Articles Posted in Trucking Accident

A deadly truck collision has demonstrated again how important it is for trucks to be designed, maintained, and operated safely. The truck crash, which was reported on by NBC, took the life of a pregnant woman, two children, and another adult involved in the accident. Like in most truck collisions, those who were killed were not in the truck at the time when the fatal accident happened. The victims who lost their lives to the truck crash were in other vehicles. The crash that killed them was an underride accident, which is one of the deadliest types of truck collisions that occur on U.S. roads.


Whenever crash victims are hurt or killed in any type of collision involving a commercial vehicle, it is important for those injured or for surviving family members to speak with an Atlanta truck accident lawyer. There may be multiple parties who victims could potentially file a civil claim against in order for the victims or their families to be able to obtain full compensation for serious losses or fatal injuries the truck crash causes.

Atlanta Trucks Need Good Underride Guards to Prevent Dangerous Crashes

According to NBC, the cause of the recent fatal truck crash which took five lives has not yet been determined, and an investigation is underway. The driver of the big rig sustained no injuries in the crash. One of the vehicles that had been involved in the crash actually ended up entangled underneath the truck somehow, although investigators are not yet sure how the car got under the truck. The driver inside of that car was killed in the incident.

When the car slid underneath the truck, it punctured the gas tank, causing a fire to break out. The third vehicle that had been involved in the car accident was completely destroyed by the fire, with vehicle occupants sustaining fatal injuries.

Preventing truck crashes like this one is essential, and truck drivers must ensure they are reasonably cautious when operating large commercial vehicles.  Even when drivers are careful and accidents happen anyway, the consequences can still be tragic.  In this case, the dangers to motorists caused by the crash was exacerbated significantly when one car slide under the truck.

Underride guards are supposed to prevent cars from going underneath the body of trucks when collisions happen. Unfortunately, they are not always effective- as they clearly were not in this case.  Insurance Institute for Highway Safety determined by conducting crash tests that failure of underride guards was very common. Crash tests showing problems with underride guard failure occurred back in 2011, and the IIHS has been advocating for stricter regulations so truck drivers and companies would be forced to get better underride guards that were more likely to effective stop cars from going under trucks when a car crash occurs.  No change has yet been made.

If rules had been modified in relation to underride guards and guards had to work better, this recent tragic trash crash could perhaps have been prevented or the damage could have been mitigated so five people did not die in the accident.  Trucking companies, manufacturers of trucks and safety equipment, and drivers all need to make an effort to stop deadly truck crashes- and good underride guards may be one answer to reducing risks.

The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent victims after a truck collision. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. 

Within the United States, there are 48 different states that allow drivers as young as 18-years-old to operate commercial motor vehicles like big rigs and tractor trailers. While states take on the risk of allowing young drivers with CDLs to drive big trucks, the federal government does not currently permit people this young to cross state lines. The minimum age for drivers to be allowed to operate tractor trailers across state borders is 21. This minimum age limit means the federal government is able to prevent young teenagers from becoming long-haul truckers crisscrossing the roads of America. truck 2

Soon, however, truck accident risks could increase significantly nationwide as the federal government is considering lowering the age limit in response to truck driver shortages. If teens are given the ability to drive big trucks across the borders of states, it is likely there will be many more big rigs driven on interstate highways in Georgia and throughout the rest of the country. This, in turn, could result in more truck crashes.

Teen drivers are held to the same standard as older motorists when it comes to vehicle operation. If you are injured in an Atlanta truck accident by a teen driver or by any negligent trucker, call a Georgia truck accident lawyer for help understanding how you can recover monetary compensation for losses.

Atlanta Truck Accident Risks Could Rise Due to Teen Truckers

Bloomberg indicates the U.S. Trucking Industry has been aggressively pushing the federal government to lower the age limit for truckers operating across state lines. Congress is seriously considering making this shift and modifying the current federal rules requiring interstate truckers to be at least 21. Safety advocates, however, are extremely concerned that putting teens behind the wheels of vehicles weighing as much as 80,000 pounds is going to make the roads a much more dangerous place to be.

Data seems to support the position of safety advocates that lowering the age limit for interstate truck driving is a very bad idea. In states where people under age 21 are allowed to have CDLs and drive commercial trucks, these young drivers are anywhere from four to six times as likely to get into deadly truck accidents when compared with drivers who are 21.  Young teens at age 18, 19, and 20 have limited driving experience in general (which is why graduated licensing laws exist for teens who first get their licenses) and entrusting teens with big rigs puts a tremendous amount of responsibility on them.

In 2002, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety responded to a similar proposal to allow teens to drive trucks. That proposal actually would have imposed more limits on teen truck drivers than the current rule change under consideration, but IIHS still warned that there was: “unequivocal scientific evidence of a markedly elevated crash risk among people younger than 21 who drive trucks.”   Those who are victims of crashes caused by these teen drivers need to make sure they speak with an Atlanta truck accident lawyer who can help them to get compensated for losses.

The Atlanta truck accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent you after an injury caused by a negligent driver. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. 

Truck driver shortages are increasingly a concern when it comes to keeping truck companies staffed. Just this past May, Fortune reported a shortage of qualified truck drivers could have an adverse impact on inland shipping costs, as there are between 35,000 and 40,000 too few qualified truck drivers to meet demand within the United States. Forbes referred to the shortage as a “slow-rolling crisis.” truck-1192536-m

Amidst the shortages, trucking companies may find themselves forced to hire drivers with less experience than they might otherwise prefer. Trucking companies, however, remain responsible for ensuring the truck operators they hire are qualified and able to keep motorists safe by operating vehicles in a responsible manner.

If companies hire unqualified truck operators and those truckers cause accidents, the trucking company can be held responsible both for its negligence in hiring and for the careless actions of on-duty workers. An Atlanta truck accident lawyer can provide assistance in situations where a truck driver or trucking company should be held responsible for crash losses.

Trucking Companies Need to Ensure Drivers are Skilled

Truck drivers are obligated to have a Commercial Driver’s License, which is one way of ensuring they have a basic minimum level of skill to operate a truck without causing injury. The problem, however, is a CDL is not necessarily sufficient proof the trucker knows how to be safe on the road.

CCJ Journal recently reported there was a fraud ring ongoing in five different Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) testing offices throughout the New York City area. Applicant seeking a commercial driver’s license paid between $1,800 and $2,500 in return for being provided with answers to the DMV’s CDL exam. The fee also covered an “escort” service through the CDL testing process. The scheme was a high-tech one. Blue-tooth headsets were used as a communications device, and pencils were used that had been encoded with miniature answer keys to the tests. An external test-taker was also employed to complete the exams for the CDL applicants.

Five people were found guilty in connection with the CDL testing ring after surveillance operations including remote cameras revealed the collusion to help the CDL applicants successfully pass their tests. Possible sentences for participation in the scheme could include as long as 20 years imprisonment.

The Department of Homeland Security, as well as state authorities from the Attorney General’s Office and the Office of Inspector General were all involved in bringing down the fraud ring because of the serious nature of the crimes. When unqualified drivers are given commercial licenses, these individuals can go on to operate trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating of as high as 80,000 pounds. Without the knowledge necessary to safely operate these vehicles, the crash risk is significantly increased.

Trucking companies should not trust a CDL alone to be proof of competence when it comes to preventing truck crashes. Companies have an obligation to ensure drivers have reasonable skills behind the wheel, and the companies can be held accountable when drivers turn out to be unqualified and dangerous.

The Atlanta truck accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent you after an injury caused by a negligent driver. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. 

Truck accidents frequently occur as a result of drivers who are too tired, who are impaired, or who break the rules of the road. Poorly maintained trucks can also be a leading cause of accidents. Truck drivers and motor carrier companies may be held responsible and an Atlanta truck accident lawyer at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can provide legal representation to victims of collisions who have sustained harm. money dollars

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) knows the common causes of truck crashes and has passed myriad regulations designed to discourage dangerous behaviors and encourage best practices for safety. FMCSA rules, for example, require truckers to keep logs to ensure they do not drive for too long and require drivers to check vehicle parts and load balance before setting off on a trip.

When trucking companies or truck drivers violate FMCSA safety rules, accident risks significantly increase. To try to reduce the number of violations that occur, FMCSA has now made changes to the fines that will be imposed when truckers and trucking companies do not follow the rules.

FMCSA Changes Fines to Help Prevent Atlanta Truck Crashes

The FMCSA has made substantial changes to impose stricter penalties and fines. The new higher penalties went into effect on June 2 according to Trucking Info.

Changes affect penalties for record keeping violations; falsification of records; failure to record violations on the part of the motor carrier; and violating out-of-service orders. The fine for egregious hours-of-service violations also rose from a prior maximum of $11,000 to a new maximum fine of $16,000. Big increases also occurred in fines imposed for hazardous material violations. For example, violating federal rules while carrying HAZMAT materials used to carry a maximum fine of $50,000 and now carries a maximum fine of $75,000.

These and other fines and penalties are levied whenever violations are identified. This commonly occurs when high risk motor carries are audited through the Compliance, Safety, Accountability Enforcement Program. After the FMCSA conducts an audit, identifies violations, and issues fines, the agency’s actions become a matter of public record. This can have an adverse impact on the brand of the motor carrier and it can cause insurance rates to rise. Qualified commercial drivers may not want to work for a company with a poor safety culture, so the company may face difficulties attracting safe drivers in the future.

Data on FMCSA fines is also available when the trucking company is sued, which can make it more likely a motor carrier will become liable for losses.

Trucking companies need to be aware of added fines and penalties and the new FMCSA rules should encourage companies to make safety a priority. Hopefully, the higher fines will be good inventive to get trucking companies to do the right thing and protect the public.

The Atlanta truck accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent you after an injury caused by a negligent driver. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. 

Over a five year period in the United States, 556 pedestrians and bicyclists were killed in side swipe truck accidents. Left and right hook truck collisions occur when a truck is turning and hits a pedestrian or bike rider who is going straight or who is walking across the road. These accidents can be especially deadly for the bike rider or the pedestrian because the walker or bicyclist is likely to be forced underneath the large wheels of the commercial truck. tow-truck-1192535-m

Side guards could prevent these tragedies and keep pedestrians and bicycle riders from going underneath a truck that hits them; however, there is no federal law mandating the use of side guards and there are few state laws imposing a requirement side guards be used.  Trucking companies that want to reduce the chances of deadly accidents (and thus reduce potential liability) may wish to consider voluntarily installing side guards in order to keep pedestrians and bike riders safer.

If you or someone you love was hurt or killed in a truck accident in Atlanta, you need to contact a truck accident attorney with experience and compassion.  Your attorney can advise you of options for pursuing a claim for compensation and can assist in fighting for full and fair payment for all losses.

Side Guards Could Reduce Atlanta Truck Accident Deaths

Next City reports side guards have been required in the United Kingdom and in the European since 1986 and 1989, respectively. Following the mandated use of side guards for large commercial trucks in the UK, there was a 20 percent reduction in the pedestrian death rate and a 61 percent reduction in the bicyclist death rate when walkers or bikers were involved in truck crashes.

Although the safety benefits of side guards are not in dispute, they are not commonly used in the United States. A few cities, including Washington D.C. Portland, and Boston, have moved towards requiring side guards on commercial trucks with a weight of 10,000 pounds or greater that do business with the city or are owned by the city. New York also has a pilot program in place where side guards are installed on 240 trucks and are likely to be installed on as many as 10,000 trucks owned or contracted with the city. The University of Washington is also requiring its campus fleet to be equipped with side guards.

Outside of these limited exceptions, most trucks do not have side guards and most cities and states do not require them. The National Transportation Safety Board is hoping to change that, by asking the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to impose a requirement mandating side guard use on large commercial vehicles. The NHTSA, however, has declined to take action and impose a mandate.

Side guards cost an estimated $1,500 to install on a vehicle, but the savings they can provide cannot be measured. Side guards can prevent lives from being lost and can help trucking companies to avoid accountability for deaths if sideswipe accidents occur. Trucking companies may wish to install side guards voluntarily to reduce the chances one of their drivers will kill a bicycle rider or pedestrian while performing work tasks.

The Atlanta truck accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent you after an injury caused by a negligent driver. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) can initiate rules and, if those rules are passed, can impose requirements on vehicle manufacturers. This includes manufacturers of large trucks. The NHTSA will start the rule making process if it is believed there is a legitimate safety need that could be served. i-haul-299523-m

Trucking Info reports that four different highway safety lobbies have petitioned the NHTSA to begin the rule making process to create a rule requiring forward collision avoidance and mitigation braking systems on all new trucks and buses that have a gross vehicle weight of 10,000 or more. The hope is that these systems would reduce the risk that truck driver error could cause the trucks to hit obstacles in their path. Continue Reading

Our Atlanta tractor trailer accident attorneys saw a news report about a tractor trailer crash on I-20 this week that injured two people. A FedEx tandem-trailer truck rear ended a converted school bus while the bus drove slowly in the right lane. A Georgia State Patrol spokeswoman wrote, “After impact, both vehicles traveled off the right shoulder of the roadway and overturned.file481287608833 (1) At some point after the crash, both vehicles caught on fire.” The truck driver, who sustained critical injuries, was airlifted to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, where he was taken to the burn unit upon arrival. The bus driver was taken to Tanner Medical Center in Villa Rica. Police closed the westbound lanes of I-20 for about three hours due to the crash and resulting fire.

This week’s crash was just one example of many dangerous accidents involving large trucks on the road. Earlier this month, a tractor trailer rear-ended a mail truck while the mail truck made deliveries in a residential area. The mail truck overturned before stopping upside down in a resident’s front yard. The impact caused mail to scatter across the yard. The driver of the mail truck became stuck underneath her vehicle, and Gordon County firefighters were forced to remove her from the car. According to a Georgia State Patrol Trooper, she was in stable condition when a Gordon County EMS ambulance took her to Floyd Medical Center. A gas leak also occurred as a result of the crash. The tractor trailer driver faces a charge of following too closely.

Luckily, neither crash caused any fatalities, but the fire and gas leaks still caused real damage. These accidents have the potential to be enormously dangerous or even fatal. Extra caution must be taken when driving, or when driving near, large vehicles such as tractor trailers.

Atlanta Tractor Trailer AccidentLawyers

If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident with a tractor trailer or other large commercial vehicle, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. The Law Office of Sammons & Carpenter can help you understand your options and advise you on how to proceed. Please contact us as soon as possible at 404-814-8948, or fill out our confidential online case evaluation form for a free consultation today.

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More Tractor Trailer Accidents in Georgia

Our Atlanta car accident lawyers saw the news about a fatal car crash from a couple weeks ago. At around 11pm on a Sunday night, a car tire burst on I-75 near Valdosta in Lowndes County. The car, a Honda Accord, spun out of control and hit a retaining wall, with the rear of the car still blocking the left lane. A Toyota 4Runner traveling down the highway strucfile2811244091888k the Accord. One of the the 4Runner’s occupants had to be air-lifted to Tallahassee for medical treatment. The driver of the Accord was taken to South Georgia Medical Center for treatment.

About 20 minutes after the initial accident, while traffic was still moving slowly, another crash occurred along the same stretch of I-75. Sergeant Carl Taylor of the Georgia State Patrol said, “Traffic had stopped due to the first crash on the interstate, and for whatever reason, a tractor trailer Southbound struck the stopped vehicles in the road way. It made contact with a total of, I believe, seven other vehicles, which would be a total of eight vehicles in this crash.” Corporal Peter Lukas of the Georgia State Patrol said, “There was three semis involved, one U-Haul, one F-250 with a camper and three other vehicles.”The second accident severely damaged two cars and caused four deaths. 13 others were taken to the hospital with injuries.

According to Sergeant Taylor, an initial investigation indicates the accident might be to due distracted driving by the tractor trailer’s driver. Police took blood samples, but neither alcohol nor other intoxicants were found to have factored into the crash. SGMC treated the tractor trailer’s driver for non-life threatening injuries, and he could face multiple charges related to the crash. An investigation by the Georgia State Patrol’s Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team is ongoing. It is estimated the investigation could take more than a month to complete.

Atlanta Car Accident Lawyers

If you or a loved one have been injured in an auto accident, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. Distracted driving is a real danger. Drivers, particularly those of large and potentially dangerous vehicles such as tractor trailers, need to be focused on the road. The Law Office of Sammons & Carpenter can help you understand your options and advise you on how to proceed. Please contact us as soon as possible at 404-814-8948, or fill out our confidential online case evaluation form for a free consultation today.

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People Injured in Georgia Tractor Trailer Crash

Our Atlanta car accident attorneys read about a multi vehicle accident hat happened in Macedonia in Cherokee County last week. The accident happened on Ga. 20 near Beavers Road and Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services and Canton Fire spent more than three hours clearing the wreckage.


Specifics of the Accident

At 3:15 p.m. last Wednesday, a white Ford Super Duty F-250 pickup truck, driven by an unidentified teenager, was travelling eastbound on Ga. 20, also known as Cumming Highway. A Toyota Avalon had slowed for traffic, in an effort to avoid a collision according to Georgia State Patrol spokesperson Tracey Watson, when the Ford clipped the back end. Then the Ford went into the westbound lanes and smashed into a tractor trailer head on. The tractor trailer then hit a Chevrolet Silverado, showing how one incident can often cause a chain reaction on the road. The 15-year-old driver of the Ford was taken by helicopter to Grady Hospital in Atlanta. Tim Cavender of the Fire-ES Department said firefighters “worked hard to remove the male driver from the heavily damage truck so he could be life-flighted by helicopter to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.”“The driver was conscious and alert and had multiple injuries to his lower extremities,” he said. He also said the young driver had been charged with following too closely. The teenage driver’s grandfather, a 77-year-old man, was also in the Ford pickup truck at the time, and was taken to WellStar Kennestone Hospital with minor injuries. The driver of the tractor trailer, 43-year-old Wilfred D. Bernard, was also hurt and complained of back pain. He was taken to Northside Hospital-Cherokee, according to the Georgia State Patrol. And the driver of the Chevy, 81-year-old Jimmy West, complained of chest pains after the accident. He was taken to North Fulton Hospital. The driver of the Avalon, a 76-year-old woman, appeared to be fine.

The crash blocked traffic in both directions and closed lanes while emergency workers and investigators were on the scene. The Georgia State Patrol is investigating the crash. Other charges are reportedly still pending.

Atlanta Car Accident Lawyers

If you or a loved one has been injured in a vehicle accident, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. This accident shows the danger of inexperienced young drivers and how an accident can cause multiple other accidents and injuries on the road. Per mile, teen drivers are three times more likely than adult drivers to be involved in a fatal car accident. Fortunately, the accident in Cherokee County was not fatal, but it did injure several people. This young driver was too young even to have a driver’s license, and extra care must be taken with these new inexperienced drivers. The Law Office of Sammons & Carpenter may be able to help you understand your case and advise you how to proceed, so contact us as soon as possible at 404-814-8948, or fill out our confidential online case evaluation form for a free consultation today.

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Pedestrian Hit and Killed by Tractor Trailer

Our Atlanta car accident attorneys read about a tragic car accident in which five people died, including three children. The accident happened around 10:45 a.m. in Hall County on a Monday morning. A Ford Explorer was driving on Athens Highway near Oak Grove Road and left its lane, crossing the concrete median and going into the oncoming lane. At that time, a tractor trailer travelling in the opposite direction smashed into the Explorer head on. Four people in the Explorer died at the scene, members of two families that had been friends and neighbors for decades, including the 34-year-old driver Amanda Lynn Pardue, and a 53-year-old passenger, Robbie Hollis. Also among the tragic deaths were an eight-year-old girl, Kaleigh Emfinger, the daughter of Ms. Pardue, and a 13-year-old, Dalton Martin, Mr. Hollis’s grandson. A two-year-old, who was riding in a booster seat, was still alive when rescue workers got there, and he was taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center. But the child, Elli Emfinger, also Ms. Pardue’s child, died at the hospital from his injuries later that night.  He would have turned three this month.

Ford Explorer

A six-year-old boy, Ethan Emfinger, another son of Ms. Pardue, was also supposed to be in the car, but asked to stay home that day. The family told reporters they are grateful that this little boy is still alive. The Hollises had been friends with Ms. Pardue and her family, and were almost as connected as family, spending time at each others houses and looking after each others children.

The driver of the tractor trailer was also taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center and was in stable condition.

The Hall County Sheriff’s Department, Hall County Fire Services, and Georgia State Patrol are investigating the accident. Police are unsure why the families were on the road, although they suspect it was to run errands. Family member Brandy Poole told reporters her uncle called and told her about the crash and said, “We don’t know yet. We’re still in shock as far as the why.”No autopsy was done on any of the victims of the accident. Blood work was sent to the lab by the GBI, but it takes about 8-12 weeks to get a report.

Ms. Pardue’s fiancé told reporters he suspects that she had a seizure while driving, which was the cause of the accident. Craig Emfinger said, “She wasn’t supposed to be driving anyway because of epilepsy.” Ms. Poole added, “She’d had epilepsy for about eight months. There always had to be someone with her when she was driving. Her doctor felt like they had it under control.”

Atlanta Car Accident Lawyers

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. To discuss any steps to move forward with legal options in your case, contact the Law Office of Sammons & Carpenter as soon as possible at 404-814-8948, or fill out our confidential online case evaluation form for a free consultation today.

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