When a “big rig” or commercial truck, weighing as much as 80,000 pounds, collides into a regular, 5,000-pound passenger vehicle, major, catastrophic injuries and deaths are likely to occur. Due to the sheer weight, size, and force of a fast-moving commercial truck or 18-wheeler, numerous fatalities and injuries involving large trucks take place in the United States every year.
In 2006, about 5,000 victims died and over 100,000 people were injured in accidents involving large trucks in the United States. There were also a total of 368,000 accidents involving large trucks that resulted in fatalities, injuries, and property damage.
These statistics show that trucking accidents are extremely dangerous and deadly. The federal government is aware of these potential dangers, and has issued regulations to protect the public. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) (Title 49, Parts 350-399) governs commercial motor vehicles, such as commercial trucks, that are engaged in interstate travel.
FMCSR governs a wide range of activities of commercial vehicle businesses and their drivers. The types of activities they regulate include:
- Requiring drivers to be properly licensed and trained to drive commercial vehicles
- Requiring drivers and their employers to keep logbooks, fuel receipts, and other documentation
- Keeping vehicle maintenance records for at least one year
- Preserving all critical documents related to accidents involving commercial trucks
- Requiring both drivers of property-carrying and passenger-carrying vehicles to operate a commercial motor vehicle for only a certain maximum number of hours
Reasons for Trucking-Related Accidents
Although states and the federal government have stringent regulations aimed at promoting public safety, trucking-related accident injuries and deaths still occur all too often. Trucking accidents are caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Driver exhaustion
- Drivers who are impaired due to alcohol consumption or drug use
- Drivers who have a history of driving recklessly or unsafely
- Reckless or aggressive driving
- Oversized commercial vehicle
- Inadequate or lack of safety equipment on vehicles, such as reflectors
- Inadequately maintained vehicles
Our attorneys have extensive experience representing people who were injured in trucking accidents. We also represent family members in wrongful death actions. For experienced legal representation, contact Ramey & Hailey today.