Serious Injuries Are Caused By Truck Drivers Who Violate Safety Rules

February 13, 2017 Auto Accidents

Safety rules regarding trucks and big rigs are in place to protect all of us. When truck drivers violate safety rules and cause accidents people are often seriously injured or killed.

Nearly half-a-million police-reported crashes involved large trucks in 2014. Of those, 3,424 resulted in at least one death.  Accidents involving large trucks can be catastrophic.

To determine reasons for serious crashes involving large trucks, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted the Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS). The study sampled 963 crashes that involved at least one large truck and resulted in fatality or serious injury.

The study found that in 38% of crashes poor driver decision was a critical reason for the accident. Driver decision may include driving too fast for conditions, misjudging the speed of other vehicles, or following other vehicles too closely. The study also found that in 28% of crashes poor driver recognition was a critical reason for the accident. Driver recognition may include the driver being inattentive, distracted, or failing to observe the situation adequately.

Many rules and regulations concerning the operation of freight carrying vehicles and trucks have been enacted. Regulations include size and weight limits, licensing, and registration requirements. But the bulk of regulations geared toward public safety are concerning the number of hours a driver may drive, how often a driver must take time off from driving, and mandatory logbooks to track hours driven. These regulations are in place to combat distracted driving, slow reaction times, or falling asleep at the wheel.

Truck drivers who fail to follow safety rules or drive while distracted cause fatal accidents. Last October semi driver Tony Weekly was arrested after being involved in a crash on I-80 that killed six people in western Nebraska. In an arrest affidavit, a Nebraska State Patrolman stated that Weekly was “inattentive and distracted by outside influences” when he struck the rear end of a van “at a high rate of speed.”

We believe truck drivers and the companies who employ them must take great care to operate trucks in the safest way possible. As you share the roadway with big rigs follow these safety tips from the Nebraska State Patrol:

  • Stay out of blind spots, where a car disappears from the view of the truck driver.
  • Stay visible, because large trucks need a much longer braking distance.
  • Don’t tailgate a truck.
  • Allow for plenty of room when passing a large truck.

If you were involved in an accident with a large truck or semi, call our office today (402)558-4900 to schedule a free personal injury case consultation. Our compassionate staff is available to help answer your questions and begin the process of seeking justice in your truck accident case. Truck drivers who violate safety rules and endanger others should be held accountable for their actions.

Matthew G. Miller serves clients throughout Eastern Nebraska and parts of Western Iowa including Douglas County, Sarpy County, Lancaster County, and Pottawattamie County, as well as the cities of Omaha, Lincoln, Bellevue, Papillion, Fremont, Blair, Elkhorn, and Council Bluffs.