Understanding the Common Causes of Truck Accidents

Large truckThe statistics are pretty telling—if you are in a collision with a commercial truck, you have a far greater risk of injury than the trucker. In a study by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), almost three-quarters of the injuries suffered in truck-related accidents were to the occupants of other vehicles (other than the truck). Only 24% of injuries and 18% of fatalities involved occupants of the truck.

Here are the most common causes of truck accidents, based on statistics released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA):

  • Driving under the influence of drugs—More than one in four (26%) truck accidents involved a driver whose reaction time was compromised by the use of prescription or illegal drugs, including drugs used in an attempt to stay awake after long hours on the road. Over-the-counter drugs were a factor in 18% of large truck accidents.
  • Exceeding the posted speed limit—Almost as many truck accidents (23%) resulted when truck drivers exceeded speed limits and could not slow their vehicles down in time to avoid a crash.
  • Mistakes caused by unfamiliarity with roads—In one out of five large truck accidents (22%), the driver acknowledged unfamiliarity with the roads, and cited it as a cause of the accident.
  • Failure to check blind spots—Large trucks have an equally large blind spot. In 14% of the reported accidents, the driver neglected to properly check that there was no one in his or her blind spot.
  • Driver fatigue—Even though there are specific regulations governing the amount of time a trucker can spend on the road, many ignore or intentionally violate the rules. Though the numbers have diminished sharply for the number of accidents caused by driver fatigue, they still make up 13% of all truck crashes.

Contact Us

At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to injured people throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 856-234-2233.

Driving Hour Log Violations—18 Wheeler Accidents

In today’s competitive market, with the strong emphasis on profitability, many trucking companies and over-the-road truckers face intense pressure to minimize costs and provide quick turnaround to their customers. Unfortunately, one of the areas where trucking concerns can cut corners is with respect to driving or maintenance logs. Federal laws require that truckers maintain accurate logs of their activity, tracking how many hours they are driving in a given period, as well as how much cargo they are carrying. To maximize profits, they may drive without adequate rest, or may carry loads that exceed safety limits. In far too any instances, these shortcuts result in serious injury to others on the road.

The Federal Highway Administration takes the regulations governing hours of service very seriously. Trucking executives have been sentenced to time in federal prison for instructing and conspiring with employees to falsify driving logs.

If you have been injured in an accident involving an 18 wheeler, tractor-trailer or big rig, you want an experienced and effective attorney to protect your interests. The lawyers at Taylor & Boguski can help.

The 11/14 Rule for Truck Drivers

Federal trucking regulations mandate that:

  • A truck driver cannot work more than 14 hours in a 24 hour period.
  • In addition, you cannot drive more than 11 hours in any 24 hour period without taking a 10 hour break. Accordingly, a trucker may not drive the last 11 hours of one day and the first 11 hours of the next day. They must take a minimum 10 hour break after 11 hours during a 24 hour period.

The purpose behind reducing the number of hours on the road is to assure that the trucker is well-rested, and can be alert at all times while on the road.

Truckers and trucking companies can employ a variety of schemes to falsify driving hour logs, including using two sets of logs, or simply understating time on the road. An experienced lawyer will look at all food and gas receipts and will cross-reference them with driving log entries, looking for evidence of fraudulent activity.

Contact the Law Office of Taylor & Boguski

To schedule a free initial consultation with experienced New Jersey family law attorneys, contact Taylor & Boguski by e-mail. To learn more about our practice, visit our practice area overview page.