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Big Rig Crash Kills Truck Driver

 

A big rig driver is dead after a crash that occurred on State Highway 71 near Austin. According to reports, the 18-wheeler was apparently trying to get on westbound Highway 71 when the truck drifted into the right lane and flipped over. Reports initially indicated that there was a truck fire, but rescue crews found that the rig was not on fire. It was carrying concrete bags which burst open when the rig overturned, causing concrete dust to enter the air, which looked like smoke.

Our hearts go out to the family of the truck driver.

Crash Investigation

A crash investigation is being completed to determine exactly what occurred. Fortunately, in this case, there were no other vehicles involved and no other injuries besides the fatality of the truck driver. There are many unknowns as to why the accident happened. What is known is that the driver appeared to be trying to get onto the toll road when he failed to stay on the pavement.

The road was closed for hours while crews worked to clear the highway. Workers had a difficult time due to high temperatures. The temperature on asphalt and concrete pavement can be 15 to 20 degrees higher than the air temperature, making it hard for rescuers and cleanup crews to do their work.

Overturned Trucks

In this case, the big rig overturned in the crash. It is unclear as to whether the driver lost control of the rig and tried to overcorrect, causing the vehicle to overturn. However, that can be a common cause of big rig rollovers.

Another problem may have been a shifting load. When the load is heavy and not properly distributed or secured, it can make it difficult for the driver to handle. If the load shifts, the rig can be pulled in a direction at a force that is unmanageable.

The driver may have been traveling at a rate of speed that was too fast to enter the ramp to the highway. A mechanical failure cannot be ruled out, nor can any other contributing factors. This accident requires more investigation and the Austin Vehicular Homicide unit is asking the public to come forward with any information they may have if they witnessed the accident. If you have any information about this accident, please call the Austin PD to offer your help. Often, when trucks overturn, they can fall onto other vehicles, causing a serious multiple vehicle accident. Luckily in this case, that did not occur.

What to do After an Accident with a Big Rig

If you are involved in an accident with a big rig, it is important to follow a few steps. Call the police immediately to report the accident and make sure that your vehicle is in a safe position. You may need to pull over to a safe spot rather than stay in the middle of the road where you could get hit again. Do not exit the vehicle in traffic.

The police will investigate the accident, take statements from the drivers, and talk to witnesses. Seek medical treatment as soon as possible and save all of your medical records and bills. Consult with an attorney to discuss the details of your case.

 

If you were hurt, the negligent driver may be responsible for your medical bills and other damages caused by the crash.   Contact attorney Greg Baumgartner today for a free case consultation- (281) 893-0760.

 

Big Rig Falls into Lake Texoma After Fatal Bridge Crash

An accident between a big rig and a passenger car sent the truck into the lake and killed both drivers.

Lake Texoma accident

The semi-truck accident happened on the Highway 70 bridge over Lake Texoma, which connects Oklahoma and Texas.

The driver of the car was killed and the truck driver was presumed dead after his big rig careened over the bridge and was submerged in the lake. The bridge was closed to traffic while an investigation was completed.

Big Rig Accidents

Big rig accidents occur frequently and sometimes they happen on bridges. This can create problems when the rig or other vehicles break through the barrier and fall off the bridge. Even strong metal barriers on bridges may not prevent these types of occurrences because the force of a truck accident is often very great. Semi-trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when loaded with cargo and it’s difficult to stop, especially when traveling at a moderate to high rate of speed.

There is no indication of the cause of the crash mentioned above. There are many possible causes of big rig crashes. Sometimes crashes are related to speed, distracted driving, or mechanical failures. When a big rig is involved in a collision with a passenger vehicle, there are often severe injuries or fatalities. Luckily, this crash only involved the truck and a passenger vehicle, though sometimes multiple vehicles are involved.

What to do After a Big Rig Collision

There are several things you should do after a collision with a big rig. Most often, this serious accident has caught the attention of other drivers and law enforcement will quickly respond. A police report should be made. The police will investigate the cause of the crash and will talk to drivers and to other witnesses.
Seek medical attention, even if you do not initially feel injured.

Often, injures can appear later and these can actually be serious. Keep copies of all medical reports and bills so you can provide them for payment. Medical care for serious injuries can be expensive and you may require surgery and extended hospitalization and rehabilitative therapy.

The insurance company may contact you and request a statement. They may also offer you a settlement check for your damages. Remember that the offer the insurance company makes may not be enough to cover all of your current and future expenses related to the crash.

Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney

Discuss the accident with an experienced truck accident attorney before you accept an offer from the insurance company. If the accident was due to negligence by the truck driver or trucking company, you may be owed money for your damages. Damages may include medical bills, costs for prescription medications, and money for future medical needs. In addition, you might be owed money for lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages caused by the accident.

Attorney that Specializes in Truck Crashes can Help Investigate

An experienced truck crash attorney understands how to move forward and investigate injury or fatal truck crashes and will protect your rights and negotiate on your behalf. Call the skilled legal team of attorney Greg Baumgartner today for a free case evaluation.

Call 281-893-0760 or Toll Free 1-866-758-4529

Hazardous Materials Make Big Rig Accidents More Dangerous

 

truck wreck with hazardous materials

Big rig accidents are often very serious. Large 18-wheelers can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when loaded. This makes them much heavier than passenger vehicles. When a collision occurs with a big rig, it is likely to result in severe injuries or fatalities to people in cars or SUVs. Besides the size and weight of these big rigs, other drivers also need to be aware of hazardous materials they might be carrying. In addition, 18-wheelers can hold up to about 300 gallons of diesel fuel, which can spill onto the roadway during an accident.

Hazardous Material Safety

Commercial semi-trucks must follow safety laws when they transport hazardous materials. They must also follow the local laws governing hazardous material transport. Houston has designated haz-mat routes. Trucks are restricted from traveling on road other than those specified as safe for those carrying hazardous cargo. The 610 Loop is a designated route, so these trucks avoid traveling through the city.

Truck drivers could be ticketed and fined for failure to obey the law. If they are involved in an accident, they might be negligent were they traveling on roads not specified for their use. Hazardous material spills are not uncommon. Recently, an 18-wheeler accident closed the westbound lanes of IH-10 in Chambers County. The hazmat team was called in to clean up about 100 gallons of diesel fuel and oil that spilled onto the roadway during the crash.

In a similar incident, the North Loop had to be shut down while hazmat crews cleaned hazardous materials that spilled in a big rig crash. Not only are these incidents irritating to drivers, they can also be deadly. Fuel, oil, and hazardous material spills can catch fire in an accident. These fires burn very hot, quickly, and can be difficult to extinguish.

Drivers Beware

Drivers should know the dangers of sharing the road with big rigs that carry hazardous materials. When an 18-wheeler overturns or is involved in a serious crash, the hazardous materials can spill out immediately. Keep your distance from these trucks and allow extra room between you and them. Do not speed around one truck, and never cut one off because they may not slowdown in time.

If you are involved in an accident with a big rig, do not go near it after the crash. Exit your vehicle if it is safe to do so and get as far away from the truck as possible. If you see smoke or flames, do not go back to your vehicle to retrieve any personal items. Do not put out a fire yourself as these fires are too dangerous.

If you were hurt in an accident with a big rig, you may have compensation for your injuries. Contact trucking accident attorney Greg Baumgartner for a no obligation consultation-

(281) 893-0760

 

 

I Was Rear Ended By an 18-Wheeler in Houston What Do I do?

 

Hit in the rear by an 18-wheeler

Getting hit from the rear by an 18-wheeler is the most common truck accident in the United States. Tractor-trailers take about 40 % longer to stop than the car you drive, and truck drivers frequently allow no adequate safety cushion between vehicles which can lead to a rear-end 18-wheeler accident. Because the truck can weigh up to 40 times more than the car it hits, the damages are generally much more severe.

 

 

What to Do at the Scene or the Rear End Accident

 

 

  1. Get information from the truck driver.
  2. Take photographs with your cell phone of the scene and the vehicles.
  3. Take the contact information every witness you identify.
  4. Always wait for the police.
  5. Tell Paramedics every area of concern.

 

Always make sure you are stay in a safe area after the accident. To avoid being hit again by another distracted driver.

 

 

Dealing with Your Property Damage Claim

 

 

Handling your property damage claim through the truck driver’s insurance policy is often a very frustrating experience. Trucking companies and commercial trucking insurers are not set up to handle property damage claims, rear-end truck accidents timely. Some people wait months to get their cars fixed.

 

It usually is better to turn the property damage portion of your claim over to your auto insurance for handling. Taking this approach transfers the frustration from you unless your insurance company deals with the trucking company back. Often, people are reluctant to claim their policies and only doing so after waiting months for the trucking company to respond.

 

 

When There Are Injuries From the Rear-End Collision

 

 

Trucking companies and their insurance companies are very businesslike and efficient in dealing with handling injury claims after a rear end 18-wheeler accident. For accidents where the company is worried about the severe injury, the actions of the trucking company will be quick and designed to save them money.

 

If the injuries are severe, you can expect a robust initial investigation design to uncover a defense for the truck driver and trucking company. The first line of attack is looking for scapegoats to take responsibility for the accident off of the trucking companies driver. One common tactic in many rear-end truck accident cases is to claim the vehicle hooked from the rear “suddenly moved into their lane.” Making up facts to defend the claim is the first order of business for many trucking companies.

 

Another tactic frequently utilized when the trucking company is worried about damages is to videotape the injured person by hiring an investigative staff to put the plaintiff under surveillance. With this tactic, the insurance company is hoping to take something out of context to make the injured person look bad.

 

 

 Medical Treatment Issues From a Hit in the Rear by a Big Truck

 

 

Obtaining proper and consistent medical treatment is vital for your health. Following your doctor’s orders should be a no-brainer for everyone. Unfortunately, deductibles or even lack of insurance coverage can pose a problem for many people. Understand that lapses in treatment or not going to the doctor by trying to tough it out can work against your injury claim against the trucking company. Their jury argument usually goes something like “it was that bad you would’ve gone to the doctor.”

 

Another issue important to address is making sure the appropriate medical professional is treating you. With 18-wheeler collisions, spinal cord injuries are prevalent. If you suspect your spinal cord has been injured, you probably should not be handled by a chiropractor. The sooner you are in the hands of an expert or specialist like an orthopedist or neurosurgeon, the better your chances for recovery are and the sooner your medical condition can be diagnosed and treated appropriately. It usually takes an MRI to diagnose a disc problem accurately.

 

Another common injury from rear end truck accidents is a head injury. If you have symptoms of a head injury like:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Forgetfulness
  • Mood swings
  • Personality changes or
  • Balance issues

See a neurologist early.

 

It is always a mistake to consider settling your injury case after a trucking accident until you are sure you have a complete handle on your medical condition and necessary treatment. A tactic used by insurance companies to reduce the amount they pay out on clients is to pressure the injured for a quick settlement before the extent of the injuries is known. Early settlement merely shifts the burden or risks of loss on the innocent victim and is a mistake.

 

 

 

Preserve Evidence after an 18-Wheeler Accident Rear End Crash

 

 

While trucking companies will have a quick and thorough investigation because they are prepared to deal with accidents, individual victims probably have not been through a severe crash before and had no idea what to do. Making sure that the trucking company preserves evidence before it is destroyed can make or break a case.

 

One tactic used by the defense interests after a rear-end 18-wheeler accident is to put the big truck back in service when possible preventing an inspection by the injured person’s representatives. Computer data also called Black box data shows the application of breaks and speeds and other significant evidence. The truck itself can be defective, and a source of liability for the trucking company and should be inspected in some cases.

 

While the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations require the trucking company to keep specific paperwork, they need not keep it forever. It is essential that the victim or the victim’s representatives send a letter demanding particular evidence be preserved early and before the evidence has been changed for destroyed.

 

 

Finding the Best 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer

 

 

If you have been injured most likely, you will require an attorney to assist you to maximize the compensation you will receive from the insurance company for the truck driver.

 

The insurance companies that write commercial policies for trucking companies or a small group and those insurance companies keep records of attorneys.  Who represents you with your 18-wheeler collision is the most important choice you will make.

 

Understand that the critical choice is the specific attorney who will do the work on the case. Many personal injury victims make the mistake of hiring a law firm only to have their case handed off to an inexperienced associate or junior partner. Having a junior lawyer is a disaster for the victim.

 

The most important choice you will make making sure that the attorney you choose is experienced, qualified and has a track record in rear-end 18-wheeler accident cases. You must also make sure the attorney who commits to doing the work on your injury is the one who works the case and not a junior lawyer.

 

If you can’t get a commitment from the experienced attorney in the firm to do the work, find another lawyer. Repeatedly personal injury victims hire a law firm only to end up with a very inexperienced attorney learning on the job and hurting their case.

 

Commitments by the experienced attorney to “oversee” and to “supervise” are worthless. Were you needing surgery and researched the best doctor to operate, would you accept a doctor choosing an associate from his firm to handle the procedure?

 

Do not be afraid to interview a few different lawyers until you are comfortable with attorney who is best for your case.

 

Speak Directly With a Leading Attorney handling Rear End Accidents

 

If you have questions about a rear end 18-wheeler accident, call attorney Greg Baumgartner and speak to Mr. Baumgartner directly- (281) 893-0760.

 

 

 

 

When Trucking Companies Drop The Ball on Safety

After a truck accident, the focus usually is upon the driver of the big rig and whether or not that driver was responsible for the collision. Sometimes, however the trucking company or “motor carrier” that holds responsibility independently of the acts of their driver.

Lawsuits against trucking companies

Motor carriers must follow the same set of rules that commercial drivers must follow and that is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, which are contained in Title 49 in the Code of Federal Regulations. Not only must the trucking company make certain that their drivers know and comply with the safety regulations, but the company also has compliance obligations specifically addressed to the company.

 

The company must supervise drivers that work for the company to make sure the drivers are complying with the law. This supervision includes reviewing the logbooks filed by the driver to make sure the driver is qualified to be behind the wheel and not driving outside the hours of service regulations. Cheating on log books is a common occurrence.  Truck drivers are limited in the number of hours they can work for a day and per week and hours that can be behind the wheel of a big rig.

 

The motor carrier must also develop policies which ensure safe practices by the drivers and employees. Ongoing educational safety meetings are a must.

 

At the end of every day, the driver must complete a driver’s daily vehicle inspection report listing every defect on the vehicle. The company must make sure that no defect is remaining before the truck back in service. The company must also have regular inspections of tractors and trailers for safety issues.

 

Companies must make sure that a driver of one of their trucks is qualified to drive the truck before the driver gets behind the wheel. The company has to contact prior employers regarding the driver, review annually the truck drivers driving record and violations.

 

Trucking Company Negligence in Encouraging Unsafe Practices

 

Probably the most significant area of independent liability for trucking companies are violations of Section 390.13 which provides “no person shall aid, abet, encourage, or require a motor carrier or its employees to violate the rules.” This section is often used in truck accident litigation when the company sends its drivers out when they know the driver is violating the hours of service regulations but for scheduling need the load delivered.

 

Also, we have seen circumstances where a truck or trailer was in a dangerous condition known to the company and put back on the highway without being adequately maintained. Finally, when evidence is developed that the driver routinely speeds, the book can stop with the company for encouraging or failing to stop the drivers and fractions.

 

 

 

Trucking Company Violations Uncovered in the Investigation

 

The vast majority of the time, trucking company violations are not readily apparent after the collision. Whether the issue is falsified logbooks, driver’s qualifications, the condition of the tractor and trailer or other problem, it usually requires in-depth analysis to uncover and prove independent negligence by the trucking company.

 

Often, the company will fight hard to conceal the infractions of the company. Fortunately, the best trucking accident attorneys are well-versed in the regulations and techniques to avoid discovery by the defense.

Call Attorney Greg Baumgartner for Personal Consultation on Your Trucking Case

 

Call me for a personal consultation regarding your truck accident. We only handle cases within Texas that involve significant injury or losing a loved one. We have a no-fee policy- in which no legal fee is paid less you receive money on the case.

 

Call to schedule your consultation regarding your rights and options and the next step to take to protect your financial future.

 

281-893-0760

 

 

What You Need to Know About an 18-Wheeler Stopping Distance

 

rear end truck accidents

Every day in highways across America big rigs, 18 wheelers and tractor-trailers share the road with the motoring public. In fact, the trucking industry is vitally important to the American economy. The American Trucking Association projects a banner year for the sales of the most massive class of 18-wheelers for the year 2018.

 

The only impediment to the stellar growth projected for motor carriers is the shortage of qualified drivers. In short, this year and for years to come the trucking industry will be growing and putting more and bigger rigs on the highways.

 

 

Stopping Distance Generally

 

 

According to the DOT, a tractor-trailer traveling at 65 mph will take 200 yards or 600 feet to come to a stop. The stopping time and distance for a big rig are much higher than those of cars.

 

Adverse weather conditions and other factors can affect the stopping distance of a big truck.

 

Total stopping distance for a car going 65 miles an hour is just over 100 yards or about 345 feet.

 

 

Factors in Calculating Stopping Distance

 

 

There are several factors involved in calculating the stopping distance for a particular event. Every driver has a perception lag and also a reaction time before the driver can react actually to start to activate the brakes. Thus, the distinction between how long the vehicle takes to stop after the brakes are engaged and the total stopping distance.

 

While the accident reconstruction expert can fine-tune stopping distance for a specific vehicle on a particular roadway, general guidelines are often used for baseline calculations of stopping distance.

 

Things such as tires, the weight of the vehicle and load, and the coefficient of friction are all used for reconstruction purposes to determine the actual stopping distance in a particular accident.

 

 

The Difference in Equipment Affects Stopping

 

 

Commercial trucks use air brakes while passenger cars have hydraulic brakes. Hydraulic brakes are faster to engage than the semi-truck air brakes which have a time lag before they engage.

 

Also, the weight of the load carried by the big driver is a factor that can make a slight difference in the total stopping distance.

 

 

18-Wheelers Can’t Stop Like Cars

 

 

The most important thing that everyone needs to know is that commercial tractor-trailers take longer to stop than passenger cars. An 80,000-pound vehicle even with perfect brakes cannot stop as quickly as your car or pickup truck.

 

With this in mind, drivers need to be mindful of the need for an extra cushion of safety between their vehicle and a truck behind them. While it is often difficult to keep a truck from tailgating or following that an unsafe distance, particularly on busy highways, maintaining a safe distance is critical for your safety.

 

Because the truck can take 40% longer to stop then your vehicle, you need to ensure that your vehicle is far enough in front of the truck behind you. Driving friendly may involve letting the professional truck driver pass, and that would allow you to control the distance between your vehicle and the big rig.

 

The devastation from being hit in the rear by an 18-wheeler is not easy to overstate. Many rear end 18-wheeler accidents injure or kill every person in the vehicle that is struck from the back.

 

Of course, it should be the professional truck driver who takes the extra caution to avoid a rear-end truck accident.

 

 

Truck Drivers Can Avoid Rear-End Accidents

 

 

Truckers can avoid rear-end collisions by:

  • allowing and assured clear distance between the vehicles in front of them
  • driving friendly
  • maintaining a speed safe for conditions
  • preventing driving in hazardous conditions
  • following the hours of service rules to avoid driving while fatigued or sleepy
  • making sure that the brakes are working optimally on their rig

 

Trucking Companies Can Help

 

Trucking companies can reduce the number of rear-end accidents by:

  • Ensuring compliance with the safety regulations
  • developing policies aimed at monitoring compliance with equipment safety
  • hiring qualified and experienced truck drivers
  • having adequate personnel for monitoring logbooks
  • making safety education a part of company protocol

 

Talk Directly With a Trucking Accident Attorney

If you or a family member has been rear-ended by a big truck and needs a lawyer- call the specialists in 18-wheeler accident lawsuits today. Speak directly with truck accident attorney Greg Baumgartner -call (281) 893-0760!

18-Wheeler Crash on State Highway 249 Injures Five People

 

A big rig traveling on State Highway 249 in Harris County lost control and crashed into 11 vehicles. The accident reportedly occurred when the driver of the 18-wheeler veered through an embankment that separates the highway from a feeder road. The rig ran through the barrier and onto the road at a high rate of speed, running into at least 11 vehicles, it was reported.

According to witnesses at the scene, the truck barreled off the road, hitting a pole and sign from a local restaurant. The truck hit at least 11 vehicles before it finally came to a stop in the restaurant’s parking lot. Some of the cars that were hit belonged to patrons of the restaurant who were not in their vehicles at the time of the crash.

Severe Injuries Reported

At least five people were injured in the crash, including the truck driver. The truck driver and the driver of a black vehicle had to be airlifted to a hospital; one was reportedly in critical condition. Three other people were transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The area of the crash was closed for a few hours during cleanup. The cause of the accident is under investigation.

When big rigs collide with passenger vehicles, there can be devastating consequences. In this case, the truck was reportedly traveling at a high rate of speed when the crash happened. It is difficult for the truck to stop because big-rigs can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. Also, 18-wheelers take longer to stop given the air brakes and size of the trucks.

What Causes Big Rig Accidents?

Big rig crashes can happen for a number of reasons. Sometimes more than one factor contributes to the crash. Some of the most common factors that might contribute to 18-wheeler accidents include distracted driving and driving while drowsy. There are restrictions regarding the number of hours a truck driver is allowed on the road in on stretch. However, sometimes drivers may drive longer than they should, and that could cause them to fall asleep at the wheel.

While we do not know the cause of this crash, it may have been due to sleepiness or to a medical problem that the truck driver suffered. The accident will be investigated to determine the cause. Investigators will look at the scene of the crash and the vehicles that were involved. They will interview witnesses and other drivers involved in the incident. The driver will be checked for use of drugs or alcohol and the log book will be reviewed to see how long the driver had been working.

Get the Best 18-Wheeler Accident Attorneys After A Crash!

When a big rig crash causes injury, the injured party may be entitled to compensation. If the truck driver or trucking company was negligent, they might be held responsible for medical bills as well as money for lost wages and pain and suffering and other legal damages. The law limits the time for victims to file a claim, so it is important to speak with a big rig accident attorney as soon as possible after the crash.

Contact the best lawyers for 18-wheeler accidents  to discuss the details of your case today.

(281) 893-0760

 

 

How to Find Trucking Companies Safety Records- Online!

 

 

If you would like to research a trucking company’s safety records, there are several options open to you via the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

 

The FMCSA has several online resources for obtaining safety information on trucking companies. All you need is a trucking company’s name, their DOT number or the motor carrier number in order to search the records.

 

An overview of the available online information can be found here.

 

The Safety and Fitness Electronic Records (SAFER) Service

 

The SAFER records can give you a “Company Snapshot” which is a summary of the truck company including, its identification, safety rating, how many times their vehicles have been placed out of service and size of the company.

 

 

The “Company Safety Profile” is a service that requires a $20 fee, but it also offers much more safety information about an individual trucking company’s operation. These include items from the inspection and crash reports as well as results from enforcement actions by the DOT.

 

 

 

General Truck and Bus Safety Information

 

 

A&I Data and Reports are available to research generally crash data broken down by years, and states. The information at this page provides in-depth, trends and can be an invaluable safety resource.

 

If you have a question about a truck or bus accident in Texas call us for a no-obligation consultation. (281) 893-0760. 

 

 

18-Wheeler Crash Leaves Driver Dead

 

A truck driver from Conroe, Texas was killed when the 18-wheeler he was driving overturned. The crash happened on State Highway 6 near Rice Road in Riesel, Texas.

According to reports, the big rig suffered a tire blow-out. This caused the driver to lose control of the truck, and it swerved. He was not able to gain control of the vehicle, and the load he was carrying was dislodged in the crash.

The northbound lanes were closed while the accident was investigated and removed. The Department of Public Safety continues to investigate.

This crash demonstrates the potential consequences of a truck tire blowout on the highway. Although trucks have 18 wheels, a single blowout can cause the driver to lose control of the entire vehicle. In this case, the driver was carrying a large, heavy cement block. It may have made it difficult to regain control of the vehicle, and it actually came off the truck during the crash.

Sadly, the truck driver was killed in the crash. My heart goes out to his family. No other vehicles were involved in the incident. Many times, other drivers are not so lucky.

When a truck is out of control, it swerves back and forth in the lanes, sometimes crashing into other vehicles along the way. If the truck overturns, as in this instance, it can be extremely difficult for other drivers to avoid the crash.

 

Importance of Tire Safety

 

Big rig drivers are required to insect the tires of the tractor-trailers they drive before and at the end of each day. This inspection gets documented in a log book which the driver signs each day. Trucking companies must insure the trucks are safe and road worthy by adopting policies which support the safety regulations they must follow.

These rules for commercial truck drivers were adopted to reduce the number of truck accidents by preventing accidents caused by the condition of the 18-wheeler.

Every day drivers should also inspect their tires frequently and replace old or worn tires. Use the penny test- place a penny in the tread of your tires with Lincoln’s head down. If Lincoln’s head is not covered by the tread, it is time for new tires.

tire safety penny test

 

Trucks Carry Heavy Loads

Large 18-wheelers, also known as semi-trucks, are allowed to carry large and heavy loads and may weigh up to 18,000 pounds. When a tire blows out, the driver may have a hard time trying to keep the truck on the roadway. Complicating the situation, a heavy load that is not properly placed or secured could contribute to a more serious crash.

Truck loads that are not properly placed on the truck might cause the truck to act differently, especially if the driver needs to swerve or make a quick stop.

The load changes the center of gravity and makes controlling the truck extremely difficult. Even skilled drivers may find it impossible to make corrections if something happens, such as when a tire blows out.

Other drivers on the road are in danger and may not even realize it. Truck drivers and companies need to be careful when loading a vehicle and in making sure that it is adequately secured. For example, if a load shifts on the truck, it can cause the driver to lose control and an accident may result.

In the case mentioned above, the truck driver sustained fatal injuries, but in many other instances, the major injuries are sustained by victims in the other vehicles involved in the crash.

When someone is injured in an 18-wheeler crash, recovery may be a long, difficult, and expensive process. You and your family may deserve full compensation from the responsible party. You may be owed money for damages that include medical bills and rehabilitation costs as well as money for pain, suffering, lost wages and disability.

If you or a loved one were hit by an 18-wheeler and need an attorney, contact Truck Accident Attorney Greg Baumgartner to discuss your case today.

(281) 893-0760.

 

Drug Testing for Truck Drivers

 

For more than 30 years, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has set rules for drug and alcohol testing that covers commercial truck and bus drivers.

Testing of Truck Drivers

What Supervisors of Truckers Need to Know:

Section 332.603 require supervisors of commercial motor vehicle drivers to take specialized training relating to alcohol and drug symptoms and identification.
The regulation covers companies with more than one employee.
Owner-operators are not subject to the supervisor testing.

What Drivers Need to Know:

A. The safety regulations require testing for the following classes of substance:
1. marijuana
2. cocaine
3. opiates
4. amphetamines and methamphetamines
5. PCP

B. Who must be tested?

All commercial drivers who are operating a commercial motor vehicle or carrying more than 16 passengers must be DOT drug and alcohol tested.

C. When are tests required?

Pre-employment testing drug testing is required before an employer can permit a driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle on a public road.

Post-accident testing is mandatory whenever a driver is involved in a fatal accident or receives a ticket from an injury accident or a vehicle disabling accident. The alcohol test must take place within eight hours in a drug test within 32 hours.

Random testing is done on an unannounced basis when the driver is “on-duty” or just before or after becoming on-duty.

Suspicion – supervisors, can require a driver to be drug or alcohol tested whenever the driver exhibits signs of drug or alcohol abuse.

Follow-up testing is required for those eligible for returning to duty. There is a maximum of five years for follow-up testing for drivers who have tested positive for a refused test.

D. Penalties:

A positive drug result or an alcohol finding of .04 or more or if a driver refuses a test driver must immediately be removed from operating in a commercial vehicle on public roadways.

A positive test on any driver can make it extremely difficult to obtain new employment or to return to work for the existing employer due to the return to duty process required.

While a motor carrier may give a driver a break, the insurance company for the trucking company will in many instances effectively prevent drivers who have failed a test from being hired or retained.

Follow-up testing is required after a failed test.

Further information:

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.dot.gov/files/docs/Drug%20and%20Alcohol%20Brochure%20for%20Drivers.pdf

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