Recently in Commercial Truck Accidents Category

February 13, 2012

Truck Accidents on the Rise Nationwide

Commercial truck accidents are on the rise and there has been an increase in the number of people killed in motor vehicle accidents involving commercial trucks nationwide. In 2010, there was an increase in fatal commercial and large truck accidents. The increase was 8.7 percent when compared to 2009 statistics reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This percentage means that in 2010, 3,675 motorists were killed as a result of accidents involving commercial trucks and buses.

This is an alarming rate when one considers that in 2010 motor vehicle fatalities decreased from previous years. The information provided by the NHTSA is causing safety groups and trucking industries to analyze and study ways to prevent future accidents from happening. These groups are urging the Senate to pass the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Enhancement Act of 2011. This new bill would add several new safety regulations for truck and bus operators. It would require commercial drivers to use electronic onboard recorders (EOBRs) in order to monitor their hours of service and reduce truck driver fatigue, it would increase the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) power to stop truck companies from re-opening once they have been closed down due to safety issues, and the new bill would also allow the alcohol and drug testing records of commercial operators to be disclosed to their employers. All the new regulations in the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Enhancement Act of 2011 would decrease the number of commercial truck and bus accidents.

If you are a loved one has been involved in an motor vehicle accident involving a truck, contact our office immediately so we can advise you of your options and help you obtain compensation for your injuries and other losses.

April 13, 2011

Event Date Recorders Can Help Determine Liability in a Motor Vehicle Accident

Liability can sometimes be difficult to determine in automobile and truck accidents, when issues of fault are argued and when eyewitnesses are not reliable. That is why Event Data Recorders (EDRs, otherwise known as "black boxes") are important.

EDRs record data on a vehicle's speed, braking activity, engine RPM's, motorist's use of turn signal prior to accidents, and even seat belt use. A committee of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) created standards for EDRs. They recommend that manufactures be required to record 86 separate streams of data.

The information recorded can help investigators determine who was at fault for an accident, by determining if the driver was negligent, if there was an auto defect or if the accident occurred because of hazardous conditions. The Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2010 would have made EDR technology mandatory in all vehicles sold in the U.S. by 2015, but it never was approved by the House of Representatives. EDRs are however available if an automobile company voluntarily decides to install one in its vehicles. EDRs are not yet mandatory but the NHTSA does have 15 data elements mandated for their use.

EDRs and their advanced technology can prove extremely useful in motor vehicle accident litigation, but they are not the only tool used to determine fault or the injuries suffered by people involved in accidents. An experienced personal injury lawyer must also know how to use all available resources to demonstrate the harm a client has suffered and be able to assess and determine the long term medical care needs of each client. Technology is only one piece of the puzzle, so be well informed and researched when choosing an attorney.

April 5, 2011

4 Common Causes of Truck Accidents

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that almost 3,500 people were killed in the U.S. as a result of heavy trucks collisions, in 2009. Truck accidents are cause by various factors, but for of the most common causes of truck accidents are:

Driver Fatigue
Commercial truck drivers have deadlines to keep, and so they tend to drive for long periods of time and travel further than is safe. When a driver travels for long periods of time it becomes harder to pay sufficient attention to driving conditions and to respond properly to changing circumstances.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) came up with a set of regulations for commercial truck drivers to follow. The Hours-of Service (HOS) regulations states that after 10 consecutive hours off-duty, a truck driver may only drive a maximum of 11 hours, if carrying property. Also, the FMCSA limits the number of hours commercial truck drivers can drive in a seven or eight day period. New regulations, however, will be published by July 26, 2011, by the FMCSA.

Distractions
When drivers are distracted, the likelihood of an accident increases. Most drivers in the U.S. are not allowed to send text messages while driving, according to the Governor's Highway Safety Association (GHSA). More than half of the United States has laws established forbidding texting while driving. The FMCSA, however, prohibits all commercial truck drivers from texting while behind the wheel.

Poor Road Conditions and Maintenance
When road conditions are bad, most drivers try and spend less time on the road. Truck drivers, however, have strong incentives to drive through all kinds of weather in order to arrive by their scheduled deadline.

Truck maintenance is also important. Properly maintained vehicles are safer to drive then those that have defects.

Other Drivers on the Road
Truck accidents are not always the result of the truck drivers fault; sometimes other drivers on the road contribute to truck accidents. Some vehicles try and go around trucks, or miscalculate when driving near or around trucks. You must remember that trucks have bigger blind spots than regular vehicles and therefore a driver must keep a proper distance between themselves and the truck.