Truck accident laws are more regulated than laws that ordinary drivers must obey. Large truck drivers must follow both state laws and federal safety rules. This is due to an increase in truck accident fatalities. According to the NHTSA, there were 3,921 people killed in a truck accident in 2012. Of those truck accidents, 73% of fatalities involved those driving the smaller vehicle.
A truck accident can involve a number of different vehicles from chartered buses to construction vehicles, box trucks to trash trucks. A vehicle is classified as a large truck if the vehicle’s weight is 10,000 lbs or more. When fully loaded, a large truck can weigh in the range of 80,000 lbs. Since most passenger vehicles weigh around 3,000 lbs, a truck accident often leaves the passenger vehicle crushed, and sometimes damaged beyond recognition.
Just over a year ago, a Warrenton, MO woman was killed in a semi truck accident. The truck swerved to avoid another crash and crossed the median on Highway 70, striking her vehicle and tearing it completely in half. Speed played a factor in this fatal truck accident. Truck drivers are required to practice extreme caution while operating their vehicles. Routes must be planned in accordance with safe traveling speed, so as to prevent tragedies such as these from occurring again.
Regulations Preventing a Truck Accident
In addition to speed regulations, drivers must not operate while fatigued. To prevent a truck accident, the federal government requires drivers to drive no more than 11 hours after a 10 hour break. The driver must also not drive more than 60 hours over a 7 day span of time. The government also requires large truck drivers to log all hours on and off the road.
A truck accident may also occur when a driver or trucking company has not followed safety regulations. . Semi truck drivers are required to inspect their rigs after each 11 hour shift and report any unsafe conditions to their parent company immediately. The trucking company then has 15 days to repair the truck or it may be taken out of commission.
Another type of truck accident can occur when a trailer is not properly equipped with a cross bar on its trailer. If a vehicle has a rear end truck accident, and the cross bar is not strong enough, the car may submarine under the trailer, causing catastrophic damages.
It is important to note that a truck accident must be investigated as quickly as possible after it occurs. Companies are not required to keep pertinent information about the crash for a long period of time. This is why it is important to contact an experienced Missouri or Illinois truck accident lawyer for advice if you are involved in a crash.
If you have every been involved in a truck accident, injured after striking a truck, or by cargo that was not properly secured, call our office today at 314-862-7222 to discuss your legal rights.