The Ohio truck accident lawyers at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy have experience investigating a variety of truck accidents. It’s our priority to determine what factors contributed to your accident so we can represent the strongest and most effective claim on your behalf.
We’re here for you—dial (888) 900-6075 or complete a free initial consultation form now. It’s important that you get experienced legal help as soon as possible after your accident. There is key evidence that must be preserved in order to investigate you or your loved one’s case.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and other organizations have a number of regulations in place that are designed to keep both motorists and truckers safe. Violation of these regulations may lead to a truck accident.
Some of these regulations pertain to:
The FMCSA considers driving a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) in a careless or dangerous manner as unsafe. Contributing circumstances to unsafe driving can include:
Driving at an unsafe speed or exceeding the speed limit can make it difficult to control the massive trucks.
- Erratic Driving
Driving aggressively or “road rage” can be even more dangerous when the driver is operating a multi-ton CMV. Failure to follow traffic laws, improper lane changes, and improper backing may also be considered erratic driving behaviors.
- Distracted Driving
Texting, taking eyes off the road or hands off the wheel, or even changing the radio station can all lead to serious accidents.
- Improper Vehicle Maintenance
Trucks are required to maintain inspection logs and pass vehicle inspections to stay in operation. But when trucking companies push their vehicles and drivers beyond the limit, they often sacrifice safety for profits.
- Safety Management Systems
Many reputable trucking companies have comprehensive occupational vehicle safety guidelines in place to create a standard of safe driving and maintenance practices.
- Out-of-Service Order
When a truck fails to live up to standard inspection, repair, and maintenance standards, it is declared “out-of-service” by an authorized enforcement officer.
Fatigued Drivers/Hours of Service Requirements (HOS)
Hours-of-Service (HOS) requirements limit the number of hours a CMV driver can drive consecutively. When these regulations are not followed, fatigued drivers can suffer:
- dull vision,
- impaired judgment,
- inability to communicate,
- memory lapses,
- slow reaction and response time,
- and more.
To ensure drivers follow HOS regulations, they are required to maintain a Driver’s Logbook, which details the hours driven; however, some drivers have been known to keep false log book entries. Many motor carriers require their trucks to have electric on-board recording (EOBR) devices, which tally the number of hours driven.
Poor Driver Fitness
To ensure truck drivers are physically qualified to operate CMVs, they must undergo pre-employment medical screening. Drivers also are required to undergo proper training and supervision. Examples of unfit drivers—or those considered a hazard to themselves and other vehicles on the road—include those who:
- Have poor vision
The FMCSA requires drivers to have a visual acuity of at least 20/40 in each eye either without glasses or with correction from lenses; have a horizontal field of vision of no less than a total of 140 degrees; have the ability to distinguish the colors red, green, yellow, and more.
- Use drugs and alcohol
No driver should participate in the excessive use of alcohol or be addicted to the use of narcotics or habit forming drugs.
- Sleep apnea
It’s important that drivers with sleep apnea undergo proper medical evaluations to ensure that they do not suffer from day time drowsiness, which may lead to fatigue-related crashes.
Hauling cargo that is too heavy for the rig in use or improperly securing cargo can lead to deadly accidents involving other motorists. The FMCSA has regulations in place to prevent:
- Load falling
- Load shifting
- Load spilling
- Overhanging loads
- Overloaded trucks
- Wide loads
No matter what caused your accident, it’s our job as Cleveland truck accident attorneys to determine what factors contributed to the crash so we can hold the responsible party accountable.