It’s unfortunate that the big rig crash death toll is slowly rising over the years. The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) estimates more than 750 people die each year.
The death toll from big rig crashes isn’t the only set of numbers that people need to be more aware of when driving with the big boys on the highways. More than 20,000 people are badly injured every year by having a major dust up with commercial truck drivers. In situations where car meets truck, it’s the truck that will come out ahead in just about every case.
What are the reasons for the rising accident rates? A large number of 18-wheeler drivers are driving while dead tired. They have hundreds of miles to drive and the salary for trucking isn’t princely to begin with, prompting many of them to drive more hours for more money. Combine this dash for cash with tight delivery deadlines, and a recipe for disaster is in the making.
Nodding off will cause a rig to drift into other lanes, and when the driver is not totally alert, it may also cause improper down braking, jack knifing and rollovers. Inattention and lack of sleep are two partners that stalk the highways as the perpetual companions of long-haul drivers. Rig drivers are also dying in many of the accidents they caused. Death seems like a high price to pay for not paying attention or not getting enough sleep, and the death of others as a consequence is even worse.
Even though it is a legal requirement to keep logbooks on the number of hours truckers’ drive, they are not always accurate. In fact, some truckers keep a double set of books showing the legal time limits and another showing the actual hours behind the wheel. If the true logbook is found after a crash, that in combination with an electronic on-board recorder (if there is one present), will help reconstruct events prior to a crash.
The difficult thing about 18-wheeler crashes is the various overlapping laws and regulations – a total nightmare when trying to file a personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death suit. Make sure you contact an attorney who has a track record in dealing with big rig crashes, one who has the ability to get to the heart of the matter quickly and obtain justice.
Bradley J. Hofland is with Las Vegas Divorce law firm, Hofland, Beasley & Galliher. The law firm focuses on Las Vegas family law, custody, and Las Vegas personal injury. To learn more about Las vegas divorce, las vegas personal injury, las vegas divorce lawyer, las vegas family law, las vegas family law attorneys, las vegas personal injury lawyer , visit Hoflandlaw.com.