Driver distraction is one of the top reasons for road accidents. According to the Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (both divisions of the Department of Transportation), “driver distraction” actually has different divisions (visual, manual, auditory, and cognitive) that can be voluntary or involuntary. The diversion can be a person, even, or object that can attract the attention of the driver, shifting his or her focus from the primary focus which is driving. The use of cell phones or mobile phones has qualified for all four divisions of distraction, therefore severely compromising the safety of the truck driver and other motorists and pedestrians.

Because of the danger of cell phone use, many trucking companies have already started using a Bluetooth headset for communication. Furthermore, a federal ban on using hand-held cell phones was already implemented last January, 2012. The law has ruled out the use of hand-held cell phones while to vehicle is moving or while they are stopped for a light or on a stop sign. Emergency calls are allowed.

There are, however, people who argue about the safety of using a Bluetooth headset. Being hands-free can really be a great improvement since it keeps the truck driver’s hands on the wheel, but many disagree. According to earlier studies, driving requires a lot of concentration, and even a small distraction can greatly increase the chances of an 18-wheeler accident to occur. According to, a mere three seconds of driver distraction can already prove fatal and lead to serious road accidents.  At 60mph, you’re traveling 88 feet every second. At high speeds, it’s plain to see that a lot can change in three seconds.

The federal law of prohibiting the use of hand-held cell phones definitely has its advantages, and could certainly prevent driver distraction and potential 18-wheeler accidents. It is, nevertheless, important to understand that cell phone use is not the only distraction that a truck driver can have; there are other gadgets that they are using, such as radio units and GPS consoles. Technologies such as these can already be a distraction to many truck drivers, therefore regulations alone may not be enough to prevent 18-wheeler accidents from happening. We just have to trust truckers to behave responsibly, at least while they’re on assignment.

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Due diligence can cover a number of things, but in legal terms it is considered as “the measure of prudence, activity, or assiduity, as is properly expected from, and ordinarily exercised by, a reasonable and prudent person under the particular circumstance; not measured by any absolute standard but depends on the relative facts of the special case..” which, to be put in another way, due diligence would mean ensuring that you are getting what you think you are paying for. This is especially important for potential acquirers of a business. In a possible merger or acquisition of a corporation, due negligence is a necessary first step, since an intensive investigation can provide vital information and facts relevant to an acquirer to make an informed decision.

Providing the potential buyer every bit of information you have about your company or corporation can save you from a number of lawsuits that he or she can bring once the deal has been made. Hiding problems that is present in the business could put you in danger of facing a lawsuit for fraud, and could potentially kill the deal before it is made. Generally, the potential acquirer would provide a number of questions and possible requests for certain copies of documents that should be answered and given on a given date. Additionally, as a seller, you should also disclose information regarding any issues with tax and audits, insurance claims, filed lawsuits, and other possible liabilities that could affect the acquisition or merger.

Being a seller also makes you responsible for your own due diligence; you have to make sure that the potential acquirer or merger has enough funds for payment, and guarantee that employees are taken care of. There are also many possibilities that could happen after the acquisition or merger – you could become a consultant or possible employee for the new company. Moreover, you should make sure the new business owners have assumed (as part of the deal) the debts that your business has acquired, otherwise you might still be the one who will be legally liable for these debts.

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Exposure to asbestos has been linked to certain types of cancer and other health complications, and recently the danger of asbestos to tenants and homeowners has also been recognized. It is the property owner’s responsibility to ensure that his or her tenant is safe during the duration of their stay; however, there are also instances where the tenant or occupier of the property is liable for anything that occurs in the property. Because of this, it would be better to fully understand how tenant and property owner responsibility work in chances of premises liability and possible personal injury claims go.

According to a 200-page regulation issued by the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) which establishes the precise standards for workplace testing, maintenance, and eventual disclosure of asbestos, property owners who are in the general industry, shipyards, and construction works are required to set up warning labels and train their staff, as well as inform those who work is jobs that might have exposure to asbestos. Because rental properties are considered as “general industry” by OSHA, they are required to follow the given regulations for necessary property maintenance, whether they are large-scale property rentals or small scale landowners.

Discovery of asbestos in the property does not necessarily mean that it is already an unsafe property. The danger of asbestos and asbestos-related diseases is due to it being airborne (through deterioration). If it is not disturbed, the law may not require to property owner to remove it. It is required by law, however, to have the tenant informed of the presence of asbestos and the types of things that could disturbed it, thus rendering the area an unsafe property.

When the presence and danger of exposure to asbestos has deemed the rented property an unsafe property and the owner did not inform the tenant, then the owner can be held liable for the damages that the tenant incurred. It is also the property owner’s responsibility to do the repairs in the rented property via a suitable and non-negligent manner to ensure that the “reasonable standard of protection” is provided.

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