Most know that tractor-trailers traveling at highway speeds pose serious risks to motorists. However, we often think that the risks are confined to others on the roadway; yet truck drivers themselves face danger.
A man who was struck while driving his motorcycle and dragged over one hundred yards by a Southern California Gas Co. truck has agreed to resolve his lawsuit for $46 million. The jury awarded the injury driver and his wife $41.8 million in compensatory damages. However, the parties reached the settlement agreement while the jury was deliberating the punitive damages portion of the case. Compensatory damages are sought to make the injured plaintiff whole, while punitive damages are awarded to punish the actions of defendants.
The Permian Basin shale oil boom has brought billions of dollars and numerous high-paying jobs to Texas, and it has brought the United States to the verge of surpassing Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the top oil producer in the world. It has also brought a large demand for trucking, and, with it, a large number of truck accidents.
In early February 2018, the driver of a defective dump truck lost control at a high speed and crashed into Barbara Schmidt's vehicle, leaving her with severe injuries. The truck was carrying debris from the recent California fires down a steep hill when the truck's brakes failed, causing the truck to pick up speed until a fiery collision that injured seven victims in total, including three critically.
Fleet Management Company Zonar, compiled a list of the most dangerous sections of roads before the holiday season. During the holiday season, there is an average increase of 36% in highway traffic. Some of the highways which already have a high danger rating due to the sheer number of crashes and fatalities by volume, like "US-1" for instance can become dramatically more dangerous during the holidays.
In January 2014, 78-year-old Adelaide Price was visiting the Walmart in her neighborhood when she was run over by a truck while walking in the parking lot, according to court documents. As a result, Price suffered fractured bones, including her skull and needed reconstructive surgery.
The driver of an SUV, identified as Abdias Layva, was tragically killed in a head-on collision on the Pierce Elevated Tuesday morning after a pickup truck jumped a barrier wall after losing its wheel. According to police, the pickup truck's wheel sheared off of the axel due to apparent "metal fatigue."
In 2013, the most recent year for which finalized statistics are available, 3,541 truck-related wrecks killed 3,964 people - an increase of 17.3 percent in just four years since the recession. In 2014, the number of deaths resulting from truck accidents was down slightly, but the total number of crashes and injuries increased. When the recession began in 2008, profit margins for shippers shrank and bankruptcies rose, prompting a desperate industry to step up its lobbying effort. Today, this lobbying has led to methodical and substantial changes in the trucking industry, leading to higher profits for companies, but at the expense of highway safety.
Business is booming in the trucking industry, but it has come at a price. Trucking fatalities are on the rise as fatal crashes increased by 3.1 percent from 2011 to 2012 with driver fatigue being the clear leading cause. The use of paper logs to register hours of service and duty status has become outdated and easily manipulated so new federal legislation has hoped to remedy such practices by mandating the use of Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs). When the final ELD rule is published at the end of 2015, the over 3 million truckers currently using paper logs to record duty status will have until the end of 2017 to comply with the ELD mandate.
Last Friday, two more people lost their lives in a truck crash. It happened shortly after 11:00 a.m. at a toll plaza on the North Sam Houston Tollway near Veterans Memorial.