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Truck accident deaths increased in 2018

Deadly accidents involving large trucks went up an estimated 3% across the U.S. in 2018, according to preliminary numbers released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In addition, the agency reports that overall traffic deaths increased by around 4% in Connecticut and the rest of New England.

The NHTSA estimates that a total of 36,750 Americans died in traffic accidents throughout the U.S. in 2018, which represents a 1% decrease from 2017. It also marks the second consecutive year traffic deaths have declined after there were significant increases in 2015 and 2016. However, not every area of the nation experienced a drop in fatalities. For example, New England states actually saw a 4% increase in traffic deaths. On the flip side, some regions saw larger drops. For instance, the upper Midwestern states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio experienced a 5% decrease.

What is intent to distribute under Connecticut criminal law?

If law enforcement officers catch you in the possession of a prohibited drug, whether it's a controlled prescription medication or an illegal street drug, you can find yourself facing serious criminal consequences. Those consequences vary depending on the substance in question and how much it weighs.

Possession charges on their own can have very serious criminal consequences, but you could potentially wind up facing even more serious allegations. In some circumstances, law enforcement can charge you with intent to distribute, which can carry more serious consequences under Connecticut law.

Experiencing job loss during a divorce

The process of ending a marriage can be stressful enough for most couples in Connecticut going through the divorce process. Things can quickly get even more complicated if the party filing for divorce or their soon-to-be-ex-spouse suddenly loses their job before important decisions have been made.

Because each job loss situation is different, the court typically seeks details about the circumstances involved. For instance, if child support is sought by a lesser-earning spouse and the payor lost their job due to company layoffs, the court may be more willing to appropriately to disregard a previously reported income level. But if a job was lost due to misconduct, a court may be less likely to make adjustments with financial obligations.

Machine guarding regulations for worker safety

Regulations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are in place to protect plant employees who work with heavy machinery. Employees in Connecticut and throughout the country may be at risk of injury from machinery that can easily snag clothing and pull the worker in or cause burns. Machine guards can help prevent this.

When they are used correctly, machine guards protect against accidents caused by flying chips, sparks, and other hazards. There are many different types of guards, including barriers and electronic devices. Machines that are required to have guards include shears, power saws, milling machines, portable power tools, and power presses. For some equipment, an additional precaution is required under what is known as the "seven-foot rule." This requires guarding certain hazardous operations that are conducted 7 feet or less from the floor or where work is being done.

Three ways to prioritize worker safety at heights

Connecticut worksites in high places can put workers as well as the people below at risk. Dropped objects are the third most frequent cause of worker injuries in the construction industry, according to OSHA. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that there were 45,940 injuries in 2017 that involved a falling object. This accounted for 5.2% of all on-the-job injuries that year.

The BLS states that fatal falls reached a 26-year high in 2017 (1992 being the year when the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries was introduced), leading to 887 deaths. That came to 17% of all worker fatalities that year.

Light rains raise risk for fatal car crashes

Researchers at the North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies have discovered that a light drizzle can increase the risk of a fatal auto accident by 27 percent. They reached their conclusion after analyzing 125,012 fatal car crashes that occurred between 2006 and 2011 in Connecticut and the rest of the 48 lower states. They also factored in how many cars were on the road.

More importantly, researchers were able to use weather radar data to calculate rain and snow conditions, whereas previous studies had to rely on the less precise information given in police reports and by the nearest weather stations. This data showed how hard it was raining or snowing at the time of each crash.

Claiming workers' compensation as an undocumented immigrant

If you are an immigrant without papers but still engage in work in Connecticut, you may be unsure of the rights that you have. This will be especially true if you become injured on the job. Injuries cost money, and they can also lead to expensive medical bills. It is important that you understand your rights as an undocumented worker.

It is estimated that unauthorized employees comprise 5% of the national workforce. All employees, regardless of their immigration status, are entitled to overtime, unpaid wages, and breaks just like any other employee. In addition, state laws make it possible for undocumented immigrants to gain compensation in the event of injury.

Trucking fleets using tech to combat distracted, drowsy driving

Distracted and fatigued driving is a major problem for truck drivers in Connecticut and across the U.S. However, new technologies are now available that can detect when truckers are distracted or drowsy and prevent them from causing an accident.

For example, many trucking fleets are now using cellphone blocking technologies that stop phone calls, texts and web browsing while the truck is in motion and hands-free technologies that allow truckers to verbally command cellphones and other devices. Many companies are also using in-cab cameras that monitor drivers for distracted driving and other potentially dangerous behaviors. This monitoring is typically used to inform truckers about distracted driving incidents and coach them on ways to avoid similar incidents in the future.

How to coparent effectively after divorce

Some divorced parents in Connecticut may find co-parenting a challenge. However, parents should try to avoid letting their feelings toward one another interfere with the relationship the child builds with either of them. Children should feel free to talk about their lives at the other parents' house, but they should not be put in the middle of things by being asked to carry messages back and forth. Parents should try to establish consistent rules in both households. This can be difficult, and in some cases, it may be best to aim for similar expectations.

Communication problems can lead to co-parenting problems. A visible calendar in both homes can serve as a reminder of the custody schedule for children and parents. There are also online tools that can help parents communicate and can save that communication in case they must enter mediation later. Children may ask about the divorce, and when they do, parents should try to be honest without blaming one another. If there is a chance of reconciliation, parents should still not raise this hope with their children. They should wait until it is certain.

Drowsy driving is surprisingly common and very dangerous

There are numerous driver behaviors that commonly lead to crashes, including drunk driving, texting while driving and driving aggressively. These actions can and do cause serious and fatal car accidents, and drivers can face criminal penalties as well as a personal injury lawsuit.

But there is one dangerous driver behavior that is often overlooked or underestimated: drowsy driving. Each of us has driven while less-than-alert, and the reduction in driving ability is usually apparent. Unfortunately, it is common for drivers to get behind the wheel while dangerously impaired by drowsiness or fatigue.

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