As a Missouri semi truck accident attorney, I’m well aware of the dangers that commercial trucks can pose even when they’re parked, if they’re not parked safely. So I was pleased to see a Nov. 1 article in the Kansas City Star announcing that the Missouri Department of Transportation will install $1 million worth of truck turnouts along Interstate 70. The highway is a frequently used corridor for truckers, and the article says the 18-wheeler traffic is expected to double by 2030. The money comes from a federal grant from the Federal Highway Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. MoDOT expects to start construction by 2012.
Interstate 70 is the major east-west highway through Missouri, connecting Kansas City with St. Louis before heading through Kansas to the west and towards Indianapolis in the east. Because of this, semi trucks use it frequently. As an official from the Owner-Operator Driver Association told Land Line magazine, truck drivers also face the challenge of finding a safe place to pull over and take their legally mandated rest breaks, which are required once in a 24-hour period to ensure that drivers get adequate rest. A spokesperson for MoDOT told Land Line that the new spaces are necessary for Missouri to take advantage of its status as a freight hub. The interstate currently has 207 dedicated parking spaces for trucks in Missouri; that number has doubled in recent years. The articles did not place a number on how many new spaces would be created, but MoDOT solicited opinions from truckers about where the spaces should go.
This is good news for the trucking industry, and I believe it’s also good news for ordinary drivers and St. Louis tractor-trailer accident lawyers like me. It is in everybody’s best interests for drivers to be able to take their breaks in a safe way. When drivers don’t take breaks at all, they’re not just breaking the law — they’re also increasing their risk of a catastrophic crash caused by fatigue and inattention. Most often, this kind of crash ends up hurting innocent passing motorists the most, because the size and weight of a semi truck gives it the power to destroy a smaller passenger car or truck, even at relatively low speeds. For the same reason, an improperly parked semi can pose a danger, particularly when it’s dark, poorly marked or parked in a traffic lane. Drivers who aren’t given proper notice or aren’t paying attention can be killed or gravely injured when they rear-end a truck at highway speeds. That’s why designated off-highway parking spots for large trucks benefit everyone on the road.
At Carey, Danis & Lowe, we represent clients across Missouri who suffered a loss in the family or a serious injury because of a carelessly operated commercial truck. That includes trucks whose drivers made bad decisions or failed to pay attention, as well as trucks that were unsafe to begin with because of the trucking company’s failure to maintain or inspect it properly. Frequently, the people in the smaller vehicles around them, who did nothing wrong, suffer the bulk of the injuries. Our southern Illinois big rig accident attorneys help families in this position seek justice by holding the negligent parties legally responsible. In a lawsuit, you can claim financial damages for all of your injuries, including doctor bills now and in the future and the cost of missed work, as well as compensation for your physical and emotional injuries.
If your family has suffered serious injuries because of a truck driver’s bad decisions, you don’t have to put up with it. Call us today for a free, confidential consultation on your case. You can reach us online or call toll-free at 1-877-678-3400.
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