More than 400,000 trucking accidents occur in the United States every year, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). When accidents happen, the consequences can be catastrophic. Each year, thousands of people suffer injuries or lose their lives in various types of trucking accidents. An experienced truck accident lawyer at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. can help truck accident victims across Southeast Pennsylvania pursue compensation for their injuries.
Drowsy Driving – The Hours of Service federal regulations limit the number of consecutive hours truckers can drive in a day. However, truckers are under pressure to meet deadlines and often drive up to 11 hours a day. Drowsy driving is the cause of up to 100,000 accidents, 1500 deaths and 40,000 injuries each year, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Speeding – The NHTSA reports that speeding is a contributing factor in approximately one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities. Head-on, rear-end and T-bone collisions are some of the types of accidents that can occur due to speeding.
Drug or Alcohol Use – Although trucking companies are responsible for testing their drivers for drugs or alcohol, both as a condition of employment and randomly during employment, sometimes they fail to do so. Employees who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol while driving a truck can cause serious accidents.
Lost Loads – Commercial trucks carrying trailers with exposed cargo pose a hazard to those on the road if the load is not properly secured. This type of accident may lead to multiple vehicle pile-ups as drivers attempt to avoid fallen materials on the road.
Inexperienced Drivers – Inexperienced or inadequately trained drivers may cause truck accidents such as rollovers when they attempt to make turns or avoid obstacles while going too fast. Due to the heavy weight of commercial trucks and relatively difficult maneuverability, inexperienced drivers may lose control and crash.
Improper Equipment Maintenance – Many truck accidents are caused by equipment problems. Worn tires, defective steering, inadequate lighting or transmission failure can result in catastrophic accidents, especially when combined with adverse weather conditions.
Approximately 88 percent of truck crashes are attributed to driver error, according to the FMCSA. Truck drivers may be liable for their negligent actions such as speeding, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or failing to adhere to traffic rules. However, parties other than the truck driver may be liable depending on the cause of the accident.
When accidents are caused by equipment failure, manufacturers or repair shops may be liable. Trucking companies have a duty to properly maintain their trucks. If a truck involved in an accident was not compliant with government safety standards, the trucking company that owns it may be liable for the resulting injuries and damage. Trucking companies may also be liable if an employee was involved in an accident and was not properly screened for drugs or alcohol.
Trucks are often equipped with data-recording devices, which are useful in determining liability. The systems, called Heavy Vehicle Event Data Recorders, can record a variety of possible contributors to an accident such as vehicle speed, break usage, vehicle-use histograms and vehicle position history. The Media personal injury lawyers at Eckell Sparks are skilled in determining liability in truck accidents and holding negligent parties accountable.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a truck accident, contact a Media truck accident lawyer at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. Our firm has experience with Pennsylvania laws and federal regulations governing the trucking industry. We are dedicated to fighting for victims of truck accidents and can provide you with aggressive, knowledgeable representation. To speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer, contact us online or call us at 610-565-3700.
From our offices in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we advocate for clients in Delaware County, Chester County, Montgomery County and throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania.