Tractor Trailer Accidents
In this video, Attorney Brett Oppenheimer discusses the risks that tractor-trailers present to other drivers and passengers on the road. He discusses tractor-trailer cases that involve negligence such as aggressive driving, unstable loads and a failure to improperly maintain the lights or brakes on the semi or tractor-trailer.
Kentucky state officials have acknowledged the overwhelming problem of semi truck/18-wheeler/tractor-trailer accidents on our interstate highways. They plan to spend over $1 million on extra traffic enforcement patrols in the upcoming years to combat the issue. Meanwhile, The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has ranked transportation-related accidents as the third leading cause of death in the United States for people under the age of 65. Truck accidents are a growing concern due to their severe and sometimes permanent or fatal consequences.
An 18-wheeler traveling 65 mph has twice the energy of a car, truck or SUV traveling at that same speed. The difference in weight between a tractor-trailer and a passenger car, combined with the speed of the crash are the main components that can make a semi accident such a critical event.
Who is Responsible for Semi-Truck Accidents?
Despite the potential for disaster on the highways, trucking revenues totaled $610 billion last year and revenues are forecasted to nearly double by 2015. The commercial trucking industry's growth is positive for the industry and the economy, but it is risky for everyone who shares the road with these giants. In tractor-trailer accidents, 98% of fatalities occur to the individuals driving the passenger vehicles.
In 2003 the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) implemented new laws to protect motorists. Semi truck drivers are no longer allowed to drive 14 hours without a substantial period of rest. Although these laws are in place for everyone's protection, accidents still occur.
When truck collisions occur, trucking companies often send their own representatives to the scene of the accident. One concern is that their goal is to mitigate their company's liability.
Risk Factors That Make Big Rig Trucks Dangerous
- Mechanical failure and defective components
- Aggressive drivers
- Failure to inspect tires, breaks and lights
- Unrealistic schedules
- Illegally long work-shifts
- Driver fatigue
- Failure to install blind spot mirrors to avoid dangerous lane changes
- Excessive loads
- Unstable loads
- Unsafe under-ride equipment
How to Get Legal Help
There are no quick and easy answers to providing a safe environment for everyone who shares the road. However making the safety of motorists a priority over profit is a significant step in the right direction. Semi trucking accidents are entangled in specific rules and regulations under Federal laws, therefore having an experienced attorney to handle these unique situations can make an enormous difference in the outcome of your case.
If you or a family member as been injured or killed in a trucking accident, Brett and his team will investigate the scene promptly, gather necessary evidence quickly, interview witnesses and summon experts if needed. Call today to schedule a free consultation with a Louisville tractor trailer accident attorney.