Articles Posted in Truck Accidents

Published on:

A new study finds that while many motorists have a high opinion of their driving skills, the reality may be quite different.  The  study finds that many drivers remain unaware of basic safety rules, including road signs, and have a much more elevated opinion of their own driving skills than the reality, thereby increasing their auto accident risks.

The  results of the study were released by insurer Progressive.  The  company focused on 599 motorists, and these motorists were asked questions about their driving skills and knowledge. The results of the study clearly find a gap between drivers’ knowledge of motoring safety including basic  road signs like those related to school safety,  and the reality on the roads.

For  instance, the results of the study finds that an overwhelming majority or 94% of the drivers were able to identify a sign for a lane ending. However, only 65% were able to identify a school crossing sign correctly. This lack of knowledge is extremely dangerous.  Driving  safely and lowering speed limits in school zones  and around school crossing areas is absolutely imperative,  and failure to  identify these signs can increase the risk of car accidents involving child pedestrians.

Published on:

At least half a dozen traffic safety rules that directly impact motorist safety continue to remain backlogged, while motorists remain at risk of injuries. According to a report, a number of traffic safety laws, including those that would require back seat passengers to wear seat belts and trucks to come with speed limiters, continue to remain backlogged.

The back seat seatbelt law continues to remain pending in spite of a law passed in 2012 that required the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to direct automakers to install devices in their cars that would warn the driver if a rear seat passenger was not wearing a seatbelt. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was given a period of three years to act, but the agency has failed to do so.

This back seat law is just one of several traffic safety laws whose implementation has been delayed, placing motorists at risk of injuries in accidents. The Associated Press conducted a review of several such rule-making actions that have been delayed under the last three federal administrations.  The review found that at least 13 such traffic safety rules are several years overdue. These rules have long crossed the deadlines that were set down for their execution.

Published on:

A bill that would require underride guards for all commercial trucks and tractor trailers has been introduced for the third time in Congress.  Trucking safety advocates have long supported the bill that would help prevent the kind of devastating accidents that result in smaller vehicles ending up under 18-wheelers.

Senators Marco Rubio and Kirsten Gillibrand have reintroduced the Stop Underrides Act for the third time. The bill would require that all new tractor trailers and 18- wheelers be equipped with underride protection guards, on the sides as well as the front. In many truck accidents, the smaller vehicle involved in the collision may slide or be pushed under the truck. These underride protection guards would prevent a small vehicle from sliding under the truck during an accident.  These kinds of accidents are not uncommon and are very likely to end in serious injuries, like decapitations, if not fatalities.  At the very least, the occupants of the small vehicle could suffer devastating head injuries.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety claims that these accidents are extremely common.  According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, close to 80% of truck accident deaths involve situations in which the smaller vehicle slid under the truck. These kinds of accidents need not occur at high speeds to be devastating. Even at moderate speeds, the underride can slice through the passenger cabin of the smaller vehicle involved in the accident, possibly decapitating heads.

Published on:

The U.S. Department of Transportation is looking to relax current federal regulations that govern the amount of time commercial truck drivers can be on the road without taking a rest break.  This could lead to an increase of fatigued truck drivers on the nation’s highways which, in turn, could result in more deadly trucking accidents.

Current regulations limit the drive time of long-haul commercial truck drivers to 11 hours of a 14-hour on-duty day.  A driver must then take 10 consecutive hours off before the clock can start again, and if they are going to be driving for more than 8 hours, they must take a rest break of a minimum of 30 minutes before they can drive again.  Essentially a driver cannot exceed 70 hours of driving in eight days. This is known as the 70-hour rule.

Even with such drive time regulations for commercial truck drivers, serious accidents involving fatigued truck drivers are all too common.  In 2017, there were 4,657 fatal truck crashes, a 10% increase from the prior year.  A study by the National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) found that a significant percent of fatal accidents involving truck drivers was caused by fatigue.  In fact, sleep deprivation and fatigue has been noted to be one of the most frequent causes of fatal large truck accidents.   The NTSB has recognized that truck driver fatigue is a “pervasive problem” and has declared reducing fatigue-related accidents as one of its “most wanted” safety improvements of 2019-2020.

Published on:

The North Georgia area, including metro Atlanta, has no shortage of highways running through its landscape.  And whenever there are highways, there are usually multiple tractor trailers travelling on them at any given time.  Most of us, while driving a motor vehicle, have had to share the roads with a massive tractor trailer, which can lead to a harrowing and dangerous experience.  And we’ve all seen the devastating results an accident with a tractor trailer can have on passenger vehicle and its occupants.

Now, trucking groups are lobbying lawmakers in the nation’s capital to allow for even larger and heavier trucks on our highways. The push for allowing twin 33-foot trailers, or Double 33’s, continues.  If this passes, this means that trailers as long as an 8-story building could be sharing the roads with passenger cars, cyclists and pedestrians.  That undoubtedly is a dangerous idea, and one that should be strongly opposed by trucking safety advocates.

One of the truck lobbying groups, Americans for Modern Transportation, argue that larger trucks that can carry heavier freights are absolutely necessary because of the increased demand posed by companies like Amazon. A growing demand for online deliveries has made it necessary to revise old rules, and increase the weight limits on trucks operating on our highways. Unfortunately, the focus of these groups are more economic savings rather than road safety.

Published on:

Truck drivers have a significantly higher risk of developing diabetes.  This can make operating such a massive vehicle even more dangerous for not only the driver, but for other drivers on the road as well.   In Georgia and the Atlanta area, where the interstates are usually packed with tractor-trailers, truck drivers driving with unmanaged diabetes can increase the risks of accidents with other drivers.

According to recent studies, truck drivers have a risk of developing diabetes that is as much as 50 percent higher than the general population.  This is due in part to the long hours truck drivers are required to log, inconsistent eating schedules, lack of regular exercise and oftentimes unhealthy food choices.

Management of diabetes symptoms can be very difficult when you are a trucker. For one thing, diabetes is a difficult disease to live with, and there is no complete cure for the condition. The only way to ensure that you continue to live a happy and healthy life with diabetes is to manage the symptoms consistently.   However, truck drivers typically drive long hours without a break. Working such long hours can mean that a truck driver is less likely to take his medication on time every day. Failure to take medications on time can cause a catastrophic increase in sugar levels, making driving an extremely hazardous activity. In addition, the food options that are typically available to a truck driver often include greasy foods or foods that are high in sugar making management of symptoms even harder.

Published on:

More truck accidents can be prevented every year if tractor trailers come with sophisticated technologies, including roll stability control, electronic stability control, and electronic logging devices. That’s because truck driver fatigue and truck defects contribute to many truck accidents each year.

Researchers at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently partnered with other experts to investigate the causal factors impacting accident risk for commercial trucks.  Large trucks that had been involved in injury or fatal accidents during the 2010-2012 were compared with other trucks that had not been involved in accidents. A total of 197 such pairs were compared, and researchers found that more than one-third of the accidents that were investigated as part of the study had resulted in fatalities. At least 17% involved serious injuries.

The researchers found that three quarter of the accidents involved tractor trailers with vehicle defects that were only identified during post-accident inspections. In fact, trucks with violations like malfunctioning brake lights, malfunctioning brakes, damaged sidewalls, and damaged headlights or taillights that were serious enough to put the trucks out of service, had their risk of being involved in an accident quadruple, compared to trucks that did not have such violations.

Published on:

Medical conditions, such as cardiac disease, increase the risk of truckers suffering an emergency at the wheel, and raise their risks of being involved in an accident.

That information comes from a new study, which focused on more than 49,000 commercial truck drivers. The researchers found that 34% of truck drivers suffered from at least one chronic medical condition, including diabetes, heart disease, or lower back pain. All of these conditions are typically linked to poor driving performance, and could significantly increase the risk of being involved in an accident.

Researchers found that many truck drivers were likely to suffer from more than one such condition. Truck drivers, who suffered three or more medical conditions, were 2 to 4 times more likely to be involved in a truck accident, compared to healthier truck drivers. The general accident rate in the study was 29 per 100 million miles traveled. Among drivers who suffered from three or more flagged medical problems, the rate was a staggering 93 per million miles traveled.

Published on:

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently released new rules for truck driver training that do not call for a minimum number of real-world driving hours. Now, a coalition of highway safety advocates is calling on the agency to require such minimum real-world driving experience.

The coalition, which includes the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, and others have petitioned the FMCSA, calling on the it to include a requirement mandating that new truck drivers have a minimum number of hours of driving behind the wheel before they are allowed to drive independently.

FMCSA recently issued final rules governing the hiring of entry-level truck drivers, and says that it did not include real-world driving training in this rule because it did not make financial sense. According to the Agency, it does not have enough evidence to link such real-world driving to greater safety outcomes, and does not believe that the safety benefits of requiring such real-world training are clear enough for it to mandate expensive training.

Published on:

A jury of 12 deliberated for 12 hours before returning to the courtroom with a favorable verdict for the plaintiffs, a husband and wife from Flowery Branch, Georgia who were the unfortunate victims of a horrendous truck accident. After almost three years and countless hours of preparation, the Parks received an award in the amount of $3.2 million – but only after allegedly faulty brakes on the Defendant driver’s truck forever changed their lives. During the summer of 2011, the Parks were traversing I-85 when they noticed a HERO truck partially blocking the roadway. Ever-cautious, they stopped for the truck, as did another driver in front of them. However, a third vehicle, a truck owned by Atlanta Dealer Trades, failed to stop when the driver, Jessie Arnold, unsuccessfully applied the brakes. He proceeded to plow into the Parks’ car from behind, “pushing their car 60 feet ahead and into another vehicle,” according to the Daily Report.

The truck then proceeded to strike the car that had been in front of the Parks’ car as well as the HERO vehicle, before finally coming to a rest on the highway. The truck had been recently purchased from another company, JCF Autotransport, Inc., and Atlanta Dealer Trades accordingly sought to have some degree of fault apportioned to that second company due to their alleged failure to maintain the truck’s brakes. The Plaintiffs, however, dropped the second company as a defendant after their investigative efforts turned up no evidence of faulty brakes and the DeKalb County Court subsequently declined to allow the company to be included on the verdict form. Defendants plan to file an appeal and challenge both the Parks’ claims for damages and the apportionment issue.

In total, the Parks accrued $200,000 and $154,173 in medical bills, respectively, with the need for additional medical services anticipated in the future. Damages requested included those amounts as well as attorney’s fees, and estimated lost wages for six months (in the amount of $5,000 per month). All claims for punitive damages were dropped once it became clear that the jury was struggling to justify such a move. Once they were taken off of the table, the jury rendered the remainder of its verdict with relative ease.
Continue reading →

Contact Information