Despite increased regulation of the trucking industry, the sad reality is that many truckers still drive more hours than are permitted by law. Tired truckers cause thousands of accidents every year. When that happens, you need to have an Avon truck accident attorney you can trust.
The Avon truck accident attorneys at Wade Law Firm can help you fight to get compensation from large trucking companies.
Large Truck Accidents Caused By Texting and Driving
Texting and driving is one of the main causes of distracted driving accidents. This danger is a serious problem in the trucking industry, where drivers are away from home for long periods.
Federal Government Enacted Regulations to Combat Texting and Driving Hazards
To combat the threat of texting and driving, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has enacted regulations to ban operators of commercial motor vehicles from texting while driving. The basic premise of the law is that the driver cannot reach for a cell phone to read a text, hold the phone and review incoming text messages, type a text, or otherwise interact with a mobile device.
The statistics that were compiled and relied upon by the FMCSA in enacting these regulations showed that commercial motor vehicle drivers who are texting are 23 times more likely to be involved in a dangerous situation. According to the report, drivers who were texting removed their focus from the road for approximately four and a half seconds, on average. When a vehicle is traveling at 55 miles per hour, this translates into a distance the length of a football field.
For a free legal consultation with a truck accidents lawyer serving Avon, call (815) WADE-LAW
Laws Truck Drivers Must Obey
Trucking is one of the most heavily regulated industries in the country, with an entire title in the United States Code of Laws dedicated to the regulation of the profession. Truck drivers are subject to laws such as:
- Licensing requirements. A standard license is insufficient to operate a large truck. Instead, truck drivers must go through specialized training to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
- Alcohol and Drugs. While no person is allowed to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, states maintain a small level of blood alcohol content (BAC) that is still legal to drive with. Truck drivers, however, are subject to much more stringent guidelines.
- Break requirements. Driver fatigue continues to be one of the top causes of accidents involving trucks. To try to curb this cause, regulations are in place placing a limit on the amount of time that a trucker can drive in a day, and mandate 10 hours off-duty per day.
Even though vehicle safety standards continue to rise, large truck accidents continue to rise as well. In fact, since 1992, accidents have increased by 10%. Longer hours, truck driver shortages, and tensions on the road are all factors that are contributing to the 1 in every 8 accident fatalities involving large tractor trailers, big rigs, and commercial vehicles.
While the majority of truck accidents are caused by human error, intoxication, mechanical problems, or even a company’s own failure to maintain inspection standards currently set for their vehicles, it doesn’t make things any easier for you. The bottom line is the same. You still need the help of an Avon truck accident lawyer to help you get compensation for your injuries, losses, and property damage.
Avon Truck Accident Lawyer Near Me 815-923-3529
Stopping Distance and Large Commercial Trucks
One of the biggest threats that a tractor-trailer poses to other drivers on the road is when slowed or stopped traffic requires a large truck to stop quickly. The length and weight of these vehicles increase stopping distance tremendously, which is why there are many stories about a truck that comes around a bend to encounter stopped traffic and rear-ends the vehicle in front of it because it is unable to stop in time.
Larger Trucks Require More Space to Come to a Complete Stop
An average car that is traveling at 60 miles per hour (mph) requires around 150 feet to come to a full stop after the driver first realizes the emergency situation (meaning that he hits the brakes hard). A tractor-trailer requires approximately 250 feet to come to a stop under the same circumstances. Although these stopping distances will vary based on the type of braking system and the weight that the truck is hauling, the basic fact is that a truck requires a far greater stopping distance under the best of circumstances.
The operator of a commercial truck must take the appropriate precautions to ensure that he has the necessary space to stop before impacting another vehicle. This means that a truck should not follow too closely, should take any adverse weather conditions into account when determining a safe traveling speed, and should ensure that the truck’s brakes are operating properly and tires are in good shape before heading out onto the road.
Truck Drivers Must Consider Factors That Increase Stopping Distances
There are a number of issues that can lead to a serious accident when combined with longer stopping distances, including:
- A distracted driver – When the driver is not watching the road, he might travel hundreds of feet in the time when his focus is elsewhere, meaning that there is a minimal chance that the truck can stop in time when the driver does recognize the potential hazard.
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol – this slows reaction times.
- Driver fatigue – this may have a similar impact on reaction times as drugs or alcohol.
- Excessive speeds – the higher the rate of speed, the longer the stopping distance.
- Overloaded trailers – stopping distances increase as the overall weight of the tractor-trailer goes up.
- Mechanical defects – When there are worn brakes or defective parts, the stopping distance is going to be longer than the standards established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
- Worn tires – stopping ability of a truck is based upon the coefficient of friction that exists between the tires and the road surface. When the tires are worn or bald, the coefficient will be lower and the stopping distance will be greater.
Any negligence of the driver or trucking company that leads to a slower application of the brakes or a longer stopping time greatly increases the odds of an impact and serious injuries.
Contact a Truck Accident Attorney in Avon Today
The monetary compensation of a negotiated settlement or jury award will not make up for the devastation that results from a serious truck accident, but it will provide the money to pay bills and continue with ongoing treatment. The Avon truck accident lawyers at Wade Law know that a claim following a severe crash still leaves many other unresolved issues. For this reason, we work closely with our clients to understand their needs and create a strategy that works best for them. To discuss what happened to you in a free and confidential consultation, call us.