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Green Bay, WI truck accident attorney for drowsy drivingAccording to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving was responsible for at least 795 fatalities and 50,000 injuries in 2017, the most recent year for which statistics are available. If you are injured in a car accident involving drowsy driving, it can often be challenging to demonstrate the other driver’s fatigue because concrete evidence tends to be lacking. However, if the accident involves a commercial semi-truck, trucking industry regulations may make it possible to collect additional evidence to strengthen your case for compensation.

Truck Drivers Are Susceptible to Drowsy Driving

Driver fatigue is a common issue after long stretches of driving without a break or when driving late at night. Unfortunately, the nature of truck drivers’ work means that they frequently find themselves in both of these situations as they try to complete shipments as quickly and efficiently as possible. When drivers become drowsy, they may be more likely to cause accidents due to slowed reaction times or a tendency to fall asleep at the wheel. Drowsy driving accidents involving trucks can be especially dangerous due to these vehicles’ large size and weight.

Truck Driver Regulations and Accident Liability

To reduce the risk of drowsy driving accidents, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has set limits on the number of hours a commercial truck operator can drive. Specifically, drivers are limited to:

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Appleton personal injury attorney truck accident

In the United States, the commercial trucking industry plays a massive role in exporting and importing goods nationwide. Recognizing the integral involvement that the trucking industry has in our economy, it should come as no surprise that millions of commercial truck drivers travel on American roadways each day. Unfortunately, when accidents involving these large vehicles occur the results can be disastrous. Due to the sheer size difference between a commercial truck and a standard motor vehicle, the injuries suffered in these accidents tend to be severe or even fatal. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a collision with a commercial truck, it is important to seek legal assistance to protect your rights to compensation. 

Injury Statistics and Commercial Trucking 

According to statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), approximately 4,136 Americans died in commercial trucking accidents in 2018 alone. Out of all of the commercial trucking fatalities that occurred that year, only 16 percent of those who died were commercial truck drivers. In other words, the overwhelming majority of people killed in these accidents are other travelers. Despite the fact that commercial trucks only make up a small portion of vehicles on the road, 11 percent of that year’s car accident fatalities were a result of large truck crashes. If a family member suffered fatal injuries in an accident involving a commercial trucker, you may be entitled to wrongful death compensation. If you or a loved one were seriously injured in a collision with a commercial truck, a skilled attorney can assist you in securing the personal injury compensation your family needs to pay for medical expenses and potential loss of income (if the injured party was an income provider). 

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Appleton, WI truck accident attorney driver fatigueDue to the nature of our economy, commercial trucks are seemingly always on our roadways. Semi-trailer trucks are large, complicated pieces of machinery, and even when truck drivers practice safe driving habits, what may seem like small errors or minor problems can have deadly results. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 4,136 Americans died in large truck accidents in 2018. If you or a loved one have been injured in a commercial trucking accident, you will want to work with a skilled attorney to determine whether negligence played a role in this incident and pursue financial compensation from those who were responsible. 

Truck Driver and Trucking Company Negligence

Tractor-trailer trucks can weigh up to 20-30 times more than standard automobiles, and because of this size difference, the injuries suffered by people involved in collisions between these vehicles can be devastating. In many cases, occupants of passenger vehicles suffer serious or fatal injuries, while truck drivers experience minimal injuries. According to the Department of Transportation, truck drivers accounted for only 4% of all commercial trucking fatalities in 2018. 

Many truck accidents occur due to truck driver negligence. Drowsy driving is one of the most common and dangerous forms of negligence. Truck drivers must comply with strict requirements regarding the number of hours they can drive, and these regulations are meant to prevent driver fatigue and ensure that drivers can operate their vehicles safely. Unfortunately, many truck drivers falsify their driving logs in order to work longer hours, and in some cases, trucking companies encourage drivers to bend or break the rules in order to deliver shipments more quickly and increase profits.

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Appleton, WI truck collision attorneyThe injuries sustained during a collision with a semi-truck are often quite serious due to the large size and weight of commercial vehicles. Trucks tend to have increased stopping distances and more blind spots than the typical car. Although many circumstances can contribute to a truck accident, such as distracted driving or poor weather conditions, a lack of truck maintenance can contribute to serious truck accidents. If you have been in a crash involving a truck, it is not uncommon to experience severe physical injuries and emotional pain and suffering, as well as major damage to your vehicle. In these cases, you should speak to a personal injury attorney to determine your options for filing a claim for compensation.

Why Lack of Maintenance Leads to Accidents

Truck drivers, especially those who drive long distances, spend their entire working day driving. This high level of use can lead the many parts of a commercial truck to break down much more quickly than they would in passenger vehicles. Because of this, trucks must have regular inspections to monitor for signs of wear and tear, and routine maintenance should be performed to address these issues before they become a threat to the safety of people on the road.

There are certain truck parts that are more at risk for wear and tear, and problems with these parts can directly lead to a collision on the roads. The truck parts most in need of regular maintenance include:

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Green Bay, WI trucking accident attorneyWhen a passenger vehicle is involved in a collision with an 18-wheeler truck, the crash and the resulting aftermath can be catastrophic. According to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for 2017, approximately 121, 000 trucks and large buses were involved in crashes that resulted in serious injuries. Due to the heavy loads and long stopping times of semi-trailer trucks, their drivers must take a great deal of care to operate these vehicles safely. Negligence by truck drivers can lead to deadly accidents, and drivers and passengers of other vehicles are likely to be seriously injured or killed in these types of collisions. If you or a loved one have sustained a serious injury as a result of a truck driver’s negligence, you should consult with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney to determine how you can hold the liable party or parties responsible.

Truck Driver Negligence

Most car accidents are caused by the negligence of at least one of the drivers, and that is true of truck accidents as well. Truck driver negligence comes in many forms, including:

  • Lack of attention to the road (e.g., texting or reading a map)
  • Truck driver fatigue (e.g., failing to stop and rest after driving for a certain number of hours)
  • Speeding 
  • Aggressive or reckless driving
  • Failing to keep up with truck maintenance 
  • Knowingly driving an overloaded or poorly maintained truck
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Driving with an unmanaged medical condition

As with any car accident, a truck accident victim should document as much as possible after a collision. This includes photographic evidence, eye witness statements, and detailed logs of the victim’s physical symptoms and the medical treatment received. 

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