Zuba & Associates, P.C.

Rockford Illinois Legal Blog

Truck crashes, fatalities have increased for 3 straight years

Illinois motorists should know that fatal truck accidents in the United States increased in 2015, 2016 and 2017, according to new data released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The information was presented in January at the 2019 Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

In addition to an overall rise in deadly truck crashes, the FMCSA reported that the number of fatalities involving large trucks, the number of fatal work zone crashes involving one or more large trucks and the number of large truck occupant deaths also increased each of the last three years. It should be noted that 2017 is the most recent year for which data is available.

Common factors often lead to divorce

There are a number of reasons why couples in Illinois may decide to divorce, especially as every relationship is unique. Oftentimes, multiple contributing factors lead to a marriage ending. Some people may separate somewhat amicably after growing apart over the years. In other cases, extramarital affairs or other breaches of trust can play a significant role in ending the marriage.

A recent study polled people who had participated in a premarital program to enhance relationship communication. Fourteen years later, a number of those participants had chosen to divorce and were contacted to determine the factors that led to their separation. The most common cause cited, by 75 percent of respondents, was somewhat self-evident: a lack of commitment to the marriage. Some people said that they had never had romantic feelings for their partner while others said that those feelings had changed or diminished over time. Almost 60 percent of participants said that infidelity was a factor in their divorce. While sexual infidelity was often the primary issue that led to a separation, it was also a final blow to for many unhappy relationships.

Avoiding potentially costly mistakes in a divorce

There are several mistakes that Illinois couples who are getting divorced often make. One common mistake is sharing too much on social media. Posting pictures from a vacation or bragging about a business deal may result in leverage for the other person to obtain a larger settlement. Another common mistake is failing to close joint accounts after a divorce is official.

Creditors can come after both people on a credit card or other account regardless of who is responsible for paying a debt in the divorce decree. This is because the creditor is not bound by the terms of anything other than the agreement reached with a debtor or debtors.

Planning a parenting schedule

When filing for divorce in Illinois, couples who have minor children should consider how they will create a parenting plan that works well for their children and for both parents. Working together to create a schedule is an important step toward helping children adjust to life after a divorce.

The first thing that parents should consider when creating a schedule is how their scheduling decisions will affect their children. Divorce is not easy for children, so making sure kids don't miss out on important activities is key. Whenever possible, it is a good idea to keep activities for children the same as they were before the divorce.

Divorce more likely when wives become ill

It's fairly common for couples in Illinois to exchange vows that include the phrase "in sickness and in health." Unfortunately, serious illness sometimes causes one spouse to choose to end a marriage. According to research on this topic, the husband is more likely to divorce a wife rather than the other way around when there's a serious illness involved. One study found that it was only a wife's illness onset that increased the risk of a split. Other clinical studies have shown an increased risk of divorce among women diagnosed with cancer.

Yet another study found that husbands are more likely to seek out a divorce if a wife has stroke and heart problems. Analysts say that this is because women tend to provide more care and support during the course of a marriage. When illness or disease is part of the equation, these "benefits" for the husband no longer exist.

Inequality for those facing misdemeanor charges

Misdemeanors account for the vast majority of criminal dockets in courts in Illinois and around the country. Public defenders, prosecutors and courts struggle to keep up with the pace of frequent misdemeanor arrests.

Most misdemeanor cases result in plea deals. Recent studies on criminal defense suggest that there is a great disparity based on race and the harshness of a plea deal. The racial disparity for misdemeanor cases may even be greater than it is for felonies. One study found that Caucasian defendants were over 75 percent more likely to have their charges dismissed or reduced to lesser charges than African Americans.

Can the police seize my property for a crime I didn’t commit?

Asset forfeiture laws help Illinois police pocket millions of dollars’ worth of hard-earned property each year. The seizure of vehicles, land and other assets is easy if they are linked to a crime.

Because of these laws, if you are accused of transporting drugs using your car or laundering money on your property, you could lose these assets — whether you or someone else is convicted of the crime or not.

Medication reduces crash risk for ADHD drivers

A study published in JAMA Psychiatry indicates that ADHD patients who take medication are significantly less likely to be involved in car accidents than those who do not. The study, which included more than 2.3 million people from Illinois and across the U.S., suggested that as much as 22.1 percent of motor vehicle accidents involving drivers with ADHD might have been avoided if they were properly medicated.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder includes symptoms like lowered impulse control, hyperactivity and a decreased ability to pay attention. These symptoms, according to the study's lead author, can interfere with the ability to drive safely. People who have ADHD are more prone to engage in distracted driving behavior, making accidents more likely.

Dump and ready-mix concrete truck crash rates continue to rise

According to a report from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the number of crashes involving dump trucks and ready-mix concrete delivery trucks continues to rise. This trend, experts say, is largely due to a multi-industry problem with bad driving habits. Truckers in Illinois may be interested in the specifics of the statistics.

The FMCSA reported on 2016 since this is the latest year with complete data. There were 8,206 dump truck crashes that were so severe that the vehicle had to be towed away. In addition, there were 838 similar crashes with ready-mix concrete trucks. This represents a jump of 9 and 9.6 percent, respectively, from 2015. Crashes resulting in injuries went up 2.7 percent in the case of dump trucks with a total of 5,483. They increased 3.8 percent for concrete trucks.

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