Whenever there is a motor vehicle accident, the question becomes who is at fault for causing the crash. That is always the main issue in every case involving a car accident or an 18-wheeler.
However, truck drivers and trucking companies are subject to additional rules and regulations that do not apply to everyday drivers. Truck drivers are professional drivers, much like a pilot, in that they have the safety of many under their hands.
TRUCKING LAWS FOR PROFESSIONAL DRIVERS
First and foremost, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations provide a baseline safety standard for compliance by both truck drivers and trucking companies. The regulations also cover the duties and obligations of others, such as maintenance providers who may provide services to the trucking company.
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Some of the major issues in some truck accident lawsuits are:
- The qualifications of the driver;
- The safety training provided by the company;
- The condition of the tractor or trailer;
- Hours worked by the driver; and
- Actions of the driver.
TECHNOLOGY AND TRUCK WRECKS
Recent technological advances have given trucking companies the ability to track their drivers in real time and keep statistical data regarding the safety of the driver and such facts as the average speed and speed before the crash. Almost all trucks on the roadway today have some onboard computer that can capture the vehicle’s speed, breaking activity, and other important factors in evaluating the truck driver’s driving at the time of the crash.
Also, more motor carriers include dash cams in the cab, which can help prove a case quickly.
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In extreme cases, where a driver may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, other factors may be considered, such as where the driver became intoxicated and whether or not the bar or club may have some responsibility for the crash. Although drunken truck driver crashes are not frequent, they occur occasionally.
Drug abuse has been an issue in some litigation as testing is required after a serious injury accident. An issue that occurs frequently is distracted driving because of cell phones. With the popularity of the iPhone and other smartphones, many accidents are caused simply because the driver was distracted while dealing with a cell phone.
Hiring an experienced and successful 18-wheeler accident lawyer near Houston, who has been handling truck wreck litigation for decades, is a good first step for a victim on the road to justice.
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