Commercial trucks such as 18 wheelers, flatbeds and cargo trucks are the lifeblood of America. These vehicles keep shelves stocked and get products and heavy equipment to where its needed. There’s no question that big trucks keep Pennsylvania running by carrying thousands of shipments across the state each day. However, while commercial vehicles are necessary to transport goods across PA and throughout the US, they also present a serious danger to other vehicles sharing the road.
Because of the massive size of commercial vehicles, collisions can be highly destructive. In 2013, there were 3,964 fatal truck accidents reported by the U.S. Transportation Department of Transportation. The victims included truckers, pedestrians and the occupants of vehicles that collided with the big rigs.
If you need an aggressive commercial truck accident lawyer in Pennsylvania, Brent Wieand can help. He has dedicated his legal career to representing clients injured in serious motor vehicle accidents. Attorney Wieand is well versed in interstate and intrastate commercial trucking laws and knows what information to look for to determine if a negligence or a trucking violation was a cause of your accident. To discuss a trucking accident injury or wrongful death claim call Brent Wieand for a free consultation at (215) 666-7777.
Brent Wieand’s office is located in Philadelphia and he is proud to serve clients throughout all of Pennsylvania including the areas of Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery County. Attorney Wieand works on a contingency fee basis. This means you won’t pay attorneys fees or costs unless he recovers money for you.
Truck Driver Fatigue Causes Serious Accidents
Its no secret that tired truck drivers are the cause of numerous trucking accidents on Pennsylvania’s roadways every year. The risks of truck driver fatigue is well documented in the commercial trucking industry. Despite known risks, commercial drivers and trucking companies often resort to unsafe measures to meet shipping deadlines due to intense financial pressures.
When commercial drivers become fatigued from working excessive hours or long shifts, they greatly increase the risk of crashes that can cause death or serious injuries. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has reported that approximately 750 people die and 20,000 more are injured each year by fatigued commercial vehicle drivers. Currently, the law requires that commercial drivers operate a truck or bus drive no more than 10 consecutive hours before resting for minimum of 8 hours. This rule was enacted to allow fatigued drivers to spend 16 hours driving in any 24 hours period. However, this rule is often broken, and innocent lives are put at risk, by truck drivers and trucking companies that want to increase profits.
When a tired truck driver gets behind a wheel of a commercial vehicle it is a recipe for disaster. In Pennsylvania, big rig trucks can weigh up to a staggering 40 tons. By comparison, most cars and pickup trucks only weigh several thousand pounds. It comes as no surprise that if a passenger vehicle and a commercial truck are involved in a collision, the occupants of the passenger vehicle are much more likely to suffer serious injury or be killed. If the victim is a cyclist or pedestrian, the degree of damage will often be even more extensive.
Common Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents in Pennsylvania
- Alcohol and drug use by truck operators. Whether it is marijuana, prescription drugs, alcohol or some other illegal substance, the use of drugs or alcohol while driving a commercial truck is a deadly combination. In Pennsylvania, a commercial truck driver is considered over the limit when his or her Blood alcohol Concentration (BAC) is 0.04 or greater. This is one half the legal limit for other Pennsylvania drivers.
- Truck driver fatigue
- Mechanical failures such as defective breaks, tire blowouts, defective truck parts. Many times these failures occur because truck drivers and trucking companies fail to perform routine inspection and maintenance.
- Improperly secured cargo
- Overloading a trailer can cause a truck driver to lose control of his vehicle. There are strict weight limits for all commercial vehicles in PA and throughout the US.
- Uneven weight distribution of cargo in the truck
- Careless driving or failing to pay attention at the wheel
- Cell phone use or other electronic device while driving a truck
- Reckless or aggressive driving
If you were injured or lost a loved one because of a truck accident in Pennsylvania, don’t wait to contact an experienced lawyer who handles trucking accidents. A delay could affect the outcome of your case as key evidence may disappear, deadlines could be missed or witnesses may go missing. Brent Wieand is happy to discuss your trucking injury case with you free of cost. Call Brent today at (215) 666-7777 or fill out a description of your claim in the online contact form.