An accident is traumatizing, especially if you were on a motorcycle. No matter who’s fault it is— you’re lucky to be alive after colliding with another vehicle. A motorcycle is smaller, more dangerous, and more difficult to balance. Unfortunately, many people forget motorcyclists are vulnerable, or have a desensitization to it, because of the image they portray. That of daredevils racing through traffic, when in all actuality, you’re just a weekend rider who finds it relaxing. This becomes a major issue in court, because it brings about jury bias. A rider who is not guilty, will often not be seen this way because of the stigma surrounding their hobby.
Jury Bias and Motorcyclists: Getting Past the Daredevil Stigma
First things first, what is jury bias?
If you’re not familiar, jury bias simply means that the jury has a bias towards one party, or thing, that keeps them from analyzing the situation fairly. For instance, say there is a mother who lost her son to a drunk driving accident— she is likely to vote the defendant, and supposed drunk driver, guilty every time.
So, why does this work against motorcyclists?
As we’ve said, many people— especially those unfamiliar with motorcycle riding or culture, have a stigma in their head. The leather wearing, reckless driving, daredevil who weaves through traffic and has zero regard for others. But, in all actuality, that is a stereotype just like any other stereotype. The reason that this is so prevalent an issue, is because motorcycle crashes are inevitably more severe. In short, if it’s going before a jury, ultimately, that person is in better shape than most motorcyclists who have crashed.
Not to mention, there is a huge gap between the number of us that drive a passenger car, and those of us who ride a motorcycle. So, many of us have no way to relate to those riders, or understand where they’re coming from in their argument. So, voila— most all of us would have jury bias to some degree.
We have to combat this by educating ourselves
If you find yourself on the jury for a motorcycle accident case, do your best to reflect on this that you’ve read. You must understand that these people are human, and a fender bender for them— is thrice that for them. They are not trying to drive dangerously or put you in danger— they are every day people just like us. Veterans, fathers, mothers, grandparents, cool uncles— bikers, are just like us. So, next time you’re left to decide their fate— consider what you don’t know, and keep an open mind.
If you live in a legal state, you might think that passing a work-related drug test for legal cannabis might be a thing of the past. But, recent reports have shown that this might not be the case when it comes to workers compensation. Say you live in California, are a recreational or medicinal cannabis user, and you end up getting hurt. Whether it be a fall, a broken bone, or even just a sprain— you put in a workers compensation claim just like anyone else. But, your cannabis use can be a big problem when it comes down to it. But how does that work? And how can a state that legalizes marijuana, also deny claims for those who use it?
Legal Cannabis and Workers Compensation
The number of cannabis users in legal states increases every day. It’s a medicine, it’s a fun-substance, and it’s part of many peoples daily lives. In turn, it is also typically still in the system of someone who actively uses it. This can be a big problem when it comes down to taking that drug test that comes along with a workers compensation claim.
The problem with workers compensation drug tests
Anyone who actively consumes marijuana knows that it doesn’t leave your system in a flash. Ultimately, cannabis can still be present in your system for weeks or months. So, taking drug test after a workers comp claim can be big trouble for someone, even if they weren’t under the influence at the time. It could even be a problem for someone that hasn’t used it in weeks.
But, how does this work in a legal state?
When it comes to matters of workers compensation claims, federal law presides over state law. So, even if recreational cannabis is legal— federally, you are still in the wrong. Just as dispensaries have problems with putting money into banks (a federal system), workers compensation claims still answer to federal regulation. So, until those laws update, if they do, your claims are still liable to be denied.
A potential solution
The biggest problem with legal cannabis and workers compensation, is the lag when it comes to that drug test. Ultimately, a worker can lose the right to being treated for a work related injury even if they haven’t used cannabis in weeks. Legal cannabis, like alcohol, is something that is allowed by the state and should not be subject to work-related penalty if it isn’t interfering with work. So, what about a short-time drug test? A saliva test measures the last few days. Therefore, it would be able to better tell if the worker was under the influence.
Ultimately, a proper decision must be and legal cannabis should only interfere with work in the same way alcohol would. If you use it at work, you’re subject to termination or penalty. But, in a state that legalized recreational usage— recreational usage, should not interfere with the workplace.
The trucking industry is vast, and the need for drivers is almost always present. But, the problem for most, is that the lifestyle can be pretty tough. When you’re a truck driver, you’re out on the road a decent portion of the time. You’re also working long hours, and always having to remain focused. For a lot of people, that might be a big adjustment and challenge. But, for veterans — it might be a pretty fantastic way to re-enter the work force. When you’re just leaving the military, it can be tough to fall right back into the swing of things. On top of that, you have to find a job that financially supports your livelihood. Because of this, trucking might just be a great fit for veterans— especially those without a family at home.
Veterans and Truck Driving: A Surprisingly Good Fit
Those in the military are some of America’s most disciplined men and women. They are hard-working, dedicated, passionate people who deserve to come out into the workforce and find a job that takes their skills, and applies them in a different light. And truck driving can be just that.
Your skills are transferable to other places, and more flexible
Being a truck driver allows you to work independently, but dictate your schedule a bit more than before. A lot of the companies that operate tractor trailers are extremely open and willing to hire veterans because of their specific skills and discipline. Also, a good few of them offer regional or local routes that allow for their drivers to make it home on the weekends. If you haven’t been home, especially for a long while— it’s likely you miss those close to you. So, in some cases, you can still spend a good amount of time at home catching up on that lost time.
You can make a pretty good amount of money
There is a lot of money making potential in truck driving. Depending on your routes, what you drive and carry, and the length of time you’re gone— the amount of money has a lot of variability. The potential for making good money is there, and could easily allow for you to live comfortably.
Most of the traits and skills, you already have
Mental stamina, leadership, dependability, teamwork, discipline. These are all traits you must have to further develop within the military. In turn, you have a leg up on the every day candidate. This makes veterans and ideal choice for many trucking companies. That’s why some G.I. Bill benefits will pay for trucking school. And some trucking companies will even allow veterans to skip portions of the testing. Overall, your skills and abilities are a great fit for this industry.
If you’re planning on taking the bike out today for a long ride, there are a few questions you should ask yourself before you do so. It’s important to make sure that you, and your bike, are in a good spot— both mentally and physically. So, we’re going to help you do just that. We’ve compiled a list of 5 questions to ask yourself before you head out. That way, you know that you’re in the safest and best position to have a great ride.
Questions to Ask Yourself Before Taking A Long Ride
First off, have you checked the weather?
A freshly wet roadway is a huge hazard for any driver, but especially one on two wheels. Making sure you check the weather and now what to expect before hitting the open road, will ensure that you stay dry, and stay on the bike.
Are you in the proper gear?
Is your helmet secure and up to DOT standards? Gloves? Jacket? Saddle bag? Making sure that your body is prepared for the possibility of meeting pavement, just in case. Obviously that is never the goal, but it should always be a thought when you get ready. Considering wearing a t shirt? Think about how that might feel hitting the pavement at 65 MPH. It’s gruesome, but it’s a very real possibility.
Is your bike adjusted to where it needs to be?
It’s important that you feel your bike out every time that you take it out. Plant your feet firmly on each side and make sure you can easily reach the controls, make sure your feet are touching and even. Your mirrors are fixed. You’re in a good position.
Now, make sure those adjusted controls actually work
Check your warning lights, your headlights, signals, and tail lights. You never know what might go out on a bike with time— especially if you coexist with a few pesky mice. Making sure that these controls are doing their job can be the difference between a crash or a solid, long ride— especially if you’ll be out past dark.
Lastly, how are you feeling?
Distracted drivers are a huge risk to the roadway— especially on a bike. The statistics are harrowing when it comes to distracted drivers. So, don’t be one of them. If you’re having a bad day, a bad moment, or even just fresh out of a fight— maybe hold off. Riding a bike to blow off steam isn’t always your best or safest option.
If you are the brand new wife of a trucker, or your husband has decided that this is the proper career move for him— chances are, you have a few questions. No one ever said that this process would be a breeze, but once you adjust, it’s manageable and easy to make work. Being a trucker’s wife isn’t always easy when you’re first figuring it out. But, you’re each playing an important role in providing for your family, and with time— you’ll both be seasoned professionals. Following, we’re going to teach you a few tricks of the trade from those that have been in it for a while now.
Being a New Trucker’s Wife: Adjusting to the Lifestyle
At first, it can be pretty tough to stay busy and occupied when your husband is on a long haul— especially if you don’t have kids. Find ways to pass the time. Whether that be a new hobby, a second job, or spending extra time with family. When you’re adjusting to the changes, it can be pretty easy to feel lonely and doubt your situation. New hobbies are a great way to keep you from dwelling on the fact that they’re gone. Learn how to do something you’ve always wanted to do, or pick up a serving job to make some extra cash on the side. Whatever you choose— commit to it and go forth!
Don’t Take Their Absence Personally
If you can’t get in touch with him, or he’s absent when talking— try to be understanding. It is obviously quite okay to tell your spouse how you’re feeling. But, understand that he is working hard for the both of you. Together, you’ll have to create a system for managing the time. He has to get from point A to point B safely, and in a timely fashion. Set your times to talk after a drop off, or when he has a long stretch— you have to create these routines together. Make a nice dinner together when he gets home, plan something for the next day— after he gets to sleep in his own bed for once. Make the time you have together special, and don’t dwell on the hard days. They’re all part of it.
Trust Him, and Be Trustworthy
You and I both know it gets lonely on the open road, and at home. But, you ultimately have to trust each other. You could potentially be separated for weeks at a time, but that doesn’t mean that one or the other is acting on their loneliness. Being a new trucker’s wife is just as difficult, if not more difficult than being the trucker himself. But, it also stands as a test for you both. How strong is your marriage? How strong is your bond? Ultimately, the answers to these questions will emerge as you both navigate the changes. Trust is key, and it goes both ways.
If You’re Feeling Very Concerned, Ask to Do a Run with Him
If you don’t have kids yet, you might have the freedom to go on a run with him. It’s hard to understand what they’re going through, and what it’s like for a truck driver unless you’ve been there through it. So, I highly suggest getting out there and going on a run too. It doesn’t have to be a long one, just long enough to where you have a better grasp on what they’re doing. It’s all about peace of mind, understanding, and a strong marriage. We wish you luck as you figure it all out!