America’s interest in nearly-instant gratification for goods has lead to a record number of semi trucks, aka 18 wheelers, on the road. If a truck isn’t transporting items to a retail outlet, it’s delivering them to a distribution center, where it gets on another truck to be delivered to someone’s house. We’re all part of the reason that there are so many semi-trucks on the road, but that doesn’t mean that the roads shouldn’t be safe.
The Law Offices of Craig S. Sossaman specialize in 18 wheeler accidents and has successfully navigated the legal system to help those who have been injured. We have seen firsthand the tragedy that truck drivers can inflict on individuals and families, from severe brain injury to limb amputation to death. Here are some of the most common reasons that semi-truck drivers end up altering the lives of others.
Cell Phone Use
We doubt there’s a single person reading this who hasn’t used a cell phone while driving, whether it’s to place a call or to text. (If you haven’t use a cell phone while driving, thank you.) We’ve all heard the stories about people dying while texting, or causing the death of another. But you’re driving a 4,000 pound vehicle around; doesn’t it just make sense to hang up instead of putting others at risk? After all, you want other drivers to do that same.
Now imagine that you’re sharing the road with something that’s hauling 80,000 pounds. You’ve now got a cell phone user who’s 20 times heavier than you and is packing 20 times more force. That’s why you need a truck accident lawyer.
Failure to Stay In Lane
Unfortunately, it’s not just cell phones that are to blame. If you’ve seen the inside of some of these truck cabs, you can probably understand the distractions that truck drivers can be subject to: DVD players, internet connections, and a host of other electronics can all lead to a failure to stay in the proper lane. When this happens, accidents can’t be far away.
For those of you who take long drives during the holidays, you can probably understand the interest in speeding. The journey is long and often boring; you simply want to be done with the driving.
Now imagine that you want to be at the end of the journey and your paycheck depends on it. That’s the situation that many truck drivers are in, and they might just push the speed limit that’s safe for semi-trucks. If the accident is a consequence of their speeding, you need to contact an 18 wheeler accident attorney as soon as possible.
Driving Too Fast for Conditions
Once again, speed is an issue, only this time it’s the weather that’s to blame. Or is it? When there are wet or icy conditions, every driver on the road has to decide what a safe speed is and by how much they should reduce their speed. If the truck driver makes the wrong decision, the fault is theirs, not the weather.
Proving that a truck driver is driving too fast for conditions can be difficult, and that’s why you need a truck accident lawyer who has experience with this very specific type of legal dispute. The Law Offices of Craig S. Sossaman have dealt with many of these cases and are ready to help you during this trying time.
Drowsiness and Fatigue
Truck drivers are limited to the amount of hours they can spend on the road (which is yet another reason they speed). After 11 hours, they are required to take a take a 10-hour break. But, as we mentioned, they will make more money the more they’re on the road. Some will do whatever they can to break the rules and stay on the road just a little bit longer.
It’s not just the rule-breakers who are tired, though. Some simply spent their sleeping time watching TV in the cab, while other might have partied and are nursing a hangover. These actions can lead to severe fatigue before they’ve even started their 11 hour shift. When this occurs, they’re 40 tons of metal flying down the highway. If one of these drivers hurts you, you’re going to be needing a semi-truck accident lawyer who’s willing to help you.
If you’ve been injured that was because a load was unsecured, who’s to blame? Is it the truck driver, or the company that the truck driver works for? Is it the person who actually secured the load, or the company they worked for? It gets complex, and that’s why you need the right personal injury lawyer on your side.
It should come of no surprise that alcohol plays a large part in many 18-wheeler accidents. Sometimes it’s a conscious decision to drink too close to the start of a driving shift. And even if the driver can’t stop drinking due to alcoholism, they still made the decision to get behind the wheel. If you’ve been injured in a big rig accident, we can help you navigate the complex legal world as you try to get your life back in order.
As methamphetamine use has risen across the country, it should come as no surprise that many truck drivers are addicted. After all, amphetamines are stimulants allowing truck drivers to stay awake and drive longer distances. But while they might be awake, that doesn’t mean that they’re going to respond properly to driving conditions and other vehicles on the road. More than likely they’ll make rash decision, and that can lead to horrible accidents.
Driving on the road with 18-wheelers is a fact of life, and you need to be careful around them when you’re sharing the road. But if you are unfortunate enough to get into an accident with one, you’ll need help with the complexities of the legal system. Go with lawyers who have experience with truck accidents. The Law Offices of Craig S. Sossaman are ready to speak with you if you’ve been injured. When you need a semi-truck accident lawyer, contact us immediately.