Tag: truck accidents

How A Truck Driver’s Health Could Cause Truck Accidents

How A Truck Driver’s Health Could Cause Truck Accidents

The federal government heavily regulates the trucking industry in order to keep our roads safer. For example, one regulation that was designed to eliminate drowsy driving limits the number of hours that truck drivers can operate a truck without taking a break. One topic that is not addressed in these regulations is a truck driver’s health, which could cause truck accidents according to new research.

Researchers at the University of Utah School of Medicine set out to determine if there was a link between a truck driver’s health and his risk of being involved in a truck accident. The team analyzed medical records from nearly 50,000 truck drivers and identified certain conditions that could be linked to poor driving performance. Some of these conditions include heart disease, high blood pressure, low back pain, and diabetes. Sadly, over one-third of the truck drivers analyzed in this study had at least one of these conditions.

But, having one of these conditions may not be enough to increase the driver’s risk of being involved in an accident. Researches found that the rate of accidents involving injuries among all drivers was 29 for every 100 million miles traveled. The rate of accidents did not significantly increase until researchers began looking at drivers that had three or more medical conditions. These drivers were involved in accidents with injuries at a rate of 93 per every 100 million miles traveled.

What does this tell us? Drivers may be able to control their health problems if they only have one medical condition that needs to be treated. But, if they begin to develop additional health problems, they could put others on the road in danger.

Based on this research, it is clear that trucking companies need to pay attention to their drivers’ health. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for drivers to take care of themselves given the fact that they spend so much time confined to a small space, must adapt to less than ideal sleeping patterns, and typically do not have many healthy food options while on the road. This presents a unique challenge that truck drivers, trucking companies, and federal government agencies may need to address in order to prevent tragic accidents.

A truck driver’s health isn’t the only thing that can cause a truck accident. If you have been injured in a truck accident, contact the personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm today. Our team will immediately begin to investigate the case to identify the parties that can be held liable. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Common Mechanical Errors That Lead to Truck Accidents

Common Mechanical Errors That Lead to Truck Accidents

Commercial trucks travel thousands of miles every year, which means they require constant maintenance. These trucks must be inspected on a regular basis to identify and correct issues that could be dangerous. Unfortunately, trucking companies often fail to maintain their trucks, which puts everyone on the road in danger. Here are some of the most common mechanical errors that lead to truck accidents:

Brake Problems

Brake problems can be traced back to either an issue with the design and production of the part or an issue with maintenance. If the brakes were designed or produced poorly, the manufacturer is to blame for any accident that occurs. However, many accidents occur due to the trucking company’s failure to maintain the brakes.

Before hitting the road, drivers are required to inspect their brakes to look for loose or broken components and to listen for air leaks. If these inspections are not done, problems could go unnoticed and the brakes may begin to malfunction. Brake problems can also occur when the weight of the truck’s cargo is not evenly distributed. An uneven distribution of weight can cause the brakes to overheat and malfunction, making it difficult or impossible for the driver to stop the truck.

Tire Problems

Tire problems are another type of mechanical error that could lead to disaster on the road. Similar to issues with the brakes, tire problems can be caused by either defective design or production or inadequate maintenance. During the pre-trip inspection, truck drivers must examine their tires to check the air pressure and look for signs of extreme wear and tear. If the air pressure is way off or the tires are rapidly deteriorating, they could easily blow out once the truck is in motion. A sudden tire blow out can cause the driver to lose control of the truck, meaning it is very likely that a collision with another vehicle will occur.

Tire problems can also occur if the trucking company chooses to use tires that do not match each other or meet the Department of Transportation’s requirements.

Sadly, tire and brake problems often occur together. This is because companies that do not inspect the brakes probably don’t inspect the tires either, and vice versa.

Have you been injured in a truck accident? Get in touch with the personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm today. We will thoroughly review the details of your case to identify the liable parties. Then, we will aggressively pursue the compensation that you deserve. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

The Dangers of Unsecured Cargo

The Dangers of Unsecured Cargo

Any cargo that is loaded into a commercial truck must be properly secured before the driver hits the road. During the trip, the truck driver is responsible for checking on the cargo to ensure that it is still securely in place. Why? If the cargo becomes loose, it could cause serious injuries or even fatalities. As a driver, it’s important to understand the dangers of unsecured cargo so you protect yourself as much as possible.

Unsecured cargo is dangerous for several reasons. The first is that loose cargo can easily fly off of the truck and collide with another vehicle on the road. If it hits a windshield, it may be traveling fast enough to crash through the windshield and injure the driver. If it hits another part of the vehicle, it would still cause damage and distract the driver, which could lead to her losing control of the car.

Even if the cargo does not hit a vehicle as it’s flying off of the truck, it will still land in the road. Other drivers will have to quickly swerve out of the way in order to avoid colliding with the cargo, so this puts everyone in danger. Motorcyclists must be especially careful since hitting a piece of cargo on the road could be enough to throw them off of their bikes.

Unsecured cargo can still be dangerous even if it never leaves the truck. Whoever loads the cargo into the back of the truck must ensure that the weight is evenly distributed. If it’s not, the truck will be incredibly difficult to steer. Cargo that is not secured properly will shift from one side to the other as the truck is in motion, thus throwing off the weight distribution. This means one side of the truck will be heavier than the other, which could lead to the truck turning on its side the next time the driver tries to change lanes or turn.

Who is liable if you are injured by unsecured cargo? It depends. You will need to work with a personal injury attorney who knows how to investigate these cases to determine who was responsible for loading the cargo in the truck. The truck driver may also be to blame if he failed to check the cargo to make sure it was secure.

Have you been injured in a truck accident? If so, get in touch with the personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm today. Our team will immediately launch an investigation to determine if unsecured cargo played a role in the accident. Schedule a free consultation by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

What Information Does A Truck’s Black Box Contain?

What Information Does A Truck’s Black Box Contain?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is a government agency that is responsible for regulating the trucking industry. The FMCSA has established a number of regulations that are designed to keep the roads safer, including one that requires all commercial trucks to have an electronic logging device known as a black box.

A black box is a device that records data using multiple sensors located throughout the truck. If you have been involved in a truck accident, one of the first things your attorney will do is ask the trucking company to preserve the data on this device.

The device contains important data from the seconds before, during, and after the collision, including:

  • Speed history
  • Excessive RPM
  • Brake usage
  • Cruise control usage
  • Deployment of airbags
  • Sudden stops
  • Number of hours driven
  • Unusual accelerations/decelerations
  • Seatbelt usage

This information can answer a lot of questions about how and why a truck accident occurred, which is why it’s so important to recover the data. For example, the black box data could reveal that the truck driver was speeding at the time of the accident. It could also show that the driver was in violation of the federal regulation that governs how many hours commercial truck drivers are allowed to spend behind the wheel at once. This is the type of information that can be used to prove that the truck driver and the trucking company are liable for your injuries.

Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to get your hands on this information, especially if you don’t get in touch with an attorney right away. Each device has a recording time limit, which is usually around 30 days. This means after 30 days, the device will begin to record over existing data. If you don’t ask the trucking company to preserve the evidence before this time, it’s possible that the data will be inaccessible. Even if you do ask for the evidence in a timely manner, the trucking company may be reluctant to hand it over if they know it will be used to prove their liability. Fortunately, an attorney will be able to aggressively tackle this problem in order to recover the information that you need to support your side of the story.

Have you been injured in a truck accident? There’s no time to waste—seek legal representation as soon as possible. Contact Reisch Law Firm today so our personal injury attorneys can begin gathering evidence to prove liability. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How to Prevent Truck Accidents

How to Prevent Truck Accidents

Trucks weigh between 20-30 times more than the average car, so when a truck collides into a car, the results can be catastrophic. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, over 4,000 trucks were involved in fatal accidents in 2015 and another 87,000 trucks were involved in accidents with nonfatal injuries. Because of the severity of these crashes, it’s important to learn how you can prevent truck accidents.

Stay out of the blind spots.

Truck drivers have blind spots in the front, back, and to the sides of their vehicles. Make sure that truck drivers can always see you by staying out of these blind spots. How? Take a look at the truck’s side mirrors. If you cannot see the driver’s reflection in these mirrors, he cannot see you. Of course, this doesn’t apply to drivers who are in front of the truck. If you are in front of a truck, do your best to leave as much space as possible between your vehicle and the truck to ensure you are not in the driver’s blind spot.

Pay attention to turning signals.

Drivers have to make wide turns, so they may accidentally slide into the next lane as they attempt to turn. Keep a close eye on the turning signals of any truck that you are close to on the road. If a driver signals that he is turning, give him ample room to maneuver so you don’t have to worry about the truck crashing into your vehicle.

Don’t cut in front of trucks.

Try to avoid passing in front of a truck on the road unless it is absolutely necessary. If you do have to pass a truck, make sure there is plenty of space between your car and the truck. Remember, it takes truck drivers a long time to slow down their vehicles, so if you cut in front of a truck and don’t leave enough space, it’s possible the truck won’t slow down in time to avoid a collision.

Slow down.

If a truck driver is trying to cut in front of you, slow down and allow him to do it if possible. By slowing down, you are staying in control of the situation and ensuring there will be enough space between your vehicle and the truck.

Remember these safety tips every time you have to drive close to a truck. Unfortunately, sometimes drivers can still be involved in truck accidents even if they are following this advice. If this happens to you, it’s important to understand your legal options.

Have you been involved in a truck accident? Don’t delay any longer—contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our experienced attorneys can help you recover the compensation that you deserve. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Who Can Be Held Liable For Truck Accidents?

Who Can Be Held Liable For Truck Accidents?

If you are injured in an accident that involves two cars, it is fairly simple to determine which driver was at fault. However, things are not so clear-cut when the accident involves a commercial truck. Why? There are a number of parties besides the driver that can be held liable for truck accidents, which means you will need a personal injury attorney to help you identify the at-fault parties. Here are some of the parties that you may be able to hold liable for your injuries after a truck accident:

Truck Driver

Truck drivers can cause accidents if they choose to get behind the wheel while intoxicated or extremely fatigued. Distractions such as cell phones, radios, or food can take the driver’s attention away from the road and also lead to serious accidents. Truck drivers can also be liable if they were driving recklessly at the time of the accident or if they simply made an error, such as underestimating the space they needed to safely make a turn.

Trucking Company

The phrase “respondeat superior” plays an important role in identifying the liable parties in a truck accident. This phrase, which translates to mean “let the superior answer,” refers to the employer’s liability for an employee’s actions. The trucking company may be held liable if the negligence of the truck driver caused the accident.

But, that is not the only way that a trucking company can be held liable. Trucking companies must comply with a number of different federal regulations, and if their failure to do so leads to an accident, they will be held liable. For instance, the federal government has limited the number of hours that truck drivers can spend on the road without taking a break. If the company overschedules a driver and does not allow him to take a break, this is a violation of the regulation. In this situation, the trucking company may be liable if the truck driver gets into an accident because he is drowsy.

Parts Manufacturer

Defective parts on the truck can also cause accidents, and if this occurs, the parts manufacturer may be held liable. For example, if defective tires suddenly pop and cause the driver to swerve uncontrollably across the road, the manufacturer of these tires could be liable for any injuries sustained in the accident.

Shipper/Loader of the Cargo

Cargo must be carefully loaded onto the back of trucks to ensure that the weight is evenly distributed. If the weight is unevenly distributed, the truck driver may be unable to control the truck. When this happens, the company responsible for shipping or loading the cargo onto the truck may be liable for the accident.

It’s possible that more than one of these parties will be liable in your case. Let us help you determine who is liable so we can start to aggressively pursue the compensation that you deserve. If you have been injured in a truck accident, contact Reisch Law Firm today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.