Truck Accidents | Tenge Law Firm Blog
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has hours of service regulations in place to help prevent driver fatigue, a leading contributing factor to truck accidents. Under current regulations, truck drivers are allowed to drive 11 hours a day. This hours-of-service time limit is likely too liberal, as driver fatigue remains a pervasive problem. Even so, the U.S. Department of Transportation is considering serious changes to these conditions, as reported in an article by Insurance Journal.
Being involved in an accident with a semi-truck can be one of the most traumatic experiences imaginable. Because 18-wheelers are substantially larger and heavier than passenger vehicles, the damage and injuries that result from a collision are much more severe than they would be with a smaller and lighter vehicle.
Tragedy struck on Interstate 70 in Lakewood last week, when an out-of-control tractor-trailer slammed into dozens of cars. Four individuals were killed in the fiery crash that involved as many as 28 vehicles, and 10 were taken to the hospital. The destruction caused by the accident was magnified by the fact that the runaway big-rig was fully loaded with lumber.
In our first blog examining the U.S. trucking industry, we discussed the requirements for a commercial driver’s license. Now, we’ll see how truckers can lose their licenses—and how many truck crashes occur.
Boulder County saw 6,499 crashes in 2016, and the Colorado Department of Transportation warns that our state in on an uphill trend. Though the National Safety Council celebrated a nationwide drop in traffic fatalities in 2017, in Colorado, 642 people died—the highest number since 2004. Experts blame the economy: people began driving more. That same booming economy is producing another serious danger on our roads: more heavy commercial vehicles.
Underride crashes are a horrific type of truck accident. An underride crash occurs when a smaller passenger vehicle is forced underneath the rear or side of a tractor-trailer during a collision. The tops of passenger vehicles can be sheared off and occupants are often decapitated. In 1998, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) mandated rear guards on tractor-trailers to prevent rear underride accidents. However, there are no rules that require tractor-trailers to use side or front guards. More than 200 people are killed each year in side underride accidents.
Safety is always the main priority when it comes to traveling on the road. If you are a truck driver or owner, it is paramount that you remain vigilant, from inspecting your truck down to driving it on the road. Remember, it’s not just your life you’re trying to protect but others’ as well. Here’s an easy-to-follow guide on avoiding truck accidents.
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