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February 2016 Archives

Worker protection trends in New Jersey

According to the 2015 version of a National Safety Council chartbook, there were 110 work-related deaths in 2012. Additionally, there were 15,000 cases involving workers who missed time from work in that same year because of exposure to harmful substances. OSHA says that compliance with its Respiratory Protection Standard could reduce the number of deaths and injuries related to such exposure.

Safety regulators say hoverboards may be seized

Some people in New Jersey likely received hoverboards as gifts over the holiday season. The self-balancing scooters were very popular toys until numerous reports came out that the hoverboards could suddenly burst into flames. About 52 fires and more than $2 million in property damage has been linked to the use of hoverboards.

The federal tax implications of child support

A New Jersey parent who receives child support is not required to count it as taxable income, and the parent who makes a child support payment is not allowed to deduct it for tax purposes. In 2013, Americans owed $32.9 billion in child support while $22.5 billion was actually collected according to the U.S Census Bureau.

Domestic violence issues in family courts

If New Jersey courts follow national patterns, domestic abuse might not be treated as seriously in family legal disputes as in criminal courts. One of the primary reasons for this disparity is that family court judges tend to evaluate custody matters in light of domestic violence scenarios based on whether a child has been abused or not. Domestic abuse of a parent might not preclude the abuser from having unsupervised contact, which could provide an avenue for continued abuse of that other party.

Autonomous cars one step closer to reality

While some New Jersey motorists may prefer a self-driving car that allows humans in the vehicle to take control as desired, Google has expressed concern that designing cars that let humans override the vehicle's decision-making could be a safety problem. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration said in a letter on Feb. 4 that the artificial intelligence in these cars that makes those decisions can be considered the driver for legal purposes, and this allows Google and other companies working on autonomous vehicles to move ahead with some aspects of design.

Newer cars with Takata airbags are now being recalled

In New Jersey and throughout the U.S., millions of vehicles containing defective Takata airbags have been recalled, and the number is expected to continue rising. The airbags already replaced in approximately 1 million automobiles could again need replacing. Evidence suggests that the problem isn't just an airbag going bad after a few years; it may be because the material used in the airbags is an inherently defective product.

An overview of child support statistics

Custodial parents in New Jersey who receive child support may find that family finances can be challenging when an obligor misses a payment. Family circumstances can be even more difficult if the support-owing individual fails to make any payments. Over time, the percentage of custodial parents not receiving the support payments due has remained somewhat consistent. However, the percentage of custodial parents receiving full payment has increased over a 20-year period, according to a 2014 report based on census statistics from 1993 to 2013.

Trench safety for construction workers

New Jersey construction workers are constantly on the alert for trench cave-ins while doing excavations. However, there are other trench dangers that are just as deadly, such as toxic fumes, drowning and asphyxiation due to oxygen depletion in confined areas. In order to protect lives, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has safety guidelines in place for all trench workers.

Preventing fatal car injuries with advanced technology

New Jersey residents know that each time they are on the road, there is a risk of a serious accident. However, car makers and other organizations are working towards making the whole driving experience safer. One way companies are attempting to make driving safer is by developing autonomous driving vehicles, some that never even rely on a driver at all. Companies like Google, Ford and Tesla are already working on such models. But one company, Volvo, is working towards developing vehicles that are actually death-proof.

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