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Houston Legal Blog

Daytime running lights can prevent serious accidents

Texas law requires drivers to switch on their headlights during the nighttime hours or when visibility is reduced to 1,000 feet or less, but road safety studies conducted in several countries suggest that they would be wise to turn them on every time they get behind the wheel. The number of left-turn accidents plummeted by 37 percent in Denmark after a law was introduced that mandated the use of daytime running lights, and Canadian authorities reported an 11 percent fall in multi-vehicle crashes after legislators in Ottawa passed a similar bill.

Daytime running lights are especially effective at preventing head-on collisions and accidents involving pedestrians and motorcyclists. This is important because these accidents often claim lives or cause debilitating injuries. Studies have found that the added visibility provided by daytime running lights can reduce pedestrian accidents by 12 percent and some types of motorcycle accident by almost a quarter.

People acknowledge perils of their distracted driving habits

According to a survey from Progressive Insurance, about one-third of respondents said that they could still drive well while texting. However, 90 percent of respondents thought that distracted driving should be illegal, as it currently is in the state of Texas. This is likely because most who replied to the survey thought that distracted driving was a major cause of auto accidents. When the data was broken down, it was discovered that most drivers who believed that they could drive and text were younger people.

Roughly 62 percent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 said that they could safely drive and text. However, only about 6 percent who were 55 or older thought the same thing. Men were more likely than women to believe that they could drive safely while texting. This was true despite 88 percent of men and 97 percent of women who responded thought that texting should be banned while behind the wheel.

Providing consistency for the children of divorced parents

When Texas parents go through a divorce, the children may also experience anger, stress and a variety of other emotions depending on their ages. As such, it is important that parents work together to provide a stable home life for the children regardless of which parent they are staying with. For parents going through a difficult divorce, this can sometimes be hard to accomplish particularly when it comes to house rules.

One of the first things that parents should do when it comes to helping their children feel safe and stable is to get together and determine what house rules are most important. Depending on the ages of the children, crucial rules to share between households could include bedtimes, how much junk food the children should be allowed to eat and what type of video games they should be able to play.

In the wake of the flood

The days and weeks that lie ahead for Houston will be hard ones. So much destruction, so much in need of repair and replacement. Who has time to think about the law?

There are two answers to this question:

Accidents, injuries reduced with collision avoidance systems

Many Texas motorists are familiar with the various technological safety advances that are available in modern cars, including collision avoidance systems such as lane-departure warnings and blind-spot warnings. These systems are designed to alert drivers about imminent dangers so that they can take corrective action and avoid accidents.

Researchers at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety were interested in determining how effective collision avoidance systems are for helping to avoid collisions and for reducing the likelihood of injuries when accidents occur. The researchers studied information from more than 5,000 collisions that happened in 2015 and that involved the types of crashes that the systems are meant to prevent, including side-swipes, single-car accidents and head-on collisions.

Why prenuptial agreements are more popular today

Younger people in Texas and throughout the country are waiting longer to get married. This may mean that they have businesses, savings accounts and other assets that they would like to protect from the aftermath of a divorce. Therefore, millennials are more likely than previous generations to get prenuptial agreements. In recent years, the prenuptial agreement has shifted from being unromantic to an almost mandatory part of the marriage process.

Attitudes toward marriage have also changed in recent decades. In the 1970s, 80 percent of the population had gotten married by the time they were 30. By 2016, it took until age 45 for that same target to be hit. A study conducted by Allstate and the National Journal found that millennials would rather be financially secure before they got married. This increases the likelihood that they have savings or other assets to protect when they finally walk down the aisle.

Why recordkeeping is so important with alimony

Have you ever considered what happens after someone is awarded alimony in a divorce agreement? Many people may think that the alimony is paid indefinitely, but that only happens in certain situations. Most cases will see a temporary amount of alimony paid to one of the spouses in a divorce. But beyond the time period and alimony amount, what else do spouses who have an alimony arrangement have to deal with?

One of the most important issues in this regard is tracking the payments themselves with meticulous records and details about the payments. The reason for this is two-fold: alimony has tax implications and it can also spawn future litigation or be involved in future litigation.

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