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Milwaukee truck accident attorney, truck accidents, drowsy driving, truck driver fatigue, motor vehicle collisionsThe roads of the United States are filled with 18-wheelers and tractor-trailer trucks, and these vehicles provide an essential service for moving cargo throughout the country. However, the large size and massive weight of these trucks makes them incredibly dangerous to other vehicles.

Since drivers and passengers of smaller vehicles are at risk of serious injuries in truck accidents, commercial truck drivers must meet a number of requirements to ensure they are safely operating their vehicles. Unfortunately, failure to follow these requirements can result in truck driver fatigue, which can lead to deadly accidents.

Drowsy Driving Truck Accident Statistics

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Wisconsin personal injury attorney, Wisconis accident lawyer, Wisconsin wrongful death attorneyWhen large trucks or tractor-trailers are involved in accidents with passenger automobiles, the results are usually disastrous. The sheer size and weight disparity between these two types of vehicles mean that even minor accidents have the possibility of causing serious injuries and even death. When you add a careless truck driver to the mix, it is certainly a recipe for catastrophe.

In 2013, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation estimates that large trucks were involved in over 7,000 accidents across the state of Wisconsin, resulting in 86 deaths and approximately 1,500 injuries. Unfortunately, trucking accidents are part of sharing the roads and highways with commercial trucking vehicles. In 2012, the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration estimated that large commercial trucks were involved in over 330,000 accidents that resulted in approximately 3,900 deaths and 104,000 injuries. In any event, the law in Wisconsin, and the majority of the United States, provides that when the negligence of another driver contributes to an accident and causes you to suffer injuries, you are entitled to compensation for those injuries.

Recent Accident Illustrates Devastating Effect of Accidents Involving Passenger Automobiles and Large Trucks

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Wisconsin personal injury attorney, Wisconis accident lawyer, drunk driving accidentsCommercial truck drivers have a demanding job. They face long, lonely hours on the road, and their salary is directly related to how hard they are willing to push themselves to keep driving. Consequently, federal law places a variety of restrictions on how long truck drivers are allowed to stay on the road for, in order to reduce the possibility of truck accidents. Unfortunately, many drivers choose to ignore these restrictions, pushing themselves beyond the legal limits. Even more problematically, worldwide research suggests that many of these drivers rely on illegal substances in order to stave off the fatigue and boredom that comes from that type of driving. Drivers who share the road with these trucks should be sure to keep this type of danger in mind. Common Types of Truck Driver Substance Abuse Truck driver substance abuse falls into two main categories, abuse of depressants and abuse of stimulants. Abuse of depressants involves drivers who are using drugs such as marijuana or alcohol when they are behind the wheel. In fact, truck drivers in the United States had the highest incidence of positive tests for alcohol use; 12.5 percent of drivers tested positive. These sorts of drugs can pose a serious danger to drivers sharing the road with truckers because the alcohol and marijuana can impair a driver's concentration, slow their reaction time, and can even cause truckers to fall asleep behind the wheel. The other type of substance abuse that is common for truck drivers is the abuse of stimulants, drugs like cocaine and amphetamines. Truckers often use these sorts of substances to stave off fatigue and keep driving longer. While the fact that these drugs help keep drivers more alert may seem like a good thing, they come with a host of dangerous side effects. Truck drivers using stimulants behind the wheel may experience dizziness, impaired concentration, altered reaction times, and even hallucinations. Responding to a Truck Accident This prevalence of substance abuse among truck drivers adds an extra dimension to the way in which people should respond to trucking accidents. Acquiring evidence of possible substance abuse during the crash can make it easier to prove fault in the case. People should also be aware of the special laws related to substance abuse that apply to truck drivers. For instance, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has placed a lower legal BAC limit on truck drivers. Rather than the ordinary 0.08 percent legal limit, truck drivers are considered intoxicated if their BAC rises above 0.04 percent. Trucking accidents can lead to serious injuries because of commercial trucks' massive size. If you have been injured in a trucking accident, and want to learn more about your rights, contact a skilled Milwaukee personal injury attorney today. Our team of lawyers is here to help you fight for the full and fair compensation that you deserve.

 

Wisonsin personal injury attorney, Wisonsin truck accident, Wisconsin wrongful death lawyerLarge trucks pose a unique danger to other drivers on the road. Their massive size makes it harder for their operators to see what is around them, harder for their operators to turn, and harder for their operators to bring them to a stop. Additionally, their extra mass means that large truck accidents can be especially serious. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration data reveals that trucks are responsible for eight percent of all fatal accidents, despite constituting only four percent of all cars on the road.

Because of these unique dangers, the law imposes certain restrictions on truck drivers. They must get a certain amount of rest over certain periods, and there are limits to the amount of time they can drive consecutively and per week. However, Congress relaxed these federal trucking regulations as part of the recent spending compromise, meaning that other drivers on the road may now be less safe.

The New federal Trucking Regulations

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Wisconsin personal injury attorney, Wisconsin car crash lawyer, car crash, injuriesThe U.S. Department of Transportation reports that over 300,000 large trucks were involved in collisions in 2012 with 104,000 people injured as a result. This number of injuries was an 18 percent increase from the previous year. Injuries resulting from a truck driver fatigue accident can range from bruising and aggravated pain to severe injuries such as broken bones, and in certain instances, fatality. Safety on the road is the responsibility of every driver.

Traffic accidents involving commercial trucks typically occur as a result of one of the following:

  • Poor driver performance;
  • Violation of safety regulations;
  • Distracted driving;
  • Vehicle malfunction;
  • Driver fatigue.

One network news station recently broadcasted an expose about sleep-deprived truck drivers being forced to drive despite safety regulations, potentially causing dangerous truck driver fatigue accidents.

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