Resources

Category: Truck Accidents

Jun 30, 2020 - Truck Accidents

How Long Can Semi-Truck Drivers Drive?

The “hours of service” regulations for semi-truck drivers in Bethlehem and elsewhere, established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), are designed to keep fatigued drivers off the public roadways. These regulations place limits on when and how long these drivers can drive, helping to ensure that they stay awake and alert while driving and to help reduce the possibility of driver fatigue. If you’ve been injured in a crash involving a truck driver who may have been on the road too long, contact our Bethlehem truck accident attorney today. The Basic Hours of Service Rules The hours of service regulations for property-carrying drivers (the rules for passenger-carrying drivers are somewhat different) can be summarized as follows: 11-Hour Driving Limit: A driver may drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty. 14-Hour Limit: A driver may not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not extend the 14-hour period. Rest Breaks: A driver may drive only if eight hours or less have passed since the end of the driver’s last off-duty or sleeper-berth period of at least 30 minutes. 60-70 Hour Limit: A driver may not drive after 60-70 hours on duty in 7-8 consecutive days. A driver may restart a 7-8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty. Who Must Comply With the Hours of Service Rules? The hours of service regulations, or rules, only apply to […]

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Jun 23, 2020 - Truck Accidents

Can a Semi-Truck Hydroplane?

Whether it occurs in Easton or elsewhere in the state, the answer is yes, it can. You’d think that a vehicle with 18 wheels would be able to maintain contact with a road surface, especially when fully-loaded, yet hydroplaning is a very real danger, even for semi-trucks. According to Miriam-Webster, the definition of hydroplaning is “to skid on a wet surface (such as pavement) because a film of water on the surface causes the tires to lose contact with it.”  In other words, hydroplaning occurs when a vehicle, even a vehicle as large as a semi-truck, is traveling on a thin layer of water instead of the actual road surface. Even a fractional amount of water, or “film,” underneath the tires can cause a vehicle to slide out of control. The danger is perhaps even greater for those vehicles around a hydroplaning truck, as they are typically smaller vehicles and may have trouble avoiding such a large truck that is out of control. If you’ve been involved in an accident, let our Easton truck accident attorney help. Three main factors contribute to hydroplaning: Water depth, Tire tread depth, and Vehicle speed. Despite the fact that water depth is one of these factors, hydroplaning is most common during the initial stages of a rainstorm, when the accumulating water mixes with the oil that has spilled onto the roadway during dry weather. As the rain continues to wash away this oil, the roadways become more reliable. How to Reduce or Eliminate Hydroplaning […]

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Jun 16, 2020 - Truck Accidents

Semi-Truck Jackknife Accidents

To “jackknife” a vehicle means to fold a multi-sectional vehicle, such as a semi-truck with a trailer, so that it resembles the angle of a folding pocket knife. When a vehicle towing a trailer begins to skid, the trailer can push the truck from behind until it turns around and faces backward.  Vehicle jackknifing in Stroudsburg and elsewhere throughout the state may be caused by equipment failures, such as defective brakes, improper braking technique, or dangerous road conditions like icy or wet road surfaces. Under certain circumstances, a semi-truck driver may attempt to deliberately jackknife a vehicle in order to halt it following a brake failure.  When a multi-sectional vehicle jackknifes, the cab is facing in the opposite direction of the trailer, making it impossible for the driver to move the truck and therefore the truck becomes stuck. Jackknife accidents can cause significant congestion and vehicle backups on roadways since a jackknifed truck is almost always facing sideways across the lanes of a road and can no longer move. If you’ve been involved in a crash, let our Stroudsburg personal injury lawyer help. Who Is at Fault in a Semi-truck Jackknife Accident? Semi-truck jackknife accidents can be caused by a wide variety of factors, including: Insufficient driver training. Driver failure to apply brakes correctly. Other types of driver error. Driver fatigue. Distracted or impaired driving. Defective equipment or equipment failure, particularly brake failure. Wet, frozen, and/or slippery road surfaces or other dangerous road conditions. Poor weather or other adverse driving […]

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Jun 9, 2020 - Truck Accidents

Semi-Truck vs. Train Accidents

Semi-trucks accidents can be severe, and train accidents can be equally catastrophic. When a train collides with a semi-truck, the results can be absolutely devastating. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were 56,000 injury crashes involving truck combinations and 79,000 persons injured in combination truck crashes in 2017. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTA), there were 1,848 accidents involving trains, with 57 people injured in 2019. Semi-trucks and trains in Doylestown and throughout the state are both large and powerful modes of transporting freight, and the enormous damage caused by accidents involving them should not come as a surprise. Also unsurprising is the fact that accidents between them typically occur at railroad crossings, usually when a semi-truck fails to move past the crossing in time. If you’ve been hurt in an accident involving a truck or a train, speak to a Doylestown accident lawyer today. Trains often carry passengers as well as freight. In Pennsylvania, public transportation, including train transportation, is administered by the Pennsylvania Public Transportation Association (PPTA), in affiliation with groups such as the Pennsylvania Transportation Resource and Information Network (PennTRAIN). The PPTA was created to advocate for public transportation in Pennsylvania and to support its members in achieving their defined missions. Who Is at Fault? Our Doylestown Accident Lawyer Explains Typically, as is the case with most accidents in Doylestown and elsewhere, truck drivers and train conductors blame each other for accidents between semi-trucks and trains. On one hand, semi-trucks are […]

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May 1, 2020 - Doylestown Car Accident Lawyer

Truck vs. Car Accidents in Doylestown

Truck accidents typically involve a motor vehicle crash with a “big rig,” semi-truck, tractor-trailer or some other commercial vehicle. There are many differences between truck accidents and car accidents. For instance, there are a lot more car accidents than truck accidents. More than 7.2 million car accidents occur in the U.S. every year, but less than 300,000 truck accidents occur yearly. To put that into perspective, that means hundreds of truck accidents take place every day in the U.S.  While truck accidents occur less often than car accidents every year, they pack a larger punch. Commercial truck accidents account for 287,000 insurance property damage claims and result in more than 77,000 personal injuries and 4,300 deaths in the U.S. each year. This is probably because trucks are much bigger than cars and thus, make a bigger impact.  While the average car weighs between 3,000 and 5,000 pounds, a tractor-trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Since trucks are so much larger and heavier than cars, truck accidents are much more likely to result in catastrophic injuries and death. If you have been involved in a truck accident, contact our Doylestown accident lawyer today to discuss your legal rights and options. Another factor that may contribute to the deadliness of truck accidents is that trucks are allowed to carry flammable and hazardous materials – a condition that would certainly make a potential collision more dangerous. Moreover, if cargo isn’t properly secured in a truck, it could break loose in traffic and […]

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Nov 8, 2019 - Truck Accidents

Trucks Must Be Properly Loaded to Minimize the Risk of a Rollover

In Pennsylvania and throughout the country, rollover accidents are a serious problem that are particularly common in cases involving large trucks.  According to data gathered and reported on by the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine, nine percent of all large truck accidents involve rollovers. Rollover accidents can be avoided with the exercise of reasonable care.  Drivers and others who fail to exercise reasonable care thus risk exposing others to the dangers of a rollover accident.  If you have sustained injuries in a truck rollover accident, it’s likely that you are entitled to damages as compensation for your losses. How Improper Loading Can Cause a Rollover Accident Though rollover accidents have many causes (inadequate maintenance, suspension tuning issues, tire deterioration, and more), one of the chief negligence-related causes is improper cargo loading.  When the cargo load has not been properly secured, or has been unevenly distributed, then that can result in weight and balance problems that are difficult — if not impossible — for the driver to correct during maneuvers. For example, if a commercial delivery truck has been loaded with cargo that is not properly secured, then the cargo may come loose and slide to one side of the truck during a particularly sharp corner turn, thus causing the truck to overturn. Different Parties May Be Negligent Rollover motor vehicle accidents (that were caused by improper cargo loading) may expose multiple different parties to liability, depending on the circumstances. For example, though it may initially seem as though […]

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Nov 1, 2019 - Articles

TURNING OUR CLOCKS BACK INCREASES THE RISKS OF DRIVING AT NIGHT– Here Are Ten Tips to Stay Alive

  This Sunday morning, at 2 AM, Daylight Savings Time will end. We will move our clocks back one hour. While many will welcome the extra hour of sleep we gain, when Daylight Saving Time ends, many people will find themselves spending more time driving in the dark. According to the National Safety Council, traffic fatalities are 3 times greater at night than during the day. Fatigue, compromised night vision, and impaired drivers are some of the risks we face when driving at night. These risks become especially pronounced moving into the weekend, with fatal crashes peaking on Saturday nights, according to NSC analysis of NHTSA data. Depth perception, color recognition and peripheral vision can be compromised in the dark and the glare of headlights from an oncoming vehicle can temporarily blind a driver. Even with high-beam headlights on, visibility is limited to about 500 feet (250 feet for normal headlights) creating less time to react, especially when driving at higher speeds. Ninety percent of your reaction time depends on your ability to see what’s around you. Since your depth perception, color recognition, and peripheral vision decrease after sundown, your chances for a car accident tend to increase. According to the American Optometric Association, as we age, we have greater difficulty seeing at night. A 50-year-old driver may need twice as much light to see as well as a 30-year-old. At age 60 and older, driving can become even more difficult due to compromised vision as a result of cataracts […]

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Mar 11, 2019 - Allentown Car Accident Lawyer

The Most Dangerous Week of the Year

With the loss of an hour due to daylight savings time, during the week of March 10th through the 16th, we can expect an increase in everything from car accidents to heart attacks. With regard to safe driving, according to a 2014 study by the University of Colorado, auto accidents increase, due to the fact that it takes about 6-7 days to adjust to the darker morning commutes, coupled with the fact that the loss of an hour of sleep causes drivers to be less alert. According to the study, there is a 6.3% increase in traffic fatalities in over the six days following the March time change. Additionally, in 2009 a Journal of Applied Psychology study concluded that mine workers experience 5.7 percent more workplace injuries in the week daylight savings time was implemented, than in any other week of the year. The researchers attribute this increase in injuries to a lack of sleep. For those workers with less strenuous jobs, in 2012 the same journal found that “cyberloafing” significantly increased on the first Monday after daylight savings time. This was attributed to both a lack of sleep and a lack of workday focus and motivation. Finally, a 2016 study by the American Academy of Neurology found that the overall rate for a stroke was 85 higher on average in the two days after daylight savings time started. And a 2012 study at the University of Alabama found that in the first days after daylight savings time begins, there […]

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Mar 8, 2019 - Truck Accidents

Unique Injury Risks Posed by 18-Wheelers

Bethlehem Truck Accident Attorney If you’ve been harmed in a Pennsylvania truck accident due to another party’s fault — such as a trucker’s reckless driving — then you may have a right to bring a lawsuit against the defendant and secure significant compensation for your losses. Effective strategies for litigating a claim vary depending on the details of the case itself.  In a case where the defendant’s vehicle was an 18-wheeler (otherwise known as a “big rig,” trailer truck, or semi-truck), there are a number of unique injury risks that may be useful to consider when moving forward with litigation.  Drivers and trucking companies have a responsibility not to expose others to an unreasonable risk of harm, and in doing so, they must be considerate of the inherent injury risks posed by their fleet of 18-wheelers. Let’s take a closer look. Large Blind Spots 18-wheelers have significant blind spots, making it more difficult for their drivers to identify whether they are going to cause a collision with a simple lane-change or other basic traffic maneuver.  Many people understand that 18-wheelers (and other large trucks) suffer from blind spot issues and make efforts to either fall back to a reasonable distance or overtake the 18-wheeler truck so as to avoid remaining in the blind spot. Maneuverability Challenges 18-wheelers can weigh up to 40 tons, making it nearly 15 to 16 times the weight of the average motor vehicle.  The significant weight of an 18-wheeler, in conjunction with its unique structural profile […]

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May 4, 2018 - Truck Accidents

5 Common Factors Contributing to Truck Accidents

Truck accidents involving commercial truckers are unfortunately common, despite the fact that drivers are professionally licensed, though it should come as no surprise to those familiar with the trucking industry — companies often impose significant pressures on drivers, which can lead to heightened risk of an accident. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident involving a commercial trucking company, then you may be entitled to sue the driver and/or the company pursuant to Pennsylvania law, depending on the circumstances of your injury. Let’s take a quick look at some of the most common factors contributing to commercial truck accidents.  Consider the following. Improper Loading Commercial trucks are at serious risk of “rollover accidents” due to improper loading of cargo at the warehouse.  If the truck rolls over and causes an accident, liability may fall on both the driver and the company. The company must train their employees properly and supervise loading to ensure that all cargo is being safely packed on company trucks.  Drivers with loaded cargo have a responsibility to avoid making sudden, sharp turns at high speeds.  Further, drivers should check their cargo prior to departure, to ensure that it has been loaded correctly. Failure to Conduct a Thorough Background Check Trucking companies must conduct a thorough background check of the defendant-driver to ensure that they can safely operate a commercial trucking vehicle.  Failure to conduct a thorough background check could expose the company to significant liability in the event of an accident. For example, suppose that […]

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