David

Just Because You Take Risks, Doesn’t Mean It’s Your Fault

There is an assumption about motorcyclists: because they have chosen to ride a bike, it’s on them if something bad happens. This is, of course, wrong. When people ride roller coasters and there’s an accident, no one claims it is on the riders of the ride, even though they did take the extra risk themselves.

This is true across the board with most activities, except for when we reach into the world of “extreme.” In that case, it’s often seen that skiers, skateboarders, rock climbers, and others in the extreme sports community are “asking for it” by doing these activities.

It seems the cutoff line is less about which activities are necessarily more dangerous than others (driving a car is probably more dangerous than parachuting out of a plane) and more about what activities the average person would be willing to do. Those activities that seem or feel more extreme than this median limit are considered too dangerous and therefore anyone performing those acts has no right to complain when things go wrong.

Consider a simple example. We already know no one blames the rollercoaster riders when an accident occurs, but what about a bungee jumper? Bungee jumping is performed by experts using quality equipment, yet if there is an accident, just watch the lack of sympathy. Are the two activities that different? Change the rollercoaster to one of the rides that raise you up and drops you. Now we’re experiencing almost the same thing, yet the reaction to it will be extremely different.

It is important, therefore, to push back against this narrative. Not only are these activities not all that different, the levels of danger are often not that different. Even if they are, that does not mean a person deserves the suffering of injury or even worse, death, because of this life choice.

This isn’t just an ethical point, legally, wrongful deaths can happen to motorcyclists just like they can to car drivers. In fact, wrongful death is more likely often not because of the motorcyclist but because of the drivers of other vehicles, who often do not show enough concern for the motorcyclists on the road by switching lanes and turning without looking.

This lack of concern may, again, tie back to the assumption deeply ingrained in many that those who choose to ride motorcycles deserve whatever happens and that no one should accommodate their recklessness.

There is no real difference between some discouraged behaviors and others that are considered perfectly reasonable in terms of danger. But, just as we might all go eat fast food and still look down on smokers, people will engage in behavior that is just as reckless in terms of statistical danger and still point the finger at others just for looking like they are doing something more dangerous.

These uninformed assumptions should stop. Anyone who is hurt or killed wrongfully deserves sympathy. How it happened should not matter.

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Fact and Fiction: The importance of helmets

Many Americans dream of one day owning their very own motorcycle so they can travel the vast open roads and feel intimately connected to this beautiful country. It is a beautiful thought, but motorcycles are incredibly dangerous. Any traffic accident is magnified in severity when it involves a biker, so it is important to take all proper safety precautions, especially when there are so few. Many bikers refuse to wear helmets, claiming that they actually increase the risk of spinal injury, but that is just not the case.

According to this article on Medscape from this past May, a review study conducted over five years shows that the rate of severe cervical injuries decreases with helmet use. The primary author of the study, a professor of neurosurgery at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine, admits that the mechanisms are not explained by this study, but the correlation is a strong one. This review study was done because of push-back against mandatory helmet laws. Opponents claim that helmets restrict visibility, hearing, and overall freedom of movement of the wearer. There is also the claim that they increase spinal injuries, which this study aimed to address. A study conducted in 1986 claims that past a certain speed, there is a trade-off where helmets can cause more damage than their worth. Out of the 1064 patients in the review study, 10.8% of those who were not wearing helmets sustained major spinal injuries, compared to 4.3% who were, which is statistically significant. In addition, it was found that unhelmeted riders had longer hospital stays and the severity of their injuries was worse overall. The authors of this study conclude that wearing a helmet leads to decreased time in the ICU and the hospital in general and lowers mortality rate.

Given the evidence, there is no reason why a biker should ever refuse to wear a helmet. Especially since motorcyclists are difficult to spot and are often in accidents with distracted drivers, it is important that they are protected. According to, Habush Habush & Rottier, S.C there are lawyers in the Milwaukee area that focus on helping bikers get compensation when they are in an accident that is not their fault, but it would be impossible to make use of this help yourself if you die in the ICU. Bikers ought to support legislation that will keep them safe.

Even though the study in question is simply a correlational study, it clearly shows that wearing a helmet is better than not wearing one. A government mandate is tricky since many people might assume that a more hands-off approach that does not infringe on personal rights is the better way to go, but such a mandate could save countless lives. It would even free up hospital resources so they can assist other patients. This way, every American who dreams of owning a bike will have one less thing to worry about and will be able to feel at ease on the open road.

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Preparing for a Hurricane

Everyone is not entirely safe of hurricanes, especially because of rising sea levels and climate change, and how these things help in the formation of more devastating storms. For this reason, everyone should be well-prepared in the event of a hurricane disaster, both for the safety of their selves and families.

Before

Preparing before the hurricane itself is arguably the most important, because it can make or break your safety during the event. Below are some of the things you can do:

  • Prepare a safety kit, including food, water, and other supplies you may need, especially if an evacuation has been announced
  • Secure communication devices, such as mobile phones to talk to your loved ones and radios and batteries to stay updated to local authorities
  • Fill up your car’s gas tank
  • Bring inside the items outside the house that can be taken by the wind, such as bicycles
  • Unplug small appliances and electronic devices

During

Staying alert during the hurricane is the most crucial part of your safety in the event of a hurricane. Below are some of the things you can do to maximize alertness:

  • Avoid getting out of the house or traveling, unless local authorities have commanded an evacuation
  • Always have the radio on to know what is currently happening in your area
  • Turn off utilities, such as electricity and gas, to avoid accidents
  • Store water into your bathtub, so you have water just in case it is cut off

After

Even though the danger of the hurricane is already gone, there may still be hazards around you. Below are some of the things you can do to ensure your safety:

  • Avoid using tap water because of possible contamination
  • If you evacuated, do not go back into the house unless local authorities have said that it is safe
  • Look for structural damages in the house, especially in the walls and wooden parts
  • Take pictures to document the destruction

Documenting is particularly important for those with insurance, to make their claim stronger. According to the website of K2 Consulting & Services, LLC, there may also be times where insurance companies don’t really give their clients what they truly deserve, so you have that to watch out for as well.

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General Effects of Divorce on Children

General Effects of Divorce on Children

Divorce is not just about you and your partner, because it is also about your children. No matter their ages, they are going to be emotionally and psychologically affected if their parents go their separate ways because of family issues. This is especially true if the divorce process or the reason behind the divorce is controversial, like when domestic violence or infidelity has been involved.

People may have different reactions to the same things, and divorce is no exception. Children will have different responses, but these responses can be generalized.

For example, young children need both mother and father for attention and care. Divorce may compromise this need and the children’s development may be affected. There are known instances where young children whose parents have divorced have regressed in terms of development, like wetting the bed again even if they have already outgrown that behavior.

If the children involved are a little older, like adolescents, things become more complicated, because their individualism makes it harder to create a generalization on how they will react to their parents’ divorce.

But typically, it is known that boys rely on aggressive and rebellious tendencies, like not wanting to obey his parents, while girls rely on their emotionally withdrawn tendencies, like not wanting to talk to her parents. These, however, can be reversed, where boys become emotionally withdrawn and girls become aggressive and rebellious.

If there is something common about all the children involved in divorce, it is a negative feeling. This negative feeling, again, will depend according to the reason behind the divorce and the children’s personality. The most common feelings include anger, bitterness, jealousy, lack of self-confidence, lack of self-worth, and stress.

These feelings may lead to destructive behaviors, such as overeating, oversleeping, under-performing in school, and refusing to form relationships, such as friendships, in fear of getting rejected. Those who are older may be prone to substance abuse, sexual engagement, and worst, suicide.

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The Deal with Dog Bites

Dogs may be a man’s best friend, but without proper training they can become a liability or even a danger to themselves and those around them. From Schnauzers to Shiatzus, dogs can appear perfectly tame until the moment they attack. Victims and owners of canines that attack are both at serious risk. With the number of households containing dogs in the millions, 56.7 according to the National Pet Owners Survey, there has never been a more important time to understand the legal repercussions of a dog attack.

When we purchase a pooch to bring home with us, the last thing we expect is that our new friend will attack a human. Spending money on food and training is one thing, but did you know that dog bite losses exceed $1 billion per year? Also, in 2015, 35 Americans were killed by dogs, down from 42 the prior year. If your dog attacks someone, there are several steps you should take to protect yourself.

First, locate your dog’s medical records. These can be important in proving you had no prior knowledge that your pet was dangerous. This is important to prove as, according to the Benton Law Firm, Texas abides by a “one bite rule,” which only holds the dog’s owner accountable for injuries their dog causes if the owner knew that the dog was likely to cause that type of injury.

Next, contact your insurance company. Many insurance plans include dog liability options. If you have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance it is likely, but not guaranteed, that your insurance will be able to assist you financially in the aftermath of the attack.

Finally, keep in mind that honesty is the best policy. These situations can be terrifying, especially for dog lovers fearing for the lives of their pets. Lying can lead to criminal charges and disrupt the investigation process.

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