Trucking Accident

Minimizing the Risk of a Pedestrian Accident

- Paul Zuckerman

This past summer, a pickup truck driver seriously injured two pedestrians and killed another after driving into a group of them at an intersection. It was just one of many pedestrian accidents that happen every month. Annually, thousands of pedestrians are killed in traffic crashes, and tens of thousands are injured – some seriously.

Based on recent statistics, in the US pedestrians are:

  • Killed every 2 hours, on average, due to motor vehicle collisions
  • Injured every 8 minutes – on average – due to motor vehicle collisions
  • 5 times more likely to be killed in a motor vehicle collision than passenger vehicle occupants

Certain demographics are more prone to pedestrian accidents than others.

  • Adults 65 and older are involved in 19 percent of pedestrian deaths and about 11 percent of pedestrian accident injuries
  • One in five children between the ages of 5 and 9 are killed in pedestrian accidents, according to the Center for Disease Control
  • Drivers or pedestrians who are under the influence of alcohol were involved in 47 percent of pedestrian deaths resulting from a motor vehicle crash

Additionally, certain areas are more prone to pedestrian accidents due to a motor vehicle collision. These areas include urban areas, non-intersection locations, and at night. Despite the frequency of motor vehicle crashes that involve pedestrians, there are some steps pedestrians can take to minimize their chances of becoming an accident statistic.

  • Carry a flashlight or wearing reflective clothing when walking at night
  • Always using a designated crosswalk
  • Utilizing sidewalks, if they are available
  • And walking towards traffic if walking in the street is necessary

Motor vehicle drivers should also drive carefully, pay attention to the roads and traffic signals, and avoid distractions. A pedestrian accident can result in catastrophic injuries, leave lasting physical and emotional trauma for survivors, as well as financial strain due to inability to work and medical bills.

If you, or a loved one, have been involved in a pedestrian accident, the attorneys at Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley, LLP are here to help. We have years of experience handling accident claims from pedestrians who have been injured or the families of those who have been killed. We engage in aggressive litigation and settlement negotiation tactics to help you, or a loved one, get the compensation they deserve while handling the case with compassion and professionalism. To arrange an initial consultation, we welcome your call to our Los Angeles area office at (213) 514-8332.

Why 18-Wheeler Drivers Must Follow Federal Hours of Service Regulations

- Paul Zuckerman

Commercial truck drivers are responsible for transporting various types of cargo over many miles within their state, within a particular region of the U.S. or completely across the country, and they are expected to do so in a timely manner. Unfortunately, 18-wheeler drivers often stay behind the wheel for inordinate amounts of time to maintain their delivery schedule. This does more harm than good, however, as it causes fatigue.

If a big rig driver is fatigued, drowsy, or sleepy while driving, they will have decreased alertness, in addition to poor physical and mental performance. They will experience slower reaction times, may have difficulty staying in one lane, and may navigate turns poorly. A driver who cannot control an 80,000 pound truck because they cannot stay awake is a danger to every motorist on the road, including themselves, which is why the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) requires property-carrying commercial drivers to comply with Hours of Service (HOS) Regulations.

Although December 2010 brought proposed changes to HOS rules, the current basic HOS regulations remain as follows:

  • A truck operator may not drive after having been on duty for 14 consecutive hours. Only after 10 consecutive hours off-duty may a truck operator drive again. Driving is limited to the 14-hour on-duty period even if a driver takes off-duty time during that time. (Proposed change requires a release from duty after 14 consecutive hours on-duty)
  • A truck operator may drive a maximum of 11 hours total during the 14-consecutive-hour on-duty period and may not drive again until after 10 consecutive off-duty hours. (Proposed changes considering both 10 and 11 hours as the maximum allowable driving hours)
  • In addition to the aforementioned regualtions, a truck operator is required to abide by a “weekly” limit. The operator may not drive after 60 or70 hours on-duty in 7 or 8 consecutive days, respectively. A driver may “restart” a new 60 or 70 period by taking at least 34 off-duty hours consecutively. (Proposed change sets a once weekly limit to restarts and requires restarts to include two periods between midnight and 6 a.m.)

HOS regulations are in place to ensure that commercial motor-vehicles are operated safely. At Carpenter, Zukerman & Rowley, our experienced Los Angeles trucking accident attorneys can help the victims of fatigued truck driver accidents pursue compensation for their losses. Our lawyers have the skills and resources necessary to obtain successful case results and have, in fact, already obtained over $100 million on behalf of clients who have suffered as the result of another’s negligence. To learn more about resolving your truck accident case, call us at 213-514-8332 for a free consultation.

Violent Truck Collision on Pomona Freeway Leaves Two Dead, One Airlifted

- Paul Zuckerman

Truck Accident LawyersA recent violent truck accident on the eastbound 60 freeway in Pomona killed two men and required one person to be airlifted to a local hospital, according to The Los Angeles Times. California Highway Patrol Officer Francisco Villalobos said that a box truck and tractor-trailer collided on the transition road between the 60 and 71 freeways, scattering debris and stopping traffic for six hours.

The driver of the tractor-trailer had parked on the shoulder of the road and was outside the vehicle when the box truck crashed in to the trailer, said Villalobos.

Truck accidents can have tragic consequences for everyone involved because of the size and weight of the vehicles. When a crash occurs, the damage can be devastating, if not fatal. For this reason, it is vital that truck drivers, trucking companies, and even truck manufacturers take special precautions to protect lives and prevent accidents. Strict state and federal laws are in place to hold the trucking industry accountable if an accident occurs as the result of negligence or reckless disregard for other’s safety.

The experienced Los Angeles truck accident lawyers at Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley are dedicated to protecting the rights of drivers that have suffered injury or worse as a result of another person’s reckless actions. If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a truck collision, please contact us at 213-514-8332 for a free consultation regarding your legal options.

FMCSA Proposes Safety Fitness Screening for Truck Drivers

- Paul Zuckerman

FMCSA Proposes Safety Fitness Screening for Truck DriversThe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently proposed a new nine-9 year plan for screening high-risk truck drivers in an effort to reduce the number of truck accidents that occur each year. The Safety Fitness Determination (SFD) program is motivated by the agency’s responsibility to regulate truck and bus driver safety, as well as handling any violations of the safety rules.

The nine-year process will continue to enforce current driver safety rules. In the first year, the FMCSA will create a new system for weighing violations and the appropriate consequences for each violation. Once severe safety violations carry more weight, it will help the FMCSA in its process of identifying unsafe truck drivers.

In the following years, the FMCSA will incorporate a new process for identifying risky drivers and various intervention methods for either improving the driver’s safety habits or simply taking them off the road.

Throughout the third and fifth years, the FMCSA plans to research and test how well the program effectively prevents and catches unsafe driving before publishing a Final Rule for the program in the seventh year. In the last two years, the agency will begin training government officials for implementing the Driver SFD and provide educational materials to the public.

While the new screening process may go a long way toward reducing trucking accidents and fatalities, it is vital that drivers understand their rights if they or a loved one becomes involved in a truck collision. The Los Angeles trucker accident attorneys at Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley, LLP are dedicated to helping clients obtain compensation for life-altering injuries or worse for clients who have suffered as a result of another driver’s negligence. Please call 213-514-8332 for a free consultation.

Fatal Buellton Big Rig Crash on Highway 101 Kills Trucker, Injures Three

- Paul Zuckerman

Fatal Buellton Big Rig Crash on Highway 101 Kills Trucker, Injures ThreeA serious big rig accident in Buellton has left a truck driver dead and a mother, a 10-week-old child, and a 10-year-old child with injuries. According to a Santa Barbara Independent article, the collision occurred when the large truck and the BMW transporting the woman and children crashed along Highway 101 northbound lanes around 2:45 p.m. on January 12.

As a result of the accident, the big rig dropped an estimated 100 feet off the raised lanes of the highway and fell into a creek bed where it caught on fire. The occupants of the BMW were trapped in the vehicle as it hung over the edge of the road, but they were eventually extracted.

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) stated that the big rig was traveling at about 65 mph when it was crossing Santa Rosa Creek. Fire crews with Santa Barbara County worked to secure the vehicle and airlift the accident victims to a local hospital.
Although the main cause of this collision is still under investigation, it is probable that speed, driving under the influence, driver fatigue, and distracted driving will be examined, as these are common causes of truck crashes in California and throughout the nation.

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that in 2009, 296,000 large trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds were involved in accidents. In addition, 3,380 people lost their lives and an additional 74,000 were injured in accidents involving large trucks.

The aftermath of a big rig collision is devastating due to the large size and weight of commercial vehicles. The Southern California truck accident attorneys at Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley have obtained many successful jury verdicts and settlements for those who have suffered life-altering injuries and for family members of those killed by another’s negligence. Our firm is committed to winning the compensation that our clients deserve. For more information about how we can protect your rights, call 213-514-8332 for a free consultation.