Arizona Semi-Truck Drivers Need To Be Held Accountable

The best Arizona truck accident attorneys are used to seeing the tragedy caused by over-the-road truck drivers who put money in front of the innocent people they share the road with. On Sunday afternoon, April 5, 2009, there was a major car accident involving a semi-truck and a white Cadillac. The fatal accident occurred near 51st Avenue and Van Buren Street in Phoenix. The crash has already claimed the lives of three people and another is listed in critical condition. Car accidents involving big rigs are always devastating, this one is no exception.

News reports indicate that driver of the white Cadillac was going to take a left when the truck driver ran the red light. The driver was 19 years old and the passengers in the Cadillac were a 1 year old baby girl, a 33 year old woman, and a 20 year old man. The baby girl was in a secured car seat, but apparently it was not enough to save her life. As usual in these Arizona semi-truck collisions, the Semi truck driver walked away with minor injuries.

Drivers of semi-trucks are usually professionals. They driver more miles with a higher degree of skill than the average person on the road. And, it is no doubt the case that everybody can make a mistake, so there is no way to determine at this initial stage of this incident was nothing more than a simple (horrendously tragic) mistake, or whether there is more to the story. However, far too often people who have suffered this type of unspeakable loss fail to consider if there was more involved. Many trucking companies encourage their drivers to driver while fatigued. Driving a vehicle large enough to cause almost certain injury or death if it hits someone comes with a much greater responsibility than driving a car. Federal regulations limit the amount of hours that can be driven by truckers for a reason: prevent errors in judgment due to being tired. Prevent truck drivers from falling asleep at the wheel which could lead to traffic consequences for the person in the car accident with a big rig. Prevent 18-wheelers from barreling through intersections and stop signs while innocent people are driving nearby.

Whether this incident and the many others like it was caused by fatigue or just a one-time mistake may not matter to the families who have suffered this loss. The best personal injury lawyer in the United States could not bring back the lost loved ones, or undo this collision. However, we have found that many people want answers. We also know that something must be done to deter driving while fatigued, and to prevent drivers from driving in excess of their required hours to make more money for the trucking company and for themselves. A full investigation and a lawsuit against truckers and trucking companies – when appropriate – may provide the precise deterrent that is needed. Those who ignore the laws need to be more careful when they drive. Truck companies need to begin a policy to make sure their drivers are driving safely – a real policy, not one that is made to look effective but in actuality is meant to look good, while actually encouraging bad behavior. That’s the bottom line. Semi-truck drivers need to remember that they are driving in vehicles many times the size of every other vehicle on the road. Many of these drivers toss aside road safety because they are getting paid per the mile that they drive. We handle cases like these where someone has been dealt a life-changing injury, or worse, and in these trucking cases it is amazing what the litigation process uncovers. Many of these drivers are working over hours, some are driving with physical injuries, and others are even using street drugs to stay awake and drive more hours. Some truckers drive and work more than the federal mandated hour requirements for truck drivers, which leads to semi-truck drivers falling asleep at the wheel. How does this happen? It is because the trucking employers as a whole look the other way or even encourage the behavior – more miles is more profit for the trucking company and the trucker. The company has a “load” that they need delivered and as long as the truck driver is getting the load there as soon as possible, the company is happy. Like in most cases, money is the driving force for the employers to look the other way and for the truck driver to continue reckless driving.

I wonder if the driver of this truck ran the red light because he fell asleep or maybe he was just being careless and not paying attention? A top Arizona injury lawyer would seek out details from many different sources, and would have a chance to get to the bottom of this catastrophe. Someone needs to get the “black box out” (ECM) out of that semi-truck immediately. The black box will tell the families more than just how fast the truck driver was going at the time of the accident. The black box also holds other vital information that is necessary to have to determine what happened. Also, many trucks now use Qualcomm to track their location, from which their actual hours of operation may be likely to differ greatly from the hours the claimed they were driving in their log book. So many details would have to be uncovered to know what happened in this fatal accident on this sunny April 5, 2009 day. And, like all trucking accidents in Arizona and across the country, it will take a full investigation from experienced injury lawyers to uncover the truth.

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