Due to the size and weight of large semi trucks, the accidents they cause can be severe. Passenger-vehicle drivers have very little protection from being seriously injured in an accident with a large truck.
That's why strict regulations are placed on truck drivers and their companies in Georgia.
Truck accidents can be prevented
Thankfully, we rely on law enforcement to keep our roads safe, and for the most part, they do a good job at holding negligent drivers accountable for their actions. However, according to Police Magazine, truck regulations can be complex and officers in Georgia, and elsewhere, need to know how to handle the challenge of pulling over and citing truck drivers.
There are a number of reasons why law enforcement should regularly check on these massive vehicles. These include:
- Violating the federal Hours of Service regulations
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Loading cargo improperly
- Driving erratically and speeding
- Failing to address noticeable mechanical defects
Why accountability matters
When trucker accountability isn't being enforced, other road users are put in danger. In fact, thousands of passenger-vehicle drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians lose their lives each year due to truck accidents. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reported that in 2016, a total of 3,986 road users were killed in truck accidents. Roughly 66 percent of those fatalities involved passenger-vehicle occupants, and 16 percent involved pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists. This represents a 27 percent increase since 2009.
In Georgia, 2016 saw a total of 179 fatalities caused by truck accidents. While that year marked a mild drop from 2015 (182 truck accident fatalities), it is also a 15.4 percent increase from 2014 (155 truck accident fatalities).
The burden shouldn't be solely placed on law enforcement to prevent truck accidents. Trucking companies, and their drivers, are expected to do their part and obey regulations. When they fail to do so, they should be held accountable for their negligence.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and suffering. An experienced truck accident attorney will launch an investigation and use crucial details to hold negligent parties accountable.
It's best to speak to an attorney and find out what your options are. Contact the Law Offices of Jon R. Hawk today and find out how we can help you.