The presence of trucks on the road can be both a comforting and intimidating presence. Sometimes it is nice to know you have company out there on the highway late at night, but traveling next to another vehicle that weighs 80,000 pounds (in comparison to the average car at around 4,000 pounds) and having them pass or hem you in with several other trucks can turn your driving experience into a white-knuckle event. When you are in the vicinity of a large truck or a semi- or an 18-wheeler, defensive driving is more important than ever. Large trucks—and especially when there is negligence involved on their part—can cause catastrophic damage to a car.
Unfortunately, most accidents are due to a lack of carelessness and could have been avoided; for example, here are five safety guidelines trucking companies are supposed to follow:
- Hiring truckers with proper qualifications and licensing – a lot goes into being trained and licensed to drive a truck professionally, including being at least 21 years of age and completing the appropriate schooling.
- Drug and alcohol testing – drivers are tested during the employment process, and then regularly throughout the year. Driving under the influence can still be one of the reasons for truck accidents, however, causing fatalities and serious injuries to other drivers. As a rule, truck drivers should have no alcohol in their blood system when they get behind the wheel.
- Drivers must rest – tired drivers are a hazard on the road, no matter who is behind the wheel, but truckers often travel very long distances. Over time, laws have developed to regulate the amount of time they can spend behind the wheel. Currently, truckers are permitted 60-hour work periods altogether, and they are can work up to 11 hours in 14-hour windows. They are required to take 30-minute breaks after working for eight hours, and this information is supposed to be logged.
- Trucks must be maintained properly – trucking companies are responsible for the trucks being driven, and this means they must be properly inspected, with all components kept in good working order.
- Loads must be secured – cargo falling onto the road is a serious hazard, and the trucking company is responsible for ensuring that all loads being carried are firmly squared away for long trips. Even small debris falling from a truck can be dangerous to others driving behind or around them.
If you have been injured in a truck accident due to the negligence of others, this is not the time to go it alone! Attorney Sgt. Pike has developed a system to combat the various forces in the trucking industry attempting to defeat the rights of those wrongfully injured or killed. Based on his training and experience as a Special Forces Operator (Army Green Beret), Attorney Sgt. Pike activates the Truck Accident Response Team or T.A.R.T. ™ immediately after being hired in appropriate cases. T.A.R.T. ™ then deploys to the area of the crash.