Semi Truck Driver Negligence Guidelines

In light of the fatal crash in Hugo, Minnesota, where a semi truck struck a minivan and killed 2 of the 3 occupants; let us reflect on safety measures for truck drivers.

Semi truck drivers owe it to the general public to drive carefully and within all of the legal parameters that regulate the trucking industry. They need to be dedicated to truck safety, working to eliminate unnecessary deaths and injuries caused by truck crashes. They can do that by following safe trucking guidelines.

Trucking Guidelines

The following state and federal guidelines need to be followed in order to avoid any appearance of negligence:

  • do not speed
  • do not drive faster than is safe, considering the cargo, weather, roads
  • properly maintain the tractor trailer
  • do not tailgate
  • maintain proper logs for maintenance
  • maintain proper logs for hours driven
  • do not text while driving (D.C. and 14 states, including Minnesota, have banned it)

Millions of truckers crisscross America’s freeways driving many hours a day. Safety advocates would like to restrict truckers to 8 hours a day, because fatigue sets in – leading to inattentiveness and slow reflexes. Fatigue is the major cause of traffic accidents.

After a Semi Truck Accident

Time is of the essence. It is important to investigate a truck accident promptly. All accident information needs to be preserved, including:

  • driver logs
  • driver qualifications and incident reports
  • trip receipts, weight tickets, and operational documents
  • electronic control units (black boxes)
  • any communications between the driver and dispatcher
  • maintenance records
  • inspection records
  • pictures at the scene, including tire track evidence
  • eye witness reports

Truck Driving and Texting

A new area of inattentiveness is texting and driving. As statistics are mounting, it is becoming apparent that texting is one of the most dangerous behaviors to do while driving. Most statistics show that it is as dangerous, if not more so, than drinking and driving.

On July 27, 2009, Virginia Tech Transportation Institute released the findings from a study on truck driving and texting. They examined the behavior of 203 truck drivers, operating 55 trucks, covering more than 6 million miles of road. They concluded that truck drivers who send text messages while driving are 23 times more likely to be in a crash (or near-crash manuever) than drivers who are not engaged in any distracting behavior.

Compare that to their results on cellphone usage. When truck drivers talked on cellphones, they were only 1.3 times as likely to have an accident or near-accident than a non-distracted driver.

In VTTI’s studies that included light vehicle drivers and truck drivers, manual manipulation of phones such as dialing and texting of the cell phone lead to a substantial increase in the risk of being involved in a safety‐critical event (e.g., crash or near crash). However, talking or listening increased risk much less for light vehicles and not at all for trucks. Text messaging on a cell phone was associated with the highest risk of all cell phone related tasks.

Minnesota Semi Truck Accident Attorney

It is vital to contact an experienced semi truck accident attorney immediately following an accident. Time is of the essence. Ultimately, time is money; because for every piece of evidence lost, the credibility of your case is compromised. For more information, call 612-TSR-TIME or submit our free contact form. Our partners are skilled, knowledgeable semi truck accident attorneys with years of experience.

This information is provided by TSR Injury Law. Our attorneys have been named Super Lawyers many times and Chuck Slane has been voted one of the 2009 Minnesota Top 40 Personal Injury Lawyers. Our attorneys have a stellar reputation — having represented thousands and recovered millions for victims — including a recent $3.75 million settlement.