Skip to main content

Truck Accidents are on the Rise Because More Trucks On the Road Than Ever!

By October 12, 2007July 16th, 2019Highway Safety, Trucking Laws, Trucking Regulations

When truck are involved in accidents the frequency of deaths, and the severity of injuries increase substantially. Causes of trucking accidents include driver intoxication, brake failure, reckless driving, overloaded trucks, over sized trucks, driver fatigue, and driver inexperience. When a big rig driver engages in the same illegal behavior as some car drivers, the consequences can be far worse. Picture the scene when a big rig driver collides with a car because of speeding , failure to yield right of way, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or driver fatigue.
Concerns regarding the truck accident and the increasing number of 18-wheelers led to the formation of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to improve big-rig driver responsibility. Drivers were required to meet minimum national standards before they could obtain a Commercial Drivers License (CDL). Interstate trucking is regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR). In addition, each state his its own set of regulations and laws. The FMCSR regulates such issues as: safe loading, use of alcohol and drugs, diver qualifications, and emergency equipment.
Truck drivers are also required to keep trucking logs, recording their driving times and hours of rest, among other things. Before each trip, the driver must inspect his truck systematically and this is governed by FMCSR 392.7. The driver must: (1) Review any previous inspection reports, (2) Double-check that anything marked for repair was in fact repaired, (3) Check the overall condition of his truck, looking for flat tires, suspension problems etc., (4) Check underneath the truck for any evidence of oil, coolant or fuel leaks, and (4) Examine the area around the truck for anything that might present danger to its movement, such as objects on the ground or low hanging wires.
Driver fatigue is also regulated by the FMCSR, in an attempt to cut down on accidents caused by sleepy or slow-reacting drivers. For instance, truck drivers may drive for 11 hours if they’ve just had 10 consecutive hours off but may not drive after being on the road for 60 hours in a 7-day period. They must take at least 34 consecutive hours off before they can begin another driving cycle. Because of pressure over the profit margin, drivers are sometimes drive more hours than these regulations permit with the companies tacit permission or purposely turning a blind eye to the truckers violations.
If you or a loved one is hurt in a semi-truck accident you should consult an an attorney experienced in handing truck accidents In addition time is of the essence because relevant evidence may disappear as time passes, such as the truck drivers log, which may legally be destroyed after 6 months a truck accident. These log books can supply evidence of: Maintenance and repairs. Also, memories fade, people move away, become ill, even die. All of this makes gathering evidence company will want to resolve things as quickly as possible, even right at the scene of the accident.
Also never sign any document presented to you by an insurance representative without first consulting an attorney. You could be signing away your right to proper compensation. Keep in mind that insurance companies make their money by investing. That means that the less they can pay out in compensation to their customers, and the longer they can delay any such payments, the more income they can be drawing on their invested money. The interests of an insurance company are directly opposite to yours as an accident victim. Don’t delay in consulting an experienced truck accident attorney.