Trucking Companies Must Help Stop Distracted Driving

distracted driving

Distracted Driving is a Huge Safety Problem for Trucking Companies

distracted drivingDistracted driving is becoming one of the biggest road safety hazards in the United States. Numerous studies have shown that modern technology poses a huge temptation to drivers – hands-free phones, smart watches or other wearable tech, Bluetooth headsets, and even simple texting and driving. One study, conducted by AT&T, showed that three-quarters of drivers chose to text and drive, regardless of the dangers. Another recent study showed that distracted driving, especially texting and driving, is just as deadly as driving under the influence (DUI).

But too many drivers succumb to the temptation, including truck drivers – and that becomes a liability for trucking companies.

“What we don’t want is that truck driver holding that phone up to his ear,” said Michael J. Riley, president of the Motor Transport Association of CT. “That’s distracted driving. That’s dangerous.”

Trucking companies are some of the most vocal advocates for tougher distracted driving laws. Currently, each state varies in its laws and penalties, although most states now have laws against texting and driving.

“We have a lot of stake here,” said Riley. “There’s a moral commitment to doing things safely, there’s an economic component to it all, and we’re proud of what we do and we don’t want to do it in a way that jeopardizes anybody’s safety.”

Enforcement of distracted driving laws can be difficult, due to the prevalence of the harmful practice. One way that states combat the problem is to set up checkpoints, cameras, and police cruisers to catch those breaking the law, especially truck drivers.

“There are studies that say the more proactive we are about enforcing it, the greater it does reduce it,” said Lt. Donald Bridge, a Connecticut DMV Inspector. “The trucks provide a higher platform for the driver so it’s harder to see in there, so we have to take vantage points where we’re up above that and looking down into the cabs.”

“As traffic approaches, we’re looking at everything,” Sgt. Aaron Reimer of the Ohio State Patrol said.

However, Sgt. Reimer says there’s a larger problem with issuing tickets: “The drivers aren’t taking it seriously enough.”

Federal law says that talking on a cell phone is illegal for truck drivers, because it not only causes distracted driving, but the driver takes one hand off the wheel, which means he or she could lose control of the truck. However, because federal law is so strict against truck drivers, thousands of distracted driving accidents involving commercial trucks are actually caused by the other driver.

“Two-thirds of accidents involving commercial vehicles are actually caused by a vehicle other than the commercial vehicle,” Bill Graves with the American Trucking Association said. In Ohio in 2013, there were 10,000 commercial trucks on the roads, and 2,000 distracted driving accidents involving the trucks.

Still, distracted driving catches up to truck drivers too often. “We found that truck drivers are 23 times more likely to be involved in one of these safety critical events compared to when they weren’t texting,” said Jeff Hickman, a researcher with Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.

Trucking Accidents Can Cause Serious Injury and Wrongful Death

If you or a loved one has been such a victim, contact the Strom Law Firm, LLC South Carolina trucking accident lawyers. Whether you were injured in a bus accident, tractor trailer accident, or any other commercial vehicle accident, we can help. Contact us today at 803.252.4800.

Walmart Disputes Tracy Morgan’s Trucking Accident Personal Injury Lawsuit

personal injury lawsuit

Tracy Morgan Filed Personal Injury Lawsuit After Trucking Accident, Walmart Claims Morgan is At Fault

personal injury lawsuitAfter a terrible trucking accident involving comedian Tracy Morgan’s limousine and a Walmart truck, which severely injured Morgan and killed one of his friends, the comedian filed a personal injury lawsuit against the retail giant.

Now, Walmart claims that the personal injury lawsuit is unfounded, because Morgan and his friend were not wearing seat belts at the time of the trucking accident.

About 1 AM on Saturday, June 7th, Tracy Morgan’s limo van was hit by Roper’s truck on the New Jersey Turnpike. The collision killed one of Morgan’s fellow comedian passengers, James McNair, who performed under the name Jimmy Mack. Reportedly, 35-year-old truck driver Kevin Roper had been awake for 24 consecutive hours before causing the tractor trailer accident.

“The driver of the tractor-trailer failed to observe slow-moving traffic ahead,” said Sgt. Gregory Williams of New Jersey State Police. “At the last minute, he swerved to try and avoid the Mercedes limo bus but struck it from behind, forcing the limo to rotate and overturn.” Roper also faced criminal charges for causing the trucking accident.

Morgan argues in his personal injury lawsuit that Walmart was culpable because Roper had been awake for 24 hours, which is often a truck driver’s response to company pressure. His commute of 700 miles – from Georgia to Delaware – was “unreasonable.” Morgan suffered a broken leg and broken ribs, and reportedly needed several weeks in a hospital and a rehabilitation facility to recover.

In their response to Morgan’s personal injury lawsuit on Monday, September 29th, however, Walmart denied that the crash injuries were due to negligence on their part.

“Upon information and belief, plaintiffs’ injuries, if any, were caused, in whole or in part, by plaintiffs’ failure to properly wear an appropriate available seat belt restraint device,” Walmart’s court papers said.

“By failing to exercise ordinary care in making use of available seat belts, upon information and belief, plaintiffs acted unreasonably and in disregard of plaintiffs’ own best interests,” the defense’s response continued. “Accordingly, all or a portion of the injuries could have been diminished or minimized by the exercise of reasonable conduct in using the available seat belts.”

Trucking Accidents Can Cause Serious Personal Injury and Wrongful Death

Accidents involving heavy commercial vehicles such as semi tractor trailers, flatbed or tanker trucks, buses, or construction accidents can often result in a serious injury or death.

Many times truck drivers cannot see in certain blind spots around their large 18 wheeler.  You will also find that many truck drivers do not follow the speed limits and rules of the road.  They are pressured by deadlines and DOT regulations are often racing to get to their destination.

Tractor trailer accidents can also occur as the result of driver fatigue.  Drivers may get distracted or even fall asleep at the wheel, leaving them unable to avoid a trucking accident.

Injuries sustained in these types of accidents can be disabling. Accidents involving heavy commercial vehicles can cause:

  • traumatic brain injury,
  • paralysis,
  • severe disability, and
  • even death.

The Strom Law Firm, LLC can help you if you have been injured in a trucking accident. With careful analysis and investigation we will look at critical factors including:

  • maintenance and equipment records for the truck;
  • whether the truck load was appropriate, properly sized and within the weight limit;
  • Weather, road, and grade conditions;
  • whether the driver was operating within DOT regulations.

If you or a loved one has been such a victim, contact the Strom Law Firm, LLC trucking accident lawyers.  Whether you were injured in a bus accident, tractor trailer accident, or any other commercial vehicle accident, we can help.

Trucking Company Could Be Liable for Distracted Driving Collision

trucking accident

Trucking Company Under Investigation for Oklahoma-Area Distracted Driving Collision, Not Driver

trucking companyA Nashville, TN-based trucking company is under investigation after one of their drivers in Oklahoma allegedly crossed the median without any signs of braking or attempting to avoid the collision, which led to an accident that killed 4 Texas community college women’s softball team members, and injured several others.

The driver, Russell Staley, has not yet been criminally charged for the trucking accident, although police reported on Sunday, September 28th that they believe the cause of the accident was distracted driving.

The truck reportedly traveled 820 feet over the median on Friday, September 26th, before crashing into the sports team’s touring bus. Four of the softball team girls were killed, and two were hospitalized. Current reports state that the softball player who was in critical condition is improving.

“As a parent of a daughter in college, I realize — and I think we all realize — that this is truly a parent’s worst nightmare,” said National Transportation Safety Board board member Robert L. Sumwalt. “Our goal, our entire reason for being here, is to prevent things like this from happening again.”

The NTSB is currently investigating the distracted driving trucking accident. The agency believes that the root cause of the trucking accident was distracted driving, and not road conditions, driver exhaustion, or drug or alcohol impairment. The truck hit the side of the bus, and then kept going off the road. Authorities said it took over an hour to find the truck after the accident.

A vigil was held at the Texas community college’s campus on Sunday, September 28th. School administrators said that the loss really hit the small college, which only has 10,000 students.

“Right now, it’s being investigated like a homicide,” Highway Patrol Capt. Ronnie Hampton said.

The trucking company, Quickway, which is based in Nashville, TN, had not been involved in a trucking accident with fatalities since mid-August 2012.

Trucking Accidents Can Cause Serious Injury and Wrongful Death

Accidents involving heavy commercial vehicles such as semi tractor trailers, flatbed or tanker trucks, buses, or construction accidents can often result in a serious injury or death.

Many times truck drivers cannot see in certain blind spots around their large 18 wheeler.  You will also find that many truck drivers do not follow the speed limits and rules of the road.  They are pressured by deadlines and DOT regulations are often racing to get to their destination

Tractor trailer accidents can also occur as the result of driver fatigue.  Drivers may get distracted or even fall asleep at the wheel, leaving them unable to avoid a trucking accident. Injuries sustained in these types of accidents can be disabling. Accidents involving heavy commercial vehicles can cause:

  • traumatic brain injury,
  • paralysis,
  • severe disability, and
  • even death.

The Strom Law Firm, LLC can help you if you have been injured in a trucking accident. With careful analysis and investigation we will look at critical factors including:

  • maintenance and equipment records for the truck;
  • whether the truck load was appropriate, properly sized and within the weight limit;
  • Weather, road, and grade conditions;
  • whether the driver was operating within DOT regulations.
  • Driver exhaustion or distracted driving

If you or a loved one has been such a victim, contact the Strom Law Firm, LLC trucking accident lawyersWhether you were injured in a bus accident, tractor trailer accident, or any other commercial vehicle accident, we can help. Contact us today at 803.252.4800.

Company Liable for Trucking Accident Case

trucking accident case

Judge Holds Company Liable for Affiliate in Trucking Accident Case

trucking accident casePlaintiff Michael Stratton lost his wife in a trucking accident in 2009, when a truck driver caused a crash on the New York Turnpike because he was watching pornography while driving. The truck driver is currently in jail on second-degree manslaughter charges.

However, Stratton also took the truck company to court for the trucking accident case, alleging that the company had liability for the behavior of its employees. Initially, Western District Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder held to the Graves Amendment, a 9-year-old law that protects rental car and trucking companies from liability in the event of an accident involving one of their affiliates.

Now, in what is called a landmark decision for New York State, the Hon. Rchard Arcara ruled that the trucking company should be held vicariously liable for negligence in the trucking accident. Attorneys for Stratton said that many trucking companies around the country have reorganized themselves to take advantage of their release from liability in the event of a trucking accident. The Graves Amendment holds that contracts in which the trucking company and the truck driver are affiliated only through an “arms-length” contract, then the owning company is not liable for the truck driver’s negligence, as long as the owner was not negligent.

Judge Arcara argued that trucking companies are often bound to their drivers by more than just a lease agreement on the truck. The plaintiff’s attorneys argued that the trucking company should be financially liable, such as in a civil suit, for damage caused by the truck operator, if the operator is using the vehicle with the owner’s permission – as in the case of contracts between drivers and trucking companies.

“In this case, the (parent company) had total control. It was all the same company, the same family, the same people running it,” said Francis Letro, one of the attorneys for Stratton.

“This is far different from the situation in which Great River finds itself,” Arcara wrote. “There is no suggestion that Great River is constrained in the same manner as rental and leasing companies that hold themselves out to the general public.”

Trucking Accidents Can Cause Serious Injury and Wrongful Death

Accidents involving heavy commercial vehicles such as semi tractor trailers, flatbed or tanker trucks, buses, or construction accidents can often result in a serious injury or death.

Many times truck drivers cannot see in certain blind spots around their large 18 wheeler.  You will also find that many truck drivers do not follow the speed limits and rules of the road.  They are pressured by deadlines and DOT regulations are often racing to get to their destination.

Tractor trailer accidents can also occur as the result of driver fatigue.  Drivers may get distracted or even fall asleep at the wheel, leaving them unable to avoid a trucking accident. Injuries sustained in these types of accidents can be disabling. Accidents involving heavy commercial vehicles can cause:

  • traumatic brain injury,
  • paralysis,
  • severe disability, and
  • even death.

The Strom Law Firm, LLC can help you if you have been injured in a trucking accident. With careful analysis and investigation we will look at critical factors including:

  • maintenance and equipment records for the truck;
  • whether the truck load was appropriate, properly sized and within the weight limit;
  • Weather, road, and grade conditions;
  • whether the driver was operating within DOT regulations.

If you or a loved one has been such a victim, contact the Strom Law Firm, LLC trucking accident lawyers. Whether you were injured in a bus accident, tractor trailer accident, or any other commercial vehicle accident, we can help.

Agency Updates Medical Requirements for Commercial Truck Drivers

commercial truck driver

FMCSA Updates Medical Requirements for Commercial Truck Drivers to Prevent Trucking Accidents

commercial truck driverIn May of this year, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) updated requirements for commercial truck drivers, stating that they needed to see a certified medical practitioner for medical exams, to ensure that health issues will not lead to more trucking accidents.

The FMCSA also updated its list of National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME), adding more than 8,000 health care professionals who are certified to give medical exams to commercial truck drivers. An additional 22,500 medical professionals have initiated the process of becoming certified.

As of May 21st, all medical exams on commercial truck drivers (CDL or non-CDL) must be performed by a medical examiner who has received training and passed the certification test, according to the federal agency.

“Medical examiners equipped with a thorough understanding of DOT fitness standards will be able to ensure that commercial drivers meet the health requirements necessary to operate on our highways and roads, thereby strengthening safety for every traveler,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Foxx, in a recent press release by FMCSA.

“I’m a firm believer in that all drivers need to be safe on the roads,” says commercial truck driver, Glenn Wiest, of North Dakota.

The examination checks for cardiovascular disease, respiratory problems, and motor function. Commercial truck drivers are in one of the most stressful professions in the country, and an undetected physical problem can lead a black-out or worse physical issues on the road, which can lead to a serious trucking accident.

“We have to go through a nine-hour training course so that we’re up-to-date on the regulations,” says Dr. Joel Blanchard, Sanford Health. “And with this new education, we’re aware of some of these standards and are now providing what we feel is a better examination of commercial motor vehicle standards.”

Trucking Accidents Can Cause Serious Injury and Wrongful Death

Accidents involving heavy commercial vehicles such as semi tractor trailers, flatbed or tanker trucks, buses, or construction accidents can often result in a serious injury or death.

Many times truck drivers cannot see in certain blind spots around their large 18 wheeler.  You will also find that many truck drivers do not follow the speed limits and rules of the road.  They are often pressured by deadlines and have been on the road for a while and just want to get to their destination.

Other accidents are the result of driver fatigue.  Drivers will sometimes fall asleep at the wheel or at least lack sufficient attention and readiness to avoid truck accidents.

Some truck drivers also drive while using alcohol or other drugs unknown to their employer which causes them to drive recklessly and put others on the road in danger.

Injuries sustain in these types of accidents can be disabling. Accidents involving heavy commercial vehicles can cause:

  • Hospitalization
  • Rehabilitation
  • Loss of a job
  • Extended leave of absences
  • Family issues

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Injury Cases in Trucking Accidents

Anyone can be a victim in such accident. With careful analysis and investigation we will look at critical factors including:

  • Commericial vehicle crash cases
  • Maintenance and equipment records for the vehicle
  • Oversize and overweight loads
  • Weather, road, and grade conditions
  • Drivers’ conditions

If you or a loved one has been such a victim, contact the Strom Law Firm, LLC trucking accident lawyers.  Whether you were injured in a bus accident, tractor trailer accident, or any other commercial vehicle accident, we can help.

Wal-Mart Trucking Accident Caused Tracy Morgan Crash

trucking accident

Driver that Caused Trucking Accident Involving Tracy Morgan Had Been Awake Too Long

trucking accidentIn the early morning on Saturday, June 7th, a driver caused a serious trucking accident that severely injured comedian Tracy Morgan and killed one of the other passengers in his vehicle.

Reportedly, 35-year-old truck driver Kevin Roper had been awake for 24 consecutive hours before causing the tractor trailer accident. The Jonesboro, GA resident, who drives trucks for Walmart, has been charged with death by automobile and aggravated assault  by auto.

“This is a tragedy, and we are profoundly sorry that one of our trucks was involved,” Bill Simon, president and CEO of Walmart U.S., said in a statement. “The facts are continuing to unfold. If it’s determined that our truck caused the accident, Walmart will take full responsibility.”

About 1 AM on Saturday, Tracy Morgan’s limo van was hit by Roper’s truck on the New Jersey Turnpike. The collision killed one of Morgan’s fellow comedian passengers, James McNair, who performed under the name Jimmy Mack.

Tracy Morgan is reportedly in critical condition after the trucking accident, but is “more responsive, which is an incredibly encouraging sign,” publicist Lewis Kay said Sunday.

Roper turned himself in to police after the trucking accident, and was released on $50,000 bail on Saturday night.

“The driver of the tractor-trailer failed to observe slow-moving traffic ahead,” said Sgt. Gregory Williams of New Jersey State Police. “At the last minute, he swerved to try and avoid the Mercedes limo bus but struck it from behind, forcing the limo to rotate and overturn.”

Trucking Accidents Can Cause Serious Injury and Wrongful Death

Accidents involving heavy commercial vehicles such as semi tractor trailers, flatbed or tanker trucks, buses, or construction accidents can often result in a serious injury or death.

Many times truck drivers cannot see in certain blind spots around their large 18 wheeler.  You will also find that many truck drivers do not follow the speed limits and rules of the road.  They are pressured by deadlines and DOT regulations are often racing to get to their destination .

Tractor trailer accidents can also occur as the result of driver fatigue.  Drivers may get distracted or even fall asleep at the wheel, leaving them unable to avoid a trucking accident.

Injuries sustained in these types of accidents can be disabling. Accidents involving heavy commercial vehicles can cause:

  • traumatic brain injury,
  • paralysis,
  • severe disability, and
  • even death.

The Strom Law Firm, LLC can help you if you have been injured in a trucking accident. With careful analysis and investigation we will look at critical factors including:

  • maintenance and equipment records for the truck;
  • whether the truck load was appropriate, properly sized and within the weight limit;
  • Weather, road, and grade conditions;
  • whether the driver was operating within DOT regulations.

If you or a loved one has been such a victim, contact the Strom Law Firm, LLC trucking accident lawyersWhether you were injured in a bus accident, tractor trailer accident, or any other commercial vehicle accident, we can help.

Truck Driver Faces Criminal Charges for Trucking Accident

trucking accident

Driver Faces Criminal Charges for Trucking Accident in Illinois Caused by Fatigue

trucking accidentA truck driver who caused a fatal trucking accident on I-88 in Illinois was scheduled to appear in court in DuPage County on Wednesday, January 29th.

Renato Velasquez, 46, from Hanover Park, faces four felony charges for causing a trucking accident due to driving while fatigued. According to the charges, Velasquez violated “Scott’s Law” by driving for more than 14 hours, which is the maximum he could be approved for, as well as false report of record or duty status. He was also accused of failing to slow down and yield to emergency vehicles.

According to police reports, the trucking accident occurred around 9:45 PM on Monday, January 27th. A disabled semi-truck was pulled over into the right hand lane of traffic and the shoulder, and the tollway truck and a state trooper’s vehicle, with its lights on, were behind it. An illuminated arrow on the back of the tollway truck was also lit, to help drivers know to slow down and avoid the area.

The 39-year-old tollway worker, Vincent Petrella, and 38-year-old State Trooper Douglas Balder, were at the scene assisting the disabled semi-truck, when Velasquez’s truck hit the state trooper vehicle, wedging the tollway vehicle between the car and the semi-truck. The force of the impact caused all three to burst into flames.

Petrella died in the accident, and Balder was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

A trial date for Velasquez’s trucking accident criminal case has not been set.

Trucking Accidents Can Cause Serious Injury and Wrongful Death

Accidents involving heavy commercial vehicles such as semi tractor trailers, flatbed or tanker trucks, buses, or construction accidents can often result in a serious injury or death.

Many times truck drivers cannot see in certain blind spots around their large 18 wheeler.  You will also find that many truck drivers do not follow the speed limits and rules of the road.  They are often pressured by deadlines and have been on the road for a while and just want to get to their destination.

Other accidents are the result of driver fatigue.  Drivers will sometimes fall asleep at the wheel or at least lack sufficient attention and readiness to avoid truck accidents.

Some truck drivers also drive while using alcohol or other drugs unknown to their employer which causes them to drive recklessly and put others on the road in danger.

Injuries sustain in these types of accidents can be disabling. Accidents involving heavy commercial vehicles can cause:

  • Hospitalization
  • Rehabilitation
  • Loss of a job
  • Extended leave of absences
  • Family issues

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Injury Cases in Trucking Accidents

Anyone can be a victim in such accident. With careful analysis and investigation we will look at critical factors including:

  • Commericial vehicle crash cases
  • Maintenance and equipment records for the vehicle
  • Oversize and overweight loads
  • Weather, road, and grade conditions
  • Drivers’ conditions

If you or a loved one has been such a victim, contact the Strom Law Firm, LLC trucking accident lawyers.  Whether you were injured in a bus accident, tractor trailer accident, or any other commercial vehicle accident, we can help.

Commercial Trucking Accident Lawyers

18 Wheeler Accidents

18 Wheeler Accidents involving heavy commercial vehicles such as semi tractor trailers, flatbed or tanker trucks, buses, or construction accidents can often result in a serious injury or death.

Injuries sustain in these types of accidents can be disabling. Accidents involving heavy commercial vehicles can cause:

  • Hospitalization
  • Rehabilitation
  • Job loss
  • Extended leave of absence
  • Family issues

These are just a few of many problems that can result from a serious injury involving an accident with commercial trucking.

Our attorneys can help you gain the compensation you deserve. We understand how to analyze the employment, corporate, and contractual relationships, and we may be able to reveal many more defendants who are responsible for compensating you for your damages.

Whether you were injured in a bus accident, tractor trailer accident, or any other commercial trucking accident, we can help.

With careful analysis and investigation we will look at critical factors including:

  • Commericial truck crash cases
  • Maintenance and equipment records for the vehicle
  • Oversize and overweight loads
  • Weather, road, and grade conditions
  • Drivers’ conditions

We can also analyze the many layers of insurance coverage for corporate defendants.

Do not hesitate to contact us concerning injuries you may have received as a result of a commercial trucking accident. Trucking companies are aggressive in their representation. Protect your rights by hiring an experienced attorney.

Contact the Strom Law Firm at 803-252-4800.