Every 16 minutes, a person is injured or killed in an accident involving a semi-truck or tractor trailer. In Minnesota, the number of trucks traveling on the state’s highways increases every year, and truck accidents are rising as a result. McEwen & Kestner law firm has represented many clients who have suffered serious and fatal injuries in truck and commercial vehicle accidents.
McEwen & Kestner review your case with all state and federal trucking regulations in mind.
Trucking accidents occur for a variety of reasons, but some of the most common truck accident causes include the following:
- Truck Driver Fatigue In order for truck drivers to remain alert and responsive on road, they must take an appropriate amount of breaks and get enough rest and sleep. These rest periods are mandatory under federal law. Unfortunately, drivers often break these rules to meet delivery deadlines. In fact, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board still blames driver fatigue as a probable factor in 20-40% of all truck crashes.
- Accidents Due To Aggressive Driving / Speeding Truck drivers are often under extreme pressure to meet their schedule obligations and often resort to speeding and other aggressive driving tactics such as making unsafe lane changes, failing to signal and ignoring blind spots which create increased safety risks.
- Accidents Due To Improper Truck Maintenance All vehicles require regular maintenance to function properly. Semi-trucks require more maintenance, simply because of the wear and tear they encounter on a daily basis. Maintaining a semi-truck is not only expensive, it’s time consuming. Because time and money are precious commodities in the trucking industry often maintenance practices are ignored putting others in danger.
- Accidents Due To Distracted Driving Truckers spend more time behind the wheel than virtually all other drivers on the road. Because commercial truck drivers are on the road so often, they often treat the cab of the truck as a home and are often splitting their attention between multiple activities. Such activities include eating, talking on a cell phone and texting. In one recent deadly accident, a trucker was watching pornography on a laptop computer at the time of the accident.
- Accidents Due To Alcohol and Drug Use – Drug use causes many trucking accidents perhaps even more than alcohol consumption. Truck drivers are not simply using marijuana and other drugs recreationally. They are taking prescription stimulants illegally, attempting to combat driver fatigue so they can spend more hours on the road and make more money. When a truck driver impaired by drugs or alcohol makes the decision to get behind the wheel of their semi tractor-trailer, any driver traveling near them is at risk for injury or death.
- Accidents Due To Dangerous Weather Conditions – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) states that during times of severe weather, truck drivers are required to pull off the road. In rain or snowy conditions, an eighteen-wheeler traveling at highway speeds is at the mercy of natural forces that even the most experienced trucker cannot overcome.
If you’ve been involved in a serious accident with a semi-truck as the result of these or other reasons, it is important for you to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to help you recover compensation for your injuries and other damages. Contact McEwen & Kestner for a free legal consultation by calling us at 651-224-3833.