Bigger & Harman, APC September 2019

A HEAD ABOVE THE NFL’S NEWEST RULE CHANGES TO DECREASE CONCUSSIONS

Still, NFL and medical officials point to 2018’s decrease in concussions as a positive sign that league initiatives are working. Officials say the new rules helped push the numbers down, and the use of more sideline concussion protocol testing and increased advanced helmet technology aided in this boost. The NFL reported that 74% of its players were now wearing its latest protective headgear, a 33% increase from 2017. According to USA Today, the NFL’s chief medical officer, Dr. Allen Sills, also indicated that medical teams across the league performed more sideline concussion tests than any year prior and saw a 75% decrease in diagnosing. The league is considering testing mouthguard technology that would give medical teams more information for diagnosing concussions. As we prepare for another season of football, there’s no telling what 2019’s numbers will show about the NFL’s latest safety protocols, but if 2018 was any indication, they just might be headed in the right direction.

Prior to the 2018 National Football League (NFL) season, the league administration introduced two rules aimed at preventing concussions: Players are no longer allowed to “wedge” block — players running shoulder-to-shoulder into another player — during kick-offs, and they can’t lower their helmets when they tackle. Fans and players complained about the “soft” stance the NFL took on the gritty play football was built on. Most notably, former Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews was subjected to a game-costing “roughing the passer” penalty for tackling in a way that would have been allowed in years prior. The NFL reported that it would be using Matthews’ hit as a teaching tape.

Despite the backlash, offseason reports may suggest that these rules have influenced concussion rates. The NFL reported a 24% decline in the number of concussions between the 2017 and 2018 seasons, lowering the total from 281 in 2017 to 214 in 2018 when combined with preseason play. In the regular season alone, the number of reported concussions was 135 compared to 190 from the year prior.

However, it’s worth noting that 2017 saw high recorded rates of concussions. Figures going as far back as 2012 indicate that 2017 was one of the most concussed years in recent football history.

Demystifying Trucking A NOT-SO-OPEN ROAD

We serve a great deal of truck drivers here at the firm, and some of us even have truckers in the family. It’s an easy job to romanticize: you, the open road, long hauls across scenic country sides, and an $800-a-week starting salary. But any trucker will tell you the pay is so good for a reason. If you’re considering a career driving big rigs, you should know about a few drawbacks. Being alone on the open road begins to lose its charm when you spend weeks at a time on over-the-road runs. The pay and opportunities on these long routes are far better than more local work, but being far from home for so long can wear you down fast. Be sure your family understands the commitment you’re making before signing up for your first long haul. WORK-LIFE IMBALANCE

of state regulations and company demands. Everything, like the placement of reflector tape and when and how long you can drive, is closely monitored. Running afoul of these rules and regulations can lead to a very quick firing and a very long wait to ever get hired as a driver again.

HEALTH

Even those who idealize trucking probably don’t picture drivers sitting down for a nice salad dinner every night. Fast food and truck stop diners are almost unavoidable in this profession, both for their convenience and affordability, making diets impossible to maintain on the road. To make matters worse, driving also takes a good deal of sitting — there aren’t many opportunities to go to the gym when you’re hundreds of miles from home. Still, for those who can make it work, trucking can be a rewarding, enjoyable profession. We’re proud to represent these hardworking drivers who keep our country running. We may not be able to help you with your diet or work-life balance, but, if you find yourself caught up in the red tape of traffic laws, we’re here to keep you on the road.

RED TAPE

If you have any illusions of living a “Smokey and the Bandit” lifestyle, it’s best to leave those ideas on the side of the road. Far from being the freebooting profession Hollywood makes it out to be, trucking is a constant struggle to stay between the lines

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