaining their policy, they will be able to save a lot. On the contrary, according to Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, not having insurance can be a lot more costly; it also invites more financial risks. If caught, an uninsured driver can be required to pay costly fines besides losing his/her driving privileges and be required to purchase a policy which, this time, will be more expensive.

Though there may be truth in drivers’ claims that insurance policies are expensive, they may be left with no other option than to carry one. There is one way of finding a cheap policy, however, which can include the types of coverage that they believe they need to have – by asking independent car insurance companies for insurance quotes, which will allow them to compare cost of policies from one firm to another. These quotes are free and have been proven to be truly useful and helpful to many drivers.

What to do when a kid is drowning

Having your own swimming pool is great, especially for your kids during summer. But when left unguarded or unmaintained, they can be your kids’ greatest safety threat. According to the website of Mokaram & Associates, P.C., unenclosed swimming pools are both dangerous and attractive to children, putting them at risk of swimming pool accidents.

Drowning accounts for the most number of injury-related deaths among children 1 to 4 years old. Furthermore, it is the second leading cause of fatality among kids 14 years old and below. As such, knowing what to do in such situation can be a life-saver. Here’s what to do during a drowning situation:

  1. Get help immediately. If you are in a public pool or in a beach, call the attention of a lifeguard nearby.
  2. If you are alone, your aim should be to get the kid out of the water as soon as possible.
  3. Check the child’s breathing. You can do this by placing your ears in his nose to check if air comes out. You may also check if the chest rises.
  4. If the person is not breathing, check his pulse. If you feel no pulse within 10 seconds, be ready to perform CPR.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)

CPR is a lifesaving emergency technique which uses chest compression to bring back a person’s breathing or heartbeat. If you see a kid drowning but have not received any hands-on training on CPR, doing nothing at all could result in unnecessary death. Here’s a quick guide on how to perform CPR for kids:

  1. Place the kid on his back on a firm surface.
  2. Put the heel of your one hand at the center of his chest along the nipple line. For older children, you can place the second hand on top of the other. For children under one year old, place two fingers on the infant’ breastbone just beneath the baby’s nipple line.
  3. Start compressing. Using your upper body weight, push down firmly at least two inches down at a rate of 100 compressions per minute. For smaller kids, use only one hand. For infants below one year old, press down using two fingers about 1.5 inches.
  4. Give 30 compressions. If the person is still not breathing, tilt the victim’s head and place your mouth over his. Seal the victim’s nose by pinching it and then give two breaths, each lasting one second.
  5. Continue giving the CPR until you see any movement or emergency medical responders arrive

SOURCE: http://www.parents.com/baby/safety/outdoor/first-aid-for-drowning/

How to Prevent Slip and Fall Accidents on Construction Sites

Employers have several responsibilities to the people in their workforce. One of the most crucial issues in this list is ensuring the safety of their employees. It’s extremely important that employers prioritize the creation of a safe working environment, especially for those in high-risk manual labor industries. Construction work is considered particularly dangerous due to its high fatal injury rate. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OHSA, construction workers greater risk to accidents compared to any other person working in other professions.

Slip and fall accidents happen frequently in construction sites across the United States. According to the lawyers at Hach and Rose, slipping and falling are among the most frequent hazards face by workers every day. All too often, these workers fall victim and end up getting gravely injured due to the lack of safety regulations and safety structures imposed by employers. Hazards like slippery and uneven surfaces, and debris along a walk way might seem innocuous issues at first, but they can result in life-altering consequences. The dangers of slip and fall accidents don’t stop at broken bones and sprains. Some accidents can also lead to serious medical conditions such as spinal injuries and brain trauma. These conditions can then cause life-long pain and disability for victims.

Thankfully, employers can do a lot to prevent accidents and their negative outcomes from occurring. One way employers can create a safe working environment in construction site is by imposing stricter safety regulations and making sure these policies are adhered to by all employees across the board. It’s also important that the equipment and structures in a given construction site is properly inspected and maintained. Lastly, it could be helpful for employers to consider pre-employment screening. This way, they can make sure that all their workers can meet the physical requirements demanded by such a job.