People suffer personal injury or wrongful death in truck accidents for a variety of reasons. From driver fatigue and intoxication to unsafe loads and defective truck design, trucking is a highly dangerous industry. While many technological developments have been implemented in recent years to make trucks safer for all motorists and passengers on American highways, on-board electronics can also provide drivers distractions and other hazards to safe operation of a semi.
Senator Urges Safer Driver Technology
A powerful voice in Washington, D.C., recently drew attention to one technological hazard that has received little notice: dependence on global positioning systems (GPS) by truckers that fail to warn them that they are using unauthorized routes. New York Sen. Charles Schumer cited hundreds of cases involving commercial trucks that collided with overpasses when drivers who were following GPS commands failed to heed local height restrictions.
Schumer noted that in 80 percent of violations by truckers who ignored signs and entered parkways, they depended solely on information from GPS devices. Parkways are generally designed to only accommodate passenger vehicle traffic to provide drivers with places to escape the grit and gridlock of commercial zones, freeways and highways.
The Senator has called for an investigation into the problem by the U.S. Department of Transportation, suggesting that new GPS standards could provide distinct codes in units for large trucks that warn drivers when they are entering prohibited roadways. He made the call for reform near a Long Island overpass that been struck more than two dozen times in the past 20 years.
Collisions with parkway overpasses and other structures can cause millions of dollars in infrastructure damage that burdens taxpayers, halts traffic and creates eyesores. However, even more concerning is the potential for head-on collisions or other crashes due to last-second avoidance maneuvers by truck drivers or other vehicles that are about to rear-end a truck that has suddenly stopped in its tracks.
Assessing All Potential Causes of Truck Accidents
Truck crash liability is highly complex area of personal injury law, and a car accident lawyer must review a range of evidence and regulations to understand exactly went wrong and make sure that all potentially liable parties are identified. An ever-evolving set of federal regulations is a key part of this process, and a truck wreck attorney can help a client's prospects for recovery by pursuing every potential lead to determine whether a driver violated hours-of-service rules, a trucking company exceeded load limits or other illegal behavior led to a serious or fatal crash.