The Health Risks of Being a Trucker

Many people, when they’re young, have a romantic vision of being a trucker. They dream of the freedom of driving over the whole country. The trucker, after all, has mostly replaced the old dream of being a train engineer.

For those same people, trucking becomes later in life an industry that is dirty and undesirable. Neither of these images is fair or correct. It is not the idealize job that children make it out to be, nor is it the awful job that many adults make it out to be.

The job has many benefits, and it is one of the rare professions that still guarantee a good middle-class life without requiring advanced degrees.

However, there are lots of health risks that go along with it.

For instance, anyone who has spent a few days in a row driving long days can tell you it makes for some serious potential back and neck pain issues. In fact, truck driving is the leading career to develop musculoskeletal injuries. That’s because the cab is not optimally designed to give the necessary space to stretch and keep the body in a comfortable position. The amount of sitting also increase the risks of obesity and other health issues.

There are also the risks related to driving and therefore being constantly around exhaust fumes. Many truckers smoke to help stay awake. With the combination of fumes and smoke, truckers’ lungs are particularly at risk for cancer and other diseases. Other trucks will use stimulants to stave off exhaustion which obviously have serious health risks, particularly to the heart. These can also increase the risk of accidents (more on that in a moment).

Other serious issues can be a sense of loneliness due to so much time isolated in the truck, and the real and serious likelihood of extreme fatigue (again, more on that in a moment).

By far the greatest threat to a trucker’s health, though is the risk of serious accidents. Truckers end up in 2/3s of all fatal accidents on the highway, and that is often the trucker’s fault due to exhaustion.

Other factors can lead to truck driver accidents are alcohol in the system, mechanical malfunction, truck driver error (again, often due to exhaustion, but not always), and the demands of employers that put an undue strain on the driver.

For all that, trucking is still often a very safe and enjoyable profession. It can lead to a long career that provides for a family. It is important, though, for anyone considering trucking as a profession (or even simply considering the job in general) to recognize it is neither as great as some idealized version would have you believe or as terrible as the nightmarish version some adults tell.

It’s a profession with its benefits and risks like any other. Depending on your perspective, one side likely outweighs the other.

What to Know About Adoption

Choosing to adopt a child is a big and important decision that can significantly impact the dynamic of your family. It is also an incredible opportunity to help a child in need of a loving home and to add another loved one into your life. However, the process to adopt a child is often long and complicated, so it is essential that you are fully prepared for what is ahead. Finding the right information to inform your decision can be difficult, but the childcare specialists at The Bump have created an article focused on adoption to help you get started.  Although this is not all of the information you may need, it can help you prepare for the journey that is ahead.

There are some different ways you can go about adopting a child in the United States. Each of these options come with a myriad of choices and decisions you must make about how you will adopt, the relationship you choose to have with the birth family, and how you will fund your adoption. Of these decisions, the first choice you must make is on the adoption path. This will determine how you will go about finding the child that is the perfect addition to your family. The three most common paths families choose include:

  • Finding an agency: this is a relatively stable process that will locate children that are ready to be adopted. They also offer pre- adoption counseling and ensure that the child is the right fit for your family
  • Hiring a lawyer: this is the option that provides the most freedom in locating potential birth families. An attorney can help you find potential matches and manage the legal requirements of adopting
  • Entering the foster system: this path allows you to help children find the comfort and love they need while they are a part of the foster system. Families that choose this route must go through a training program and home inspection before they can take on the role of a foster parent.

After you have decided on the path you wish to take, you must also determine whether you would like to pursue a closed or open adoption. Although closed adoptions are still possible, they are far less common than in the past. A lawyer can help you understand the different rights you may offer to the birth family and how that will affect your rights as a parent.

Adoption is the right choice for many families across the United States, and whether you live in Washington, California, Maine, or Texas, a loving family is a loving family. If you have chosen to adopt, you are about to undertake a rewarding experience, and no matter the path you choose you will make the adoption choices that are right for you and your loved ones. Nevertheless, this experience is still confusing and often frustrating, and you may be concerned that you do not know what to do next. A trusted family lawyer, such as Holmes Diggs & Sadler, can help you understand your rights and help guide you through this process.

Family Farmers’ and Family Fishermen’s Legal Solution to Debt Crisis

If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, you must first learn everything you need to know regarding bankruptcy, its different chapters and these chapters’ specific advantages and disadvantages. Afterwards, you can proceed to evaluating your actual financial situation to see if you really need to file a bankruptcy case and, if yes, which specific chapter will help you best.

Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding where debtors (individuals, families or business firms) declare their inability to further pay their overwhelming debts. There are different chapters in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, each designed to address an individual’s , a family’s or a firm’s financial situation. One of these is Chapter 12 bankruptcy, which is specifically designed for family farmers or family fishermen, to enable them to recover from unmanageable debts.

Family farmers or family fishermen may refer to an individual, an individual and his/her spouse, a partnership or a corporation. To be eligible, however, the debtor should, first and foremost, have a regular annual income (though the law makes an allowance for those with seasonal income). This is just to make sure that the debtor will have enough, regular earnings to pay the debt.

Other conditions required by Chapter 12, include:

  • at least 50% of the farm or fishery is owned by the debtor:
  • with regard to the amount of death, 50% should be due to farming (for family farmers) and 80% should be due to the commercial fishing business (for family fishermen);
  • gross income that came from farming or fishing operation (for the previous tax year) must have been more than 50%; and,
  • the total debt owed does not exceed $4,031,575 for farmers and $1,868,200 for fishermen

According to the Bradford Law Offices, PLLC, Chapter 12 bankruptcy is very similar to Chapter 13 in how it is structured. However, it provides additional benefits not available to those pursuing Chapter 13 bankruptcy, including higher debt ceilings than those under Chapter 13 bankruptcy and increased exemptions from financial obligations.

It is explained by the United States Courts that this Bankruptcy Code provides that only a family farmer or family fisherman with “regular annual income” may file a petition for relief under chapter 12. The purpose of this requirement is to ensure that the debtor’s annual income is sufficiently stable and regular to permit the debtor to make payments under a chapter 12 plan. But chapter 12 makes allowance for situations in which family farmers or fishermen have income that is seasonal in nature. Relief under chapter 12 is voluntary, and only the debtor may file a petition under the chapter.



Truck Driver Error, a Major Cause of Large Truck Accidents

According to the non-profit research organization Highway Loss Data Institute, there were 3,500 fatal large truck accidents in 2013. In these accidents, 570 truck drivers lost their lives; other victims of these fatal accidents included passengers of smaller vehicles, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians.

A number of surveys say that accidents involving passenger cars and trucks are more blamable on car drivers; however, a study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) says that trucking accidents are more due to errors committed by truck drivers rather than drivers of passenger cars.

These errors are usually results of many different factors which directly affect a truck driver’s capability to react properly and on time to danger. The top three factors that the FMCSA has identified include driver fatigue, driving too fast for road conditions, and impairment due to alcohol, prescription drugs or over-the-counter-drugs. There are other causes of errors, of course, including speeding, unfamiliarity with the road or vehicle, driving distractions and inattention, improper attachment of trailer, failure to check blind spots, depowering of the front brakes (this is what truck operators commonly do in order to minimize wear and tear on tires and breaks and so save on operating costs), and failure to make sure that the brakes are in good working condition before starting a long drive.

Once on the road, truck drivers can practically do whatever they want, like drive continuously despite feeling fatigued, just to be able to cover as many road miles as possible, or drive over the speed limit or too fast for certain road conditions. Because of these, as well as the fact that driving a truck is just much more challenging than driving any passenger vehicle, both the federal and local authorities make sure that a driver, before being granted a commercial driver’s license, has been given the necessary training in the safe operation of large trucks, has passed the required tests, and is totally aware of how dangerous trucks can be on roads and highways.

According to the law firm Ravid & Associates, P.C,. “Commercial trucks are a common and accepted presence on U.S. highways. Driving amongst them can be intimidating, however, due to their massive size. Although truck drivers are especially trained to drive these vehicles, sometimes they may drive negligently or even make a careless mistake that results in a devastating accident. When this occurs, drivers must be held entirely accountable for any damages in order to cover the costs that victims may be burdened with.”
An Iowa personal injury lawyer, points out, though, how highly complex legal matters can be. Thus, if you are considering pursuing legal action, then it may be in your best interest to secure the services of a qualified truck accident or personal injury attorney.

NFL Players are Paying the Cost of Such Entertainment with Their Health and Long-Term Well-Being

Any type of sports comes with the risk of injury; however, football, being a high-impact sport, has the highest risk of injury. Obviously, football and injuries go hand-in-hand. With all the tackling, blocking and other physical interactions between players, post-game recaps would always include a list of casualties and injuries, including contusions and concussions or injuries that range from minor, but bothersome to severe and debilitating.

The most common football injuries include:

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injuries – This knee injury, which is due to damage or tear to the anterior cruciate ligament occurs when a player is struck from the front or rear;

Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) injuries – This knee injury is a result of forceful impact to the side of the knee.

Torn meniscus – Another knee injury wherein the meniscus (a thin fibrous cartilage or the firm, whitish, flexible connective tissue between the surfaces of some joints) is torn. This occurs when a player rotates his body while his foot stays planted on the ground.

Ankle sprains and strains – This is probably the most common sports injury. The soft tissues of the ankles are susceptible to damage when players pivot, change direction, or put too much pressure on the ankle joint.

Muscle contusions – This is a large, deep bruise affecting large muscles, usually in the thigh. This injury can impair muscle function.

Torn hamstrings – Players who are not conditioned or properly warmed up are prone to this injury, especially after a burst of speed.

Shoulder tendinitis – This is due to the repetitive motion of throwing.

Shoulder separation or dislocation – This is separation of the acromioclavicular joint due to direct blow below the shoulder; a dislocation, on the other hand, occurs when the head of the humerus separates from the scapula.

Though most injuries sustained by professional football players are musculoskeletal injuries, there are two other injuries that are more serious because they affect the brain: Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy and Concussion.

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain. It can lead to memory loss, dementia and depression. Concussion, meanwhile, is “a change in mental state due to a traumatic impact. Not all those who suffer a concussion will lose consciousness. Some signs that a concussion has been sustained are headache, dizziness, nausea, loss of balance, drowsiness, numbness/tingling, difficulty concentrating, and blurry vision. The athlete should return to play only when clearance is granted by a health care professional.”

In its website, the law firm Ali Mokaram shares two incidences where two NFL players suffered head injuries: “Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman suffered a serious blow to the head during the 1993 NFC Championship Game, in which a knee to the head eventually landed him in the hospital that evening. In 1994, Chicago Bears fullback Merrill Hodge retired from football completely following a blow to the head that, according to reports, left him unable to recognize his close family members, including his wife.”

The firm further says, “In the opinion of an increasing number of scientists, NFL players are paying the cost of such entertainment with their health and long-term well-being. Once their playing careers have ended, many NFL players find that the physical toll that playing professional football has taken on their bodies makes them unable to live a productive, healthy life. Some of these injuries include physical pain from broken bones and joint injuries, but increasing evidence shows that many professional athletes also have suffered degenerative brain disease from repeated concussions as a result of playing in the league.”

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