According to the United States Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety, at least 77,000 of the approximately 141,000 truck crashes in 2011 could be blamed on driver error. Truck accident injuries are often severe due to a truck's size and weight and are difficult to avoid because of long stopping distances required by tractor trailers. If you are the victim of a truck accident it is important to have an experienced truck accident attorney in Clayton County.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the driver of a Walmart tractor trailer that injured comedian Tracy Morgan and killed one person had been awake for 24 hours prior to the accident.
Attorneys representing Walmart have claimed that the driver was within the legal hours of service. This has led to renewed attention to big rig trucking regulations and loopholes exploited by trucking companies.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, listed in the Code of Federal Regulations, include common sense interpretations that expand beyond the numerical service hours truckers must record.
Included in 49 C.F.R. § 392.3 is the provision, "No driver shall operate a commercial motor vehicle, and a motor carrier shall not require or permit a driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle, while the driver's ability or alertness is so impaired, or so likely to become impaired, through fatigue, illness, or any other cause, as to make it unsafe for him/her to begin or continue to operate the commercial motor vehicle." Applying this common sense regulation, an argument can be made that fatigue dictated that the driver should not have been on the road even though he had not violated the codified hour regulations.
If you or someone you know has been hurt by a truck driver, meet with a truck accident lawyer at Shane Smith Law. We can assist you in every stage of your case including obtaining the available evidence.