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The combination of drowsiness and driving can be deadly, especially if you are a commercial truck driver. According to a recent study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the American Transportation Research Institute, one out of three commercial truck drivers suffer from sleep apnea. Whether it is severe or mild, any form of sleep apnea can lead to drastically negative effects on a person’s concentration and awareness. For truckers, this can lead to a serious truck accident if they are extremely fatigued on the road.
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that affects millions of Americas, that means about four percent of the population suffers from sleep apnea, and one third of all truck drivers are impacted. The condition occurs when a person is unable to descend into a deep sleep because their body does not function properly; the person struggles to breath, and the right amount of oxygen required to get a good, restful sleep is diminished.
There are three types of sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea is derived from the brain, where certain receptors fail to send the correct signals to breathe properly. Obstructive sleep apnea, which affects most truck drivers, is more physical; if the throat muscles collapse while sleeping, it blocks airways, which disrupts your breathing and sleep. Complex sleep apnea is a combination of the two. The following are some of the symptoms of sleep apnea:
Researchers have also found that diet and weight problems may cause obstructive sleep apnea as well. In this case, the fatty tissue around the neck and throat can be too overwhelming for the airway, preventing it to operate correctly. Sleep apnea leads to sleep fragmentation, meaning that the body is unable to achieve the REM state or deep sleep state that is needed for muscles to recover. Oxygen is also deprived to the brain; if left untreated, sleep apnea can cause a heart attack or stroke; this especially causes hazards for truck drivers and all drivers on the road.
For truck drivers, the dangerous combination of long hours on the road and drowsiness or lack of concentration raises the risk of an accident by 250 percent. It is a must that all commercial truck drivers help themselves and discuss sleep apnea with their doctors. Treatment can be as easy as sleeping with a CPAP machine, sleeping on your side, or engaging in better diet habits. If you do get diagnosed with sleep apnea, your CDL license should not be affected, as long as you receive a DOT certified medical card and follow the treatment of your doctor.
If you have been injured in a truck accident that was caused by a drowsy driver, you may be eligible for compensation. Truck drivers who are extremely fatigued or suffering from sleep apnea can cause dangerous situations to all drivers on the road. Our dedicated Delaware truck accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow will fight to protect your rights and help you obtain compensation for truck accident injuries. Contact us online or call us 302-427-9500 for a free consultation. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we also serve clients in Elsmere and Seaford.
Trucks cross Delaware roadways every hour of every day to get their freight where it needs to go. Even seasoned truckers with years under their belts may not always use the correct streets or thoroughfares to get from one point to another. Similarly, they may rely on an outdated GPS and end up driving their trucks in areas that cannot accommodate their full truck height.
To cut down on the incidents of truckers knowingly or unwittingly traversing roads not meant for vehicles their height, Delaware legislators have passed new regulations. The legislation ensures violators will be penalized financially.
Most motorists have seen warnings aimed at truckers, especially before underpasses and bridges. Usually, these warnings note the maximum truck height allowed on the road. They may also offer alternative routes for truckers to avoid problems such as bridge strikes. A bridge strike occurs when an excessively tall truck trailer hits the bottom of a bridge, potentially causing property damage or a truck-related accident or fatality.
Emerging technologies now allow municipalities to determine when a truck of an inappropriate height has passed along a roadway. Mounted sensors send information including truck license plate numbers to the municipality, ensuring law enforcement can issue fines to truckers who neglect to drive responsibly.
Other states have adopted similar truck vehicle height monitoring legislation, but only Delaware appears to allow any municipality to take advantage of the monitoring system. In other words, any city, township, or other applicable entity can use vehicle height monitoring to help reduce problems on their roadways. Other states typically focus their vehicle height monitoring legislation on or around large cities.
It should be noted that the legislation is not limited to commercial trucks. Individuals driving rental trucks, such as self-service moving vans, could also be fined for violation of height and road restrictions.
The goal of all vehicle height monitoring laws is to reduce any collisions with truck trailers or beds and bridges or underpasses. Additionally, vehicle height monitoring can be used to encourage trucks to use alternate routes. Currently, some municipalities have reported repeated problems with truckers ignoring warning signs and driving through residential neighborhoods.
How does the legislation impact offenders? It hits them in the wallet as opposed to taking away their ability to work or continue a chosen career.
Truckers caught violating posted vehicle height limits will receive a warning the first time they are caught. For second and subsequent violations, they will be fined $250 and $500, respectively. They will not, however, receive any points on their driver’s license as a result of violating vehicle height restrictions.
Everyone who drives or is a passenger deserves to arrive alive and unharmed to their destination. Still, sometimes accidents with trucks happen. If you have been hurt or a loved one was killed in a truck accident, call the Milford truck accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow. To schedule a free, initial consultation, call us at 302-422-6705, or contact us online. Located in Bear, Wilmington, and Milford, Delaware, we represent clients throughout the state including Seaford and Elsmere.
A fatal tractor-trailer crash occurred in Newark, Delaware that left one fatality and several victims with serious injuries. On Tuesday evening, around 4:45pm, a tractor-trailer operated by a driver from North Carolina struck three vehicles before overturning on I-95. A 61-year-old man from Middletown, Delaware occupied the first car and became fatally injured at the scene of the tractor-trailer crash. Two other vehicles were forced off the road and went down an embankment. The one SUV carried a woman who incurred serious injuries and her child who is in critical condition while the other driver and tractor-trailer driver sustained non-life-threatening injuries.
In some truck accidents, the driver may lack enough experience or training to adequately maneuver the vehicle on congested roads. Many tractor-trailer drivers work long hours and may be dealing with driver fatigue, which adversely affects their driving abilities. Accidents involving tractor-trailers oftentimes will result in serious injuries or even fatalities for the drivers and passengers.
If you or your loved ones became hurt in a truck accident, call our New Castle truck accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow at 302-427-9500 or contact us online. We serve clients throughout Delaware, including those in Wilmington, Hockessin, Newark, Glasgow, Bear, Middletown, Smyrna, Dover, Milford, Lewes, Georgetown, Elsmere, and Seaford, as well as in municipalities in New Castle County, Kent County, and Sussex County, from our offices located in Wilmington, Milford, and Bear, Delaware.
Among commercial truck drivers, distracted driving is the second leading cause of fatal crashes. Hands-free cell phone use is often touted to prevent drivers from becoming dangerously distracted behind the wheel, yet, it may also be interfering with safe driving. One recent study found a surprising and risky connection between hands-free phone use and other distracting behaviors.
According to research conducted by trucking technology company, Lytx, nearly one-quarter of drivers who engage in one risky driving behavior engage in other dangerous driving behaviors at the same time. That includes drivers who opted to use their phone hands-free. Lytx cautions that when hands-free chatting is combined with other habits that interrupt the driver’s attention and concentration, drivers increase their risk of a crash by 100 percent.
Drivers may not realize how quickly reaching down to grab something in the passenger seat or adjusting the radio can cause a crash. In as few as two or three seconds of a driver looking away from the road, they can veer out of their own lane into oncoming traffic.
Common driving distractions include:
When a truck driver attempts to do multiple activities at once, the risk of a distracted driving accident increases exponentially. Because distraction is not only about what the driver’s hands are doing, it is also about where their mind is; Lytx stresses that hands-free devices are not a perfect solution. Drivers who are concentrating on their hands-free phone call are not focused on the life and death decisions they make when operating a multi-ton vehicle. They are more likely to speed, tailgate, and make sudden stops while they are deep in conversation.
Knowing how dangerous multi-tasking can be for truck drivers, owners and operators are taking steps to raise awareness about hands-free distractions and other hazards, which include:
The unfortunate reality is, if you are the victim of a distracted driving truck accident, you are much more likely to be seriously hurt than if you were hit by a passenger vehicle. Commercial trucks bring more force into an accident. That force is absorbed by your body, increasing the likelihood of devastating head, neck, and spine injuries. To prevent distracted driving accidents, every truck driver needs to fully focus on operating their vehicle.
If a distracted driving accident with a commercial truck left you with life-altering injuries, it is time to speak with a Delaware truck accident lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow. We work tirelessly to hold reckless drivers responsible and pursue the damages victims deserve. For a free consultation, call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online today. With offices located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety calls summer one of the most dangerous times of the year on the nation’s roads because of the rise in traffic accidents. That rise in accidents includes those involving tractor trailers and other large trucks. Motor vehicle accidents involving commercial trucks are more likely to result in devastating injuries to all involved. With some of the largest tractor trailers weighing upwards of 30,000 pounds, the sheer impact of a collision with a vehicle this size can be catastrophic.
The following are common causes of summer truck accidents:
Any individual on the receiving end of a truck accident may end up with serious, life-threatening injuries. At Rhoades & Morrow, our Delaware truck accident lawyers help you move forward to physical, emotional, and financial recovery. We will fight for the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Call us today at 302-427-9500 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation today. With locations in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we proudly serve clients throughout the state, including those from Elsmere and Seaford.
There are certain areas on all vehicles where drivers cannot see the cars that surround them. These areas are called blind spots. While automakers are developing warning systems to alert drivers of the presence of objects in blind spots, the technology has not yet been perfected. Each year, nearly 840,000 accidents in the United States are caused by blind spots, causing about 300 deaths per year.
Truck drivers primarily rely on their oversized rearview mirrors to see as much traffic around them as possible. They carefully monitor the presence of vehicles in their vicinity, especially when they are maneuvering lane changes, accelerating, or decelerating.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration established a code setting minimum requirements for vehicle rear view mirrors. It requires two mirrors, one on each side of the vehicle located on the outside to reflect traffic around the truck. The code was recently revised to require video monitoring technology that displays the back of the vehicle. The mandated technology was introduced over time and must now be installed in new vehicles. The change is expected to minimize the risk of death and injury from backing accidents.
Blind spots on the sides of a truck are more problematic when driving. Also referred to as no zones, there are significant areas located along both sides of the truck where mirrors cannot detect vehicles. Drivers should be mindful of the truck’s blind spots and avoid them when possible. If a driver chooses to remain in a truck’s blind spot for an extended period and ends up colliding with the truck, they could be found partially responsible for the accident.
Due to the high risk of death or serious injury from truck accidents, truck drivers are held to a high standard of care. Failure to exercise reasonable care to avoid harm to others is illegal. The standard for establishing negligence involves proving that the driver had a duty, breached that duty, caused an injury, and resulted in damages. Often when a truck driver causes an accident, their employer can be held liable under a theory of vicarious liability. In this case, the accident must have been caused by a negligent act by the driver while driving for the employer’s interests.
Employers can also be held directly liable if they know or should have known that their employee should not have been driving. Certain examples include a driver having poor vision or a drinking problem.
If you or someone you know was involved in a truck accident, the Delaware truck accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can analyze your case and gather important details and evidence surrounding the accident. Call us today at 302-427-9500 or contact us online to set up a free consultation. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state, including Elsmere and Seaford.
Truck accidents involving rollovers have the potential to cost someone their life. Others could be left with serious injuries and an unfortunate impact on their finances. A truck rollover accident happens when a truck swerves to avoid a head on collision and turns onto the side or on top of the vehicle.
This type of accident can be fatal for drivers in both vehicles, and involves the truck potentially rolling several times before stopping.
Some 15,000 trucks are involved in rollover accidents each year, according to recent statistics, and many factors can contribute to them. These include fatigued or distracted drivers, poorly loaded equipment, and curved roadways.
After a rollover crash, you will need to have the accident investigated in order to determine whether any of these factors played a part in the accident:
If another driver caused your rollover accident, it was most likely due to improper loading of cargo. In order to prove negligence on the part of the other driver, you must be able to determine who was negligent in loading the cargo.
When proving negligence, you are also responsible for proving the following:
If you were behind the wheel of the vehicle, the defense may try to argue that you either caused the accident or contributed in some way. They may also try to argue that a third party caused the accident. The purpose of doing this is to limit their liability as much as possible.
If you were involved in a truck rollover accident, then you need a lawyer who can get you the compensation and peace of mind for your injuries. Delaware truck accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow represent victims involved in truck rollover accidents. Our experienced lawyers will fight to get you justice and help you through the process step by step. For a free consultation contact us online or contact us by phone at our Wilmington office at 302-427-9500, our Bear office at 302-834-8484, or our Milford office at 302-422-6705. We serve clients in Elsmere, Seaford, and across Delaware.
For many drivers, navigating around and beside enormous tractor trailers can be nerve wracking. Their size, speed, weight, and power make them intimidating to drivers in smaller passenger cars and vans.
When a car collides with a large truck, the results can be devastating. Truck accidents leave victims with broken bones; head, neck, and spinal injuries; and may even prove to be fatal.
Traveling alongside these colossal trucks takes a bit of caution and patience, but it can be done safely.
Here are some things to remember when sharing the road with 18-wheelers and the like:
Commercial trucking is big business. Nearly 12.5 million commercial trucks and busses racked up nearly 300 million miles across the United States in 2016 alone. That same year, more than 10 percent of fatal motor vehicle crashes on U.S. highways involved a tractor trailer or bus. And most of these fatalities were passengers in the other vehicles.
While these statistics may be daunting, they are just another reason why all drivers need to take extra caution when driving near tractor trailers. With care and common sense, we can all travel safely and avoid car accidents with trucks.
A collision with a commercial truck is rarely just a fender bender. Truck accidents can leave victims with devastating injuries. Bear truck accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow hold negligent parties responsible for truck accidents. This may include the truck owner, operator, manufacturer, loader, or shipper. We collect the crucial evidence and documentation essential to prove liability for your injuries, so you can receive the compensation you deserve.
Before you talk to any insurance companies, call 302-834-8484 or contact us online to schedule your appointment today. With offices in Bear, Milford, and Wilmington, we represent clients in Elsmere and Seaford, and throughout the great state of Delaware.
When high winds strike, the vehicles that are impacted the most are trucks. Their large size essentially transforms them into sails that catch the wind and can result in the truck being blown over or off the road. A truck accident caused by wind may cause catastrophic injuries to the occupants of nearby passenger vehicles and some accidents may be fatal.
Truck drivers are used to spending their days on the road in different weather conditions, but they have a responsibility to be aware of upcoming weather events that may present a danger to themselves and those around them. While they cannot control the weather, they can choose not to drive through dangerous conditions. Tractor trailers that are empty present a grave risk in high wind conditions as an empty trailer makes the truck much more susceptible to a rollover.
There are many factors that contribute to a high wind truck accident. Truck drivers and trucking companies are highly regulated and must meet strict federal and state safety standards that include the following:
Failure to comply with safety regulations can constitute negligence on the part of the truck driver or trucking company. If you have been injured in a truck accident, you may be eligible for compensation, but be aware that liability in a truck accident can be complicated. The driver, the owner of the truck, and the trucking company will attempt to shift blame away from themselves to avoid paying damages. Working with an experienced truck accident attorney can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
Holding a truck company liable for your injuries can be an uphill battle. Contact an experienced Wilmington truck accident lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow, LLC who will fight to obtain the compensation you deserve, so that you can concentrate on your recovery. Call us at 302-427-9500 to schedule a free consultation about your case or contact us online. From our offices in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we assist injured victims throughout the state.
Motorists face road hazards from large trucks, and one of the major contributing factors to truck accidents is unsecured cargo. In recent years, the rate of motor vehicle accidents on Delaware roads that are caused by the loss or shifting of cargo has increased by 250 percent. This frightening statistic is one of the main reasons why the Delaware Office of Highway Safety, Delaware Department of Transportation, Delaware State Police, and AAA Mid-Atlantic recently teamed up to promote Secure Your Load Day. Originally a grass-roots movement, Secure Your Load is a yearly event that raises awareness for highway safety and focuses on trucks having secure loads while on the road. It is a national awareness campaign to reduce road debris and save lives.
If not secured properly, truck cargo can shift, become unattached from the truck, and fly off into the road. This can be highly dangerous and fatal for other drivers. Delaware State Police Sergeant Richard Bratz said that “Unsecured loads and road debris crashes are preventable with just a few minutes of time. All items need to be securely fastened to the vehicle.” Bratz is also the State Police Public Information Director.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is a federal government agency that regulates the operation of commercial motor vehicles, with the goal of reducing wrecks involving larger trucks and buses. The agency has rules that apply to cargo securement devices, acceleration and deceleration, tie downs, anchor points, and working load limits. There are additional restrictions for distinct types of cargo, such as logs, metal coils, pipe, and other items.
According to AAA, hazardous road debris led to over 200,000 accidents in four years. These include when another vehicle runs over road debris and crashes, contact with hazardous cargo, and being hit by items as they fall off a truck.
These incidences might be attributed to careless driving or negligence by the truck driver or the company they work for. Oftentimes, the drivers are tired or pressured to make delivery deadlines and do not take the time for proper safety measures or inspections. Others could be driving under the influence or traveling at unsafe speeds. Cargo securement devices must also be tested and inspected and replaced if not functioning correctly. Unsecured loads are illegal, with fines capping off at $5,000. However, there are only 16 states that include jail time as a possible sentence.
Secure Your Load Day is an excellent resource for educating truck drivers and trucking companies. Drivers who share the road can protect themselves by staying away from trucks that are carrying cargo. It is also smart to watch for unsafe driving behaviors such as swerving, speeding, or switching lanes quickly or without warning. These trucks should also be avoided and reported to highway police immediately.
If you are the victim of an accident that involves a truck with unsecured cargo, our experienced Wilmington truck accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help with your case. Call us today at 302-427-9500 or contact us online for a free consultation. With office locations in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients from the surrounding areas.
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The situation regarding the COVID-19 virus changes daily. During this uncertain time, we can assure you that the team at Rhoades & Morrow continues to focus on helping our current clients as well as assisting new clients.
We know that legal questions still arise, and we are here to answer your questions and provide the trusted guidance that you have come to expect from us over the years. To ensure the health and safety of our staff and our clients, we are conducting virtual consultations via Zoom and by telephone. We also have the ability to exchange documents via secure e-mail.
We look forward to hearing from you. Stay safe and healthy.