Driverless cars are no longer a thing of the future. Large transportation and auto companies are now implementing and testing these semi-autonomous systems across America's roads. At the Gold Law Firm, we believe that the current rules about commercial vehicle accidents have much to teach us about how we should handle this new technology in courts.
Commercial vehicles are different in many ways. They carry more weight, making collisions more dangerous. There are many different parties involved with the operation and maintenance of 18-wheelers. One crucial element is that drivers must carry a special license subject to different substance testing rules.
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.
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.
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.
While certainly not something that is encouraged, speeding is a practice that many motorists in Shelby may fall into in certain situations. And while it certainly is not acceptable, most can comprehend why drivers may do it. What may be next to impossible to grasp, however, is why one driving a large semi-truck or tractor-trailer would even consider it. The very nature of their vehicle's makes them difficult to control, and speeding only compounds that difficulty. Yet why then would the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration cite speeding as being one of the most common causes of truck accidents?
Motor vehicle accidents take numerous forms, and some involve relatively uncommon details. For example, someone may find themselves involved in a crash with a garbage truck, and the consequences can be devastating. Some people may think that these accidents are less serious, since garbage trucks often travel at slower speeds. However, garbage trucks may not only travel at a high rate of speed, but their sheer size and difficulty to manage can also result in a serious crash.
The stress associated with getting your kids to school each day in Shelby should be limited to the struggles that come with getting them out of bed or to remember to hand their homework in. How they get to school should be a worry-free process: just have them take the bus. Yet in doing so, you place a great deal of trust in the person hired by the school district to drive your kids around.
It goes without saying that semi-trucks have the potential to cause massive damage when involved in accidents with other vehicles in Shelby. For this reason, truckers are tasked with maintaining strict performance standards, which of course includes avoiding drinking while driving their vehicles. Yet despite reductions in the number of drunk driving incidents reported involving truckers in recent years, some still continue to engage in this negligent practice. Indeed, according to information shared by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, two percent of truck drivers involved in fatal accidents in 2014 had BAC concentrations higher than .08.
Rideshare services are a fairly new phenomenon in Shelby. The introduction of ridesharing to a market also brings with it the onset of ridesharing liability issues. Uber and Lyft drivers often have the same driving tendencies as other motorists (one might even argue that they pose a greater threat than most commercial vehicle operators, given that they do not have to undergo rigorous training before getting behind the wheel).