Hours of Service Violations Cause Many Deadly Trucking Accidents Notes Austin Personal Injury Lawyer
Oct 19, 2011
Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) October 18, 2011 – Too many hours of service on the road may end up killing someone. Truckers must adhere to the law relating to hours, but many do not.
“It has always amazed and disappointed me that truckers who are handling a huge vehicle with the power to wipe out anything they hit, and seriously injure or kill people, don’t adhere to the rules of the road,” said Robert W. Lee, an Austin personal injury attorney at The Lee Law Firm. “Not all truckers are negligent, so what I am referring to are the ones who, for some reason, think it is ok to cut corners on maintenance, not check their loads or their tire pressure, text while driving, speed, cut other drivers off and stay on the road way past their legal hour limit.”
It is not okay to do any of those things, because it puts others on the highways with them at a huge risk of being injured or killed. All it takes is a few seconds to double check that the rig is safe to drive and that there are no problems.
“If they’re too tired to drive or continue their run, they must pull over for the mandatory rest period,” said Lee. “The thing that really fires people up is when they discover that some truckers are keeping two sets of log books – the actual hours they drive and the doctored set that makes it look like they are following the rules. How does that help when someone is dead because they wanted to make extra money and stayed in service too long?”
Responsibility is about doing a job conscientiously and taking care to ensure things are in order. Responsibility is about not being negligent. “And I have to tell you, truckers who take to the road with rigs that have issues, or are taking drugs, drinking, or texting are being negligent,” added Lee. “There is no excuse for these errors and lapses of judgment,” added Lee.
While it does appear that the number of big rig accidents is coming down slightly, 2009 still shows at least 3,215 people lost their lives in an 18-wheeler crash. Typically, close to 4,000 are killed every year and at least 100,000 are injured. Those injured survivors are generally never able to enjoy the lives they once had prior to the crash. They are often debilitated permanently.
“Besides hours of service issues, there are other reasons for trucking wrecks and they include distracted driving, DWI, texting, watching videos on a laptop, eating, adjusting equipment in the cab, personal grooming in the mirror, truck weight, lack of strong under-ride guards to prevent decapitation, an improperly loaded flat deck and so on,” added Lee.
For those who have been in a truck accident, do not wait to call an Austin personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. “You will need to know your rights, what to expect in court and find out about the theory of respondeat superior – meaning if a trucker is negligent, his company can be responsible for his driving,” Lee explained.
The Lee Law Firm
11824 Jollyville Road, Suite 302
Austin, Texas 78759