Trucking accidents: Negligence & victim’s compensation

by Tim O’Hare

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Trucking accidents account for nearly 450,000 motor vehicle accidents each year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, at least 5,000 motorists die every year as a result of trucking accidents and approximately 140,000 people are seriously injured in large truck accidents each year. Of those killed, 74 percent are occupants of a passenger car, while only 16 percent are occupants of the truck.

A large percentage of those accidents can be related to driver negligence — often on the part of the truck driver. In fact, in 2006, roughly 24 percent of truck drivers who were involved in traffic accidents had a previous speeding conviction. A driver’s negligence can be attributed to one of many factors including:

  • Talking on the phone while driving;
  • Driving while fatigued or drowsy;
  • Driving over the speed limit;
  • Aggressive driving;
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
  • Inexperienced driving;
  • Inattentive driving;
  • Improperly loaded or overloaded cargo (in a commercial truck).

In an effort to reduce the number of trucking accidents due to driver fatigue or drowsiness, the Federal Carrier Safety Administration requires trucking companies to comply with these “hours of service” rules:

  • Drivers may not drive more than 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty. If the driver is using a sleeper, he or she may split the 10 hours off into two intervals, as long as one is at least two hours long.
  • Truck drivers may not drive beyond the 14th hour after coming on duty following 10 consecutive hours off duty.
  • Truck drivers may not drive more than 60 hours in seven consecutive days or 70 hours in eight consecutive days.
  • Drivers may not start a seven to eight day driving period if they have not been off for at least 34 consecutive hours.

Victims of trucking accidents can receive compensation if they have suffered bodily injury or property damage in an accident caused by a truck driver’s negligence.

If you have been involved in a traffic accident with a commercial truck, contact the experienced legal team at The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare. We will help you receive the compensation you are due for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage and pain and suffering.

Call The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare for your FREE Case Evaluation

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