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White Plains New York Legal Blog

Volvo announces drunk driving safety feature

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics show that accidents caused by intoxicated drivers killed 10,874 road users in New York and around the country in 2017. An increase in drunk and distracted driving fatalities is among the reasons for a worrying surge in road deaths over the last few years, which occurred despite the emergence of automobile systems that anticipate and prevent crashes. This technology generally activates when vehicles lose control or are in danger of losing control, but Volvo has announced that their autonomous safety systems will work differently.

In addition to monitoring road conditions and vehicle behavior, Volvo is adding cameras and sensors to keep track of what drivers are doing. The Swedish manufacturer says that the technology will slow their cars down and park them safely when motorists act in ways that suggest they are either distracted or impaired.

Facial recognition technology aims to get shoplifters banned

Facial recognition is widely used across the world in everything from phones to checking in on airplane flights. While it can be used for safety purposes, such as identifying stalkers at popular music concerts, people are raising concerns about its wide use in stores. Shops in New York may be using facial recognition technology to spot and mark shoplifters without any regulation.

When a store that uses facial recognition catches a shoplifter, the image is uploaded and shared with stores across the country. Other stores can then use these images to prevent people from shopping in their store. While this reduces the number of shoplifters and money lost in shoplifted products, critics say that it violates people's rights. Criminal defense experts say a one-time mistake could lead to a lifetime of no longer being able to shop anywhere.

Many drivers find it hard to not be distracted

Drivers in New York may be able to relate to some of the findings of the 2019 Travelers Risk Index. The Travelers Companies surveyed more than 2,000 executives and consumers about distracted driving before bringing its results together.

Forty-four percent of those who were surveyed admitted to sending texts or emails behind the wheel while 23 and 22 percent admitted to using social media and taking pictures or recording videos respectively. Fifteen percent said they shopped online while driving. Five percent said it would be hard to break this habit of online shopping while 13 percent said the same for reading texts and emails.

Stats about marriage in New York

Across the United States, a little over 48 percent of those over the age of 15 are married. This is according to data from the Census Bureau's 2017 American Community Survey that was reviewed by Wall Street 24/7. It found that 44.6 percent of New York residents were married, which was 49th in the country. However, it found that it had a marriage rate of 7.3 per 1,000 residents, which was the 12th highest in the country.

Furthermore, its divorce rate of 2.7 per 1,000 residents was the 13th lowest in the nation. The divorce rate nationally is 2.9 per 1,000 residents as of 2017. That figure has fallen since 2000 when four people out of every 1,000 were getting divorced. Although fewer people are choosing to end their marriages, fewer people are choosing to get married as well.

Many Americans have close relatives living in jail

In New York and other states, a new study shows that 45 percent of adults have a close relative who was arrested and sent to prison. The high percentage breaks previous records. Cornell University experts did not expect these astonishing results. As part of this study, one statistic shows that a person's brother or sister gets sent to prison more often than other family members. The African-American community has a higher number of family members in prison, reaching approximately 60 percent. The same percentage applies to adults who have low educational backgrounds.

The study shows that people of all backgrounds have relatives in prison. One out of seven Caucasians with college degrees has close relatives who have spent time living in prison. According to author Christopher Wildeman, most researchers think white people with university educations do not commit crimes or go to jail, but this study proves that incarceration affects many American families regardless of their social, cultural or educational backgrounds.

Post-divorce taxes and dependents

New York residents who claim dependents on their tax returns shouldn't encounter many complications. However, in cases in which multiple parties are claiming the same dependents, such as when divorced or separated parents both claim their children, and are claiming any related tax credits, the Internal Revenue Service will have to take a closer look at the returns and make a decision about whose claims should be honored.

There are multiple tax advantages to claiming dependents. The taxpayers may be able to file as a head of the household. They may also claim a number of tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit and the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit.

How misdiagnosis harms young cancer patients

Colorectal cancer is a serious illness most commonly seen in people over the age of 50. However, it's also possible for a New Yorker to get this disease as a young person. Regrettably, the cancer is often misdiagnosed in younger adults. Proper diagnosis is complicated by the inconvenient fact that colorectal cancer (CC) shares symptoms with many other conditions. According to a recent study by the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, misdiagnosis is too common and too often caused by negligence.

Typical symptoms of CC include chronic constipation, fatigue and unexplained weight loss. When these symptoms present in younger people, physicians may mistakenly issue diagnoses like inflammatory bowel syndrome or even hemorrhoids. A medical mistake of this type can prove fatal because it can delay vital treatment. To safeguard against misdiagnosis, young people should realize that no physician is perfect.

How opioids impact drivers

A study published in JAMA Network Open had some key takeaways about the causes of crashes involving two vehicles. The study determined that the driver who caused the crash was more likely than the occupant of the other vehicle to be on opioids. Data for the study was taken from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). Drivers who caused fatal crashes involving two cars were also more likely to be impaired by alcohol.

In 2016, 7.1 percent of fatal crashes were caused by those who had prescription opioids in their system. In 1993, that number was just 2 percent. However, researchers cautioned that they couldn't link opioid use with an increased risk of car crashes. Instead, they could merely show that it was a risk factor. In fact, there is evidence that those who build up a tolerance to prescription opioids can drive safely if they take a consistent dose.

Updated lawsuit alleges discrimination against Oracle

For years, Oracle has been heralded as a leader in the technology sector. But a lawsuit filed by the Department of Labor claims the tech giant has major problems with gender and racial discrimination. The outcome of the suit could have lasting consequences for employers in New York and across the United States.

The lawsuit, filed in 2017, raises a series of troubling allegations against Oracle. The DOL claims a series of policies at the company promote discriminatory wages for black, female and Asian workers. In a recent update to the original complaint, the department alleges that the discrimination begins in the hiring process. Recruitment from colleges and universities results in unusually low numbers of black and females hires. While the number of Asian hires is high, the DOL alleges that many of those workers are foreign-born and require a work visa through Oracle to stay in the country. That puts tremendous leverage on the worker to settle for unfair wages or face removal from the United States.


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