Articles Posted in Semi Accident

A new recommendation from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) could put an end to cell phone-using truck drivers.

The NTSB recently recommended this regulation to help prevent trucking accidents in Massachusetts and elsewhere. Both hand-held and hands-free devices would be prohibited, according to CNN.

This isn’t the first time that the NTSB has recommended specific drivers to hang up the phone while operating a motor vehicle. The Board previously banned cell phone use by bus drivers and newly-licensed drivers.
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Our Boston truck accident attorneys understand how critical this type of ban is. Too many accidents are being caused by distracted drivers. These accidents can oftentimes lead to fatal results when a large, commercial truck is involved.

In 2010, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration banned truckers from sending or receiving text messages while driving. If a trucker is busted texting at the wheel, they could potentially face a fine of $2,750.

The most recent recommendation banning cell phone use by truckers came after a 45-year-old truck driver in Munfordville, Kentucky caused an accident that killed him and took the lives of 10 others. Officials believe that he was using his cell phone when the accident happened.

After officials investigated the accident, they concluded that the driver had used his cell phone for text messages and calls nearly 70 times while he was driving in the 24-hour period before that accident. Phone records revealed that he made four phone calls just minutes before the fatal accident happened.

The accident happened as the tractor-trailer left the roadway on Interstate 65. It crossed over a 60-foot median, over a cable barrier system and crossed into lanes of oncoming traffic. The truck struck a van that was carrying a dozen people. The driver of the van, nine of its occupants and the truck driver were killed in the collision.

The investigation revealed that the driver had no health problems, the road and weather conditions were fair and there were no mechanical problems with the big rig. Officials believe the distractions caused by his cell phone are to blame for the fatal crash.

According to Deborah Hersman, a safety board chairman, a cell phone ban for truck drivers has the ability to save lives on U.S. roadways.

“When you are at the wheel, driving safely should be your only focus,” said Hersman.

These recommendations would apply to all drivers that currently possess a commercial driver’s license. This means that all interstate commercial drivers and all in-state drivers that operate under the authority of any similar license would be covered.

According to Boyd Stephenson, American Trucking Association’s manager of safety, a great number of trucking companies already have regulations governing the use of cell phones by truck drivers. A complete ban would help to increase the safety of all motorists on our roadways.
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A trucking accident in Los Angeles landed a trucker in state prison for seven years and four months. The Massachusetts truck driver was recently found guilty by the Los Angeles Superior Court of involuntary manslaughter for a trucking accident that happened last April in which a father and a daughter were killed and a nail salon and bookstore were heavily damaged.
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Accidents like this can happen anywhere when the proper safety precautions aren’t taken. The Everett truck driver neglected to navigate his big rig on approved roads and failed to properly acknowledge brake issues. Trucking accidents in Massachusetts can be caused by the same circumstances. It is the responsibility of the trucker and the trucking company to ensure that these large trucks are following all safety regulations on our roadways to ensure the safety of all motorists.

Our Boston trucking accident attorneys understand that accidents with big rigs oftentimes produce deadly results. Motorists are asked to travel with extreme caution when traveling among these large trucks. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident with a semi, contact an experienced attorney to help you determine who may be at fault and to help you to collect the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

“No matter how much we ache for just one more day, they are never coming back,” said a friend of the family that was killed in the Los Angeles accident.

The accident happened as the 25-ton semi was traveling through the San Gabriel Mountains and was unable to stop after the brakes failed. The truck sped down the Angeles Crest Highway and slammed through La Canada Flintridge, California.

By the time the truck stopped, it had run over four cars, killed two people, injured three and plowed through a nail salon and a bookstore.

During trial, prosecutors stated that the accident was a direct result of the driver’s decision to take a narrow, winding road through the mountain instead of taking one of the nearby freeways to get from the desert to the Los Angeles metropolitan area. An off-duty firefighter reportedly warned the truck driver about the dangerous road and suggested that he turn around. The trucker proceeded down the mountain road for another mile and a half. During this time the big rig’s brakes began to smoke. Instead of stopping the vehicle and allowing them to cool down, the trucker reportedly poured cool water on them.

Officials inspected the big rig after the accident and concluded that half of the 10 truck brakes were either incorrectly adjusted or were overheated.

The trucker has already spent 20 months in jail awaiting his trial. Officials believe that he will be released in about two years if he’s well-behaved. He is expected to serve the remainder of his jail time in a low-security prison.

“For me this is a nightmare and I didn’t wake up yet,” said the trucker to the family of the victims. “I know each you hate me today but I ask for forgiveness.”

The trucker says that he was simply following the instructions of his GPS system. He blames the accident on the lack of safety ramps for runaway trucks on that mountain. Since the sentencing, the California Department of Transportation has decided to ban all five-axle trucks from a portion of that highway.
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A fiery Boston trucking accident shut down Route 1 after a gasoline tanker truck crashed and exploded in a fireball this past weekend. The accident triggered a number of smaller explosions that sent fire shooting towards local businesses and homes. The truck driver was killed in the accident.

The explosions happened after the overturned tanker spilled about 11,000 gallons of fuel spilled near a drainage ditch. The gas was then ignited and flames were carried down a brook that runs near the highway. The fiery explosion set a home and two greenhouse buildings on fire.
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Our Boston trucking accident attorneys recognize the potential dangers that come along with these large, commercial vehicles on our roadways. Many of them carry dangerous substances as cargo. Oftentimes, accidents with these big rigs can turn deadly. It is important for both truck drivers and passenger-vehicle motorists to be cautious on our roadways, especially during the summer months when the amount of traffic increases significantly.

Nearby residents say they heard the load crash and were later warned to evacuate their house.

The 59-year-old driver of the large truck died on scene, according to state police spokesman David Procopio. Four other motorists were hurt trying to avoid the accident, according to Boston.com. One was taken to a local hospital and treated for severe burn injuries.

Police are still investigating what exactly caused the tanker to travel through the median and roll over onto its side.

More than 100 people from local neighborhoods were forced to evacuate, but were later allowed to return to their homes several hours after the incident.

A number of traffic lanes were closed because of the accident as police checked the area for potential hazards and a nearby bridge for structural damage. They were also reportedly checking a nearby fast-food restaurant’s gas lines as they were apparently ruptured from the explosion.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were about 300,000 large trucks that were involved in traffic accidents in the United States in 2008. Of these accidents, more than 4,000 resulted in death. Nearly 4,500 people were killed in the accidents. These fatalities accounted for more than 10 percent of all reported traffic fatalities for the entire year. This means that one out of every nine traffic fatalities that year happened in 2008 happened in an accident that involved a large truck. Another 90,000 people were injured in these crashes.

Of the nearly 4,500 fatalities, 74 percent of them occurred to the occupants of the passenger-vehicle, 10 percent were nonoccupants and 16 percent happened to the occupants of the large truck.

In 2008 alone, Massachusetts saw nearly 500 vehicles become involved in a deadly accident that involved a large truck.
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The Times Herald-Record recently reported on a tractor trailer rolling over with a load of more than 45,000 pounds of oranges. The truck driver told law enforcement that as he was rounding a curve heading into an exit when he felt his load shift, causing the truck to leave the roadway onto the shoulder where it overturned. There were no reported injuries and clean-up crews spent many hours offloading the trailer.

Our Boston truck accident lawyers find this story interesting in light of two bills in Congress involving semi truck weights.
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The Coalition for Transportation Productivity is strongly in favor of SETA (Safe and Efficient Transportation Act), a bill that would give states the option to increase truck weight limits from 80,000 pounds to 97,000 pounds for six-axle vehicles. The group says requiring a sixth axle would maintain braking capacity and weight distribution, and minimize road wear. It also mentions the increase in user fees could be used for bridge repair. They also think that with fewer trucks on the roads, motorists would be safer.

The Teamsters and safety advocates are fiercely opposed to SETA and support SHIPA (Safe Highways and Infrastructure Preservation Act). This bill proposes that it would leave the current weight limits in place. They argue that the heavier trucks would accelerate road wear and tear, and that our bridges wouldn’t be able to handle the loads. They counter that longer and heavier trucks would be much harder to stop and require a lengthy distance to come to a complete halt on our overcrowded roadways. Currently, an 80,000- pound truck traveling at 55 mph takes 400 feet to stop on perfect road conditions.

Earlier this month the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) held a two day forum in Washington D.C. that focused on truck and bus safety. One idea that is being considered to decrease driver fatigue is to limit driving hours to 10 a day. The current limit is 11 hours in a 14-hour work day, and truckers can drive 70 hours every eight days.
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Proposed hours-of-service changes for commercial truckers could help reduce the risk of Boston trucking accidents and truck accidents nationwide.

A public listening session has been scheduled for next week by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on its proposed revision to the hours-of-service (HOS) requirements for commercial truckers.
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Our Boston personal injury lawyers are familiar with the devastation caused by an accident involving a large truck and consider mandating hours of service critical to reduce the hazards associated with truck accidents.

The purpose of the listening session is to collect a wide range of observations, ideas and pertinent data on the proposed HOS changes. The current requirements are almost a decade old and need revising, though they were relaxed slightly during the final days of the Bush Administration.

The premise for considering these changes is to make sure commercial truck drivers are well rested in order to help prevent commercial vehicle crashes, fatalities and injuries.

“A fatigued driver has no place behind the wheel of a large commercial truck,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “We are committed to an hours-of-service rule that will help create an environment where commercial truck drivers are rested, alert and focused on safety while on the job.”

These new rule changes would keep the 34 hour restart condition, but would limit restarts to once per 7 day stage and would include two uninterrupted off-duty periods from midnight to 6 a.m.

The FMCSA’s new rules would also require a driver to finish all driving in a 14-hour workday and to finish all work-related activities within 13 hours (with a 1-hour break).

They are considering reducing total driving time from 11 hours to 10 hours per day but this is still up for debate.

To accommodate loading/unloading at ports and terminals drivers would be allowed to extend on-duty shifts to 16 hours twice a week.

Violating the rules for hours of service could lead to fines being increased to up to $2,750 per offense and companies can be penalized up to $11,000 per offense if they allow their drivers to break the HOS rules.

Final decisions on the rulings will be made by the end of July.
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A Boston trucking accident seriously injured the driver of a tractor-trailer after his semi rolled over on the I-495 South ramp to I-95 South on Monday afternoon, the Sun Chronicle reported.

Our Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyers and Boston car accident attorneys are frequently called to handle serious and fatal trucking accidents.
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The 45-year-old trucker was flown by helicopter to Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. His injuries were described as life-threatening. The ramp has been the scene of numerous truck rollovers in the past. The truck was carrying a load of candles, which did not spill, but the ramp was closed for hours.

Transportation accidents are one of the leading causes of workplace accidents, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nationwide, more than 40 percent of the fatal work accidents in 2008 were caused by transportation incidents. Such accidents were responsible for 2,130 of the 5,214 fatal on-the-job accidents.

But those at the greatest risk of being seriously or fatally injured in a trucking accident are other motorists on the road. Passenger vehicles do not stand a chance in an accident with a large truck or other commercial vehicle. Nationwide, one out of every nine traffic fatalities involves a large truck, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In 2008, a total of 4,229 motorists were killed and more than 90,000 were injured in accidents with large trucks. Of those, only 677 fatalities and 23,000 injuries occurred to truck occupants. The vast majority of injuries occurred to the occupants of other vehicles or to bicyclists or pedestrians.

Consulting with a Boston auto accident lawyer with the knowledge and experience to handle serious and fatal accidents involving large trucks is critical to protecting your rights and the financial well-being of you and your family. Such cases are often complex and involve multiple victims and accidents claims, in-state and out-of-state trucking companies, drivers and insurance companies, and state and federal trucking regulations.
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A deadly weekend of Massachusetts traffic accidents involved a wrong-way driver, a fatal motorcycle accident and a deadly Massachusetts semi accident, the Boston Herald reported.

Two people were killed in a Worcester, Massachusetts car accident early Saturday morning on Route 190. Massachusetts State Police report that the accident happened about 3:20 a.m. when a 23-year-old Worcester woman traveling south in the northbound lanes hit a truck driven by a 23-year-old Fitchburg man.

Both were pronounced dead at the scene. A passenger in the truck was transported to a local hospital in critical condition.

An hour later on Route 495 north in Haverville, a New Hampshire motorist was killed in an accident. Authorities report she struck a guardrail and spun into the path of a tractor trailer. The force of the impact ejected her from the vehicle and she was then struck by a second semi. Police are investigating whether she was using a cell phone at the time.

ABC5 reported that a Boston motorcycle accident killed a rider and injured three others in a crash Saturday night at the intersection of Rutherford Avenue and Austin Street in Charlestown.

Cause of that accident remains under investigation by the Boston Police Accident Reconstruction Team.
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