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Is There Ever a Way to make Truck Drivers not Drive While Feeling Sleepy?

After the August 2010 truck accident that killed Ed Slattery’s wife Susan Slattery, confined his son Matthew to a wheelchair due to crushed skull that resulted to traumatic brain injury, and broke Peter’s (his other son) pelvis and eye socket, it was only in June 2014 when truck accidents due to driver fatigue gained new attention. This resurfacing of driver fatigue as a major cause of truck accidents was due to the crashes that killed four members of a Texas community college women’s softball team and which put comedian Tracy Morgan into a coma and killed his co-comedian James McNair.

In the August 2010 accident, the Triple trailer driver confessed to having dozed off prior to ramming into the Slattery’s Ford Focus and five other vehicles, while the Wal-Mart Stores Inc. driver of the tractor-trailer that hit Morgan’s limousine has had no sleep for at least 24 hours prior to the accident. (In 1991, driving triple trailers on U.S. highways was banned; 14 states, however, which predates the ban, were exempted from said ban)

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), an agency in the U.S. Department of Transportation, is in charge of regulating the trucking industry in the United States; its primary mission is to reduce crashes involving large trucks and buses, and the injuries and deaths that these crashes cause.

The FMCSA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) believe that a vast majority of truckers, especially veteran truck drivers, are responsible drives who drive well within reasonable limits. Some others drivers, however, including the trucking companies they work for, are often tempted to push themselves/these drivers to their limits, putting so many other motorists at risk.

By regulating the number of hours truck drivers may operate their vehicle, the FMCSA hopes to make sure that drivers do not and are not allowed to drive while fatigued. Under the new hours of service (HOS) rules, truck drivers are allowed to work up to 14 hours a day, including 11 hours of driving. If ever a driver renders 70 hours duty in a week, he/she must rest 34 hours, including two consecutive nights from 1a.m. to 5 a.m.

Drivers, though, are never paid overtime, besides being paid by the mile – definitely not worth the exhaustion they experience and often long periods away from their families. Due to this, and the need to earn more, many end up driving despite lack of sleep or having no sleep at all.

As a result, at least 4,000 fatal truck crashes and more than 100,000 leading to injuries are recorded by the U.S. DOT every year, with trucker fatigue being the most common cause of these crashes.

Many modern cars and some trucks are now equipped with safety devices, such as the Electronic Stability Control, Traction Control, Adaptive cruise control/collision mitigation, Lane-departure warning/wake-you-up safety, and Emergency brake assist/collision mitigation. Despite all these modern safety equipment, truck accident lawyers from the Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck, P.A., know that the size difference between a passenger vehicle and a commercial truck means that, in the event of an accident, motorists can suffer a range of losses that could affect them for the rest of their life.

In the 2010 accident which involved the Slattery family, Ed’s lawyer found out that, months before the accident occurred, the truck driver was warned by the trucking company he worked for due to traffic safety violations, which included making improper turn signals, following too closely, and weaving. These were aside from having been involved in minor accidents and having sleep apnea, a disorder in how one breathes during sleep.

Injured or killed victims in truck accidents deserve only the full amount of compensation the law allows them to receive. Compensation should cover hospital bills, rehabilitation period, loss of wages and, in case of death, loss of companionship, funeral expenses, and all the pains and suffering suffered by the victim/s and the family.

Never think twice about getting a highly-competent lawyer, who may be able to get all the evidences that will help you claim the compensation that you deserve. A less experienced one may only cause you the full justice that you wish for and deserve.

How Prolonged Exposure to Toxic PCBs Affect Human Health

The U.S. federal government imposed a ban on the manufacture and use of polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs in 1979. Before this ban, which was acted up through the Environmental Protection Agency, PCBs were widely used in a variety of commercial and industrial materials as an effective coolant. Its production was led by the agrichemical company Monsanto and lasted for several decades. Only when reports of its devastating environmental effects surfaced that the debate around toxic Monsanto PCBs came to a full boil and urged government agencies to issue a regulatory ban. These arguments centered on data showing how PCBs have affected the wildlife surrounding Monsanto are manufacturing plants. Since then, numerous scientific research studies have looked into human health risks associated with PCB exposure.

A specific group of studies examined the pattern of symptoms caused by PCBs to people exposed to the chemicals in their workplace. These studies showed that high levels of PCB exposure caused individuals to develop an acne-like skin condition called chloracne. People with chlroacne experience a sudden eruption of blackheads, cysts, and pustules in areas of the skin that have been most exposed to PCB compounds. Another study suggests that workers who have been exposed to PCBs for a long period of time develop issues with their blood, liver, lungs, and gastrointestinal organs. These workers also experienced noted episodes of depression and fatigue. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, workers who come into close contact with PCBs are the ones most susceptible to these alarming effects. Anyone who has to repair or maintain old PCB transformers, as well as those who work in close proximity to hazardous waste sites is among the most susceptible.

Several other studies examine the link between cancer occurrence and PCB exposures. These studies were able to provide sufficient evidence that workers who have experienced prolonged PCB exposure have developed cancers in the liver or biliary tract. Evidence from animal experiments also shows the dangers of PCB exposure and the role it plays in the development of cancer. As such, both the Environmental Protection Agency and International Agency for Research on Cancer have classified PCBs as a probable human carcinogen.

Common Head Injuries

Head injuries range in severity. They can affect a person for a couple weeks, to as long as the rest of their life. Possible causes of brain injuries are sporting games, falls, or car accidents. Types of brain injuries include concussions, contusions, diffuse axonal, and penetration.

Concussions occur when there has been a direct blow to the head. They are the most common type of brain injury, and can result from many types of accidents. Possible instances in which concussions can occur include slamming into the steering wheel, hitting the ground hard, or collisions. Internally, a person’s blood vessels are stretched and nerves can be damaged.

Like concussions, contusions are also caused are direct impact to the head. However, contusions involve a bruise on the brain. If the contusion is significant enough, it may need to be surgically removed.

Diffuse axonal results when a person’s head has been strongly shaken or rotated, and the brain does not move in accordance with the skull. Diffuse axonals can cause nerve tissues to tear, thus leading to comas or permanent brain damage. Commonly associated with car accidents, this type of injury is very serious.

Lastly, penetration is when a foreign object enters the brain during an accident. This type of injury can cause tearing, stretching, or rupture of brain tissue. Penetrating objects can go through the skull, brain, and back out of the skull, or can ricochet throughout the skull. When a penetration accident occurs, the victim should be taken to the emergency room immediately.

A personal injury lawyer from the law office of Ali Mokaram could tell you that all of these brain injuries can be devastating to a person’s life. While rehabilitation is an option for recovering from a brain injury, the process is often long and uncomfortable. When a person involved in an accident is inflicted with a brain injury, they should receive medical attention as soon as possible.

Birth Defects: An Unexpected Plot Twist

In an old film, it was been said that “to live would be an awfully big adventure”.

Well, in real life, the adventure can be that much more difficult when your first plot twist happens long before you are even actually born. There are many social stigmas that surround every little imperfection, even if these things were not things that anyone asked for. Being born with a birth defect can have many potentially psychologically scarring experiences as well as judgment from peers, therefore drastically affecting anyone’s self-esteem as well as limiting opportunities from the get go.

There are even some birth defects that affect the way one can live their lives or even shorten someone’s life span. Congenital heart defects are one of these possible difficult anomalies that come as a result of birth defect. There are a multitude of scientific reasons as to why someone could be born with these afflictions. Sometimes, however, it is due to medication that has these unprecedented side effects that the mother might have taken during the pregnancy.

One such drug that is currently being linked to the aforementioned defects is called Zofran. This is a drug more often used with patients being treated for cancer with chemotherapy. It is used to lessen the nausea and it is not exclusively for the use of cancer patients. Now, nausea is also often a side effect of pregnancy and some mothers-to-be still require being able to work for a while, even while pregnant, and so are sometimes advised to take medication to stay the nausea, Zofran being one of the more popular choices.

According to the website of Williams Kherkher, if a fetus were to be exposed to the drug, it could result into defects that could be detrimental to the health of the child. If this is the case for you, however, there are some legal options that you could avail of because there are some possible rights that you might not be aware that you have.

Keep a Positive Outlook!


Stay happy, fellow minds!

If you’re having trouble with this, here are some thoughts that I use to stay happy a remarkable 98.23% of the time!

If you are not thinking things that are happy, stop thinking those things and think of another thing that is a thing that makes you happy instead. Some of my go-tos are:

  1. Kittens
  2. Puppies
  3. Other kinds of baby animals
  4. Ice Cream
  5. Pizza

With practice, you can turn your negative thoughts into positive, happy ones. I believe in you!

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