In Austin, across Texas and throughout the United States, large trucks are a common part of the landscape. Seeing these vehicles on the roads might not be overly worrisome since they are so prevalent, but when thinking about the amount of damage they can do if there is a crash, it can stoke fear and worry. Various factors are relevant in truck safety and it is important for people sharing the road with them be vigilant. When there is a crash and people are injured or lose their lives, the long-term damage in every conceivable facet – personally, financially emotionally – can be overwhelming. In these situations, it is wise to know what steps are available and to have assistance from those who are experienced in pursing compensation after a truck crash.
Challenges faced by truckers in adhering to the law exemplified with parking issue
Based on regulations issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), truckers are limited to the amount of time they can spend on the road. Drivers cannot drive beyond 12 hours per shift prior to taking a mandated break. To follow that rule, they must take rest breaks. While it might be an understated obstacle, finding parking is a growing complaint among truckers and truck companies. This is still a worry despite the recently passed infrastructure bill to shore up the nation’s bridges, roads and streets.
In addition to needing rest, truckers may want to pull into a parking area to escape inclement weather. Interstate truckers have long lamented the lack of available parking. This is adding to the list of concerns plaguing the trucking industry including a dearth of qualified drivers and the bottlenecked supply chain.
The safety aspect should not be ignored. If truckers are not getting sufficient rest, they are prone to either driving while drowsy or using various substances to try and stay awake. This happens even if they follow the limits for time spent on the road as they are expected to. The numbers say that for every 11 truckers in the industry, the U.S. only has one parking spot. A law – the Truck Parking Safety Act – may be moving forward to infuse $755 million to address the absence of parking, but it is still waiting for a committee hearing.
Recent fatal collision takes truck company off the road
A recent fatal accident provides another example as to what damage can be done by a commercial truck. A carrier based in Houston was ordered by the FMCSA to cease operations after a law enforcement officer was killed in a collision in Tennessee. According to the investigation, the trucker ran through a rolling roadblock and hit two vehicles before colliding with the officer outside his vehicle. The company was declared an “imminent hazard” and was taken out of service. To make matters worse, the driver did not have his commercial driver license; had a positive drug test in the past meaning he was not allowed to be operating a commercial vehicle in the first place; and had marijuana in his system when the hit and killed the officer. The company was said to have been derelict in its duties to ensure the driver was adhering to the rules and its failure led to the cessation of its operations in state and out of state.
The long-term implications of a truck accident must be handled aggressively
Trucks can do an untold amount of damage to unsuspecting people who share the road with them. This applies to other drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians. Being hit by a truck will have a substantially greater impact than an accident between two smaller vehicles and cause worse injuries and fatalities. These incidents can happen in an instant without warning for many reasons. To consider how to proceed after being injured or losing a loved one in a commercial truck accident, a first step should be to have advice with what to do next. Calling for guidance can be crucial to move forward and make a sufficient recovery for all that was lost.