Semi Truck Safety Issues Grow
Comedian Tracy Morgan was critically injured in an accident in early June 2014 that hurt three other passengers in his limousine and killed a comedian with whom he was traveling. According to reports, a Wal-Mart semi truck driver was traveling 65 miles per hour in a 45 mile-per-hour zone and failed to slow down to avoid rear-ending the limousine. The semi truck driver hit the back of the car, and both vehicles traveled a distance before slamming into nearby motorists, causing a multiple-vehicle accident.
Police have filed a criminal complaint against the driver, accusing him of violating the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s hours of service rule that promotes semi truck safety, alleging that he was fatiguedand awake for more than 24 hours at the time of the semi truck crash. However, a preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board has found that he was merely approaching his maximum hours of service, and Wal-Mart has stated that it will take responsibility for the outcome of the case.
Common Causes of Semi Truck Accidents
There may be more than one party responsible for a semi truck accident aside from the driver, including the mechanic who inspected the vehicle, the owner of the cargo, the leasing company of the truck or the truck’s owner. Additionally, the trucking company itself may be responsible for the incident if it can be proven that driver fatigue was the cause. According to reports, many employers pressure their drivers to neglect the hours of service rule put in place by the FMCSA by implementing an unrealistic delivery schedule.
Other causes of semi truck accidents aside from driver fatigue include distracted driving, poor road conditions, speeding, overloaded cargo, defective parts and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, according to the FMCSA, 20 percent of all semi truck accidents happen when a driver dozes or falls asleep behind the wheel or if he is groggy and unable to focus on the road.
Electronic Recording Devices May Be Helpful in Improving Semi Truck Safety
The FMCSA released a semi truck safety report in June 2014 that found that semi trucks that are equipped with electronic hours of service recorders are more than 50 percent less likely to violate the agency’s hours of service regulations. While the FMCSA has recently been facing mounting criticism from semi trucking companies across the U.S. that wish to keep these semi truck safety devices off of their trucks, the agency has concluded that this technology could potentially reduce the number of semi truck accidents that occur each year in the U.S.
Do You Need a Semi Truck Accident Attorney in Texas?
If you or a loved one has been involved in a semi truck collision in Texas and you feel that driver fatigue or some other form of negligence was to blame, you may have legal recourse. Contact Attorney Group for Texas today to receive a free consultation and to allow us to help you determine if you are eligible to recover damages for your injuries. We can help answer your questions and connect you with a local affiliated Texas attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.