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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.


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.

Pilot Project Aims to Provide Truckers with Rest Stops

Sunday, October 19, 2014

One of the biggest reasons why truckers continue to drive even while they're fatigued and too sleepy to drive is because they do not have access to a safe place to pull over and rest. If a driver does find a truck stop, he may not have a vacant parking spot at the stop. A new project that has been kick started in Minnesota aims to provide targeted information to drivers about available vacant parking spots in the truck stop coming up on their route.

The project has been kicked off by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, in collaboration with researchers at the University Of Minnesota. The project involves a system that provides truckers real-time information about vacant parking spots at trucking stops along their route. That gives truckers valuable input they will use to decide whether to drive on, or pull over at the parking area.

The system uses cameras that scan truck stops, and finds out how many vacant spots are there, relaying this information to the Department of Transportation website and also truckers. However, for the trucker to receive this information, his cab must be wired to receive those alerts. It's too early to tell whether the project will be successful in helping reduce sleepy driving, and the accuracy of the system will grow to 95%.

Fatigue driving by truck drivers is a contributor to trucking accidents in Burbank, and a serious transportation safety problem that affects not only the safety of the truck driver, but also other motorists on the highway. However, the fact is also that there are several reasons for fatigued driving, including violation of Hours of Service rules, long journeys, and too-long routes. Merely helping the truck driver locate a parking spot or a truck stop may not help, if the driver is being encouraged by the employer to violate Hours Of Service rules, and drive beyond the legally permissible hours.

Feds Must Keep Non-Compliant Trucking Companies off the Road

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Truck drivers who drive beyond the maximum permissible work hours, may be at risk of fatigue, and this is significantly increases their risk of being involved in a potentially devastating truck accident. The federal administration must do more to take companies that allow, and even encourage, drivers to violate Hours of Service rules in this manner, off the road.

That advice came from outgoing National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman. According to Hersman, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration must do more to ensure that companies that do not comply with the Hours of Service regulations, are penalized, and even shut down if they continue to violate the rules. The outgoing NTSB head expressed her frustration, that in far too many cases, trucking and bus companies were being forced off the road only after their violations resulted in a serious accident, and not before.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration must increase oversight over companies that have violated Hours of Service rules, placing them under a stringent process of monitoring to ensure that they don't break the rules. Companies that violate rules must be penalized heavily to ensure compliance. Unfortunately, all of this remains on paper, and in practice, far too many commercial motor carriers are allowed to continue breaking rules placing them as well as motorists on the road at serious risk of being injured in an accident.

Driver fatigue is a major contributor to trucking accidents, and is widely believed to be a highly underestimated factor in tractor-trailer and semi rig accidents in the United States. That's because a driver who dozes off at the wheel causing an accident, is highly unlikely to admit that he dozed off which makes accurate recordkeeping more difficult. The actual number of accidents related to driver fatigue may be much higher than the official statistics show.

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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.