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Guy DiMartino
Nov. 4, 2014

Northwest Indiana truck accident lawyer discusses the investigation process after a semi-truck crash.

Semi-truck versus car accidents usually cause severe injury and/or death because of the clear difference in the size and weight of the vehicles. If a semi accident happens, the crash has to be investigated very quickly because evidence can be lost or destroyed. A recent report in the Northwest Indiana Times exposing the number of trucks and truck drivers that are out compliance with federal regulations provides an outline of what truck accident lawyers do when investigating a semi-truck accident. According to the report, between 2003 and 2008 trucks that were inspected showed the following violations:

Lights and Lighting – 16,304 Violations

When investigating a truck accident we also attempt to identify problems with lights and lighting. If a trailer doesn't have working running lights, tail lights and reflectors, it sets up a situation where an underride crash or semi versus semi crash can easily happen in the early morning hours.

Brakes – 12,931 Violations

We all know the importance of braking even if we do not drive a semi-truck. Imagine driving down the highway at 60 mph carrying 80,000 pounds of cargo and having faulty brakes when traffic slows or stops in front of the truck. There is no excuse for trucks to have faulty or worn brakes because brakes are supposed to be inspected before every trip.

Log Book – Hours of Service – 10,376 Violations

Federal regulations require truck drivers to log all there on duty and off duty hours. Truck drivers are only allowed to drive 11 hours continuously in a 24 hour period before having to take a 10 hour break. Most truck drivers are paid by the mile – the longer they can stay on the road – the more money they make. We all know the concerns with fatigue when driving on the road. The reported quoted the following authority:

Sleep and driver fatigue expert Carolyn Shur, of Canada-based Schur Goode Associates, said the problem is common with over-the-road truck drivers and the consequences can be deadly.

Truck drivers operating their vehicles for more than 11 hours straight can be more prone to sleepiness or fatigue leading to distraction or daydreaming, Shur said. Drivers' eyes can drift downward and focus more on the hoods of their rigs than the road, and semis can begin weaving in and out of lanes without drivers noticing, Shur said.

Attempting to get the truck driver's log books after a truck accident is always difficult. Truck driver defendant's usually say they don't have the log book because the authorities took it when they investigated the accident. Occasionally, we also find that truck drivers keep two sets of log books.

Speeding (7,080) – Size & Weight (3,080) – Tires (3,689)

We all know how speeding, size & weight and faulty tires can play into an accident.

As you can see, semi-truck accidents are much more involved than a typical car accident. If you have any questions about a Northwest Indiana truck accident, call our Michigan City truck accident attorneys at (219) 874-4878.

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