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November 2014 Archives

Thanksgiving Advice From U.S. DOT

The U.S. Department of Transportation offers several pieces of advice to help families stay safe over the Thanksgiving holiday. Travel, particularly travel in poor weather conditions, can be hazardous. The added pressure of a holiday can place many drivers in positions they know to be unsafe. Winter holidays almost always see a sharp rise in car accidents and other transportation injuries.

Fewer Cell Phone Calls Does Not Mean Safer Drivers

Surveys conducted by State Farm have shown that the number of people making cell phone calls while driving has actually dropped since 2009. Unfortunately, drivers have replaced calls with smart phone activities such as checking e-mail, surfing the Internet, checking Facebook or accessing Twitter. Over that time period, the percentage of people who text and drive has remained steady despite the proliferation of laws banning the practice. The total percentage of people using their cell phones in some way while driving has gone up in each of the past six years.

How Unsafe Trucks And Truck Drivers Remain On The Roads

There is no shortage of regulations aimed at the trucking industry. Many of these regulations are intended to ensure that truck drivers are well rested, properly trained, have safe driving records and are monitored. Trucks are supposed to be carefully maintained, properly loaded and designed for safety. Trucking companies are supposed to employ competent, safe drivers, keep their trucks in good working order and provide a working atmosphere that is conducive to safety. As with many regulations, these are often ignored when they get in the way of profit.

Calls For Reform Of The NHTSA

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is responsible for improving motor vehicle and highway safety. It works to improve safety in many ways. It is responsible for setting safety standards for motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment. It provides grants to state and local governments to educate the public and improve driving safety. It is responsible for investigating automakers and the makers of auto parts that are suspected of defects impacting safety. Finally, it is responsible for safety research into issues such as drinking and driving, distracted driving, fatigued driving and other potential hazards. After a number of highly publicized missteps, some legislators believe the NHTSA is failing in its mission.

Ineffective Distracted Driving Laws

Some behaviors are harder to control than others. Despite increasingly harsh penalties for DUI, drinking and driving still kills more than 10,000 people every year. Part of the problem is that many people do not believe they will be caught driving drunk. Mothers Against Drunk Driving estimates that drivers who are arrested for DUI have driven drunk 80 times before getting caught. The problems surrounding distracted driving are even more severe. Not only do people not fear getting caught, many refuse to recognize the danger of the behavior in the first place.

Civil Rights and Personal Injury Attorney Discusses the Negative Impacts of Tort Reform

I've blogged about "Tort Reform" - attempts, under the misleading word "reform" (which implies a good, necessary change) - to gut the civil justice system by limiting access to a jury trial, compelling arbitration, erecting barriers to suit and by limiting damages.

Employment Policies And Facebook

The National Labor Relations Act protects employees' right to engage in certain group activity intended to improve pay and working conditions. What activities are protected is a matter of substantial dispute over the years. Protected concerted activity has been found in many forms. Changing times means new ways employees communicate concerns about their working conditions. Recent decisions by the National Labor Relations Board have tackled employees' communications through YouTube, blogs and Facebook.