Memphis Personal Injury Law Blog

How do truck weigh stations help avoid accidents?

You probably pass by Tennessee truck weigh stations often, perhaps even on a daily basis. However, if you do not drive a vehicle required to stop at a weigh station, you may not know what goes on there. 

As suggested by the name, weigh stations monitor the weight of the truck's cargo as well as the trucks themselves, the purpose of which is partly to ensure that the weight of the truck falls within safety guidelines. However, a news team from FOX13 Memphis discovered that this is not the only safety measure taken at truck weigh stations. Authorities also routinely perform inspections of both the driver and the truck in the interest of preventing accidents. 

Newport collision leaves six injured, one dead

If asked who is at fault in a car accident, most in Shelby would likely say the driver whose careless and reckless actions were deemed to have contributed to it. In most cases, that would be correct. Yet could there also be situations where others who might have not even been driving a vehicle also be held liable? What if the passengers in a vehicle were being complicit to a driver's dangerous behavior (or even worse, encouraging it)? One might argue that such actions were contributory, thus expanding liability for an accident. 

Authorities are currently looking into whether the actions of the passengers of a vehicle that caused an accident in Newport merit criminal charges. The driver of the vehicle in question was killed in the incident after he was ejected from his car following a collision with a pickup truck. It was reported that the car the deceased was driving disregarded a stop sign and drive into an intersection as the truck was passing. Another truck also became involved after the deceased's vehicle forced the truck that hit it into oncoming traffic. Ultimately. six sustained injuries in the accident. 

Truck accidents and driver fatigue

Residents in Tennessee should be able to trust that commercial truck drivers take safety seriously when on the roads. One important element to being safe is to avoid driving when fatigued. This is part of why the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enacted its Hours of Service rule a few years ago. This rule provides caps on the number of hours in a day and in a week that a trucker can work and drive to avoid operators driving when tired.

Now, the FMCSA has a new requirement for trucks to be equipped with electronic logging devices. ELDs are able to receive data from a truck's engine to track the date and time an engine is turned on, how long it is spent idling and how long a truck is actually being driven. This is one way that the government aims to crack down on fatigued driving among truckers. The goal of these rules is to improve safety and reduce accidents.

Memphis Tourists: Drive Carefully

Historically, Memphis has been a very popular tourist destination. And in recent years, our town has regained much of its previous popularity, ranking as the number one place to visit in the United States by tripsavvy.com.

A Top Tourist Destination And A Top Accident State

The reason behind daytime headlight laws

Should one ask a motorcyclist why their bike is equipped with a headlight, the answer would almost undoubtedly be due to the illumination that it offers when riding at night. Yet surprisingly, many states have begun to pass laws requiring that motorcyclists keep their headlights illuminated during the day. Indeed, in Section 55-8-164(b) of Tennessee's Code and Constitution, it states that motorcyclists must keep their headlight turned at all times. One might question the logic behind this law, as motorcyclists in Shelby typically have no trouble seeing where they are going during the day. Yet in the context of this law, the main emphasis is not on helping them to see, but rather helping them be seen. 

One of the more common answers given in response to how a motorist came to collide with a motorcyclist is that the driver of the vehicle couldn't see the motorcycle approaching. It is true that the combination of the relatively smaller size of motorcycles and the visual limitations imposed by vehicle blind spots can make motorcyclists difficult to see, yet that does not take away the need to be vigilant from motorists. At the same time, however, motorcyclists should take whatever measures are needed to make themselves more visible. Keeping their headlights running at all times does that. In fact, information compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that one study in daytime motorcycle headlight use yielded a 23 percent reduction in opposite-direction collisions. 

Fiery Antioch accident kills teen

Many might say that when one agrees to get into a vehicle being driven by another that they accept any risks that driver's actions may pose. In reality, however, the trust that Shelby residents place in the drivers of the vehicles that they are traveling in obliges those drivers to be mindful of their safety and well-being. Even in scenarios where passengers make no comments about one's reckless driving, such an omission does not mean that they accept or approve of it. If such action does indeed result in an accident, then it is drivers who are ultimately responsible. 

A New Year's Day accident in Antioch serves as a sobering reminder of just how deadly reckless driving can be. A local teen is dead after authorities allege that his reckless driving resulted in his vehicle leaving the road and collided with a tree (after which it caught fire). The youth became trapped in the vehicle and ended up dying despite first responders arriving at the scene within minutes of the accident occurring. 

Can a pedestrian be at fault in a traffic accident?

Driving in the city or near bars is likely to present you with more pedestrians to be aware of. As cautious as you may drive, there are some scenarios in which a pedestrian’s negligence might risk a car accident.

But if this happens, are you at fault because you were driving or can the pedestrian take some of the blame?

Handling hazardous road conditions

As a commercial motor vehicle driver in Shelby, you owe a similar duty of care to their passengers as they do the other motorists on the road. There may be select instances when that duty supersedes the desire to meet all of a passenger's demands. Many in your profession have come to us here at The Gold Law Firm after their decisions to go against their passengers' wishes in the interest of safety have been questioned. So much of your employer's reputation (and yours as a driver) is based off customer satisfaction, which makes knowing when to make the decision to act prudently as opposed to conveniently so important. 

Fortunately, federal law spells out the scenario for you. The most common scenario where you might find yourself in need of deviating from your normal routine is when facing hazardous road conditions, such as those caused by: 

  • Snow
  • Ice
  • Sleet
  • Fog
  • Rain 
  • Smoke

Lax ELD hauling laws endanger drivers everywhere

In 2018, the U.S. Senate granted a temporary exemption for livestock haulers from having to use electronic logging devices (ELDs) to track their hours and location. The use of such devices became required by law in December 2017 to protect drivers everywhere from overworked truckers, but large portions of the agricultural industry are exempt.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration continues to grant exemptions and allow companies to delay implementation of these devices. By failing to enforce this law, drivers everywhere are in danger.

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