Every time you get behind the wheel of a car, you run the risk of getting into an accident regardless of how excellent of a driver you claim to be. No one is perfect, and none of us are perfect drivers and make the right decision 100% of the time we are on the road. However, certain states seem to have more trouble than others when it comes to avoiding accidents. As of November 2016, South Carolina ranked number 3 in the list of states with the worst drivers, so large truck drivers should take some extra precaution if they are routed through this state.
According to this article in the Post and Courier, this unfortunate ranking comes from a company called CarInsuranceComparison.com who analyzed National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data related to topics like the number of traffic fatalities that occurred in each state, instances of speeding, and careless driving. While some people agree that these findings are indicative of poor driving behavior, citing instances of the “accordion effect” where drivers consistently stop and speed up in slow moving traffic to create gaps, others think that the roads are to blame. An AAA spokeswoman quoted in the article says that rural roads cause most of the problems because they lack the features of urban roads, like shoulders. Because of this, drivers have no room to correct a mistake before an accident occurs. When the statistics are looked at individually, the company found that South Carolina ranks number 1 in vehicular fatalities. However, 82% of the fatalities that happened in South Carolina during 2014 happened on rural roads, which was higher than the national average of 51%. This suggests that either South Carolina roads are more poorly maintained than rural roads in other states, or it might mean that the high numbers of fatalities occur due to a combination of poor driving behavior and the prominence of rural roads.
The number three ranking is certainly a shocker, and even though the results were published by a car insurance company, the statistics are pulled directly from government data. Whether roads need to be better maintained or driver behavior needs to improve, it is clear that something has to change. A higher number of traffic accidents means that truck drivers are more at risk for getting into an accident that can cost them thousands of dollars in medical bills and rig repair. Seeking legal help from firms like these truck accident lawyers in Columbia, South Carolina can help recoup your losses if another driver causes the accident.
Generally, large semi trucks will not be traveling on rural roads very much, so it’s not necessary to completely avoid driving through the entire state. Even so, the government of South Carolina could be doing more to bring their vehicular death rate at least more in line with other states or even push for being further down on these types of ranking lists in the future.
Getting a divorce can be one of the most stressful challenges you’ll undertake. Separating from your spouse can cause a variety of problems for you personally. You’re left making huge financial decisions while you alter your life plans and process complicated, painful emotions. For a lot of people, the pain of a divorce can make them behave in ways they otherwise wouldn’t. Parents especially might find themselves tempted to make decisions that could ultimately hurt their children. Even well-intentioned parents sometimes put pressures on their children without meaning to. Divorce, while hard for spouses, can be absolutely devastating for children. Divorce can get eve more complicated when one or both parents try to use their kids to manipulate one another. When considering the divorce, one must think about the financial and emotional stakes for the children involved. If you’re going through a divorce, there are some basic steps you can take to ensure that your children are not negatively impacted by change.
The NY Daily News offers insightful tips for handling a divorce when you have children. First and foremost, parents should be aware that children are not pawns. They should not be used in any way, form, or fashion to gain the imaginary upper hand during a divorce. The spouse you are divorcing is also a parent to your child or children. Even if you are angry with your spouse, you still need to respect their rights as a parent. Your child will benefit greatly if you treat them and their other parent with integrity.
When it comes to specifics of how to handle the changes brought about by divorce, it’s important to always assure your child of your unconditional love. Don’t put pressure on them to behave a certain way around your spouse and remind them constantly that you will support them no matter what. When children feel like they are somehow to blame or somehow implicated in their family’s upheaval, it can cause emotional distress that affects a child’s school life and physical health. Knowing that they are loved without question by both parents can go a long way towards helping a child properly cope during a divorce.
Additionally, some parents try to empower their children by giving them choices about which spouse they want to spend weekends or holidays with. It might seem like a good thing to respect your child’s wishes, but many kids can feel pressured by this sort of big responsibility. They might feel like choosing one parent somehow betrays the other. They could also be tempted to use the divorce to make demands about parental behavior, hinting that they will only choose to spend time with one or the other if certain conditions are met. It’s best to remove that possibility by deciding, with your spouse, how your child will spend their time. A skilled divorce lawyer can help parents figure out what’s best for their child or children during a separation.
Serious accidents can leave individuals without the physical or economical means to provide for their families as they recover. What begins as an unfortunate circumstance can quickly become a nightmare as bills pile up and emotions come into play. Thankfully, injured individuals can sometimes claim compensation for their troubles by filing a “personal injury case.”
Injuries can happen in a variety of ways, so personal injury lawyers generally practice in a variety of specific areas. Examples of such areas include:
- Car accidents: covers specific cases such as truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, rollover accidents, auto defects, speeding accidents, drunk driving, and more
- Nursing home negligence: covers physical abuse, sexual abuse, negligence, malnutrition/dehydration, and other forms of mistreatment that occur in nursing homes
- Medical malpractice: covers birth injuries, improper treatment, surgical errors, lack of informed consent, and other forms of medical misjudgment
- Construction accidents: includes a variety of worksite risks (such as electrocution and slip and fall accidents) that should be mitigated by proper safety regulations and safe work practices
- Product liability: covers defective consumer products such as household appliances, childcare products and toys, dangerous drugs, defective vehicles, and more
- Wrongful death: covers deaths that may have been caused by negligence or recklessness
Of course, cases can also occur outside these bounds in a variety of complex circumstances.
Why hire a personal injury lawyer?
As one of the top personal injury lawyers in Chicago explains, an experienced legal representative can help you “aggressively pursue” compensation for your injuries. Personal injury lawyers can help you hold your injurer legally accountable for the damage that they have caused.
Determining Custodianship in the State of Texas
One usual cause of disagreement between divorcing couples is child custody, as there are times when both parents do not want to be separated from their child. In the olden days, due to the observance of a practice called “maternal preference,” child custody was awarded to mothers. This was based on the presumption that mothers were naturally better equipped with the love and concern necessary in raising their children.
In court-litigated divorce cases that involve the issue of child custody, the court usually does not ask a child to testify; the judge also would never decide to talk with the child privately to hear his/her interests, thus, parents who are worried over their children testifying would be baseless fear. The court, instead, hires a lawyer or a social worker who will represent the child and inform the judge of what their interests are.
Though it is the court which has the final say with regard to custody, having a lawyer on your side, someone who is really versed in family law would be a big influence in swaying the court’s decision to your favor. Having custody of your child does not mean that you are more capable financially, nor does it mean that you can decide anytime to move or change residence or state, however. Since your former spouse also has rights over your children, regardless of how limited it is, you will need his/her approval (or the court’s approval) before moving to another city or state can be done.
A court may decide to award any of the following types of custodianship:
- Legal custody – courts in some U.S. states sometimes decide on awarding this type of custody to both parents (called joint legal custody). Legal custody gives the custodial parent the right and responsibility to decide on matters concerning the child’s growth and basic needs, like education, religion and health care.
- Physical custody – this type of custody gives the custodial parent the right to live with his/her child, while the other parent, visitation rights. In the event that the divorced parents live quite near one another and the child spends considerable amounts of time with both of them, then the court may allow joint physical custody instead.
- Sole custody – though many courts are now veering away from entrusting a child to only one parent and increasing the role played by fathers in a child’s life after divorce, sole custody would still be the decision if one parent is judged to be unfit due to factors, such as dependency to drug or alcohol, neglect or abuse of child, mental incapacity or an unfit new partner.
- Joint custody – this type of custody has various forms:
- joint physical custody;
- joint legal custody;
- joint legal and physical custody
Divorced couples who are awarded joint physical custody also usually enjoy joint legal custody, but not vice-versa.
Though states may differ with regard to the factors these consider when deciding over a child custody case, one factor remains constant: the best interest of the child. According to an Austin child custody attorney, in the state of Texas, specifically, courts determine custodianship or conservatorship of a child using the following standards: (i) assurance that the child will have frequent and continuing contact with parents who have shown the ability to act in the best interest of the child; (ii) provision of a safe, stable, and non-violent environment for the child; and, (iii) encouragement of parents to share in the rights and duties of raising their child even after they have separated or dissolved their marriage.”
Anyone who lives in a major metropolitan area can attest to just how serious traffic can be. Every year, as more drivers move to bigger city hubs, traffic likewise increases, not only doubling or tripling traffic times for many commuters during the busiest traffic hours, but making roadways more dangerous for drivers. According to Tucson car accident lawyers at Russo, Russo, & Slania, P.C., car accidents are already among the top causes of serious death and wrongful injury in the U.S. every year, and these numbers only continue to increase with increased drivers, traffic, and safety hazards.
More concerning is an article from NPR that cites a government study showing 2015 traffic deaths to have increased by the largest margin in decades, attributed to job growth and more people driving on shared roadways. Sobering as the statistics may be, there are a number of ways to protect yourself against collisions and injuries on the roadways. As safety is the goal, start by examining the safety measures your car has to offer. Ensure that your car meets safety standards and that such standards, such as airbags and seat belts are working properly. Seat belts are particularly important as almost half of the deaths coming from the increase in traffic fatalities in 2015 were caused by passengers not wearing seat belts, according to the same study from NPR. The next highest causes were drunk driving, speeding, and distracted driving.
Given these causes, there are specific ways of decreasing your chances of a collision. Always have a designated driver if you are drinking, watch your speed, and put away your smartphone to protect yourself on the roadways. You cannot control other drivers and can consequently never be completely protected from crashes, but ensuring that you hold yourself accountable for the same safety standards you expect from other drivers will lower your chances of an accident. Additionally, avoiding certain roads and highways that have a high concentration of traffic may decrease your commute time and increase your protection.