Yes, walk.  We’ve heard for many years now that texting and driving can be deadly.  Now take a moment to notice how many people are using their phones while walking and not paying any attention to their surroundings.

Most states have now outlawed texting and driving in some form or another.  More and more states are going a step further by making simply talking on your cell phone illegal when driving, except for hands-free use.  Illinois has the law.  California enacted a similar law that took effect January 1st of this year (2017).  Just a few weeks ago, Iowa followed suit.  Currently, the Minnesota legislature is considering such a bill.  If passed, Minnesota would join 15 other states and Washington, D.C. that currently have a “hands free” law, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Driving is one thing, but many people feel it’s OK to use their cell phones while walking.  The statistics say otherwise.  A report from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA) should be a wakeup call that we need to also address distracted walking.

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By now you have heard the tragic story about four senior citizens who were killed when a freight train struck a bus as they were traveling to an early March  casino outing in Biloxi, Mississippi.  Seven others were critically injured and 41 were taken to area hospitals.

While we don’t hear about train accidents too often, here in Indiana we have thousands of miles of train tracks across we like to call the Crossroads of America.  Of course, many of those tracks extend into Illinois and stretch from border to border in the United States and Canada.

The fact is, Indiana is the 5th deadliest state for accidents involving trains.  In 2014 (the last year that we could find complete statistics), 20 people in Indiana died in train crashes.  There have been more since then, especially in the areas of Michigan City and Gary.

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It is one of the most unimaginable tragedies for any parent.  In late February, a two-year-old Greenwood, Indiana, girl died after her mother accidently backed over her in the family driveway.  The child was playing in the front yard when she darted into the path of the car.

Normally, most injuries to kids occur during April, May, and September.  The mild winter that has brought unseasonably warm temperatures at times has resulted in more and more children outside at play, much earlier than normal.

We’re seeing more activity outside the house, in the yard, at playgrounds and on bicycles.  It is also a reminder to us at Tauber Law Offices that it’s a good idea for us grown-ups to be extra cautious.   As our innocent young children are active at play, they just don’t think of the risks that may lie ahead of them.

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Before you go on a longer trip in your vehicle, you’re probably like the rest of us.  You check the weather forecast to see what conditions you might face.  Now you can also check a forecast for traffic crashes to find out the probability of an accident on your chosen route.

The Indiana State Police has a new website in hopes that it will reduce crashes on Indiana roads.

To check it out, start here and see the video that describes all the features of the new site:  https://secure.in.gov/isp/3268.htm#CrashMap

You’ll see something that looks like this:

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Most commercial truckers are good and responsible people, driving thousands of miles a year, safely picking up and delivering everything from food, to fuel, to furniture.   They contribute to our economy and, like us, have families and coach their kids in soccer and baseball.

However, like is the case in any line of work, there are drivers who are irresponsible.  They drink or use drugs and drive, or travel at unsafe speeds, sometimes with loads that are heavier than permitted.   Fatigued driving is also a very serious problem.

Unfortunately, we at Tauber Law Office have dealt with too many people who have been injured or killed by the reckless behavior of big truck drivers.

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You may have seen the video of an IKEA dresser falling on a 2-year-old boy earlier this year.  Over 1.5 million have looked and have learned just what can happen if a dresser is not properly attached to a wall.   If you haven’t seen it, and you are a parent with small children, you just might want to watch it, as shocking as it is.  Click the link below.

http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-twins-dresser-rescue-20170103-story.html

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Some people call them ice missiles.   You’re driving down I-65 amidst the normal busy caravan of semi-trailer trucks.  Suddenly, an avalanche of ice and snow slides off the roof of the vehicle and onto your windshield, blinding you.  Even for a few seconds, it’s enough to cause a crash.

Many feel there should be a law.  Truth is, there are no specific laws in Illinois that require operators of trucks and to keep the snow and ice clear from atop and around the vehicle – whether it be a truck or a car.   In Indiana, there are also no specific laws, but Indiana Turnpike officials can order you off the road if there are ice/snow accumulations.

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That seems to be changing around the country, however.  More and more states, like New Jersey, now require snow to be cleared before vehicles can be driven.  The penalty for commercial vehicles is as much as $1,500 and between $25 and $75 for others.

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There really is a lot to be thankful for, even in this year of change and turmoil.   Rhett, Tara and Jared are most gracious to be working together as a family and for the gifts of our own children, relatives and friends, food and shelter.

We count you as one of those friends and we so appreciate you being there for us.  If we helped you through one of life’s challenges this past year, it is our hope that renewed peace and happiness will be yours during the holidays and for years to come.  Continue reading

A Message from Tara Tauber

For those of us who have experienced the joy of adoption, such as my husband and me, each day is a celebration.   For the rest of you, I want to make you aware of the critical need for good people to adopt. There are millions of children in need, both nationally and around the world.

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The entire month of November has been designated as National Adoption Month. For over two decades, National Adoption Month has been celebrated across the country. Many national,  state and  local agencies; and foster, kinship care, and adoptive family groups will arrange programs, events, and activities during the month of November to raise awareness for children and youth in foster care who are waiting for permanent families.

 

    beware halloween

 

It’s the time of year for costumes, sweets, and tricks and treats. While Halloween offers plenty of make-believe fun, it also brings real safety risks, as children dart across dark streets with their minds more on candy than on cars. Kids are twice as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween than on other nights of the year.  Burns and cuts are also common on Halloween. And then there’s the candy: Almost two-thirds of parents think their kids eat too much of it around Halloween. The top five Halloween candies all contain chocolate.   

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