Accidents involving 18-wheelers, or even smaller commercial trucks, can be the most serious of all traffic accidents. Even at a relatively slow speed, a massive semi-truck can do a lot of damage to your car and to you. Trucking companies almost always have very large insurance policies, but this does not mean that they will pay out the money easily. A victim still has to prove the seriousness of his or her injuries and still has to prove that the truck driver was at fault.
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If multiple vehicles are involved in the crash, even a large insurance policy may not be enough to fairly compensate everyone, and you will need aggressive representation to keep too much of the money from being paid to other people. Truck drivers have many strict regulations they must follow, but they do not always follow them. You need an experienced lawyer to research these regulations and identify signs that they were not being followed.
What Are The Common Causes Of Truck Accidents In Mesa, AZ?
As the driver of a passenger vehicle, colliding with a large commercial truck such as an 18-wheeler can be life-threatening if not deadly. Most large commercial trucks weigh twenty times as much as the average passenger vehicle, and there are a number of factors that put commercial truck drivers at risk of causing an accident. If you or someone you love has been involved in a truck accident in Mesa, AZ, then your first step in protecting your rights and pursuing the compensation you deserve should be to contact an experienced attorney. The following are a few of the most common causes of truck accidents in Mesa, AZ:
- Distracted driving: whether it’s a phone call, text message, email, or even a status update from a fellow employee or manager, there is no shortage of distractions for commercial truck drivers, especially since they are on the road for long hours at a time, causing boredom and increasing the likelihood of distraction by technology. It only takes a moment’s worth of distraction to cause a deadly crash. An attorney will be able to obtain the necessary evidence to determine if and how a truck driver was distracted prior to or at the time of an accident.
- Tiredness/sleep deprivation: unfortunately, most commercial trucking companies operate in a way that encourages drivers to reach their destinations in the shortest amount of time possible, which can influence truck drivers to skip breaks and continue driving despite suffering from serious fatigue or even sleep deprivation. Driving under these conditions is akin to driving while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol, and can easily lead to a serious accident.
- Improper or inadequate truck maintenance: every motor vehicle needs regular maintenance, but commercial trucks which operate for 11+ hours a day need it even more frequently. Delaying a required inspection or allowing a problem to persist can lead to fatal accidents on the road and leave liability in the hands of the owner or entity responsible for maintaining the safety and proper function of these trucks.
- Improper or insufficient training: many trucking companies are eager to get drivers on the road and increase productivity. However, when this goal is prioritized over the safety of the drivers they hire and everyone else who shares the roadways with them, accidents occur. There are several ways in which the operation of a large commercial truck differs from the operation of an average-sized passenger vehicle, and learning to drive them safely takes training and practice.
Federal Trucking Rules And Regulations
In an effort to reduce the number of trucking accidents that occur each year across the country, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has implemented a number of rules and regulations for truck drivers and the companies that employ them. Some of these federal rules and regulations include the following:
- Truck drivers are required to undergo specialized training and consent to a physical exam every two years in order to maintain their commercial driver’s license (CDL).
- Workday length must not exceed 14 hours, only 11 of which can be spent driving.
- Following every 14-hour workday, the truck driver must be off duty for at least 10 hours.
- Truck drivers must record the amount of time they spend behind the wheel and on break.
- Specific protocol for securing certain types of cargo must be strictly adhered to.
- If a truck is carrying hazardous material as part of its cargo, there must be specific markings on the truck to indicate this.
Identifying the precise cause of a truck accident or the factors which contributed to it can be difficult, and proving that a federal regulation was violated can sometimes be even more difficult. An attorney with the right expertise will be able to conduct a thorough review of your case and determine what needs to happen in order to get you back to living your life in Mesa, AZ.