A vehicle carrying eighty-thousand pounds of freight spread over eighteen wheels, traveling at speeds greater than seventy-five miles per hour sounds absurd. Now factor in the only thing keeping the vehicle on the road is an operator who has been driving ten straight hours and has another four hours to go. On top of that, to achieve a bonus the driver must maintain the pace of speeds greater than sixty-five miles per hour throughout the night while tired and sluggish. Sounds ridiculous, right? This is the schedule semi-truck drivers are being asked to maintain in order to achieve their “mileage milestone." This financial incentive for drivers to get their hauls from pick-up to destination, all while regulating within the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s guidelines, makes roadways a very dangerous place.
“High-way trains," a fitting name given to tractor trailers carrying hauls throughout the country at high-rates of speed. Semi-Truck operators can lose control within seconds in a moment of carelessness. Rollovers, jackknifes, and uncoupling are the typical accidents these massive vehicles cause. Of course, semi-truck drivers are not looking to cause accidents. Drivers are put on a standard schedule of no more than fourteen-hour shifts, with a required ten hours of rest before logging another hour behind the wheel. However, due to financial incentives, achieving higher than average mileage during a shift requires higher than average speeds. With the thought of a bonus on the line, this is where semi-truck operators may be more aggressive on the roadways. Unexpected lane changes, cutting off smaller vehicles, taking turns or bends in the road at a higher rate of speed all to get to their checkpoint before times expire on their bonus. That means there is a fourteen-hour window of pedal-to-the-metal pace where anything could happen.
Any accident involving a semi-truck moving is potentially fatal. When drivers ignore or violate Delaware highway safety laws to arrive at their final destinations sooner-for which they may have huge financial incentives- serious accidents and personal injuries can result. The most common catastrophic injuries sustained in semi-truck accidents include traumatic brain injuries (TBI), fractures, broken bones, spine injuries, paralysis, permanent facial scarring, and death.
Victims involved in accidents with semi-trucks must first prove that the semi-truck was at fault. A vast number of factors can go into what makes the truck driver at fault. The driver’s negligence could cause a typical jackknife accident. A mistake while rigging the haul to the cab causing an uncoupling accident or “runaway freight” could make the trucking company liable. The number one priority following a semi-truck accident is everyone’s health and safety. Finding out who is liable is the next step; hire a personal injury attorney to help you deal with the trucking company, adjusters, and the insurance company while your recover.