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Trains have played a major role in the U.S. transport system since the 1800s; these have moved thousands of passengers and important goods and cargo, including coal, oil, export and import materials, as well as dangerous, toxic, or hazardous substances, from one county or state to another.
With the U.S. railroad system extending from coast to coast, the government makes sure that these powerful and huge locomotives have safe rails to travel on. The continuous increase of cars, buses and air flights, however, has limited the role of passenger trains, leaving the bulk of rail transport to shipment of freights.
Add to a train’s size and weight the combined wight of all passengers and the tons of cargo that it carries, stopping in case of emergency will definitely be very difficult for a train operator. Thus, if anything goes wrong, cost of damage to property and the number of lives that may be lost will be much greater compared to what any other motor vehicle accident can inflict. Avoidance of train accidents makes it imperative, therefore, to maintain and regularly check trains and railroads; add to these the importance of properly training train conductors, of properly marking railroad crossings, and the installation of light signals and safety gates.
Though the National Transportation Safety Board says that over 60% of all railroad crossing accidents occur at unprotected or under-protected crossing sites (these are sites with improperly marked crossings and/or lacking in safety gates, markings or signs will only inform motorists that they are approaching a railroad crossing, not whether there is a train coming. Hence, more important than markings or signs are flashing light signals and safety gates as these are the ones that will announce a train’s approach and warn drivers of the need to make a full stop.
In its website, the Hankey Law Office says that despite the importance of safety gates, in particular, many individuals and authorities responsible for putting these gates in place often fail to do so in certain locations either because of the additional cost of the gates or simply due to negligence. This is in spite of their knowledge that the lack of this necessary safety feature significantly increases the chances that a damaging and potentially deadly accident will occur.
Safety gates undeniably play a very important role in the safety of motorists as these can prevent fatal accidents from ever happening. As a train nears a railroad intersection, its operator would naturally assume that the safety gates are down and that signal lights are flashing to warn drivers from continuing on. In like manner, drivers also expect that they will be warned about an approaching train through flashing signal lights and lowered safety gates. Anything that will prove wrong a train operator’s assumption or drivers’ expectation can be ascertained as an act of negligence by someone else. Any accident that may occur can, therefore, be blamed on whoever this negligent culprit is and, being the liable party, he or she should be made to face justice, as well as have the capability to compensate the victims of his or her careless behavior.
When you think of truck accidents, the most horrific images can often come to mind. This is with good reason. Trucks – specifically, eighteen wheeler trucks – are massive land vehicles that tens of thousands of pounds in weight. If an average car – that is around 10,000 pounds at the heaviest – can cause significant damage on a highway during an accident, one can only picture the horrid consequences that a truck can cause with its whopping 80,000 pounds in weight at the very least.
According to the website of the lawyers with Williams Kherkher, there are around 400,000 to 500,000 truck accidents that happen in the United States per year. While a car accident may damage one to two other parties, some anomalies causing more damage to others, the fact is that if a truck is involved—the damage is nearly always so much more devastating due to the sheer potential of a vehicle of that magnitude. Some eighteen wheelers even contain flammable or hazardous material and if such substances were damaged due to the accident, the outcome could affect even entire towns.
So how can you recuperate from an injury that was due to a truck accident? Is all hope lost once one suffers?
The answer is, of course, no. There is always a way to fight back around the devastation. Due to the larger potentiality for destruction that trucks possess, they are protected and supervised within a different set of federal laws that are special to them. For example, a truck driver can only drive for 14 hours consecutively per day and they must be professionally qualified to operate a vehicle. This must be checked by the trucking company as they all have a duty of care that they must uphold, as they owe that much to the people around them.
With environmentalists pushing for stronger preservation efforts in the wake of global warming, a lot of Americans have started preferring to ride bikes as an alternative to driving their automobiles. According to a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of people using their bikes to work rose to around 786,000 from 488,000 for 2000 to 2012, proposing 61% increase that was noteworthy.
Today a substantial portion of people are using their bicycles on the highway, it must also be noted that the number of injuries involving cyclists have similarly increased. There is always some danger to being outside on the road with other vehicles. Nonetheless, the risk for cyclists increases for accidents involving vehicles that are considerably bigger than bikes’ flimsy frames. The NHTSA records that bicycle injuries account for just two percent of all deaths that happened in 2012. This data merely proves how significant bike security is. Thankfully, bicyclists can protect themselves from injuries and unwanted accidents by following safety precautions.
Certainly one of the most significant precautions bicyclists should take is making sure the they are totally visible to the vehicles around them. That is especially crucial when the highway that is being shared by bigger vehicles on account of the risk of blind spots. Wearing reflective and bright clothing is equally significant, along with equipping your bicycle with lamps and reflectors.
One other important tip is to make sure you’re driving with the flow of the traffic rather than in the way that is contrary. Again, it is very important to stay visible to the automobiles sharing the round. Drivers will not have the ability to predict your intention to turn or change lanes and will not anticipate someone otherwise riding towards them. Likewise, you should be ready to stop at driveways and intersections. Your bicycle might not be large, but it’s exceptionally dangerous to try to run a stop.
Finally, it is really crucial that you are wearing equipment and proper safety gear. A properly fitted helmet can do a lot to conserve you from traumatic brain injuries. It is also important to point out that cycling should be avoided by you while you’re distracted or affected by alcohol. The NHTSA records that 2-4 per cent of cyclists involved in fatal accidents had a Blood Alcohol Concentration amount of 0.08 percent or-or more.
Bicyclists also need to be wary of the roadway they’re riding. Always be on the lookout for gaps in the pavement, potholes, grates, and messes which could allow you to lose control of your bicycle. It’s also crucial to stick to trails and the pathways designated for cycles.
In the end, the responsibility and prevention of bicycle accidents will not rest completely on bicyclists. According to the website of the Massachusetts injury attorneys at Crowe & Mulvey, LLP understand that drivers sharing the road also have an equivalent share in ensuring everyone is held secure from accidents which could cause acute injuries. You will learn first-hand how damaging a bike accident may be if a victim of a similar scenario is you. Seeking compensation through channels that are legal can be your best recourse. Contact a skilled personal injury lawyer in your region to find out more.
Compared to cars, pickup trucks and SUVs, 18-wheeler trucks or big rigs are so much bigger and heavier, making smaller vehicles look like dwarfs when placed beside these. The size and weight of trucks, though, while serving as advantages in transporting large and tons of goods and so many other types of products that help fuel the economic growth of the US also serve as road threats since even a single mistake by their drivers can result to a tragic accident wherein total damage to properties and severe injuries or death are the very possible results.
That trucks transport goods that keep businesses alive is a fact that cannot be disputed. A mere delay in their operations can lead to results that will negatively affect the smooth flow of business. Thus, to make sure that these enormous road machines get driven as safely as possible, different government agencies work together by creating and enforcing laws that will guarantee that only qualified drivers are behind the wheel and that these drivers do not feel sleepy or fatigued, are never under the influence of alcohol and never distracted, especially during cross-county drives.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which is mainly responsible in making sure that commercial motor vehicles are operated safely, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) make sure that:
- Those applying for a commercial driver’s license undergo the required special training and pass the test prepared by the FHWA to qualify for the license applied for
- Truck drivers are equipped with a Bluetooth headset to end their unrestrained use of cell phone, which is a major driving distraction and, to keep them from having alcoholic drinks, the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for commercial drivers has been set to a low 0.04%
- Trucking firms and drivers strictly observe the hours of service (HOS) rule, which mandates an 11-hour driving limit after being off duty for 10 consecutive hours. The HOS rule also states that drivers “may not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not extend the 14-hour period” (http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/hours-service/summary-hours-service-regulations)
- Trucking firms keep a record of regularly scheduled truck check and maintenance and that the driver ascertains that his/her truck’s tires and braking system are in good condition before going on duty
Obviously, despite these regulations from federal agencies, accidents involving trucks still occur, and one very common cause of these accidents is negligence – on the part of the driver, the trucking firm, the truck part manufacturer or those responsible in keeping roads and highways free of driving hazards.
Being the victim of an accident where a truck is involved can cause trauma, so victims should not be shy to ask for help from those who can help them recover.