Case proves an ounce of prevention can prevent a serious accident.
“If the police had not been out checking tractor trailers for various infractions of the law, the rig in this story could have seriously injured or killed someone. There are times when an ounce of prevention may avert a disaster. It did in this instance,” said Brooks Schuelke, a personal injury lawyer with Perlmutter & Schuelke, L.L.P in Austin, Texas.
The big rig was pulled over into a traffic safety check point. The inspecting officers discovered 25 safety violations, including defective brakes, a shredded tire, four bald tires and a broken trailer cross member. Eight of the violations were serious enough to pull the truck off the road.
“With four bald tires, a shredded tire and defective brakes, that 18-wheeler was an accident waiting to happen,” said Schuelke.
When big rigs meet smaller vehicles, the results are never good. If someone does make it survive a wreck of such magnitude, they are often severely injured, and their lives are irrevocably changed. Recovery may take years, if at all.
“The trucker was cited by the police for vehicle maintenance violations and for being over his industry regulated hours of service. The trucking company was cited for the brakes and tires and other assorted violations. What is disturbing is the light fines they received. The driver was fined $276, and the trucking company $620. These arehardly punitive and not likely to stop them from trying to patch together their vehicles to keep them running. This is a serious loophole in monitoring trucking safety violations,” said Schuelke.
Without proper safety regulations, stiffer fines and a commitment to compliance, the trucking industry is likely to remain a leader in fatal accidents. “Even with checkpoints set up to monitor drivers and equipment, they can’t catch everyone,” Schuelke said.
Contact Perlmutter & Schuelke LLP at http://www.civtrial.com or (512) 476-4944.