Much like any other type of auto accident, a trucking accident is often caused by some mistake or error on the part of a person. Exactly who is responsible and just how much blame they deserve really comes down to the particular details of any given crash. In general, however, there are certain liability considerations you might want to have in mind if you have been involved in an Oklahoma trucking accident. Read the rest »
Wet Weather & Driving Conditions
Even for passenger vehicles, wet weather poses risks. Impaired visibility, decreased traction, and hydroplaning can occur on any car no matter how small. However, on a large commercial truck, what might have been a serious injury can become a devastating one due to their size and weight.
Truck drivers, the trucking companies that hire them, the shippers that hire them, manufacturers, and repair shops that maintain the trucks all are required to play a role in keeping the trucks safe on the road. Only the drivers are left to deal with the conditions in wet weather. What can and should truck drivers do in the rain?
Truck drivers are hard working, busy individuals. They are faced with strict deadlines and long hauls. Their demanding schedules are wherein lie the dangers they can bestow on themselves, other drivers, and pedestrians. Estimates by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration report that roughly 100,000 trucking accidents can be linked to drowsy or sleeping drivers annually.
If these staggering numbers don’t upset you, consider a study conducted by Harvard School of Medicine. Their Sleep Medicine Division concluded that roughly 250,000 people are reported to fall asleep while driving each day in the United States. Also noted in the study was the conclusion that roughly 50% of the test’s participants drove while drowsy, and another 25% divulged that they actually fell asleep while driving, even if it was only momentarily. Truck drivers were grouped differently in the test, and thus scored differently. However, half of the truck drivers questioned still admitted to having “drifted off” while on the job.
It’s not uncommon to see the aftermath of a tire blowout on the highway and drivers doing their best to avoid running over fragments of rubber that was left strewn across the road. Tire blowouts are a scary and dangerous experience, not just for the driver of the vehicle affected, but also for other motorists who happen to be nearby when it happens. This is especially true in the case of big trucks that have tire blowouts. Driving alongside big trucks is generally intimidating enough without adding exploding tires to the circumstances. The combination of flying rubber pieces, possible hazardous cargo, and the potential for an out-of-control truck that weighs a great deal to topple over can make for an extremely perilous situation. Unfortunately, the motorists in passenger vehicles who are traveling close by instantly find themselves at risk for serious injuries.
Because of the extensive damage that a tire blowout can cause, it’s critical for truck drivers to be vigilant about properly inspecting and maintaining their tires. Even with this knowledge, many drivers and trucking companies ignore signs of excessive tire wear, and as a result, blowouts remain a leading contributing factor in truck accidents. If you have been involved in an Oklahoma truck accident due to a tire blowout, it’s vital to speak to an experienced lawyer right away about your eligibility for compensation.
It is always important to be a vigilant driver when on the road, whether at night or during the day. Accidents happen all the time, but it can be especially dangerous when the accident was the result of a truck driver who was sleep deprived. According to HG.org “sleep deprivation is one of the leading causes of accidents on American roadways.” This finding is made even more alarming by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration who estimates that “as many as 1,500 deaths and 40,000 injuries may be caused by drowsy drivers.”
Truck drivers naturally are driving many miles for long periods of time. Thankfully, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has set forth guidelines and regulations for how many hours a day truck drivers are allowed to operate their vehicle (hours of service), and now require them to take a certain number of breaks each day for specific amounts of time to avoid truck drivers driving while fatigued. However, these rules are not always followed, and as a result, accidents frequently occur.
In Oklahoma in 2015, a truck driver killed four members of a college women’s softball team in a vehicle accident. According to records released by the National Transportation Safety Board, the truck driver, Russell Staley, had a history of using synthetic marijuana.
Unfortunately, trucking accidents involving drugs or alcohol are not uncommon. All too often, truck drivers get too little sleep and are tempted to use prescription or non-prescription drugs to make up for lost hours of rest. Some of these drugs are illegal. They also impair the driver’s ability to drive a large truck safely and can lead to catastrophic accidents. Read the rest »
Tractor trailer trucks, or semi trucks, can legally weigh up to 80,000 pounds. That’s 20 to 30 times more than the weight of an average automobile. The average tractor trailer combo is 70 to 80 feet long, while the average length of a car is 13 feet long. Because of their size and weight, tractor trailers require 20 to 40 percent more time and distance to stop than cars do. This amount is greater on wet and slippery roads. When you consider these numbers, it’s no surprise that in most fatal truck accidents involving a semi truck and a car, the fatalities happen in the passenger vehicle. Read the rest »
Another deadly tractor trailer accident has resulted in charges against the semi truck driver. According to Oklahoma City’s NBC affiliate KFOR, the tractor trailer operator who plowed into a bus and killed four college students has been charged with manslaughter. Read the rest »
Like it or not, automobiles and other smaller vehicles have to share the roadways with tractor trailers. Sharing the road with these larger vehicles is dangerous for automobile drivers can be dangerous because of the vast size and weight difference between cars and semis. Let’s look at a few statistics: Read the rest »
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), accidents with tractor trailers are responsible for one in nine highway deaths. While tractor trailer traffic is important to the economy of Oklahoma and the nation as a whole, the sheer size and weight of these trucks can make them especially dangerous to the drivers of passenger vehicles. Read the rest »
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