Drivers of commercial trucks spend lots of time on the road operating vehicles that can be extremely dangerous because of their weight and size. Because of this, there are federal trucking regulations set up to protect other people from the potential devastation that can result when a semi is involved in an accident. There are many ways truck drivers can violate these regulations -- such as working long hours and driving while fatigued or jackknife turning -- and when they do, they may be liable for the damages that result from a truck accident.
A tragic occurrence in Tennessee resulted in the death of a 17-year-old girl. The girl was crossing the street when a truck carrying a large trailer struck her unexpectedly. Whether or not the crosswalk signal was working or if it had indicated that it was safe for the girl to walk is unclear. The driver of the semi-truck claims to have not seen the girl when he attempted to turn right.
The driver was hauling equipment for a company based in Alabama. Investigation into the company revealed a number of shocking statistics. For example, 91.5 percent of similar companies recorded better hours-of-service compliance. The Alabama based company has been cited several times for violating federal guidelines involving the length in which drivers are allowed to drive. In addition, there are also multiple speeding violations on record.
Truckers are expected to only work a certain amount of hours so as to prevent driver fatigue. Federal regulations are strict about this because driver fatigue, in some cases, can be just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. When it can be proven that a truck driver failed to only work the allowed amount of hours, or violated one of the other federal trucking regulations, then victims in such cases have a chance at pursuing compensation to help with their recoveries.
Source: WNCT 9, "17-year-old girl hit by semi, killed in downtown Nashville," Dec. 23, 2013