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Articles Posted in Truck Accidents

Regulations and Truck SafetyTruck accident victims must be fully prepared when they file their claims or lawsuits as these settlements and jury verdicts will normally result in high damage amounts. Unlike a standard car accident, truck accidents actually give plaintiffs a measuring stick to help establish the fault of the driver involved in the accident through the application of safety regulations.

This is why it is vital for you and your personal injury lawyer to be familiar with the regulations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA).

What Is the FMSCA and What Do They Do?

American Transit and who is drivingIt shouldn’t surprise anyone that some truckers use and abuse drugs. Career stresses, demanding professional requirements and other factors combine to make their jobs amazingly challenging. According to medical experts, such pressures can result in truckers being more prone to risky behaviors, such as drug use.

What does this mean for those who must share the road with semis and other commercial vehicles? Drug abuse only makes tough odds direr. Here’s why drug-taking truck drivers are more of a threat than you might think.

Trucker Drug Use by the Numbers

Ammonia-leak-in-chicago-suburbA massive chemical spill that sent 40 people to the hospital in a far northern suburb of Chicago illustrates the extreme health hazards of exposure to anhydrous ammonia.

Police and fire crews who responded to a reported vehicle fire in Beach Park, Illinois, in the early morning hours of April 25 encountered plumes of toxic gas escaping from a tractor trailer truck hauling tanks of anhydrous ammonia, which is commonly used in fertilizer. The truck was reportedly en route from Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, to a farm in Northern Illinois.

It’s still unclear what caused the leak, but it was not believed to be the result of a vehicle crash. Forty people, including 11 firefighters and a police officer, were taken to a local hospital, all with varying degrees of respiratory distress. The injured included vehicle occupants who were traveling in the vicinity of the spill and even residents of nearby homes. While most were treated and released, seven people remained in serious to critical condition up to two days after the incident, some on artificial respirators, and their prognosis was uncertain.

Injured workers by UPS trailersOn October 31, 2017, a worker at a Bedford Park UPS facility was injured just before 2:00 AM after being pinned by a trailer before first respondents freed the man and transported him via airlift to a local hospital. Jennifer Cook, a spokeswoman for UPS, confirmed that the company would conduct an in-house investigation into the matter to determine the cause of the incident and take appropriate measures to prevent accidents like this from occurring in the future.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) opened an investigation into the incident occurring in the 6700 block of W. 73rd St. in Bedford Park. The man’s current health condition is not immediately known.

A Widespread Problem

increased visibility can be positive in helping truck driversDrivers wishing for x-ray vision when attempting to overtake large trucks may now benefit from a technology that is just as effective. Samsung has developed a transparent Safety Truck equipped with cameras and weatherproof monitors working in tandem to provide trailing drivers to see around or through the leading semi-tractor trailer prior to making the decision on whether to overtake the truck. This could prevent many of the accidents that result when motorists drive to perform passing maneuvers on two lane highways and save countless lives in the process. It can also provide insight into the view that truck drivers have of the road and the distance vehicles should maintain ahead of a truck before moving into its lane.

Extensive Testing to Take Place in Argentina

Following the creation of a prototype last year, Samsung has received the go-ahead to expand its testing program. It will begin by testing numerous Safety Trucks over the next four months to determine whether they effectively reduce the number of accidents resulting from vehicles overtaking trucks. If the tests are successful, Samsung will begin making the Safety Truck available in markets across the world, including in the United States.

Preventing Winter Crashes with Winter Like ConditionsTruck drivers are receiving a crash course on winter driving through the use of a state of the art simulator that mimics actual road conditions in inclement weather and allows drivers to learn how their vehicles will respond under varied situations. The Chicago trucking accident attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC have found that commercial truck drivers often overestimate their abilities during cold weather and believe that this tool can help make the roads much safer if all drivers were required to participate in cold weather simulations. Since commercial trucks are capable of catastrophic levels of devastation, the prevention of accidents is instrumental in reducing the number of truck related fatalities.

The Michigan Center for Truck Safety Leads the Way with Innovative Training Technology

For nearly eight years, drivers and truck companies have been able to use driving simulations offered by the Michigan Center for Truck Safety to educate and test drivers using multiple scenarios and challenges. The purpose is to show drivers the exact response of a large semi-tractor and its trailer under specific conditions so that they can make real life adjustments to their habits that will save lives. This is an invaluable tool when training new drivers because they are able to make errors or miscalculations without causing any harm to others on the road.

fatigue contributed to crash involving Tracy MorganThe Chicago trucking accident attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC have long known of the role that driver fatigue has on truck crashes and recent developments in the investigation into the cause of an accident that involved comedians Tracy Morgan and James McNair show that the driver’s violation of his hours of service requirement had a large role in the accident. While Tracy Morgan and the family of the deceased McNair have both come to agreements with Wal-Mart following the incident, the driver is still subject to mounting criminal charges that include multiple counts of vehicular homicide.

Driver Willfully Violated Hours of Service Law

Kevin Roper, the driver of the truck that caused the six vehicle accident, was in direct violation of a law that limits the amount of time that drivers may spend on the road and which requires an adequate rest period between each shift. The investigation revealed that prior to the accident, Roper had been awake for 28 hours straight and traveled 800 miles from his home before picking up his load in Delaware. When picking up the load, he was already nearing the end of the 14 hour limit and had the option to take a layover with pay instead of proceeding with the load as he did.

Walmart and the truck accident lawsuitWalmart recently agreed to an out of court settlement following an accident that claimed the life of James McNair and resulted in serious injuries to well-known comedian, Tracy Morgan. The settlement is the first in what is expected to be multiple settlements related to the fatal truck accident that occurred when a driver collided with Tracy Morgan’s limousine and resulted in injuries to numerous people. The driver of the truck is currently facing criminal charges in addition to his civil liability for the accident which caused catastrophic harm to each of the victims involved and their families.

Walmart Denies Liability Despite Settlement

James McNair’s family members have not released details about the settlement agreed to by Walmart but have stated that they feel Walmart did right by their family following the incident and that the settlement offer was satisfactory. Walmart has refused to admit that it was liable for the actions of its driver, however, and is the defendant in numerous lawsuits filed by the other victims in the incident. Kevin Roper, an employee of Walmart had been driving without sleep for more than twenty-four hours prior to the incident, which is a direct violation of federal laws regulating the amount of work drivers are permitted to log before resting. Truck drivers are often encouraged by their employers to work for longer periods without rest in order to hit quotas and meet deadlines and the question of whether Walmart encouraged or knew about Roper’s violations remains a key factor in the lawsuits being brought against the company.

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trucking accidents put into the news with Tracy Morgan truck accidentThere may be some significant changes to the trucking industry following the tragic accident involving Tracy Morgan on the New Jersey Turnpike. However, innovative changes in trucking safety following a catastrophic accident with a celebrity are nothing new.

In the 1960s, Jayne Mansfield, a movie star and pinup model died in a horrific car accident when her vehicle rear-ended a semi-truck at high speed. All adult passengers seated upright in Mansfield’s car died instantly in the crash from head injury as the vehicle slipped under the tractor-trailer. As a result, today’s semi-trailers are equipped with Mansfield Bars that provide a protective barrier to drivers and passengers in rear end collisions.

Because of Mansfield’s celebrity status, her gruesome death in the collision made national news. In response to the nation’s horror, The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) made technical improvements requiring the installation of a Mansfield bar on the back of freight trucks.

lack of sleep may cause more accidentsA deadly truck accident on I-88 in Northern Illinois has people calling for an expanded federal investigation to determine whether trucking companies regularly break safety laws and cause serious accidents. Renato Velasquez was declared an ‘imminent hazard to public safety’ by the Department of Transportation. The reason for this was the role that Velasquez played in the death of a tollway worker. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Velasquez manipulated his logbooks and violated hours-of-service rules with the intent of hiding how many hours he worked.

More about the fatal truck accident

The accident led to the death of tollway worker Vincent Petrella. The accident happened near Eola Road on I-88. Velasquez crashed into a parked Illinois State Police cruiser and Petrella’s truck. While trooper Douglas Balder was critically injured, Petrella was killed onsite.