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Belleville Illinois Legal Blog

New technologies may help prevent truck accidents

Unsafe truck drivers in Illinois pose a serious threat to others on the roadways. Occupants of smaller passenger vehicles are at much greater risk in an accident with a semitruck due to the massive size and weight of the commercial vehicle. There are several safety technologies designed to help reduce the number of serious truck accidents, but if they are thwarted or not used at all, people may not receive the protection they need on the road. Some experts warned about the danger posed by truck drivers who disable safety equipment while behind the wheel.

Some of these drivers come up with creative solutions to resist what they see as invasive systems that interfere with their ability to do their jobs quickly and efficiently. Others may see no way of achieving their driving schedule without cutting corners when it comes to safety. However, these choices can lead to devastating or even fatal truck accidents. Therefore, experts say that fleet companies need to do more than just invest in new technology for tractor-trailers if they want to really promote a higher level of trucking safety.

A divorce settlement can require additional work

For many Illinois estranged couples, negotiating a fair settlement as part of a divorce is only one of many emotional, practical and financial changes that can accompany the end of a marriage. In most cases, assets are frozen during the divorce process itself. This means that after a final decree has been obtained from the courts, a great deal of the work to implement those decisions remains for the former spouses. This can be the most important part of the property division process, and it can require a significant amount of paperwork, even when people are looking forward to a real conclusion.

If one party will keep the house, a series of changes will be necessary to make that decision a reality. The person who will remain in the home will generally need to refinance the mortgage. At the same time, the other party will need to execute a quitclaim deed. Other assets will also need to be retitled, from brokerage accounts to cars and boats.

CVSA International Roadcheck set for June 4-6

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance will conduct its annual International Roadcheck from June 4 to 6. Commercial drivers in Illinois should know that they may be pulled over at random during this three-day inspection spree. Inspectors will mostly perform Level I inspections, which cover both driver and vehicle compliance and are the most comprehensive.

The special focus of this year's event will be on steering and suspension, which are critical in supporting the weight and maintaining the stability of large trucks and buses. They keep the tires in alignment, thus preventing uneven tire wear. Maintaining even contact with the road is especially important when vehicles brake and accelerate.

Suit designed by Ford helps simulate drowsy driving

Those who drive drowsy on Illinois roadways could be putting themselves and others at risk. According to recent research, it is the cause of roughly 20 percent of traffic accidents throughout the country. Individuals who drive after staying awake for 18 hours or more could be as impaired as people who are above the legal alcohol limit. March 15 was World Sleep Day, and Ford wanted to highlight the dangers of driving while tired with the use of a special suit.

Individuals were given a pair of goggles to wear that was connected to a smartphone app. The goggles were meant to simulate what it is like to drive while the brain was attempting to shut down and go to sleep. It was designed to allow individuals to experience the danger of driving a simulated vehicle without being able to see. Weights were also attached to an individual to further simulate the impairment caused by drowsy driving.

Social media can bring families together after divorce

Many people in Illinois have raised concerns about how social media could affect childhood development, including worries that excessive screen time and online communication lead to cyberbullying or social problems. However, some research indicates that these forms of communication could have a strongly positive effect on children with divorced parents.

When a child no longer has as much contact with a parent after a divorce, it can be all too easy for emotional distance to set in. However, electronic communications can play an important role in nurturing a parent-child relationship even when people are physically distant from one another. Traditionally, research has indicated that one of the most important factors in how children deal with divorce is the relationship between the co-parents. One study indicated that even children with high conflict parents can maintain a close relationship through social media, texting, video calls and other online communication methods. While in-person contact was the most important for fostering a close parent-child relationship in one study, social media communication was a close second as long as it was direct and frequent.

The rise in truck deaths and what truckers can do to stop it

According to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the years 2015 to 2017 experienced an annual increase in the percentage of fatal crashes involving one or more large trucks. The same period saw more and more large truck occupants dying in crashes. Fatal large truck and/or bus crashes have gone up from 2016 to 2017 as well. Truckers in Illinois should know that work zones are especially high-risk areas.

The years 2015, 2016 and 2017 each experienced an increase in fatal work zone accidents involving one or more large trucks. There has been a 3.6 percent increase in all. The annual National Work Zone Awareness Week is to be held April 8-12, 2019. As the name implies, awareness is key to preventing such crashes.

How dialect can impact a person's criminal case

African-Americans in Illinois and throughout the United States may sometimes speak in a language that is referred to as Ebonics. Its syntax and grammar patterns may be different than those used in more conventional forms of speaking. Therefore, it can be confusing for those who aren't familiar with it to understand what a person might be saying when using it. This can present problems for black Americans who are going through the legal system.

In 2010, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) asked for translators so that they could better understand people using this dialect. While some may believe that this form of speech is nothing more than slang, it should be seen as merely an alternate way of talking. By seeing it as less than a true language, it can be easy to misinterpret what people are saying. It can also be easier to simply not learn what a person may mean when using it.

How courts determine the best interest of the child

Whether a child custody case is heard in Illinois or any other state, the best interest of the child will be a court's top concern. There are many factors that a judge may use when determining what best serves the child in a given matter. In many cases, a ruling will take into consideration the child's age and the ability of a parent to provide a stable home.

Generally speaking, a court will want to make a ruling that provides consistency for a child. This means keeping a child in the same school district or close to extended family members that he or she has a close relationship with. If a child's routine has to be changed, a judge will consider the possible impact before making a ruling. Typically, allowing both parents to have access to a child is considered to be in that child's best interest.

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