Every year in the United States, some 500,000 tractor trailer trucks or “semis” are involved in traffic accidents resulting in approximately 5,000 fatalities. In fact, one out of every eight traffic fatalities is caused by a collision with a tractor trailer or large truck. The carnage on our highways caused by tractor-trailers must end. Groups such as Parents Against Tired Truckers (PATT) and Public Citizen are workinig to try to toughen existing rules and laws. Everyone knows most drivers are driving when they are too tired, on drugs, or rushing to meet a deadline.
Over 5,000 folks a year are killed, but effective lobbying by the trucking industry has hampered effective legislation. Every day there are new horror stories about innocent teens or ordinary motorists killed by tired or impaired semi drivers. Another group called CRASH, also is trying to stem the highway slaughter.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed by a tractor trailer, call an Injury Board attorney in your area for free advice. Tractor trailer accident lawyers typically represent those who have suffered serious or catastrophic injury as the result of the negligence of a tractor trailer truck operator.
Not surprisingly, most of the deaths and injuries involve the passengers of the vehicles struck by tractor trailers. Such victims, or their survivors must often seek out the legal services of an expert tractor trailer accident lawyer in order to recover the compensation rightfully due to them by law.
The Federal government requires tractor trailer and other large truck operators to acquire a commercial drivers license and undergo limited drug and alcohol testing. Tractor trailer accident lawyers often ask for proof of such such testing in the course of a lawsuit.
Frequently a tractor trailer accident lawsuit will focus on the issue of truck driver fatigue.
New tractor trailer laws implemented by The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in 2003 allow drivers to drive 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off-duty. Also, drivers may not drive beyond the 14th hour after coming on-duty, following 10 hours off-duty.
Similar to existing rules, tractor trailer drivers may not drive after being on-duty for 60 hours in a seven-consecutive-day period or 70 hours in an eight-consecutive-day period. This cycle may be restarted whenever a driver takes at least 34 consecutive hours off-duty.
If a tractor trailer accident lawyer is able to prove that any such regulations were breeched,or adhered to in negligent fashion, a lawsuit can often be won in favor of the victim or his / her survivors.
Likewise in tractor trailer lawsuits involving short haul tractor trailer drivers:
Short-haul truck drivers–those drivers who routinely return to their place of dispatch after each trip and then are released –may drive one additional period of 16 hours during any seven-consecutive-day period. Once again, if the tractor trailer accident lawyer is able to prove that such regulations were ignored, driver fatigue can be easily introduced as the probable cause of the accident and compensation claimed for the victim / survivor.
If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in an accident involving a tractor trailer or other large truck, it is important to consider your legal options. Many truckers are employed by large corporations that may put delivery of their goods ahead of your safety. Don’t pay for the transportation industry’s greed.
It is important to contact a tractor trailer accident lawyer who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits within which you must commence a truck accident lawsuit.
For more information on this subject matter, please refer to the section on Tractor-Trailer Accidents.