Driver Error: the Major Cause of Truck Accidents according to the FMCSA

Posted by on Mar 16, 2016 in Automobile Acidents | 0 comments

Compared to cars, trailer trucks move and maneuver much slower; these huge vehicles also require more room, especially when making turns or when maneuvering along curves. Operating a trailer truck, also known as big rig, semi-trailer or 18-wheeler, requires special skills; thus, before a person can be issued a commercial driver’s license, his or her authorization to operate a truck (or a bus), he or she will first have to undergo a special training and a series of tests aimed at ensuring the safe operation of commercial vehicles.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than two million semi-trailers are current under operation in the US. An alarming concern about this, though, is that a fourth of these vehicles (500,000 trucks) are said to get involved in accidents, many of which are fatal, every year.

Besides more maneuvering space, trucks also have blind spots, which are areas where smaller vehicles are not visible to truck drivers. The blind spots, where most accidents occur, include a truck’s front, back area and sides, especially the passenger side.

While there are many varying factors that cause trucks to get involved in accidents, a study conducted by the Federal Motor carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) says that majority of these accidents are due to truck driver errors.

According to the FMCSA, the top three factors that result to driver error are driver fatigue, intoxication from prescription and/or over-the-counter-drugs which results to impaired driving, and speeding and driving too fast for road conditions. (Other factors resulting to driver error are speeding, driving distractions, lack of focus on the road, failure to check blind spots, improper attachment of trailer, depowering of the front brakes, and failure to make sure that the brakes are in good working condition.

The dangers that trailer trucks pose on the road make it imperative for drivers to observe all proper safety measures – this especially includes double checking their blind spots for possible smaller vehicles and making sure that they start to step on the brakes, when they need to stop, from enough distance.

According to the Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg law firm, there are many instances wherein truck drivers fail to take their responsibility seriously, thus, causing catastrophic, yet preventable, accidents as a result. While it is true that many drivers of smaller vehicles have survived truck accidents, these survivors have been left either with a severe injury or a trauma that may haunt them for the rest of their lives; medical treatment to treat injuries can be costly; the same with emotional or psychological therapy. The results of an accident can no longer be undone.

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Rollover Accidents

Posted by on Jun 19, 2015 in Automobile Acidents, Cars | 0 comments

While insignificant bump and scrape car accidents occur every day without many consequences, many car accidents are very serious. One of the most dangerous types of accidents are rollover accidents. Taller, narrower vehicles are the most likely type of vehicle to experience a rollover accident, although it ca happen to anyone under certain circumstances. According to the website of some Tennessee personal injury lawyers, some of the costs and losses that a victim has to face after a rollover accident can include: vehicle repairs, medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, and emotional trauma.

There are two common types of rollover accidents that can occur: tripped and un-tripped. The first are tripped rollovers. These are the most common type of single-vehicle rollovers. These accidents occurred when a vehicle slides off the roadway into softer soil, or gets caught on a curb or guardrail. At certain speeds, this impact can cause the vehicle to “trip” spinning it into a rollover. A tripped rollover can also occur on a steep slope. If a drive underestimates the steepness of a slope and attempt to make a sharp turn at a certain speed, this can also cause the vehicle to trip.

The other type of rollover accidents that can occur are un-tripped rollover accidents. Un-tripped rollover accidents occur when a driver attempts to avoid a collision with another vehicle or debris, animals, and fallen objects that may be obstructing the roadway. A driver will attempt to abruptly swerve the vehicle to avoid the obstruction or collision, but if the vehicle is going fast enough and had a heavier than average load, the force of this action could cause the vehicle to rollover in the roadway.

Effects of a rollover accident can be permanent, life altering, and in some unfortunate cases, life threatening. Unfortunately, in many cases, rollover accident was preventable and occurred due to the carelessness of another. If this is the case, certain damages may be owed to the victim of such an incident.

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Truck Accidents: Things Drivers of Smaller Vehicles Should Avoid

Posted by on Feb 9, 2015 in Automobile Acidents, Cars, Injuries | 0 comments

For so many truck drivers, driving for 11 hours straight and cross-county is normally part the job, thus trucks are built with sleeping berths where they can get the rest and sleep that they need to keep them from driving while sleepy or fatigued.

Different government agencies actually work together to make sure that trucks never become threats on the road as their size and weight are much more than enough to run over and crash any vehicle. But while the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) mainly focuses on improving the safety in the operation of commercial motor vehicles (CMV), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) turns its focus on both truck drivers and other motorists, constantly reminding the latter of the things they should avoid whenever they share the road with an 18-wheeler. These reminders are aimed at reducing risks of truck accidents and these include:

  • Avoiding blind spots. Truck drivers have multiple blind spots, such as the area directly behind the truck and truck’s passenger side. Blind spots (also called no zone areas) are areas where the truck driver will most likely fail to see the presence of another smaller vehicle (an obvious danger, especially if the truck were to make a right turn). Smaller vehicles should avoid these areas and, if going to drive past a truck, should do so at the driver’s side, where the diver will clearly see his/her vehicle.
  • Never driving too closely behind a truck. This is called tailgating and it is definitely dangerous, not only because you would be in a truck’s no-zone area, but because if the truck makes an emergency stop, the chances of a fatal accident may not be remote. Besides, tailgating also renders the (tailgating) driver totally unaware of the real situation of the road farther ahead, as well as greatly reduces his/her chance to reacting in time to impending road dangers.
  • Observe proper care at intersections. When executing a turn, trucks eat up multiple lanes, thus it is best that other vehicles always yield to trucks. Turning alongside trucks can prove fatal to drivers and passengers of smaller vehicles.

On its website, the Law Offices of Jeff Benton explains that truck drivers are never exempt from liability even if the vehicle it collides with in an accident is in its blind spot, or no-zone area. The truck drive is fully responsible in making sure that no vehicle is in the no zone area before he/she accelerates, turns or brakes his/her truck, as well as before he/she makes any lane changes.

Victims of car accidents, on the other hand, are sometimes advised to get in touch with an Oklahoma truck accident lawyer for them to know and understand their legal rights and possible actions against the liable parties.

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Personal Injury: No-Fault Auto Liability Insurance

Posted by on Feb 1, 2015 in Automobile Acidents, Injuries | 0 comments

Cars have become the most ordinary means of transportation for Americans, resulting in millions of cars running on US roads and highways every day and millions more still being added to the count every year. But car congestion also leads to one result – an increase in the number of road accidents, injuring more than two million people and taking the lives of more than 30,000 motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists annually.

In an article posted on its website, law firm Wilson & McQueen, PLLC, emphasizes the fact that car accidents are often totally preventable occurrences, usually happening because of the irresponsible or negligent acts of some drivers. Thus, because of this failure to exercise the required amount of caution, the US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) never fails to remind drivers about the seriousness of observing safety traffic rules and the possible consequences of any form of violation of these safety rules.

In view of the possible physical injury and certain property damage during accidents, all US states have made it a mandate that drivers should carry car liability insurance. Though the minimum amount of coverage may differ among states, all agree, nonetheless, that this insurance protection should cover potential risks of financial liability for physical injury and damage to property which a driver may be required to compensate if he/she ends up causing an accident.

In recent years many insurance firms have begun introducing no-fault auto liability insurance, promoting this too more than the traditional insurance coverage. While the latter type of coverage required the decision of the court regarding proof of liability (before the accused driver’s insurance provider pays the victim or claimant), this no-fault auto liability insurance no longer requires court decisions as payment (which ought to cover cost of medical treatment due to the injury, as well as all other accident-related losses) will have to be made by the provider to its own policy holder regardless of whose fault the accident is.

The insurance premium in a no-fault auto liability coverage is usually lower compared to at-fault policies since court proceedings are no longer required. Despite authenticity of claims, however, some insurance providers find ways to disapprove claims applications or award only a minimal amount to the claimant. Indiana personal injury lawyers may be able to render the needed legal assistance that will help claimants have their applications approved or receive the highest amount of benefit stipulated in the policy. Contact a lawyer in your state today to learn further information about starting your claim today.

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