Safety should be a top priority for all truck drivers and fleet managers. Unfortunately, some accidents are unavoidable. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a crash with a negligent driver, then an injury attorney may be able to help you avoid overwhelming debt.
Although weather, distractions and defective parts can all contribute to accidents, many truck crashes can be avoided by following federal regulations, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. There are laws that govern the amount of time truckers can drive, the weights they can transport and other factors.
If you were injured by a truck driver who broke the law, fell asleep at the wheel or was otherwise negligent, then call the Robson Law Firm at 512-345-8200. An injury attorney can explain your legal options.
If you are a truck driver, then read on to learn how to avoid serious accidents:
Implement an Industry-Standard Maintenance Program
Maintenance programs prevent accidents and help trucking companies avoid expensive repairs. Commercial truck drivers must have a maintenance program according to federal and state laws. Each program should include the following:
• Seatbelt inspection;
• Removal of obstructions or obstacles from the floor;
• Inspections of indicators, steering and brakes;
• Testing of wipers, heaters, defrosters and other instruments;
• Inspections of mirrors, headlights, signals and tires;
• And evaluations of all emergency equipment, such as flares and fire extinguishers.
Compliance Checks for Commercial Motor Vehicles
Any vehicle with a gross weight that exceeds 10,000 pounds must undergo compliance checks, according to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. These ensure that trucks meet federal and state regulations.
These checks are typically unannounced and performed at random. They often take place at roadside weigh stations. Drivers cannot refuse them. Specifically, investigators evaluate cargo securement, mechanical safety and driver qualifications for state and federal compliance.
The driver must have a commercial driver’s license, as well as checklists for trip inspections and a log indicating service hours. If a driver fails to meet these regulations, then the driver or truck’s owner may face legal action.
These safety measures may seem extreme, but adhering to them not only can help drivers avoid legal issues but may also prevent accidents. Despite these regulations, many trucking companies fail to implement maintenance programs. Often, these are the vehicles that are responsible for serious accidents – and drivers and passengers in regular-sized cars tend to suffer the worst injuries.
When to Contact an Accident Lawyer in Texas
After any collision, your first priority should be seeking medical attention. Even if you do not notice symptoms, you should undergo an evaluation from emergency responders.
If you are physically able, then contact the police. Take photos of the scene, and gather information from witnesses and other drivers. Your next call should be to an injury attorney.
If you would like to find an accident attorney in Texas, then call the Robson Law Firm at 512-345-8200. An Austin accident lawyer can help you pursue compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other damages.