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Car Accidents Involving Tractor-Trailers

tractor trailer accidents in alabamaJust recently, USA Today and other news outlets reported a story about Rene Flores. Mr. Flores was a truck driver who spoke about his practice of operating his vehicle for 20 or more hours at a time. Mr. Flores also alleged that his managers at Morgan Southern were aware that he and other drivers regularly operated their vehicles for such extended periods of time, which is against the law. As briefly explained below, such operation is in violation of motor carrier rules. While the facts of the story are still in dispute, the harsh reality is that sometimes, the drivers of tractor-trailers and similar vehicles may not have the proper rest or energy to drive responsibly.

In addition to accidents caused by driver fatigue, accidents involving tractor-trailers might also occur due to consumption of alcohol, equipment malfunction, or disobedience of traffic laws. At times, law or rule violations are the immediate fault of the drivers, and at other times, such violations are the fault of the transportation companies that employ or contract with the drivers.  In either instance, tractor-trailer drivers may get into accidents with other drivers or even pedestrians on the road. Due to the size and weight of tractor-trailers, accidents that include the large trucks can cause irreparable bodily injuries or even death to a victim, along with possible emotional and mental injuries.

The Laws

Commercial vehicles such as tractor trailers, along with their drivers and associated companies, are subject to various laws and regulations in the state of Alabama. They are also subject to all the local traffic laws that are relevant to most simple passenger vehicles. For instance, commercial vehicles are subject to Alabama laws and to the regulations of the state’s agencies, such as the Alabama Department of Transportation. Congress and federal agencies such as the United States Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) can also promulgate laws and rules that govern and affect tractor-trailer vehicles, their drivers, and associated companies operating in Alabama. These laws touch upon such issues as weight and trailer length restrictions to the kinds of items a vehicle can transport.

Commercial drivers and transportation companies must adhere to “hours of service” regulations, which are created by the FMCSA. Among other things, they detail how many consecutive hours a commercial vehicle operator can drive during a day or during a combination of days. However, as claimed by Mr. Flores in the story mentioned above, not everybody follows these rules, even when they put their lives and the lives of others at risk.

Need Legal Advice?

Sometimes when rules are not followed, accidents happen and people are physically, mentally, and emotionally hurt. If that happens to you or a loved one, we want to make sure that those who are responsible provide you with the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one are harmed in any accident involving a tractor-trailer, reach out to our experienced truck accident attorneys at Hornsby Watson & Hornsby to help you with your case.

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