There has likely been a time when you, while driving around Pittsburgh, have begun to feel slightly drowsy. In such an event, you know what you need to do: get off the road as soon as possible and ensure that you are well-rested before getting behind the wheel again. Should you fall asleep at the wheel, you become an extreme danger to not yourself, but also those around you. If you can cause severe damage while asleep in your vehicle, imagine how much more extensive it might be if a truck driver dozed off while driving.
Commercial truck drivers in Pennsylvania can be under a lot of pressure to deliver goods on time. This sometimes results in long working hours which, in turn, can lead to exhaustion. One of the causes of truck accidents is fatigue, and the trucking industry has certain rules that regulate the number of hours a truck driver can be on the road. To keep track of this, all drivers must also fill in a trucking log on a regular basis.
As a Pennsylvania resident, you likely know the potential charges and penalties you may face for driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. However, distracted driving is becoming a frequent problem as more smartphones and other personal electronic devices become essential for daily life. It is important to understand that there are state regulations that prohibit you from using a cellphone or tablet while you are behind the wheel. The penalties also change slightly if you are a truck driver.
Drowsy driving is a serious problem in Pennsylvania and the rest of the United States. According to CNN, drowsy driving accounts for 20% of motor vehicle accidents, 25% of fatal crashes, 1,500 deaths and 40,000 injuries. In fact, staying awake for 20 hours or more may cause impairment similar to having a blood alcohol content level of 0.08%. One doctor explained that at this point, data processing and reflex speeds slow tremendously, just as when a person becomes drunk.
There are many dangers associated with driving, and some vehicles are especially dangerous. For example, someone riding a motorcycle may be especially likely to sustain an injury or pass away if they are involved in a motor vehicle accident. Moreover, certain types of vehicles, such as high-profile vehicles, carry different risks that drivers should be aware of. In fact, it can be especially dangerous to drive a high-profile vehicle during strong winds since the vehicle may be more likely to be pushed or flip over as a result of wind.
Big rigs are a familiar sight on Pennsylvania roadways. They are a crucial part of a thriving economy. However, with more traffic on the highways than ever before and the fact that they weigh 20 to 30 times more than your car or light duty truck, accidents involving 18-wheelers are often devastating. At Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C, our team of attorneys has experience representing clients whose injuries result in limb amputation.
The accident expenses you could face following a collision with a semi-truck or other type of commercial vehicle in Pittsburgh can be enormous. They could even place you in the position of needing to seek compensation above and beyond what is available through insurance coverage. The question is who is ultimately liable: the trucker who hit you, or the company that employs them?
An accident involving a tanker truck in Bensalem Township, Pennsylvania, last Thursday sent two people to the hospital with critical injuries and required extensive repairs to an Interstate 95 off-ramp after the vehicle caught on fire.
A lot of large truck wrecks happen because of high speeds, fatigue or the use of intoxicating substances. These are certainly not the only reasons why collisions involving large trucks take place, however. For example, a large truck may be hauling materials that are not secured properly, which can cause a large truck driver or someone riding in another vehicle to become hurt or lose control of their vehicle. When these types of accidents occur, those who fail to secure materials should be held accountable.
The large trucks and commercial vehicles that people see driving in and around Pittsburgh may present several unique risks to others drivers. So unique, in fact, that a particular subsection of liability law has been created to deal primarily with the issues they present. When a large truck and a standard vehicle collide, it may not be difficult for one to imagine which vehicle (and which occupants) will get the worst of it. For this reason, truck drivers are expected to be especially careful in their operation of their vehicles.