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Truck Accidents: Jackknifing Is A Major Concern As The Weather Turns And Roads Get Wetter

Thursday, December 29, 2016

With winter weather coming, you can expect the highways to get slicker and harder to navigate. You can also expect to see something else: more jackknifed 18-wheelers leaving injured people in their wake. Learn more about why this specific problem happens and what you should do if you become a victim of someone's carelessness.

What are the dangers of a jackknifed truck?

When an articulated vehicle has a cab attached to a trailer in the back by a jointed hitch, a driver that loses control of the truck can end up with the trailer folded up at a right angle from the cab, like a partially open jackknife. This can end up causing chain reaction accidents among vehicles anywhere in the truck's wake. The truck can even force smaller vehicles off the road or smash into other vehicles in its path.

What causes a truck to jackknife?

Most of the time, jackknifing is caused by nothing more than wet roads and driver error. A driver who isn't prepared to hit a slick spot on the road will put the brakes down on the drive axles too hard and too fast. The drive wheels will lock, stopping the cab, while the back end of the truck continues rolling forward.

A careful driver can prevent jackknifing by staying conscious of the weather as he or she moves through different areas and watching the road ahead. He or she can also prevent the problem through basic safety measures:

  • not tailgating and generally maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles, especially in wet or snowy weather
  • breaking slowly and carefully to avoid locking the drive axles 
  • slowing down in advance of turns, bends, ramps, and curves in the road, all of which require careful deceleration of the vehicle 

In addition, an experienced driver who realizes that his or her vehicle is swinging out of control should know to aim for the burn of the road, away from other vehicles, in order to minimize the potential injuries to others.

Why should you consider talking to an attorney?

Inexperienced drivers and negligence are the primary causes of jackknifing, which means that the truck driver and trucking company failed to take reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of others on the road. Other causes can include mechanical failure, which may indicate that the trucking company hasn't been properly caring for its vehicles, and loads that are improperly packed, which shift suddenly or provide too little traction on the back half of the truck.

If you're injured due to a truck that jackknifed, you may be suffering from serious injuries that can take a long time to heal or alter your life forever. In order to receive fair compensation, talk to an attorney who is familiar with the complexities of truck accidents and their causes. You may have to press a lawsuit against more than one person or company in order to be fairly compensated in the end.

Distracted Driving Becomes Even Deadlier When It Happens to a Trucker

Friday, December 16, 2016

Distracted driving has been widely publicized to warn drivers to put their phones down and keep their eyes on the road. However, while distracted driving can be deadly in the worst cases, when it happens to a trucker, there are no distracted driving accidents that aren't devastating.

A truck moving at a good clip while distracted driving doesn't just get into a simple fender bender when they fail to brake, their massive truck will devastate a vehicle. That is exactly what makes this potential crime so terrifying for other drivers.

Distracted driving is a real danger and regular drivers know to keep their devices in their pockets, but what are the rules for truckers? According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, truckers are prohibited from not only using phones, but even reaching or holding them while driving. They cannot even use a text-base dispatch device unless they are safely pulled over and stopped. Penalties for distracted truck drivers include being fined up to $2,750, being put out-of-service for up to 120 days, and penalties for the driver’s employer.

While you would think truckers would be less susceptible to distraction when driving an 80 ton powerhouse at highway speed, but unfortunately, they are just as weak to their phones as everyone else. Trucking it a somewhat boring job and many truckers find themselves not thinking clearly after hours of the hypnotic influence of being on the road.

Have you are someone you loved been in a truck accident due to distracted driving or otherwise? Contact us today for a free consultation to see if you have legal action available to you.

Truck Accidents and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations

Friday, July 29, 2016

Truck accidents can be especially severe. Because large trucks weigh so much more than the other vehicles on the road, collisions involving them are usually devastating. In order to prevent truck accidents, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has implemented a number of requirements for interstate motor carriers and truck drivers to follow. When a motor carrier or driver fails to follow these rules, they are liable for any accident they cause.

Truck drivers must know how to safely operate their trucks, and if they are carrying anything hazardous, the FMCSA requires that they get additional licensing. Like any other drivers on the road, truck drivers must operate their trucks with reasonable care. The regulations of theFMCSA are intended to ensure that truck drivers operate safely so that truck accidents are limited. Any time a truck driver is involved in an accident, they are required to report it. Another important aspect of these regulations is that truck drivers are limited in the number of hours they are allowed to work per day and per week. A driver that is overly-fatigued is much more likely to be involved in an accident. There are also regulations requiring motor carriers to properly hire, supervise, and qualify drivers.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, it is imperative that you consult with an attorney that is familiar with FMCSAregulations. When these rules are violated, it creates a great danger to everyone else on the road. When an accident occurs because of these rules are violated, it is important for victims to get the compensation they deserve. If you would like more information about this issue, or would like to discuss your case, please contact us.

Investigating Truck Accident Causes

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Truck Accidents are often devastating. Trucks outweigh cars by a significant amount. Therefore the car often suffers major damage and occupants of the car are injured. In some cases the car occupants do not survive the crash. Truck accidents can be due to the negligence. Therefore if you or a loved one was injured or killed in a truck accident it is important to evaluate the cause. You may be entitled to damages.

Maintenance

In some cases the accident was because proper maintenance was not conducted. For example the load on the back of the truck may not have been properly secured. If it falls off causing an accident that is negligence on the part of the driver. Or maybe the truck brakes may not have been maintained as they should be and a mechanical failure occurred.

Driver Issues

Accidents have been caused due to a fatigued driver. Truck drivers are required to follow specific regulations about how many hours they can drive before they must take a break. If they fail to comply with those regulations an accident may result. Drivers should also obviously not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They should not be texting while driving. Distracted driving is dangerous.

Proper Driving

Was the driver speeding? Did the driver ignore a stop sign? Sometimes the situation is a little less obvious. Were they going the appropriate speed for the weather conditions? Did they make an improper or illegal turn? A driver that has not driven in a safe manner is responsible for causing the accident.

If you have been involved in an accident with a truck contact us. We can help you determine if the driver was negligent. In some cases we may find that a manufacturing defect in the truck was the cause. Another option is the road was not properly maintained resulting in the crash. No matter the reason, we can help you attain the settlement you need to recover from the accident.

Most Truck Driver Workplace Fatalities Linked to Accidents

Saturday, February 21, 2015

An overwhelming majority of the truck driver workplace accident fatalities in the United States are linked to crashes. Trucking accidents, in fact, account for approximately 65% of all the work place fatalities involving truck drivers in the country. For truck drivers, there is no activity more dangerous than driving a truck.

According to the data, in 2012, approximately 317,000 accidents were reported. These accidents resulted in the deaths of 700 drivers or passengers. Approximately 10,000 drivers were injured in these accidents. One common factor in many of the truck accident fatalities was that they were not wearing their seatbelt at the time.

The report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claims that in 2012, more than one in three truck drivers who died in accidents, were not wearing seat belts at the time. The Centers For Disease Control And Prevention estimates that as many as 30% of these trucking accident fatalities could have been prevented if the drivers had been wearing seatbelts at the time.

Truck drivers in those states that have primary enforcement seat belt laws for truck drivers were much more likely to report wearing a seat belt while driving. As many as 40% of the drivers overall, reported that they did not wear a seatbelt during every trip.

The researchers speculate that increased enforcement of truck driver seat belt laws could possibly encourage drivers to buckle up while driving. They also recommend modifications to truck engineering and design to provide drivers with improved range of motion and other adjustments that would increase and promote seatbelt use. Currently, many drivers neglect wearing seatbelts, because these are uncomfortable and impede movement.

To learn how you can file a claim against a trucking company for your accident, speak with a trucking accident lawyer in Burbank.


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Woodland Hills, CA 91367-7418

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From our offices in Woodland Hills, California, Freeman & Freeman, LLP, provides legal advice and representation for clients in communities throughout the state, including those in Burbank, Glendale, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, Tarzana, Santa Clarita, Agoura Hills, Reseda, Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Northridge, Granada Hills, Pacoima, Panorama City, North Hollywood, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Lancaster, Palmdale and Alhambra.