Truck Accidents | Lenahan Law Firm Blog
Operation Safe Driver Week is a safe driving awareness initiative held in July by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA). It is aimed at improving driving behaviors through traffic enforcement strategies and interaction with law enforcement. Speeding was the focus of this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week. More than 28,000 commercial vehicles were pulled over from July 11 through July 17, 2021. Law enforcement officers in the U.S. issued 4,420 warnings and 3,158 citations to commercial motor vehicle drivers, as reported in the Commercial Carrier Journal (CCJ).
High-powered semi-trucks are complex machines that utilize a variety of parts, devices, and components to transport thousands of pounds of cargo across the country. If one part is defective, it can jeopardize the entire operation and result in a catastrophic crash, ranging from hitch failures to brake failures. These cases require an in-depth investigation to determine how a truck’s parts failed and who is responsible for it.
The trucking industry often touts how easy it is to start driving commercially while also bragging about how experienced its drivers are. The truth is that truck drivers must complete several government-mandated tests, screenings, and background checks before they get behind the wheel of a big rig. Even then, drivers must agree to regular and random testing throughout their career to ensure they are fully qualified to haul cargo.
Truck driving is a dangerous enough profession. It requires special training to operate a massive vehicle while surrounded by other drivers and passengers. Because of the effort it takes to steer and smoothly operate an 18-wheeler, it is imperative that every truck driver stay fully alert out on the road.
A driverless truck may sound like far-flung technology from a science fiction book, but this new stage in transportation is already here. In fact, the very first test of a self-driving truck took place in 2016 by Uber.
Since then, more and more companies have decided to try their hand at making a road-ready self-driving truck. Most of these inventions aren’t ready for the real road yet, but that hasn’t stopped these companies from testing them on our Texas highways, putting our people at extreme risk.
Truck accidents are terrifying, devastating, and deadly. Countless people across the United States lose their lives to truck accidents every year. Even worse, trucking companies do everything in their power to deny liability, even when they are clearly responsible. Thankfully, there is a tool that everyone filing a truck accident claim can use: the black box.
Most truck accidents are disastrous. When a heavily loaded commercial truck collides with a smaller vehicle, serious or fatal injuries are almost inevitable. How could any ca be expected to hold up against a vehicle that weighs upwards of 80,000 pounds? After a truck accident you may pin the blame on driver error, but that isn’t always the case. Sadly, in some cases, big-rig accidents are the direct result of a failure to inspect and maintain the truck as required by law.
The federal government has an invested interest in everyone’s safety on America’s roads and highways. This is why anyone who wants to get behind the wheel of a car needs to prove they can drive safely first and always follow practices outlined by the Department of Transportation. But the government also recognizes that commercial trucks, with their increased size, increased weight, and increased amount of time spend on the road, inherently pose an even greater threat to peoples’ health and wellbeing when driven negligently. To this end, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was founded in 2000 and implemented additional federal regulations truck drivers must follow to help avoid and prevent truck accidents.
Have you ever been behind the wheel for three, four, maybe even five hours in a single day? The exhaustion you can begin to feel is heavy and it might be difficult to keep your eyes open and your reaction time gets sluggish. Not many of us would feel safe if we had to drive somewhere in these conditions, and yet this is part of the job description for commercial truckers.
The average shift for a truck driver is at least 14 hours with only 3 hours’ worth of breaks throughout the day. This means that they are steering a huge, heavy vehicle for 11+ hours a day. Truck driver fatigue is almost assuredly going to set in towards the end of their shift, and this puts everyone else on the road in serious danger.
Texas maintains strict laws and requirements for all commercial truck drivers. These requirements dictate the weight of a driver’s load, hours during which they can operate, and who can and cannot operate the semi-truck.
Established to prevent accidents and preserve highway safety, Texas’ regulations should be followed at all costs. Unfortunately, many drivers fail to adhere, simply out of laziness or a rush to get more work accomplished in one day. Accidents occur as a result and other drivers on the road suffer long-term consequences. If you were recently involved in a Dallas truck accident, an attorney may be able to help you file a claim.