Category Archives: Truck Accidents

The Process for Reporting Unsafe Driving by Truck Drivers

If you believe that a trucking company is engaging in negligent or dangerous behavior, you have options to report these unsafe practices. If you have been a victim of a trucking accident and suffered injuries due to a truck driver or trucking company’s negligence, you should contact an experienced injury attorney as soon as possible.

To report unsafe driving by a truck driver, follow these steps:

1. Call 911

If you witness a dangerous or emergency situation on a roadway that involved a semi-truck or other commercial truck, call 911 immediately. This is important not only for your safety but for everyone else on the roadway. Make sure to give the 911 dispatch operator as much information as you can regarding the dangerous and unsafe behavior including a license plate number, if possible.

2. File a Complaint with the FMCSA

After calling 911, or if the behavior you see is not an immediate emergency but is still unsafe or negligent, you should file a complaint with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) as soon as possible. The FMCSA is a division of the Department of Transportation (DOT) and has the authority to enforce federal trucking regulations and laws.

Some of the types of complaints you can file against an unsafe trucking company is as follows:

● Speed
● Distracted Driving
● Driving While Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol

If you are a truck driver and want to file a complaint with the FMCSA against your trucking company employer, you may be able to do so for the following reasons:

● Hours of Service. Requiring you to drive over the legal amount of time and not allowing rest breaks
● Maintenance and Inspection. Failing to maintain trucking vehicles in proper working order and failing to perform routine inspections to ensure trucking safety
● Record Keeping. Both drivers and trucking companies must maintain logbooks that document information such as maintenance and hours on the road. Any falsification or improper maintenance of these logbooks is a serious violation.

There is a National Consumer Complaint Database at the DOT that maintains all complaints against trucking companies. These databases are monitored so that the DOT can put a stop to any habitual violators of safety laws. By taking the time to report an unsafe trucking company or truck driver, you are helping populate the database and removing some repeat offenders from the roadways.

3. File a Complaint with the California State Department of Transportation

You may also file a complaint directly with the California Department of Transportation. Every state has its own rules and requirements for trucking, and California is no different. If you believe you have seen a trucking company violate state laws, you have the right to file a complaint directly with the State of California.

4. Contact an Experienced Accident Lawyer

If you, or a loved one, were a victim of a trucking accident due to an unsafe truck driver, or unsafe practices from trucking companies, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries. Contact The Law Office of Daniel A. Rose as soon as possible, and our experienced accident lawyers will help you build your personal injury case. Call for a free consultation today at 415-946-8900 or visit us online.

How to Report Unsafe Trucking Companies

Different models of powerful professional semi trucks for modal transport commercial goods, stand in a row on a truck stop parking lot in anticipation of the continuation of the working traffic schedule surrounded by green trees. How to Report Unsafe Trucking Companies, Dan Rose Law, truck accident lawyer

If you believe that a trucking company is engaging in negligent or dangerous behavior, you have options to report these unsafe practices. If you have been a victim of a trucking accident and suffered injuries due to a truck driver or trucking company’s negligence, you should contact an experienced injury attorney as soon as possible.

To report unsafe driving by a truck driver, follow these steps:

  1. Call 911

If you witness a dangerous or emergency situation on a roadway that involved a semi-truck or other commercial truck, call 911 immediately. This is important not only for your safety but for everyone else on the roadway. Make sure to give the 911 dispatch operator as much information as you can regarding the dangerous and unsafe behavior including a license plate number, if possible.

  1. File a Complaint with the FMCSA

After calling 911, or if the behavior you see is not an immediate emergency but is still unsafe or negligent, you should file a complaint with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) as soon as possible. The FMCSA is a division of the Department of Transportation (DOT) and has the authority to enforce federal trucking regulations and laws.

Some of the types of complaints you can file against an unsafe trucking company is as follows:

  • Speed
  • Distracted Driving
  • Driving While Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol

If you are a truck driver and want to file a complaint with the FMCSA against your trucking company employer, you may be able to do so for the following reasons:

  • Hours of Service. Requiring you to drive over the legal amount of time and not allowing rest breaks
  • Maintenance and Inspection. Failing to maintain trucking vehicles in proper working order and failing to perform routine inspections to ensure trucking safety
  • Both drivers and trucking companies must maintain logbooks that document information such as maintenance and hours on the road. Any falsification or improper maintenance of these logbooks is a serious violation.

There is a National Consumer Complaint Database at the DOT that maintains all complaints against trucking companies. These databases are monitored so that the DOT can put a stop to any habitual violators of safety laws. By taking the time to report an unsafe trucking company or truck driver, you are helping populate the database and removing some repeat offenders from the roadways.

  1. File a Complaint with the California State Department of Transportation

You may also file a complaint directly with the California Department of Transportation. Every state has its own rules and requirements for trucking, and California is no different. If you believe you have seen a trucking company violate state laws, you have the right to file a complaint directly with the State of California.

  1. Contact an Experienced Accident Lawyer

If you, or a loved one, were a victim of a trucking accident due to an unsafe truck driver, or unsafe practices from trucking companies, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries. Contact The Law Office of Daniel A. Rose as soon as possible, and our experienced accident lawyers will help you build your personal injury case. Call for a free consultation today at 415-946-8900 or visit us online.

Common Causes and Liability in Trucking Accidents

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a branch of the U.S. Department of Transportation, establishes rules and regulations related to the trucking industry. While these rules and regulations are intended to keep the roadways safe, many truck drivers opt to ignore safety guidelines and laws established for their safety, and the safety of others on the road. Trucking accidents can be catastrophic, leaving motorists severely injured or dead.

Statistics show that an accident involving a semi-truck or commercial truck is 10 times more likely to result in a death than a typical car accident between vehicles. Knowing the most common causes of trucking accidents, and liability for injuries can help you either avoid an accident or know what to do if you are ever involved in an accident with a semi-truck.

Trucking Accidents Caused by Truck Drivers

The number of trucking accidents has increased by 20 percent in the past two decades. The business model involving commercial truck drivers requires constant shipments of products to be made to obtain profit. While there are inherent dangers due to the vast size and weight of commercial trucks and semi-trucks themselves, there are also other dangers in driving these massive vehicles. Some common accidents that are the fault of the truck drivers include:

Inadequate or poor training regarding safety and driving of commercial trucks
Compensation structures and unrealistic schedules that reward faster speeds and more hours

Trucking Accidents Caused by Motorists in Passenger Vehicles

Trucking accidents are not always caused by commercial trucks, but rather passenger vehicles. Common accidents that are the fault of passenger vehicles include:

  • Unsafe driving such as changing lanes abruptly, attempting to maneuver around a truck making a right turn, improper merging, misjudging a truck’s speed, failure to slow down or speed up around a truck that is changing or merging lanes, passing unsafely
  • Driving between large commercial trucks
  • Abandoning a passenger vehicle in a travel lane or not moving a vehicle off the roadway
  • Driving in a “no-zone” which is the area beside and behind a commercial or semi-truck where the driver has either limited or no visibility

Liability in Trucking Accidents

Several different parties can have liability for a trucking accident. The most common parties to have liability include:

  • The driver of the passenger vehicle
  • The driver of the truck
  • The owner of the truck or trailer
  • The person (or company) that leased the truck from the owner
  • The shipper or loader of the truck’s cargo (as the cargo may have been loaded incorrectly and unsafely)
  • The manufacturer of any defective part or component of the truck that was a cause of the accident

As expected, companies will argue over who has liability and whose insurance company will have to pay for any injuries suffered due to the trucking accident. However, federal laws have halted the ability of trucking companies and owners to shift blame and remove themselves from liability.

Under the current federal laws, any trucking company that has trucking permits is responsible for any accident that involves a truck with its name or placard displayed.

Contact an Experienced Trucking Accident Lawyer

If you, or a loved one, was injured in an accident with a commercial truck or semi-truck, you may be facing a life-long disability, permanent injury or even wrongful death. Contacting an experienced trucking accident lawyer can help you understand your rights. We welcome you to call us for a free, no-obligation consultation and evaluation by a knowledgeable lawyer. Learn more about what you can expect when you call and about our experience, reputation and commitment to our clients.

Federal Rules Truck Drivers Are Required to Follow

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), is a branch of the Department of Transportation in the U.S. that governs and enforces trucking rules and regulations. If a truck driver operates a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV), these rules and regulations are applicable, as they were established to keep truck drivers, other motorists, and our roads safe.

However, it is no secret that commercial trucking companies make a profit from each shipment that is delivered. Shipment delays can affect their bottom line, and as such, many truck drivers fail to follow the guidelines and laws established to ensure the safety and protection of other motorists. Oftentimes, large trucking accidents leave motorists severely injured or dead. Knowing the federal rules that truck drivers are required to follow helps to keep everyone on the roadways safe.

Federal FMCSA Rules

  1. License

According to Title 49, Part 383 of the FMCSA, an operator of a CMV must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). A truck driver must be 21 years of age, pass the CDL tests, hold a regular driver’s license, have a clean driving record, and be in good physical condition.

  1. Hours of Service

Truck drivers operate their CMV for long hours, which can lead to fatigue and poor decision making. The Hours of Service Regulations were enacted to ensure that truck drivers follow safe guidelines for rest and sleep, keeping themselves and our roadways safe. These guidelines are strict — and enforced — so that truckers comply with the regulations by only working for certain periods of time before they must take a break from driving their CMV.

  1. Logging Hours Electronically

Truck drivers are required to maintain an Electronic Logging Device, which connects to their truck’s engine and records their driving times accurately. These devices are mandatory in order to comply with the Electronic Logging Device Rule and make it easier for truck drivers to track their mileage.

  1. Training and Physical

Truck drivers sit for long hours, and oftentimes transport hazardous material in perilous conditions. In order to stay compliant and keep their CMV license, a truck driver must undergo special training and pass a physical exam every two years.

  1. Alcohol and Drug Testing

      While federal laws prohibit motorists from driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the FMCSA has established stricter policies regarding the abuse of these substances. The following are the rules established by the FMCSA:

  • No CMV driver must have a blood alcohol content above 0.02 when operating a truck
  • No CMV driver may carry alcohol with them while driving (unless it is part of the cargo)
  • No CMV driver can consume any alcohol or drugs for eight hours prior to the beginning of their driving shift
  1. Securing Cargo

Ensuring that the cargo carried is secure is imperative for the safety of the CMV driver and other motorists. The FMCSA has established guidelines, which were updated in 2004, that require trucking cargo to be tied down and secured in specific ways to ensure safety for our roadways.

Contact a Trucking Accident Lawyer

If you, or a loved one were affected by a trucking accident in California, put your case in knowledgeable and experienced hands. Call The Law Office of Daniel H. Rose at 415-946-8900 for a free, no-obligation, confidential initial consultation and case evaluation by a knowledgeable truck accident personal injury attorney.