Recent Deadly Trucking Crashes Cause National Concern
Catastrophic car crashes in New Mexico are events that no one ever expects. Collisions involving large 18-wheelers or semi-trucks often result in life-threatening injuries for everyone involved in the incident. Recently, greater awareness has been given to deadly crashes involving a well-known celebrity, especially after it was reported that the at-fault driver had been awake for over 24 hours. There were 88,000 victims injured in large vehicle collisions in 2011, with 3,700 sustaining fatal injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatalities have increased by nearly 4 percent in 2012 to 3,921 deaths. These crashes impact occupants of passenger vehicles much more severely than those in large commercial vehicles.
Currently, truckers have a 14-hour restriction for how long they can be on the road. Recently, efforts made by the trucking industry have attempted to lift this restriction. The intent is to make drivers not feel compelled to push through these 14 hours instead of resting or taking a nap. Other regulations for truck drivers include a mandatory 30-minute break following the first eight hours of service, a 70-hour limit on total driving time, and a required 34-hour break weekly. The commercial trucking industry has attempted to push back on these regulations, but the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration believes that blame should be placed on the strict expectations placed on drivers to deliver their goods within a given time-frame.
Regulations also govern how trucks are maintained, constructed, and used to transport hazardous materials. Drivers are required to keep a log-book on their activities, tracking their hours of service during a 24-hour period in order to avoid exhausted drivers. Dangerous driving habits, with or without adequate sleep, is still a reality specific to the profession because of the pressure to make deadlines. Documentation after an accident shows that drivers often self-medicate to stay awake -- either through using illegal drugs or prescription medication. Investigation can help determine if the driver of the trucking company breached their obligation to implement safety practices.
Taking Legal Action
It is required that trucking companies and their drivers comply with industry regulations. Any crash caused by failure to do so could mean that the company is liable for losses resulting from a collision. In order to pursue a personal injury claim against a truck driver or company successfully, you have to establish duty and breach of duty. You must also show that this breach resulted in sustained injuries. These damages could include medical expenses, lost income, lost earning capacity, or funeral expenses.
Trucking Accidents in New Mexico
There are over 11 million registered commercial trucks on American roadways. Many of these vehicles are driven by exhausted drivers. Thousands are killed in collisions with big rigs each year in the United States. An experienced New Mexico trucking injury attorney can help you regain deserved compensation after a catastrophic collision. Will Ferguson & Associates specializes in personal injury cases, and we can help increase your chances of a successful settlement. Call our law offices today at (505) 243-5566 to discuss your case.
Tags: 18 wheeler crash accident in ABQ New Mexico, Recent Deadly Trucking Crashes Cause National Concern, semi truck collision attorney lawyer in Albuquerque NM, wrongful death settlement lawsuit New Mexico