Trucking accidents lead to calls for changes to improve motorist safety
Recently, a truck driver in Alabama was killed when his vehicle struck a guardrail on Interstate 85. The crash occurred just before 1:30 A.M., when not as many other vehicles were on the roadway. This may have prevented the truck from involving other vehicles in the crash.
Because of truck accidents like this, federal and state government officials have been focused on improving safety for motorists across the country. Drivers are under strict requirements that limit the amount of time they may be behind the wheel. In order to restart their workweek, drivers must have two consecutive nights of rest between 1 A.M. to 5 A.M., when the body most accustomed to sleep.
Truck drivers are tasked with keeping track of their driving hours, and some have falsified records in order to remain on the road. In a review of a trucking company involved in a fatal accident in another state, investigators determined that seven drivers working for the company had all falsified their log books. The driver involved in the crash had rested for only six hours in the 26 hours prior to the accident.
Officials have called on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to be more aggressive in its efforts to remove these drivers from the roadways. The agency is considering passing a regulation that would require drivers to use electronic logging devices to better keep track of drivers breaking the hours-of-service rules.
In addition, the National Transportation Safety Board has recently announced some recommendations that could be implemented to help improve motorist safety. The NTSB encourages truck drivers and other motorists to be especially vigilant concerning the blind spots on tractor-trailers. Truck drivers have a particularly difficult time seeing items to the right of their vehicles, so smaller cars or motorcycles could be hard to see. If the driver cannot see the other vehicle, sudden lane changes could make an accident unavoidable.
If you have been injured in a trucking accident, you should speak to an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can help you recover the compensation that you are entitled to from the individuals and companies responsible for the crash, including expenses related to your medical care, as well as damages to your vehicles.
Often, the injuries suffered in these crashes can prove to be quite extensive, and it may take time before you completely return to health. You need to be sure that you have a clear understanding of all of your expenses before you make any decisions about your case, especially when considering settlement offers from the other parties. If you settle too soon, you could be forced to pay for treatment and rehabilitation on your own.