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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

What You Need to Know About Investigating an 18-Wheeler Accident in Texas

 

 

Every day across the state of Texas there is a commercial vehicle accident. In fact, Texas has more fatal big truck collisions than any other state. Some semi-truck accidents are minor, and some are devastating. In crashes where the legal damages have the potential to be significant, an early investigation is vital to a successful 18-wheeler accident claim.

Trucking Accident Investigations

Here are a few essential points to consider after getting hit by a big rig.

 

 

Time Matters in Truck Wreck Investigation

 

 

The rule of thumb is with fatal collisions or those with very serious injuries it is likely that the insurance company for the motor carrier and driver will send an accident investigation team to the site of the crash. The defense team usually starts with an attorney who is retained by the insurance company. Many of our recent trucking accident cases the defense attorney was actually at the scene of the crash before the vehicles were moved.

 

Apparently, for victims or their families in the case of a wrongful death truck accident, having the defense interests at the scene and talking to officers and gathering evidence puts them at a disadvantage. If the defense attorney uncovers something that may hurt their case, the attorney usually climbs work product privilege to try to keep from having to disclose the negative information.

 

The defense attorney usually brings an accident reconstruction expert to the site to gather measurements, take photographs and obtain information necessary to render an opinion that will be favorable to the defense.

 

For these and other reasons, it is essential for the victim of a truck accident or the family of a loved one killed and a truck collision to retain the right attorney as soon as possible after the crash.

 

 

Choosing Your Attorney for a Trucking Accident

 

 

While it is vital that the victim or their family find an attorney quickly after the collision, it is more important that the choice be the right one the first time. There are many different articles written about how to choose your 18-wheeler accident attorney, and they all recommend doing your research before you sign any paperwork with the lawyer.

 

Some things to consider when selecting an attorney for commercial vehicle accident include:

 

  • Experience in commercial vehicle crashes – you don’t need an attorney to learning on your case.
  • The peer review rating of the attorney – consider first attorneys rated AV.
  • Location of the attorney’s office – the attorney you choose should be in the state where the crash occurred.
  • Personal service – will this attorney be able to dedicate the time and attention necessary for your case? Or is the firm a high-volume firm where you might be a number? Will any part of your case be handled by a junior partner or associate?
  • Are you comfortable with this attorney?

 

 

Evidence Necessary in Trucking Cases

 

 

As an acute above, the sooner you get a qualified attorney on your side the more likely it is that you will be able to obtain and preserve critical evidence. Some people make the mistake of assuming that the police officers investigating the crash will gather all the necessary information.

 

Often, the officer will gather sufficient information but failed to accurately record or retain the information thus depriving the victim or their family of the benefit of the investigation. Additionally, in Texas, it is very likely that the police department or Highway Patrol will refuse to release significant evidence until after the investigation is closed thus depriving the victim evidence. This waiting period can take months and can be very frustrating for the family.

 

Evidence that available may include:

  • Crash data from the vehicles- computer information regarding the accident.
  • Measurements at the scene of the crash, such as skid marks or debris.
  • Paper or digital logbooks showing the hours worked by the driver.
  • Deficiencies in the tractor or trailer such as brakes- which can be discovered by inspection.
  • Eyewitness accounts.

 

Again, the earlier of the attorney for the injured party can start the investigation more likely it is that evidence can be obtained and preserved.

 

 

There Are Always Two Sides to the Story

 

 

One of the most common things that we hear after an 18-wheeler hits someone is the truck driver got a ticket. Unless the officers who investigated the crash are qualified to reenact the accident and do so, the officer’s opinions as to fault probably will not be admissible in a civil lawsuit. If the truck driver does not plead or found guilty to the traffic offense, the ticket or the officer’s opinions as default will most often not be heard by the jury.

 

Even in clear cases of legal responsibility, there are always two sides to the story. Skilled defense attorneys are paid big bucks for a reason. Attempting to shift blame from the negligent truck driver onto the victim or someone else is always their priority. Too you can expect a truck driver story to change once a defense attorney has got involved.

 

We always recommend that victims of a truck accident do not give a recorded statement to the insurance company for the truck driver. You can know that the insurance company would not let their driver provide a recorded statement to your attorney.

 

In summary, research and choose your attorney as early as possible. Do not make the mistake of hiring the wrong attorney in need to have an attorney. If you have questions reach out to an experienced trucking accident attorney for guidance.

 

 

 

Texas Leads the Nation in Fatal Semi Truck Accidents- AGAIN!

 

 

Texas has more fatal truck accidents than any other state in the United States according to a recent report by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

 

In 2016, Texas had 484 fatalities in big truck accidents. The margin was significant as the next closest state was California with 293 people killed.

 

Perhaps it is because Texas is so large with over 3200 miles of interstate highways or the large numbers of trucks crossing the state. Whatever the reason, it is clear that the state of Texas has a significant problem concerning an 18-wheeler or tractor-trailer crashes.

 

Injury Potential is Great with Semi Truck Crashes

 

The injury potential of a big rig accident is significant given the difference in size between a typical tractor-trailer and a passenger car. While a semi-truck can weigh 80,000 pounds, most passenger cars are in the 5000 pounds or less range. Needless to say, when a big rig it’s a small passenger car pickup truck it is the other vehicle that is in most jeopardy.

 

Also, because the big trucks operate differently, they take much longer to stop than a car or pickup truck. Semi-trucks also have blind spots that are dangerous to the vehicles around them.

 

Regulation of Big Trucks

 

Trucking companies and commercial or professional truck drivers are regulated by the state of Texas and also by the Department of Transportation through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

 

Truck drivers are required to maintain unique records regarding the condition of their trucks and also are limited in the amount of time they can be on the clock behind the wheel. There are many other safety rules that the professional driver must follow, and the trucking company or motor carrier must ensure compliance.

 

Nevertheless, regulation of the motor carriers and the drivers are not sufficient to reduce the number of fatal accidents in the state of Texas. Individual drivers must also take actions to keep their family’s safety.

 

4 Ways to Avoid Truck Accidents

 

Here are four ways to avoid an accident with an 18-wheeler.

 

  • Stay out of the truck blind spots as much as possible.
  • Do not let large trucks tailgate you
  • Keep your car properly maintained to avoid break-downs.
  • Anticipate that big rigs take longer to maneuver than your vehicle

 

 

 

Free Truck Accident Consultation for Accidents in Texas

 

We are very proud of our 30 years of exceptional results in truck accident lawsuits. Protecting your family’s future is our primary goal.

 

Many people say, “I was hit by an 18-wheeler and need an attorney“. If you find yourself in this situation in Texas, call us at 1-866-758-4529 for a no-obligation consultation about your rights and options.

 

 

 

 

 

What Should I Do After 18-Wheeler Accident?

 

 

The aftermath of an 18-wheeler accident leaves many questions for those who may have been injured or have lost a loved one. This article is written to give a brief overview of steps necessary by those who may have been hit by an 18-wheeler.

 

 

At the Scene of the Crash

 

Most people who have been hit by a big rig are in no condition to gather relevant information at the scene of the crash. Often, those injured or disabled and waiting for emergency transport to the closest hospital. Occasionally, some people were wounded but able to function at the scene of the collision. Here is a list of information and actions that should be taken at the scene of the crash:

 

  • Always wait for the police and request a formal report.
  • Do not rely on the police to take down witness information.

Take photographs of the resting position of the vehicles if you can do so safely.

  • Always ask for contact information from eyewitnesses.
  • Always seek medical treatment necessary for your injuries.
  • Keep your description of the accident concise and accurate.

 

At the Hospital

 

Make sure up tell your medical providers every problem you have as some minor issues you may not feel you need to mention become real problems once the adrenalin wears off. It is essential to understand that emergency rooms are for emergencies. Unless your injuries are considered life-threatening or require immediate surgical intervention, you will be discharged to follow up with your primary doctor or other specialists as directed by the hospital.

 

Listen carefully to all of the instructions and asked for recommendations should they feel a follow-up from a specialist is required. Take medications as directed.

 

 

After You are Released from the Hospital

 

Usually, the days following the date of the accident are worse than the day of the crash. Follow the doctor’s instructions strictly both in medication and in limitations of activities. It is best to start looking for follow-up care as soon as possible. Many specialists are hard to see and delaying booking your appointment can lead to significant delays in being able to get care.

 

Investigate the physician if you intend to see a specialist such as a neurologist or orthopedic surgeon. It is important to look both to the reputation of the physician and also the health insurance plans that the doctor will take.

 

Keep notes of your out-of-pocket expenses and also days missed from work.

 

 

If the Accident Was the Fault of the 18-Wheeler Driver

 

 

If you feel that the truck driver was at fault for causing the accident, retaining the best 18-wheeler accident attorney should be your next step.

 

Generally, the sooner you retain counsel for an 18-wheeler accident the better. It is no secret that the insurance carriers for the trucking company have accident investigation teams ready at the drop of a hat. Often, the insurance carrier will have their team at the site of an 18-wheeler crash while the truck is still in place.

 

You should choose an attorney as early as possible. Delays in getting the best lawyer will hamper the Investigation necessary in a commercial vehicle accident. Such things as skid marks, debris on the highway and inspection of the vehicles themselves should be scheduled as early as possible. Otherwise, the evidence is lost.

 

 

 Investigate the Trucking Accident Attorney

 

trucking accident investigation

It is critically important that you do your homework on the attorney you hire before you hire the lawyer. Many people retain an attorney without during research on the lawyer only to find out that they did not make a good choice. Changing attorneys in the middle of the case can be difficult and often leads to fee complications which may reduce the money payable to the victim.

 

 

Items to Consider When Hiring an 18-Wheeler Accident Attorney

 

 

There are many different factors to consider when choosing an attorney for an 18-wheeler accident. Experience does matter. Here are some considerations:

 

  • Is the attorney you are talking about going to be the one that does the work on your case? – Often, a name partner will speak with the family about the situation, and then the family later finds out that the attorney is only available for “supervision” of the case. What happens, in fact, is that a young, inexperienced associate or an attorney without significant reputation does the vital work on the matter.

 

  • Has the specific attorney who is going to do the work had substantial experience in 18-wheeler crashes?

 

  • Is the law firm a high-volume firm? – Avoid law firms that take a significant number of cases because these firms tend to treat their clients like numbers. If you see the law firm on TV, it’s a high-volume practice. Simple logic suggests that a firm with a vast amount of cases will be incapable of providing the personal service that you may want.

 

 

  • What are the attorneys Martindale Hubbell or Lawyers.com rating? – It’s essential to use peer review ratings as opposed to scores that are directly related to a financial arrangement that the attorney or the law firm has with the sponsor of the classification.

 

  • Ask the attorney for references to other clients involved in an 18-wheeler accident. – Consider calling and speaking personally to these former clients about their experience with the attorney.

 

 

  • Understand that the claims process takes time and if litigation is needed, and it often is, it is vital that you are comfortable with the attorney you select. Feeling comfortable in your first meeting with the attorney you are considering is important.

 

 

Do not be afraid to interview several attorneys for cases with very serious injury or the loss of a loved one.

 

Call us for a free consultation- (281) 893-0760.

 

 

 

Truck Driver Shortage Endangers America

 

 

A recent article in the Washington Post highlights the dilemma that trucking companies are having with the shortage of available drivers. Despite increasing pay and even sign-on bonuses, there are way more job openings than are our qualified drivers.

 

Estimates are that there are over 50,000 openings for over the road truckers according to the American Trucking Association. Worse is the shortage of qualified drivers looks to get worse in the future.

 

 

Reasons Why People Don’t Want to Drive

 

There are many individual reasons for the shortage of drivers. It comes down to pay and the impact that trucking has on a person’s social or family life.

 

Trucking is a relatively solemn profession because the driver’s interaction is limited, and they spend so much time away from home. Many drivers blame the lifestyle for divorces and lack of quality time with friends and family. Being on the road the majority of your life is not an attractive alternative for many.

 

 

 

Truck Driver Pay

 

The pay can vary based on the company, experience and whether the compensation is by the hour, mile or a percentage of the load. Other variations can depend upon whether the drivers can expect to be home at the end of the day whether they must spend time away from home.

 

Truckers make an average of about $48,000 per year currently. Corporate drivers make more than trucking company drivers. According to reports, the average truck driver employed by Walmart makes $73,000. Some over the road truckers make over $100,000 per year driving a truck.

 

Projections continue to show problems in attracting new drivers and retaining old drivers. This shortage will serve to increase the pay of drivers as companies struggle to fill open positions.

 

 

How the Driver Shortage Endangers America

 

When there is a shortage of drivers, and loads that must be delivered, trucking companies are forced to hire unqualified drivers who are not prepared for the profession. Sure, the driver will have a commercial driver’s license, but the training necessary to ensure the driver is safe does not occur in many instances.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations only require a person to be 21 and hold a CDL to operate a big rig. Inexperienced drivers do not have the necessary training to anticipate and navigate traffic situations in many cases.  Nevertheless, company after company feel they have little choice but to fill the positions as best they can and the inexperienced drivers account for more 18-wheeler collisions than those who have driven for years.

 

 

 

Other Resources:

 

http://www.trucking.org/ATA%20Docs/News%20and%20Information/Reports%20Trends%20and%20Statistics/10%206%2015%20ATAs%20Driver%20Shortage%20Report%202015.pdf

 

 

Truck Tire Blowouts a Common Cause of Big Rig Accidents

 

Anyone who has driven on the highway has probably seen debris from a truck tire. Chunks of tire can be seen littering the roadway and are often in the middle of the lane. When a big rig truck tire blows out, it can cause a dangerous situation for both the big rig and other drivers on the road. The truck driver may have a difficult time steering the rig to safety and pieces of the tire can hit other vehicles and create hazards on the pavement.

What Causes Truck Tire Blowouts?

Large commercial trucks have 18 wheels, while smaller trucks have fewer wheels. There are a number of conditions that might cause a truck tire to blow out. Some of the most common causes of truck tire blowouts include:

  • Improper tire inflation
  • Overheating
  • Tires that come off the rim
  • Old or damaged tires
  • Inadequate maintenance

Tires that are overinflated become weakened and they are more prone to blowouts. Tires can sometimes suddenly come off the rim in a situation known as demounting. High temperatures inside the tire can cause the pressure to increase and the tire expands and might burst.

Old tires may have been overly stressed and they can be structurally weak, causing a sudden blowout. Cracks in the seams can weaken the tire and increased pressure might cause it to rupture. All of these issues can be avoided if the driver or maintenance crew performs a regular inspection of the truck.

Dangers of Truck Tire Blowouts

A commercial truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, making it very difficult to stop, especially in an emergency situation such as when a tire blows. Even experienced truck drivers can have problems controlling the vehicle when a tire blows out. The truck may swerve and it might even jackknife. In some instances the truck might even roll over.

This causes a hazardous condition to other drivers on the road. First, another driver may need to swerve to get out of the path of a flying hunk of tire. A small piece of tire can cause a serious accident if it hits another car. Drivers must then try to avoid getting near a truck that is out of control.

According to the National Automotive Sampling System Crashworthiness Data System (NASS-CDS) there are approximately 25,000 truck crashes per year in the United States that result from a tire blow out or a flat tire. These accidents may be prevented with adequate maintenance and upkeep of commercial trucks.

Commercial vehicle crashes are often very serious and sometimes involve several or more vehicles. When a big rig is involved in a crash with another vehicle, that vehicle’s driver and occupants may be severely hurt or killed. If you or a loved one were seriously injured in a big rig accident, you might be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Contact the experienced legal team handling 18-wheeler accidents at today to discuss the details of your case.

281.893.0760

 

Resources

National Automotive Sampling System – Crashworthiness Data System, https://www.nhtsa.gov/research-data/national-automotive-sampling-system-nass

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA, https://www.nhtsa.gov/

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