Tractor trailers pose serious highway dangers due to their size alone, and other factors like the condition of the truck, and the health of the driver which are important to reduce accidents near Greenwood Indiana. Commercial motor vehicles travel more than 9.5 billion miles in Indiana each year. The movement of commercial motor vehicles impacts the safety conditions and traffic patterns of Indiana’s roads since they travel more than 9.5 billion miles annually. The physical demands placed on the drivers is also a consideration in accident prevention, as many of the trucks have deadlines they have to meet that may cause a driver to be fatigued.
Trucks are involved in all kinds of accidents yielding high levels of damage to property, physical injuries and sometimes leading to death. Trucks fall into two classes, those weighing 10,000 pounds or less, and those weighing more than 10,000 pounds which may move them to the Commercial Motor Vehicle category and change some of the laws and damages to be sought after in personal injury situations. The size of a truck causes more damage than that of a passenger-sized vehicle and is accounted for in formal settlements between parties. Nearly 5,000 people are killed in truck accidents annually and 98% of the time, the driver of the other vehicle is killed. Every 16 minutes a person is injured or killed from a truck accident.
Indiana insurance requirements for trucks.
- Carriers transporting nonhazardous property in a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,001 lbs. or more – $750,000.
- Private and/or for-hire carrier transporting hazardous material – $1,000,000 to $5,000,000.
- Carriers transporting nonhazardous property in a vehicle with a GVWR of 10,000 lbs. or less – $300,000.
Truck driver must follow specific safety requirements.
Indiana has adopted the following Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations as Indiana law regarding Trucks. A commercial motor vehicle (CMV) is any self-propelled or towed motor vehicle used on a highway in interstate and/or intrastate commerce to transport property when the vehicle:
- Has a gross vehicular weight rating (GVWR), gross combination weight rating (CGVWR), gross vehicle weight, or gross combination weight of 4,536 kg (10,001 lbs.) or more, whichever is greater; or
- Is used in transporting material found by the Secretary of Transportation to be hazardous and transported in a quantity that requires a placard.
- Every truck, truck tractor, and vehicle driven in a tow-away operation greater than 10,000 lbs. GVWR/CGVWR must be equipped with: a) a fire extinguisher, b) extra fuses, and c) emergency warning devices for stopped vehicles or emergency reflected triangles.
Driver should spot check truck before every trip.
As an effort to keep trucks safe and reduce roadway incidents spot checking equipment before each trip is required by drivers. This is important because if an accident occurs some fault may be with the driver if the conditions of the truck were not checked before the trip. The equipment that must be checked before trips includes:
- service brakes, including trailer-brake connections.
- Parking brakes.
- Lighting devices and reflectors.
- Steering mechanisms.
- Tires – it is common for a truck to lose a tire, or for tread to break apart.
- Windshield wipers.
- Coupling devices.
- Wheels and rims.
- Rear mirror.
- Emergency notification markers and equipment.
Who is liable for injury and damages when accidents occur?
In a case where an injury, damages and/or loss of life occurred you will need to hire an attorney to investigate and review all of the data pertaining to the reasons why the accident occurred. A driver who did not inspect the vehicle before getting on the roadway could be responsible, the carrier or owner of the truck could be responsible if they did not properly maintain the vehicle, and there are occasions where parts manufacturers could also bear some responsibility if there was a known defect.
Henn Haworth Cummings & Page Law Firm
1634 W Smith Valley Road, Suite B
Greenwood, IN 46142