It’s not surprising that many people in south Georgia are seriously injured or killed in accidents involving 18-wheeler trucks.
The Savannah Port reported record number cargo volumes in 2017 that make Savannah one of the nation’s most bustling ports in the nation. With this growth and the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project, the I-16 corridor is more congested than ever with commercial trucks. Unfortunately for drivers, this means we have to be even more diligent to stay safe.
Factors in Tractor Trailer Accidents — 18-Wheeler Accidents
By the very nature of these trucks traveling at high speeds and weighing 80,000 pounds, accidents result in death, catastrophic injuries, including back injuries, neck injuries, broken bones, shoulder injuries, head injuries, and many other types of injuries. Too often, truck driver negligence or the trucking company’s negligence puts other drivers on the road in danger. In our six decades of combined personal injury law experience, we have seen many factors that contribute to truck accidents: driver fatigue, improperly loaded semi and tractor trailers, alcohol and drug abuse, and violations of the number of hours they can drive.
Studies suggest that sleep deprivation and fatigue may contribute to at least 30 to 40 percent of all heavy truck crashes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), sleep deprivation is a factor in almost 100,000 motor vehicle accidents and 1,550 fatalities per year in the United States (www.nhtsa.gov).
In response to safety concerns about the high number of fatigue-related heavy truck crashes, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) adopted new federal hours-of-service regulations for commercial motor vehicle drivers which went into effect in July 2013. The FMCSA is a set of rules that limit the maximum amount of time truck drivers can work and drive before taking a required break.
The desire to carry more loads in less time pushes truck drivers and trucking companies to violate federal trucking regulations to protect innocent drivers. Both federal and state laws include weight restrictions for trucks. Some states permit trucks to exceed this weight, but only with a special permit. If the rules regarding weight and overloading are broken and result in a serious truck accident, the victim or victims can bring a lawsuit for damages.
The truck’s performance is affected when a truck is overloaded or overweight. When a driver is going down an incline with an overweight truck, he will possibly exceed the normal speed and have difficulty braking to stop properly. Overweight trucks can also have their cargo shift resulting in loads being distributed improperly. Consequently, when loads are not evenly distributed, the axle is overloaded which can result in rollover accidents, loss of steering control while make sharp, sudden turns and multi-vehicle pileups.
We also find that other rules are often violated, in violation of Federal Law, such as excessive speed, failure to maintain lane, etc. Speed information, as well as other information about the truck can be gained from the electronic engine records. This is often transmitted by satellite to the company, and the company is aware of the violations, but fail to address the problems with the driver. This can be proven through the records of the company.
We are able to help you recover your past and future medical bills and lost wages, money for a permanent injury, money for emotional pain and physical harm, disfigurement, loss of companionship of your spouse, loss of ability to do the things you did before the wreck, all of which are just some of the legal items of damages in a personal injury trucking case.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a tractor trailer accident or other large truck accident in Savannah, Georgia contact Friedman and Martin, Personal Injury Attorneys.