The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association is reporting increased enforcement for commercial drivers behind the wheel of tractor-trailers and commercial tour buses as the summer travel season gets underway.
Personal injury lawyers in Jonesboro and throughout Arkansas will see a growing number of traffic accident cases through the summer months. Tractor-trailers will be moving more freight through the autumn harvest season, and a record number of people are expected to board tour buses nationwide.
Bus and Truck Accident Enforcement in Arkansas
Those involved in traffic accidents with buses or large commercial trucks face substantial risk of serious and fatal injuries. While bus occupants are certainly at risk, all motorists in collisions with large vehicles face the highest risk of injury. This includes bicyclists and pedestrians, who are injured or killed in a disproportionately high number of these incidents. These large vehicles make it difficult for commercial drivers to see, and bicyclists and pedestrians stand no chance in the event of a collision.
FMCSA reports many of these crashes result from illegal or unsafe driver behavior, including speed, distracted driving and following too closely. While such behavior is dangerous for all drivers, and contributes to a significant number of crashes of all types, federal authorities continue to work to overcome law enforcement's reluctance to stop trucks and buses. Many officers report a lack of knowledge and skills in conducting such stops as primary reasons for focusing on other motorists. FMCSA hopes a new training program will bring that needed knowledge and skills to the road, to address the outsized risks these commercial drivers pose in the event of an accident.
The Truck and Bus Traffic Enforcement Training (TBTET) is being provided for free to all law enforcement agencies this summer. This training is designed as a short stand-alone training program or as brief segments that can be delivered to officers during roll call.
Serious and Fatal Injuries in Bus and Truck Crashes
The U.S. Department of Transportation reports more than 4,500 motorists are killed each year in collisions with large trucks and buses. Though they represent just a small percentage of overall traffic, bus and truck accidents cause 12 percent of all road fatalities reported each year.
Many injury lawyers in Arkansas do not have substantial experience handling commercial driving collisions. These are much more complex cases to settle or litigate, as they typically involve multiple victims, out-of-state trucking, busing and insurance companies, and state and federal regulations. Many bus companies and trucking companies are adept at avoiding accident liability and the associated financial ramifications. They will often establish numerous limited liability corporations, hire contract drivers, and take other steps to make it more difficult to hold them accountable in the event of a serious or fatal accident.
Your chosen injury attorney should understand these complexities and have the knowledge and resources to thoroughly investigate your case to determine all causes and potential sources of recovery.