Tractor-trailer collisions cause can cause major disruptions in people lives. We may call them ‘accidents,’ but the better term would be a “preventable collisions”, because the individual must still bear responsibility for their role in causing the collision. In nearly all reported collisions, the vehicles are inspected, and the drivers and witnesses are interviewed as part of the investigation of the collision.
The transportation industry specifically receives more attention due to the public safety concerns involved with the operation of larger and heavier vehicles on the roadways. The significant size and weight of commercial motor vehicles often increases the severity of collisions, which leads to a higher fatality rate. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has worked hard to promulgate and enforce safety regulations to improve highway safety. However, according to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, there were over 4,237 reported deaths due to truck accidents in 2017 (IIHS data). The number of fatal wrecks involving commercial trucks in the United States increased by 42% between 2009 and 2017. While some of that increase can be attributed to a greater volume of goods transported and the economy rebounding from the recession, the increase is alarming to the public. State law enforcement and federal regulators have increased efforts to crack down on driver hours of service violations and vehicle out-of-service inspections, but many believe that isn’t good enough.
According to an article from the Denver Post about Truck Safety, “driver error is the prevailing factor in most crashes.” Paul Jovanis, a professor emeritus at Penn State
University, has spent years studying truck safety. Mr. Jovanis has been critical of a federal hours-of-service expansion that allows long-haulers to drive for up to 11 hours in a shift, an hour longer than the previous limit.
“All the research I’ve done shows that crash risk goes up substantially in the 9th, 10th and 11th hours,” Jovanis said. (See The Denver Post for more).
While there are outside safety organizations taking steps to limit fatalities on the road, companies don’t always focus on safety, and instead they try to improve their bottom line. That can include trucks on the road that may not have passed inspections, and also extending the shifts for drivers to ensure the load is being delivered as quickly as possible. Some trucking companies even go so far as to categorize on-duty time and off duty to maximize the number of hours a driver can drive in one day.
While the vast majority of truck drivers and trucking companies take their safety responsibilities seriously, there are a few bad actors that continue to put the public at risk. We can and should do better as a society and we need to demand safer roadways from our legislative representatives.
At Hammack Law Firm, we are dedicated to supporting initiatives that promote traffic safety and changes to the trucking industry to limit or minimize catastrophic accidents moving forward. As a truck accident lawyer, Paul is committed to helping families that have been impacted by commercial motor vehicle and truck accidents. We would love the opportunity to assist you in your time of need.
If you or a loved one have been injured due to another driver’s negligence, you should not have to pay for property damage, medical bills, and lost income out of your own pocket. Truck accident attorney, Paul Hammack and his team will help you pursue justice and a fair compensation. Call 864-326-3333 to arrange a free initial consultation with an accident attorney in Greenville.
Paul Hammack has over 20 years’ experience as a trial attorney. He worked for insurance companies for 15 of those years so he has the knowledge and expertise to get the most out of your workers’ compensation or personal injury claim. Unlike the high-volume law firms, Paul is not afraid of taking a case to trial. If you are hurt on the job or by someone else’s negligence we want to help. Better call Paul! Hammacklawfirm.com.