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18 Wheeler Accidents

Tennessee Truck Driver Fatigue

December 22, 2017

Tractor Trailer Accident Lawyers

There were 7,912,018 large trucks on the road as of 2003. Driver fatigue can make turn any one of those vehicles into a potential disaster. Yet many large companies pressured by profit margin and the stock market may put delivery times over driver safety.

When commercial drivers become fatigued from excessive daily and weekly work hours, they substantially increase the risk of crashes that result in death or serious injuries. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), more than 750 people die and 20,000 more are injured each year due directly to fatigued commercial vehicle drivers.

Rules implemented by The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in 2003 allow tractor-trailer truck drivers to drive 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off-duty. Also, tractor-trailer truck drivers may not drive beyond the 14th hour after coming on-duty, following 10 hours off-duty. Similar to existing rules, tractor-trailer truck drivers may not drive after being on-duty for 60 hours in a seven-consecutive-day period or 70 hours in an eight-consecutive-day period. This on-duty cycle may be restarted whenever a tractor-trailer truck driver takes at least 34 consecutive hours off-duty.

Short-haul tractor-trailer truck drivers—those tractor-trailer truck drivers who routinely return to their place of dispatch after each duty tour and then are released from duty—may have an increased on-duty period of 16 hours once during any seven-consecutive-day period. The 16-hour exception takes into consideration legitimate business needs without jeopardizing safety. FMCSA estimates that without the extra two on-duty hours, the industry would be required to hire at least 48,000 new drivers, actually reducing crash-reduction benefits.

The current rule allows 10 hours of driving within a 15-hour on-duty period after eight hours of off-duty time. Also, tractor-trailer drivers may not drive after their 15th hour on duty in a workday or after 60 hours on-duty in seven consecutive days or 70 hours on-duty in eight consecutive days.

If you have been injured or a loved one has been injured or killed in a fatal Tennessee tractor-trailer truck accident, it is important to consider your legal options. Many truckers are employed by large corporations that may put delivery of their goods ahead of your safety. Don’t pay for the transportation industry’s greed.

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Tennessee Truck Accidents – Improper Load – Overweight Cargo

December 12, 2017

Semi Truck Accident Lawyers – Tennessee

An improper cargo load is a common cause for fatal 18 wheeler accidents on Tennessee roads. Loads that are unbalanced, overweight, or shift in transit can cause a semi truck to loose control.

Loading the Truck

A truck driver is responsible for the load that he is transporting. Correct truck loading is very important for the safety of the driver and the other vehicles on the road. The result of a load shift or load loss can be a serious or even fatal semi truck accident.

To avoid potential semi truck accidents, a truck driver must have knowledge of the cargo, the cargo weight, optimum placement of the load, and confirmation the load is secure. The cargo must be inspected by the truck driver during the pre-trip inspection.

It is only when the load is sealed and the truck driver has been instructed not to open the seal, that he isn’t required to make that inspection.

OverweightCargo

Federal, state, and local regulations govern the weight of commercial vehicles. They address the gross commercial vehicle weight, gross combination weight, the axle weight, and tire load.

The weight must be balanced properly so that one axle or a set of axles are not overloaded.

The problem with overloading a vehicle is that it can affect its steering and braking leading to potential fatal truck accidents. An overloaded vehicle takes longer to stop. They also go slower on upgrades and faster on downgrades. When the brakes of an overloaded truck are forced to work too hard, they can fail and result in a semi truck accident in Tennessee.

Truck accidents are often cause for litigation. It is wise to contact an experienced semi truck accident attorney if you have been injured by a semi truck, or a loved one has been injured or killed in an 18 wheeler accident. The attorneys at understand the unique legal and practical problems associated with 18 wheeler accidents and other truck crashes and have experience dealing with the issues that arise in such cases. We offer free initial consultations and work on a contingent fee basis, which means that there is no fee unless we successfully resolve your case.

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Semi Truck Accidents – Truck Driver Logs and Inspection

December 12, 2017

Tennessee 18 Wheeler Accident Attorneys
Truck drivers are required to maintain a driver’s log and perform a pre-trip inspection of their rig. The driver is allowed to dispose of that log after a certain period of time. It is important to contact an attorney immediately after an accident so that the driver’s logs can be obtained. Along with police reports and eyewitness accounts, the driver’s log is often a crucial piece of evidence in a semi-truck accident case.

The pre-trip inspection is a systematic check of the tractor-trailer’s parts and systems that must be done before every trip or the start of the driver’s day. FMCSR 392.7 governs this.

The driver begins the pre-trip by reviewing any previous vehicle inspection reports. If anything was marked for repair, the driver should then double-check to see that it was in fact repaired to help avoid a future Tennessee truck accident.

The driver is responsible to confirm that the truck is in safe operating condition and that all defects or deficiencies listed by a previous report have been satisfied or repaired.

Upon approaching the truck, the truck driver should check the overall condition of the semi-truck or tractor-trailer for any damage. For example, if the vehicle is leaning to one side, there may be a suspension problem or a flat tire that may lead to a fatal Tennessee semi-truck accident or injury. The driver should also check underneath the vehicle for signs of fresh oil, coolant, grease or fuel leaks. Additionally, the truck driver should observe the area around the vehicle for hazards dangerous to the movement of the vehicle. For example, objects, low hanging wires, and any other impediment to the safe movement of the truck.

After a truck accident, it is critical to contact an attorney immediately. The attorney will establish contact with the investigating authorities, who often will do accident reconstructions. Driver logbooks may provide evidence of maintenance and repairs, as well as the driver’s schedule. The log will often indicate what mistakes the driver made that led up to the truck accident.

We understand the unique legal and practical problems associated with 18-wheeler accidents and other truck crashes and have experience dealing with the issues that arise in such cases. We offer free initial consultations and work on a contingent fee basis, which means that there is no fee unless we successfully resolve your case.

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