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Posted by on Jul 15, 2015 in Car Accidents | 0 comments

Regulations that Help Keep Trucks from being Threats on the Road

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.

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Posted by on Oct 31, 2014 in Car Accidents, Drunk Driving | 0 comments

Facts about DUI Drivers Ought to Know

In May 2014, the National Transportation Safety Board made a recommendation that states should bring down the blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) level to 0.05% to lessen fatal motor vehicle crashes in the US which number to more than 30,000 every year.

All US states plus the District of Columbia presently consider it as a crime to drive a car with a BAC of 0.08 % or above (for commercial vehicle, like trucks, the proscribed level is 0.04%, while for individuals below 21 years old, it is zero tolerance level).

In majority of US states, as well as in the Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands and the District of Columbia, even a first DUI offense would result to an administrative license suspension (ALS); ALS also allows law enforcers to confiscate a driver’s license due to chemical test failure and the limiting of driving privileges, such as to/from the workplace.

A driver convicted of a DUI offense can be required to install an ignition-interlock device in his/her car to disable the vehicle’s engine if alcohol is detected in his/her breath. Some states have made this mandatory even for first-time offenders. Furthermore, the adoption of open container and repeat offender laws is being mandated by the federal government on all states. The open container law, which is being administered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) strictly “prohibits the possession of any open alcohol beverage container, or the consumption of any alcoholic beverage, in the passenger area of any motor vehicle located on a public highway, or the right-of-way of a public highway, in the states.” (http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/programs/154.html)

Driving under the influence or DUI is a serious offense in all 50 US states. The NHTSA has identified it as among the major causes of fatal accidents on US roads and highways, thus exacting severe punishments (that include imprisonment, hefty fines, mandatory attendance in a DUI school, suspension of driving privileges, and community service) on violators. Repeated offense can also end up in the driver being required to acquire an SR-22 form, which means higher car liability insurance premiums for, at least, three years.

While the overzealousness of law enforcers has, indeed, led to the prevention of many would-have-been alcohol-related fatal accidents, the law firm of Alexander & Associates says on its website that a considerable number of individuals suffer from undeservedly DUI charges and convictions that will change the course of their future for a long time. Drivers facing a DUI charge get in touch immediately with a DUI lawyer or with a competent Massachusetts car accident lawyer for the much needed legal help that they need.

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