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Truck-related Federal Laws: Mandates Trucking Firms Should not Fail to Comply With

Due to the enormous size of freight trucks, also called big rigs or 18-wheelers, the government passed federal laws which everyone in the trucking industry, from owners to all truck-related workers, should strictly observe. These laws address different issues, such as proper truck maintenance, hiring and training of qualified drivers and other workers, and maximum number of hours of service.

There are thousands of big rigs, tractor trailers and semi-trucks that are driven on US roads and highways every day, making it quite impossible for anyone not to share the road with a few of these whenever he or she drives.

Because of the many accidents reported to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Highway Loss Data Institute and the US Department of Transportation and the large number of lawsuits (both) involving trucks, it is common for drivers of smaller vehicles to feel uncomfortable and threatened driving alongside these huge vehicles. A valid emotion, considering the fact that close to half a million accidents involving trucks occur every year – accidents that injure about 130,000 drivers and other vehicle occupants, and which cause the untimely death of more than 5,000 others.

It is very common for trucks to be driven for thousands of miles at a time, an activity that results to two major concerns: fatigued and sleepy drivers, and essential truck parts (like the brakes and tires) that are subjected to greater wear and tear. These situations make it a must for trucking companies to: regularly check their vehicles to make sure that these will never be threats on the road as soon as these leave the (truck) depot; and, never require their drivers to drive more than the maximum 11 hours of service. These requirements are mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the US Department of Transportation agency that is tasked to ensure that crashes, injuries and deaths due to large trucks (and buses) are reduced.

Despite the FMCSA mandates, many trucking companies still remain negligent in their duty of making sure that their trucks are properly maintained. This negligence often leads to brake system failure and/or tire failure which, in turn cause tragic road accidents.

To many an Oklahoma personal injury lawyer, negligence is synonymous with potential dangers. In any type of profession, if there is someone negligent in his or her duties, then another, more likely than not, is bound to get hurt. Even courts see negligence as the common cause of all personal injuries and, since negligence can easily be dispelled by simple diligence, then personal injuries are always preventable occurrences.

Trucking firms are guilty of grave negligence whenever these, intentionally or unintentionally, fail to comply with federal laws aimed at keeping trucks from getting involved in tragic road accidents. This is why these are legally required by courts to compensate anyone who gets injured because of their irresponsible acts.

Speeding and Roadway Negligence

Speeding is the single leading cause of road accidents and car crashes in the United States. People are not always aware of it, but speeding is habitual behavior common for most drivers. Compared to other dangerous behaviors like driving without seat belts and drunk driving which has been greatly reduced, accidents due to speeding has still stayed a challenge to be tackled effectively.

Several factors can all contribute to a fatal auto accident: a drunk person can forget to wear their seatbelt when driving, and tend to speed up without realizing it. This is a deadly combination which has resulted to a significant number of serious injuries and fatalities in the past years. Last year’s report has accounted speeding as the cause for more than 10,000 fatalities, and speed-related auto accidents have cost the economy more than $40 billion, as reported by the NHTSA. Motorists have expressed their concerns regarding speeding motorists on the roads, but they are not aware that they, too, are committing the offense.

Most people speed for a number of reasons, namely: inattention to their driving, rushing on the road, belief that they are above the law or the law does not apply to them, not thinking that speeding is dangerous, or they will not get caught speeding. Although there have been improvements on the number of traffic fatalities, these are mainly due to better safety measures on automobiles, thus bad driving habits such as speeding and aggressive driving have not improved at all. As people feel more safe, they become more reckless, minimizing the efficacy of these safety advancements. Because of these reckless behaviors, many people have become victims to auto accidents. Additionally, people in the United States are often somewhat blasé about drunk driving, which is another reason many people end up speeding.

Motorists whose acts of negligence have caused significant injuries or damages due to an auto accident can be liable for compensation. Aside from the physical burden, an accident can also cause emotional and mental pain and suffering, as well as significant financial losses that should be compensated if the cause was the fault of another motorist. When in doubt about an auto accident claims and compensation, consult a lawyer who is well-versed in personal injury cases to help you understand and explain your rights.

Truck Accidents

Truck accidents are among the most devastating traffic or road accidents that could happen. There are significant difference from car accidents and semi-truck accidents. In recent years, there has been a rise in semi truck accident statistics; according to the Department of Transportation there are roughly about 500,000 accidents involving semi trucks in the United States, with 5,000 of these accidents resulting in life-threatening injuries or fatalities.

Because of the higher risks of serious injuries and damages of a semi truck accident, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Board has imposed safety rules and regulations regarding maintenance, loading, driving etiquette and other responsibilities that are vital in ensuring road safety and assurance. Aside from the regular road safety rules, these FMCS regulations are implemented in order to manage the trucking industry in order to increase public safety. These safety rules and regulations, however, are often neglected, thus resulting to devastating truck accidents.

Aside from the size and weight of semi-trucks, there are other factors that make a truck accident more complicated than a car accident. First, despite the modern electronic systems that help monitor and provide important information that can be used as evidence in truck accident claims, information can easily disappear since it can’t be kept indefinitely by the trucking company. Moreover, there are many experts that are required to testify after a truck accident, such as load security experts, accident reconstructionists, and many others.

With all these things to consider, it may seem overwhelming to file a truck accident claim. Nevertheless, consulting an Houston personal injury lawyer who could help gather the necessary information and evidence as well as properly protect your rights in court would help you build a strong case that could lead to an award of compensation for all the damage you’ve suffered after a truck accident. It is important to hire a lawyer who is experienced and well-informed about state laws regarding road accidents and traffic regulations. Being involved in a semi truck accident can cause long-term physical, emotional, and financial struggles, therefore filing a truck accident claim could greatly help in covering the damages that has been done.