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How Federal Rules Affect Victim’s Rights After Cleveland Truck Accidents

Truck accidents in Cleveland are often among the most serious collisions which occur. When an accident happens and a victim sustains injuries, the victim of the truck accident needs to understand what his rights are to pursue an injury case. One of the most important things which truck crash victims need to be aware of is there are federal rules which can affect how their case is resolved.

Federal Rules Affect Truck Accident Victim’s Rights

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) affect many aspects of how trucking companies are operated and of how trucking companies do their jobs. These regulations address truck maintenance, driver qualifications, loading requirements, truck inspection requirements, and even the number of hours which truckers can be on duty before needing to take a rest. The rules are safety regulations intended to protect motorists and prevent truck crashes.

This matters because when safety regulations are violated, this can create a presumption of negligence. In a typical injury case when a car accident happens, victims have the legal burden of proving their crash was caused by another driver’s negligence if the victim wishes to recover compensation for losses.  Victims may have to convince a jury about what a reasonable driver would have done, and then show how the driver fell short.  When a safety rule is violated and a presumption of negligence is created, however, then the victim only has to convince the jury about the breached safety rule to show the other driver should be held liable.

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Landskroner Grieco Merriman, LLC 1360 W. 9th St. #200 Cleveland, OH 44113 Local: (216) 522-9000
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Fairfield County Truck Accidents: Three Common Types

In 2012, 330,000 trucks were involved in accidents, leading to 104,000 injuries. In total, there were 3,921 people killed in truck accidents according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  These accidents occurred in many different ways. However, three especially deadly types of truck accidents include rollover crashes, underride accidents, and jackknife accidents.

Truck drivers need to be aware of the risks of all accident types, especially collisions in which trucks roll over, tractor trailers jackknife, and cars slide under trucks. If drivers take steps to prevent these and other crashes from occurring, thousands of lives will be saved.

Preventing Three Common Types of Crashes

Underride accidents could be prevented if the proper safety equipment was used. There should be effective side guards and effective rear guards to stop cars from sliding underneath trucks when accidents happen. Unfortunately, guards that are mandated on the back of trucks to stop underride accidents do not always work as they should. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported on a study of 1,000 truck crashes which found that only 22 percent of truck crashes in which a car hit the back of a truck didn’t involve underride.  Out of the 1,000 crashes studied, 28 were deadly accidents. In these fatal crashes, 23 of the collisions involved cars sliding under trucks.  Better safety equipment could prevent all this from happening.

Rollover accidents can be prevented by drivers loading their trucks correctly and maintaining control of their vehicles by going slowly, especially around curves. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates unbalanced loads and the top-heavy nature of trucks contribute to causing rollover accidents. This is an especially big problem if trucks take curves too fast.  As a truck goes around a curve, the centrifugal force causes it to try to lean away from the curving direction, which can lead it to tip over.  Truck rollover accidents were found in the NHTSA paper to account for about 35 percent of deadly truck accidents, even though only around 18 percent of total truck accidents were rollover collisions.

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Vishno Law Firm New Haven Office 679 State Street New Haven, CT 06510 (by appointment only) Local: 203-256-2373 Fax: 203-286-1367
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How Federal Laws Could Increase Louisville Truck Accidents

In Kentucky, there are state laws in effect which impose rest and meal break requirements applicable to truckers driving within the state. For example, truckers are entitled to a break for 10 minutes for every four hours worked. Kentucky is one of 22 states which imposes additional laws on break time for truckers above-and-beyond what the federal regulations require.

The federal government, however, is trying to make it impossible for states to impose stricter rules on truck driver breaks than the regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The Richmond Times Dispatch reported on the new federal efforts to undermine state trucking safety laws.

Federal Laws Could Increase Truck Accidents

Federal lawmakers are trying to insert language affecting trucker breaks into an unrelated aviation bill. The goal is to quietly get the rules changed to preempt state laws and prevent them from imposing additional requirements related to giving truckers break time. Lawmakers tried previously to insert the same language in a transportation bill, but the language was removed during negotiations surrounding the bill.

If lawmakers are successful, this will not be the first time in recent history that federal lawmakers have inserted a provision into an unrelated bill which affected protections afforded to truckers, resulting in a potential increase in Kentucky truck accidents. In December 2015, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act also passed with language related to trucking laws, even though the bill was a must-pass piece of budget legislation which should not have had any effect on trucking safety laws.

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Whaley Law Firm 436 South 7th St #302, Louisville, KY 40203 Toll free: 866-703-7575 Local: 502-583-4022
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Preventing Three Dangerous Types of Oregon Truck Accidents

Truck drivers are expected to exercise reasonable caution to prevent truck accidents in Oregon. Unfortunately, accidents can and do happen in spite of that expectation. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported there were 330,000 large trucks involved in accidents nationwide over the course of 2012. Truck drivers should be following the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), other rules of the road, and best practices for safety to try to avoid all types of truck collisions.

Accidents, however, unfortunately will continue to happen. While trucks can become involved in many different kinds of accidents, there are three common types of truck crashes that often cause serious injuries and deaths.

Three Common and Dangerous Types of Oregon Truck Accidents

Three of the most common types of truck accidents include:

  • Rollover truck accidents. Trucks are top heavy, which makes a rollover more likely. Unbalanced loads can exacerbate the risk, as can worn brakes.  Rollover accidents make up about 18 percent of truck accidents according to one paper published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  The death rate is disproportionally high compared with the total percentage of rollover accidents. About 35 percent of deadly truck accidents involve a rollover.
  • Underride accidents. Underride accidents happen because trucks are higher than surrounding cars. When a collision occurs, surrounding cars can actually get forced under the truck. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) warns that side and rear guards aren’t as effective as they should be for stopping underride accidents. In 23 out of 28 deadly truck accidents included in one study, there was significant underride, so much more needs to be done to protect the public.  As many as 432 people die on average each year because of underride accidents and around another 5,000 get hurt when their cars go under trucks.
  • Jackknife accidents. Wikihow indicates this type of crash starts with a skid. The trailer pushes out from behind the tractor as part of the skid, spinning and hitting the tractor and causing loss of control of the vehicle.

There are things that truck drivers should be doing to prevent these three common types of serious truck crashes.  Maintaining and loading the truck properly are two of the most important steps to prevent these types of accidents. Unbalanced loads contribute to the risk of a truck rolling over, while problems with the brakes can contribute to both rollover and jackknife accidents.

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Zbinden & Curtis, Attorneys at Law 817 NE Broadway St. Portland, OR 97232 Phone: 1-503-287-5000
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