In an effort to reduce the number of truck accident fatalities, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration introduced the Hours of Service Regulations, which limit the number of hours commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers can operate their vehicles within certain time frames. Despite these laws, which went into effect in 2012, the truck crash fatality rate continues to rise in the United States.
In 2014, more than 3,660 people died in large truck collisions. That was the highest fatality rate since 2008, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
This increase does not necessarily mean that the HoS Regulations are ineffective. Fatigue is only one contributing factor in truck accidents. According to the Large Truck Accident Crash Causation Study, other factors include:
- Making illegal maneuvers
- Failing to survey blind pots
- Heart attacks behind the wheel
If you were injured or lost a family member in a truck accident that another driver caused, contact a Birmingham truck crash lawyer from Morris Bart & Associates, LLC. Our legal team will help you claim compensation for health-care expenses, lost wages and non-economic damages. Call 800-537-8185 today to schedule a free consultation.
Read on to learn four tips to help commercial truckers avoid accidents:
- Plan Your Route before You Hit the Road
Nearly one-fourth of all large truck accidents happen on unfamiliar roads, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The reason? Truckers are more likely to miss turns, become lost and break the speed limit in regions where they are not accustomed to driving. CMV operators can reduce their risk of crashing by carefully planning their routes before they depart.
- Sit in a Comfortable, Safe Position
Be sure to adjust your seat to complement your driving style, height and weight. Move the backrest and steering wheel to optimize your control and comfort.
- Take Rest Breaks
According to the Hours of Service Regulations, CMV drivers must take a 30-minute “sleeper berth period” or go off-duty after driving eight hours. A short rest can reduce fatigue and improve a driver’s alertness.
- Avoid Distractions
In 2014, an estimated 431,000 people were injured due to distracted driving, and 3,179 lost their lives. Common causes of distraction-related accidents include:
- Eating or drinking behind the wheel
- Adjusting the GPS while the truck is in motion
- Texting or talking on a cell phone
- Looking at accident scenes and billboards
- Adjusting the truck’s audio or climate settings
Although these tips will reduce a truck driver’s risk of causing an accident, nobody is immune to collisions. If you were injured by a drunk, distracted or negligent motorist in Alabama, contact Morris Bart & Associates, LLC.
A Birmingham truck accident attorney will help you fight for the maximum settlement, and if your case goes to trial, our legal team has the litigation experience to represent your interests in court. Call 800-537-8185 today to arrange a free case evaluation.