If you have been involved in a car crash that involved an 18-wheeler, you might have questions about how to make a claim. Unlike most other car accidents, 18-wheeler crashes have a unique set of regulations. Because of this, victims may have to face multiple parties in the case of an accident. An experienced 18 wheeler accident attorney in San Antonio may be able to provide you with valuable legal counsel and representation.
Size and weight of 18-wheelers make it difficult for drivers to stop or slow down
Big rigs are particularly difficult to stop or slow down. Their size and weight make them much larger than other vehicles, and the combination of these two factors means that they take more time to stop and respond to danger than cars. Accidents involving large commercial trucks can be especially deadly, as the size and weight of these trucks can cause them to swerve in a road and send wheel fragments flying in the air.
The added size and noise of big rig trucks make them especially dangerous and inconvenient to drive through. They can disturb shoppers or working professionals. Parking 18-wheelers on residential streets can interfere with traffic flow and cause blockages. Similarly, big rig trucks can interfere with narrow driveways and block business entrances, causing serious inconveniences for drivers and pedestrians alike.
Alcohol and drug use among 18-wheeler drivers
The use of alcohol and drugs by truck drivers is a significant cause of fatal crashes, particularly large commercial vehicles. Although the FMCSA reports only 5.5% of large truck crashes involving drug use, the actual number is likely higher. In addition, only half of large truck crash fatalities result in drug tests if the driver had a positive test. Another study analyzed trucking fatalities in eight states over one year and found that 67% of drivers who died in a trucking accident had either one or more drugs or alcohol in their systems.
Truckers are notorious for pushing the limits of sobriety in order to earn overtime pay. Consequently, many truckers turn to drugs and alcohol to get the edge. Several studies have shown that truckers abuse cocaine and amphetamines. The use of these drugs is particularly dangerous for truck drivers, since these substances may result in agitation and hallucinations. In addition to the dangers they pose to other road users, these drugs are often illegal.
According to the American Addiction Center, alcohol and drug use among truck drivers is a serious problem. The long hours and long distances drivers travel daily can lead to substance abuse. This is especially problematic because truck drivers may be the most vulnerable to accidents, even if they don’t drink or take drugs. Further, alcohol and drug use can contribute to a truck driver’s ability to make decisions in the field.
In addition to alcohol and drugs, drivers may also consume stimulants to keep themselves awake. In addition to causing drivers to drive erratically, these substances can also impair their ability to function and can even make them unconscious, which is not recommended for truckers. A study conducted in 2013 found that 8% of truckers tested positive for alcohol use, while 12.5% reported using amphetamines.
In addition to illegal drugs, truckers may also be using legal substances like MDMA, PCP, and 6-Monoacetylmorphine. Drivers may also use illegal drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine to keep themselves awake and relieve boredom. Stimulants like alcohol and marijuana can contribute to dangerous truck wrecks, and drugged drivers should not be allowed to drive for long hours.
Regulation of these trucks by state and federal governments
State and federal governments have regulations for all companies that operate trucking services. These rules govern everything from the safety of truck drivers to the conditions on the road. These rules include a mandatory pre-trip inspection and end-of-day report. Drivers are required to wear seat belts, comply with traffic laws, and carry out periodic inspections. The regulations also cover the construction and design of trucks, and different types of insurance coverage.
These regulations protect the public by protecting truckers from dangerous driving conditions. For example, long-haul truckers are limited to eleven hours of driving time within a 14-hour on-duty window. Then they have to take a minimum of 10 hours off duty before returning to the road. Drivers are not permitted to drive a vehicle that is less than eight hours old or has any defect. Drivers who fail to adhere to these regulations may be declared “out of service” by the government.
However, the Commerce Clause requires states to balance the benefits of the regulations against the burdens they impose on commerce. In the case of oversized trucks, the government must make sure the rules do not hamper commerce. This is particularly important if the regulation affects interstate commerce. The Commerce Clause also requires that state and federal government policies protect workers. By contrast, state laws limiting truck length can harm truck safety.
A recent proposal from the NHTSA proposes a new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard that would require all trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating over 26,000 pounds to have a speed limiter. FMCSA then proposed a complementary regulation that would require carriers to install and maintain speed limiters in trucks for the life of the vehicle. However, the FMCSA has since changed course on this proposal. The legislation will eventually become operational.
While many trucking industry lobbyists have long sought relaxation of the federal regulations, highway safety advocates have warned against this move. The goal of these regulations is to protect the health and safety of drivers, as well as preserve transportation infrastructure. In the District, there is a new regulatory framework that takes into consideration the urban environment and mixed land uses, and considers the safety of passengers and drivers. The district also has a new program for regulating 18 wheeler trucks, known as ‘Oversized/Overweight Vehicle’ (OSOW) permits.
Damage they cause to people and property
An 18 wheeler accident can cause tremendous damage to both people and property. Often, the responsible party is a negligent driver who caused the accident. If you or someone you love has been injured in one of these accidents, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact a San Antonio 18 wheeler accident attorney to discuss your rights. If you have been injured by an 18-wheeler driver, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the damages you have suffered.
Getting medical treatment is an important step after an 18-wheeler accident. If you or someone you know is injured in a truck accident, seek medical attention immediately. A truck accident can be fatal, and any medical conditions that are not addressed in time can have lifelong consequences. You should also contact the police to get the scene cleared and get photos of the wreck. During this time, you should also contact an attorney who specializes in this type of accident to file a claim.
Because of the large size of an 18-wheeler truck, the damages it can cause are much greater than those caused by a typical car accident. While a passenger car driver holds a standard driver’s license, a truck operator is required to have a commercial motor vehicle license and undergo rigorous training to avoid accidents. Unlike passenger cars, an 18-wheeler is capable of wiping out multiple cars, a bus, pedestrians, or even a road construction crew.
In addition to the damage caused to people and property, an 18-wheeler accident can cause fatalities or serious injuries to other motorists. Because of its size and weight, 18-wheeler accidents often cause fatalities. While the injuries caused by an 18-wheeler accident can be similar to those caused by a collision between two passenger vehicles, the size and weight of an 18-wheeler can dramatically magnify the injuries.
Although truck drivers regularly double park and pull over in restricted areas, these incidents can still result in a truck accident. If this occurs, the driver may not be able to stop in time to avoid an accident, leaving the accident to unfold. In addition to the damage caused by a truck crash, an 18-wheeler accident may result in a civil lawsuit against the company responsible for loading the cargo. Although it is impossible to completely control the actions of other drivers on the road, careful driving and avoiding collisions will reduce the frequency of commercial vehicle accidents in Houston.