A collision involving a commercial vehicle is one of the most dangerous traffic accidents. The size and weight of a large truck can crush a passenger vehicle causing severe injuries and fatalities for the occupants of the passenger vehicle. In the clear majority of truck accidents, the people injured or killed in the collision are occupants of the other vehicles involved in the accident or non-occupants (i.e. pedestrians, bicyclists, etc.). Sadly, the trucking industry could do more to reduce the risk of accidents involving large trucks.
What Can the Trucking Industry Do to Prevent Accidents?
Trucking companies and truck owners may not be able to prevent all accidents. Weather conditions, driver error, road conditions, and defective products can all be factors in the cause of a truck accident. However, there are some things the trucking industry can do to help decrease the risk of a commercial truck accident:
Enforce Hours of Service
Federal regulations limit the number of hours a truck driver can operate a vehicle without breaks or rest periods. For example, the Hours-Of-Service (HOS) rules state that a driver is limited to a maximum of 11 hours of driving time following 10 hours of off-duty time. The HOS rules are designed to decrease the risk of accidents caused by fatigued and drowsy driving.
However, some trucking companies encourage or push their drivers to exceed safe driving limits. Other companies may place unreasonable deadlines on their drivers with the knowledge that these deadlines cannot be met unless the driver exceeds the number of hours he is permitted to drive without a break. Trucking companies, truck owners, and truck drivers can help prevent commercial truck accidents by limiting driving hours.
Use Collision-Avoidance Technology
While most of the new passenger vehicles have standard or optional collision-avoidance technology, very few commercial trucks utilize this technology. Examples of systems that can help avoid a crash include lane department warning, adaptive headlights, forward collision warning, blind spot detection, and autobrake systems. Studies have shown that these systems can prevent the loss of life and injuries in traffic accidents.
Currently, the trucking industry is not utilizing collision-avoidance technology to the extent that the makers of passenger vehicles are using the technology. By equipping commercial vehicles with this technology, truck manufacturers could help prevent injuries and deaths from truck accidents. However, truck owners must also push for the use of this technology and be willing to pay for the technology.
Safety Features for Commercial Trucks
In addition to the collision-avoidance systems, commercial trucks should also have enhanced safety features including electronic stability controls and anti-lock brakes. However, the cost of safety features often discourages trucking companies and truck owners from adding these safety features to new commercial vehicles. Instead of looking at the cost, owners should be considering the potential to decrease the number of truck accidents by adding the latest safety features to their fleet of trucks.
Do You Need a Commercial Truck Accident Attorney Fresno?
If you are involved in a traffic accident involving a commercial truck, you need a Fresno truck accident attorney now! The way a large truck accident is handled from the beginning of the case is very important. You need an attorney who understands the trucking industry and the laws governing commercial trucks handling your claim.
The attorneys at Torem & Associates have experience, skills, and resources you need fighting for your right to receive compensation for your injuries. Call (559) 500-5000 or 1-800-954-4444 to schedule a free consultation with a Fresno truck accident attorney.