The good news is that federal trucking regulations have helped reduce the number trucking accidents that have resulted in catastrophic injury and death over the past ten years. In fact, nationally there were nearly 1,000 fewer truck crash fatalities in 20, 13 than in 2003, although the past couple of years have seen these horrific accidents on the increase once again.The bad news is that Georgia is still ranked as one of the most dangerous states to share the road with 18-wheelers, lumber flatbeds and commercial delivery vehicles.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 1,688 total cars, commercial trucks and motorcycles involved in fatal motor vehicle accidents in Georgia in 2012, the most recent year full 12-month statistics have been compiled and reported. Nearly nine percent of the vehicles involved large trucks. Across the state, a large percentage of the truck accidents occur on state highways and interstates running through rural areas.
In northwest Georgia, highways such as state Highways 278, 411, and 27, as well as interstates I-20 and I-75 carry tens of thousands of large semi-trailers and flatbeds hauling tons of materials, equipment and products to markets throughout the southeastern United States. Nearly every driver in the cab is on a tight schedule and many are hours behind where their employers expect them to be.
Putting a tired, over-worked and underpaid driver behind the wheel of a 45-foot trailer is frequently a recipe for disaster. Freight is often improperly loaded. Engines, brakes and trailer maintenance may not be taken care of on schedule. Inexperienced truckers may panic when they run into bad weather or unfamiliar traffic patterns.
Although the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) oversees the nation’s trucking industry with a broad set of regulations, many truck company managers and drivers choose to ignore them and some industries are exempt. Truckers routinely drive through their required rest and meal breaks. Trailer and rig lights don’t get repaired. Drivers do not keep up with the necessary training as truck engines get larger and more powerful. Although most truck accidents are not the result of trucker error, it is not uncommon to discover that many serious and fatal truck wrecks can be attributed (all or in part) to one or more violations of FMCSA regulations.
If one or more state traffic laws or federal trucking regulations were violated by the truck driver, injured parties have the right to sue for compensatory damages under Georgia law.
Since 1970, The Place To Turn For Legal Help
If you were injured or a member of your family was fatally injured in a truck wreck in northwest Georgia, talk to an experienced truck accident litigation attorney at Gammon, Anderson & McFall, in Cedartown. Our team will immediately begin investigating the scene and causes of the truck accident. We will subpoena all truck log book information and determine whether you have a valid claim to seek monetary compensation for your injuries or wrongful death of your loved one.