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Diana Whipkey Young, a semi tractor-trailer accident lawyer in Marietta, GA., takes great pride in representing the interests and concerns of those victims of 18 wheeler accidents, their families and their friends, who because of the negligence of a truck, tractor trailer, or other drivers, has sustained and suffered serious injuries to their bodies.
In the United States, every year there are traffic accidents totaling almost 500,000 large trucks ("semis" or tractor-trailers) being involved. And fatalities result in almost 5,000 of these accidents. The truth is that a collision with a large truck causes one out of every eight traffic fatalities. It should come as no surprise that it is the passengers of the vehicles that are struck by the tractor-trailers that most of the deaths and injuries involve. The drivers of the trucks more often than not, will escape unscathed.
Tractor-trailer and other operators of large trucks, are required by the Federal government to undergo limited alcohol and drug testing, and to acquire a commercial drivers license. There are however, many advocates of safety that question the effectiveness of the testing and licensing program.
Truck driver fatigue according to safety experts, is a much more pressing matter. In 2013, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) implemented new rules that permit a driver after 10 consecutive off hours, to then drive 11 hours. In addition, after the 10 off hours, they may not drive past the 14th hour, after coming on duty. And after being on duty in a seven-consecutive-day period for 60 hours, a driver may not drive. The same applies in an eight-day-consecutive period for 70 hours. Then whenever a driver stays off duty for a minimum of 34 consecutive hours, the on-duty cycle can restart.
Those drivers that return to their dispatch place every day -short haul drivers-, and are then released from duty, during any seven consecutive day period, may have an increased on duty period of 16 hours. This exception of 16 hours takes legitimate business needs into consideration, without jeopardizing safety. Without the extra two on-duty hours, the FMCSA estimates at least 48,000 new drivers would need to be hired by the industry, actually reducing the benefits of crash-reduction.
The previous rule permitted, after eight hours off-duty time, 10 hours of driving within an on-duty period of 15 hours. Also, after their 15th hour in a workday on duty, drivers were not allowed to drive. The same applied in seven consecutive days being on duty 60 hours, and eight consecutive days being on duty 70 hours
Up to 75 lives will be saved by the new rule, the FMCSA estimates, and as many as 1,326 annual fatigue related crashes prevented. The new rule is designed to reduce driver fatigue and, in turn, save lives and result in fewer tractor trailer accidents.
Drivers do often continue even when prudence suggests otherwise, because of the pressure to get their loads delivered. A recent survey conducted reported that within the last month, 20% of long-haul truck drivers admitted that they had fallen asleep while driving.
It is simply so important that you consider all your legal options, if you have received injuries, or if a loved one has been killed in a tractor-trailer, or large truck accident. Large corporations employ so many truckers, and they may put the delivery of their merchandise above your safety.
When you are involved in a collision, it is vital you summon the police at once, and immediately seek medical treatment. And then, to protect your rights, seek legal counsel.
You can click here for a case evaluation with one of the best Marietta personal injury attorneys. If you want to discuss your case with a Cobb County GA tractor-trailer accident lawyer. Please do not delay contacting attorney Diana Whipkey Young, as there are time considerations on filing a lawsuit in all accident cases. We normally work on a contingency basis which means we do not get paid unless there is a monetary recovery. Don't delay. Get in touch with us as quickly as possible!
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