Articles Tagged with driver

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Blackwell Law Firm - Helping Truck Accident VictimsYou have been driving a dark stretch of rural Interstate or highway in Alabama at night. You have car trouble and must slow or stop. Suddenly, you are struck from behind by a large commercial truck.

It’s not a farfetched scenario. Some people must drive at night for work. Others choose to take long trips at night when our roads are less congested. If you have driven at night on the Interstate in Alabama, you will also see many large eighteen wheeler trucks. On poorly lit stretches of rural highways, it is absolutely essential that all drivers can see. And, all drivers must see far enough ahead to stop safely when necessary.

This is the exact scenario of some recent clients. A family was traveling through Alabama on the Interstate. While on a rural stretch of the roadway, they blew a tire and their SUV flipped. None of them suffered injuries (at this point). As they were trying to exit the overturned SUV, a large eighteen wheeler struck them. This rural stretch of Interstate was largely flat but unlit. The commercial trucker took no evasive action until just before the impact. He tried to swerve only at the last moment before the crash. He did not see the SUV or people in his path until too late. Why did the trucker not see the objects right in front of his truck until it was too late? After investigating the scene and vehicles, our experts concluded the trucker was driving too fast. He was overdriving his headlights. He did not see the distressed family in time to avoid a tragic crash. That crash left a family without a wife and mother.

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In our fast-paced world, so many things seek to divert our attention. Distracted driving has become a major cause of automobile accidents. Yearly, thousands of people are injured or killed due to a distracted driver. The picture below shows a car involved in a recent automobile accident handled by our firm. In that case, the teenage driver was looking away from the roadway while she changed songs on her cellphone. When she looked back at the roadway, it was too late to stop for a red light. Her distracted driving caused a chain collision damaging four cars and injuring several people.

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Distracted driving can take many forms. Among all forms of distraction, texting is probably the most discussed. Why do we focus much of our attention on texting? Several reasons warrant the attention on texting. Many of these reasons relate to the wide-spread use of texting as a communication and its acceptance as a normal form of communication among younger drivers.

Also important — When compared to other distractions, texting is especially dangerous. Traffic safety experts often use three main categories to classify distractions. They are:

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Earlier this year, al.com posted an article titled “Alabama’s ‘highway to hell’ ranked among worst in world.” The article discusses a list of the most dangerous roads in the world.

The list of dangerous roads includes several involving terrifying drop-offs and narrow passes as well as a gravel road winding through the Himalayan Mountains. Those roads are clearly dangerous for travelers. Listed among those clearly dangerous roads with drop-offs or winding narrow passes — U.S. Highway 431 in Alabama. Huh? On one hand, that’s certainly a strange addition to the list. Yet, on second thought, I can see why the author believes that roadway unsafe.

Why is Highway 431 included in a list of the world’s most dangerous roads? According to the article:

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In a February post, I discussed the dangerous issue of truck driver fatigue. Many people know the story of comedian Tracy Morgan who suffered a brain injury in a crash caused by a severely fatigued truck driver. I’ve written about that case The driver who caused Morgan’s severe injuries had been operating his truck for far too many hours without rest. That’s not acceptable.

As drivers, we share Alabama roads and highways with large commercial vehicles. Many commercial truck drivers practice safe driving. Yet, a few do not. Some commercial truck drivers ignore safety, operate carelessly, disregard other drivers or drive their trucks while severely fatigued. Truck driver fatigue is a major safety hazard on our highways. Despite this known danger, trucking company lobbyists continue to push for relaxed rules that would allow longer driver hours. Again, that’s not acceptable.

My prior post lists trucker hours and trucker health as two main causes of fatigue. The issue of long trucker hours is well known. Yet, many people are unaware of the significant dangers from truck driver health problems.