Archive for the ‘Semi-Truck Accidents’ Category

The Semi-Truck Safety Fitness Procedures are Projected to be Released in January 2023

Wednesday, October 26th, 2022

Last month, the U.S. Department of Transportation released the latest Significant Rulemaking Report, which outlines the Safety Fitness Procedures it plans to implement for commercial vehicles and Semi-Trucks the following year.

At Nunes Law, our Fresno truck accident attorneys know these reports mean the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which regulates the trucking industry in the United States, is seeking to use data and resources more effectively to identify unfit motor carriers and to remove them from the nation’s roadways.

Here is why that is important to our California residents and personal injury law firm.

FMCSA’s Significant Rulemaking Report is Considering Substantial Changes to Make Commercial Trucks Safer

The FMCSA outlined several rulemakings they are working on for 2023 to help keep the public safer when traveling alongside commercial vehicles and Semi-Trucks in California and across the nation, including a speed limiter mandate and automatic emergency braking systems.

In May 2022, FMCSA issued an advanced supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking to get feedback. Under the initial proposal, commercial motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of 26,001 pounds or more and those equipped with an electronic engine control unit capable of being governed would be subject to the mandate.

A speed limit has yet to be determined, but previous proposals outlined the possibilities of 60, 65, or 68 miles per hour.

Even when traveling within the legal limit, the FMCSA calculates the stopping distance of cars vs. semi-trucks as follows:

  • A standard passenger vehicle driving at 65 miles per hour will need about 300 feet to stop.
  • A fully loaded commercial truck driving at 65 miles per hour will need about 600 feet to stop.

When a large truck is exceeding the speed limit or travels too fast for the conditions, the stoppage time increases and can lead to catastrophic accidents throughout California.

When trucking companies do not comply with the current regulation, or fail to implement the new rules, the Administration is seeking to have these companies removed from operating on the nation’s roadways.

How Quickly Can Drivers Expect to See Mandated Changes in the Trucking Industry?

Although the unfit motor carriers notice is expected in the coming months, and the “FMCSA intends to proceed with a motor carrier-based speed limiter rulemaking,” the agency wrote in the report, it may still be a long time before FMCSA could issue a final rule.

The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration and FMCSA are also planning to publish a joint rulemaking regarding automatic emergency braking systems in January. The agencies will seek comments on a proposal to require and/or standardize equipment performance for automatic emergency braking systems on heavy trucks.

Like most federal regulations, the research and public comments required to move forward with these changes do not reach automatic results. As decisions are made, and new regulations are put in place to help keep California drivers safer when traveling next to commercial vehicles and Semi-Trucks, this article will be updated.

If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a crash with a negligent commercial truck driver in California, contact our experienced personal injury attorneys in Fresno at Nunes Law today by calling 559-436-0850 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal rights and options to hold the liable party accountable for your complete financial recovery.

How are Semi-Truck Accidents and Injuries Different from Other California Collisions?

Thursday, January 20th, 2022

At Nunes Law, our personal injury lawyer in Fresno represents clients throughout California whose lives have been changed during collisions with Semi-Trucks.

We understand that when our clients are injured in a crash with a large truck, their injuries and overall recovery needs are often more involved than those that occur during passenger vehicle collisions.

Our goal is to help each of our clients recognize the differences in pursuing a truck accident with injuries claim, so we can identify each of the responsible parties and pursue a fair financial recovery settlement for their complete damages.

Here is what our California residents need to know about Semi-Truck accidents.

The Size Differential Between Semi-Trucks and Passenger Vehicles is Just the Start

The most obvious difference between Semi-Trucks or other large commercial vehicles and a passenger car, pickup truck, or SUV is their size.

Semi-Trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds at full capacity.

On average, passenger vehicles weigh approximately 2,800 pounds and are much smaller in physical size making a collision between an 18-wheeler and a sedan potentially catastrophic.

California Semi-Truck Accidents Are Often Caused by Negligence

While Semi-Trucks and passenger vehicles are vastly different in size and stature, they do share some similarities when it comes to how traffic collisions occur.

Just as negligent drivers get behind the wheel of passenger vehicles, truck drivers can also negligently operate these much larger vehicles, which can lead to catastrophic accidents.

Common forms of truck driver negligence that can lead to crashes with injuries include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Driver fatigue
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Failing to allow enough room to stop
  • Failing to obey traffic signs and signals
  • Speeding

Conversely, additional causes of truck accidents that are unique to Semi-Trucks may include:

  • Defective truck parts and components
  • Hours of service violations
  • Improper maintenance and inadequate inspections
  • Improperly loaded cargo
  • Lack of training and safety programs for drivers

Because of these unique differences, there may be multiple parties that can be held liable for the crash, injuries, or fatalities.

Who Can Be Held Liable for a Semi-Truck Accident in Fresno, California?

Semi-Truck collisions are complex and require a skilled truck accident attorney to investigate the crash, the negligence that caused the accident, and the parties that contributed to it happening.

That may include the truck driver, trucking company, or another third party like the cargo loader, the truck’s manufacturer, or maintenance crew.

When a combination of parties can be found liable for the collision, they are also equally responsible for the complete damages that result. Our experienced Fresno truck accident attorney will pursue each negligent party’s insurance coverage for the complete damages each of our clients suffer.

Contact Our Personal injury Attorney Fresno at The Law Offices of Frank M. Nunes

If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident in California, contact our experienced personal injury attorneys in Fresno at Nunes Law today by calling 559-436-0850 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal rights and options to hold the negligent driver accountable for your complete financial recovery.

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