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Trucking Accidents and Driver Fatigue

When it comes to auto accidents with large trucks, even the smallest collision can be deadly. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a total of 3,986 people died in large truck crashes in 2016. Unfortunately, one of the primary causes of such accidents is driver fatigue. WHAT IS DRIVER FATIGUE Driver fatigue is the result of physical or mental exertion and can severely impair a person’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. If a driver is fatigued, they may experience one of the following symptoms:   Trouble focusing   Inability to keep their eyes open   Short-term memory loss   Slower reaction time   Wandering thoughts   Wandering eyes   Constant yawning   Inability to stay in the lane WHY DOES DRIVER FATIGUE OCCUR? There are many things that may contribute to driver fatigue. Lack of a quality/quantity of sleep and driving through the night are the most common, especially with large truck drivers. Truck drivers are often under extreme pressure to meet delivery deadlines, make up lost time due to weather, or log a certain number of miles. As a result, truck drivers tend to drive while fatigued, increasing the likeliness that they will be in an accident. Unfortunately for the other drivers on the road, the common car does not stand a chance against an 80,000 lbs. semi-truck. WHAT CAN BE DONE There are regulations on both the state and federal levels to combat truck driver fatigue. Large truck drivers are permitted to drive a maximum of 11 consecutive hours, provided they have take the next 10 consecutive hours off. Truck drivers are required to log their time driving, their time on duty but not driving (loading or unloading the truck), and their time off duty. The trucking companies are also responsible for making sure their drivers are following these rules, but it can be difficult to know when a driver has omitted certain information from their logs, therefore making it difficult to know if a driver has violated the regulations.   HIRE AN ATTORNEY Despite best efforts to drive safely, large truck accidents do happen. If you or a loved one have been injured by a large truck, be sure to hire an attorney. Find a lawyer,with extensive experience securing the maximum fair compensation in auto accident cases. When you hire an experienced personal injury attorney, you can feel comfortable knowing that the attorney...
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A History of Tractor Trailer Commerce in America

A semi tractor-trailer comprises a truck with an engine (also known as the tractor) and an attached trailer which is used for hauling cargo. Tractor trailer refers to both the truck and the attached trailer and is sometimes called an 18-wheeler due to the number of wheels on the combined units About 60,000 pounds of goods and commodities per person are delivered by tractor trailers every year. The trailers are typically 53 feet long and fully loaded, weigh between 20 to 30 times as much as passenger cars. Deaths in crashes involving large trucks are on the rise. The number of fatalities involving large trucks has increased by 27 percent since 2009 according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) 2016 report. How did semi-tractor trailers evolve to become the leading mode of interstate commerce in America? In 1898, the Winton Motor Carriage Company of Cleveland, Ohio, sold its first 22 “horseless carriages” off the factory line. Since the vehicles needed to be delivered to customers hundreds of miles away, Alexander Winton developed the first of its kind – a primitive tractor trailer which joined a touring vehicle with a trailer. Winton did not pursue further development of the tractor-trailer but remained in the business of improving engines, manufacturing and selling automobiles. But the evolution of tractor trailers continued as other craftsmen fabricated improved models that were only possible when roadways began to crisscross the nation during the prosperous roaring twenties. Early developers such as Detroit blacksmith, Charles Fruehauf, of the Fruehauf Trailer Company, John C. Endebrock of Trailmobile, Peterbilt of Tacoma and Mack Trucks paved the way for tractor trailers as the leading mode of interstate commercial transportation in America. When interstate commerce outgrew America’s vast network of railroads, President Roosevelt signed an unfunded act entitled the National System of Interstate Highways in 1944. It wasn’t until 1955, that the Clay Committee handed a report to President Dwight D. Eisenhower estimating the current use of the nation’s highways: “…approximately 48 million passenger cars, 10 million trucks, and a quarter of a million buses, operating on 3,348,000 miles of roads and streets.” In an effort to move the nation forward, the report concluded: “We are indeed a nation on wheels and we cannot permit these wheels to slow down. Our mass industries must have moving supply lines to feed raw materials into our factories and moving distribution lines...
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How to Handle a Work Injury If It Arises

If an employee has been injured or become ill due to work, they must notify their boss quickly about what has happened. An employee may shrug off an accident as no big deal, forget to report the incident at all, or be afraid to bring it to the attention of their boss. An employee may worry there will be consequences for reporting an injury that can end up costing the company money. Unfortunately, by leaving an injury untreated it may only worsen in the days or weeks to come. Reporting the injury is also important so the employee can receive workers compensation benefits if medical care is required. In the article to follow, we have answered the many questions an employee may ask themselves during the process of a workers compensation claim. How does workers compensation benefits work? Workers compensation benefits is a program that helps cover the expenses associated with employee injuries or illnesses that arise due to the work environment or task. A worker may be eligible for benefits if the injury happened: While on the job site or location At a work hosted event or celebration When traveling but performing work-related assignments What if my boss starts treating me differently after reporting the injury? It is unlawful for a supervisor to treat an employee poorly or fire them, for reporting an injury accident. An employer is not permitted to discourage an employee from filing a workers compensation claim, in any way retaliate against, or cancel a pending promotion. If for any reason you feel your employer is being neglectful or careless with your claim, you may want to consider meeting with a lawyer for some legal advice. Your boss may be acting in a way that he or she does not realize is against the law. A lawyer can help you hopefully resolve the wrongdoing and prevent further mistreatment from happening in the workplace. Why would my workers compensation claim be denied? There are a couple elements of an injury accident that may result in a claim denial. If the employee was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident, benefits may be denied. Also, if it is found the employee actually self-inflicted the injury, the claim is very likely to not be approved. Why would an employee turn to a lawyer about their claim? An employee may need the help...
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