May 17, 2014

Agency Calls for Mitigation of Blind Spot Hazards for Truck Drivers

sunset%20truck.jpgSome of the most devastating truck accidents occur when the truck driver fails to spot or identify a motorist in one of his blind spots. There are several such blind spots located behind, at the sides, and in front of the truck. When a motorist is in one of these areas, he is not visible to the truck driver. Therefore, the potential for an accident is extremely high. The National Transportation Safety Board recently called on the federal agency for trucking safety to take more steps to mitigate such hazards.

The National Transportation Safety Board is especially concerned about the risks to “vulnerable” road users: those pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicyclists who share our roads. These persons may be even more invisible to a truck driver when they are in the blind spots. In spite of the fact that accidents caused when a truck driver collides with a car, motorcycle or pedestrian in his blind spot number in the thousands every year, the federal administration has focused very little on how mitigating such hazards could prevent accidents and save lives.

The National Transportation Safety Board requests the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to establish new regulations that could help prevent these accidents by boosting blind spot awareness. The Board also wants the federal administration to look more closely at advanced technologies that can be used to mitigate blind spot hazards.

These technologies include the use of advanced mirror system. The Board in its report is not specific about the kind of mirror systems that can be used, but it does indicate that enhanced mirrors like crossover convex mirrors that are required in New York and in many Europe countries, could alert drivers to a motorist in their blind spots. The systems could also include rear view cameras that display to truck drivers motorists or pedestrians in the blind spots behind the tractor-trailer.

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February 20, 2014

New Trucking Safety Regulations Help Reduce Driver Fatigue

tired%20time.jpgChanges to trucking safety regulations now require a commercial truck driver to have two rest periods every time he starts a new work cycle. These changes have helped reduce the effect of fatigue among truck drivers. Those are the findings of a new study commissioned by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration specifically aimed at establishing the effectiveness of the new regulations.

The change was made last July and required truck drivers to get at least two rest periods at night. These rest periods must occur between the hours of 1 AM and 5 AM. Lawmakers asked the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to conduct a study investigating the effectiveness of the changes. The study was conducted by Washington State University Sleep and Performance Research Center and confirms that truck drivers who took advantage of two nighttime rest periods were less susceptible to the risk of drowsy driving truck accidents.

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October 29, 2013

Study Finds High Rates of Drug Use among Truck Drivers

pill%20pile.jpgTruck drivers may be at a high risk for substance use, especially with drugs like methamphetamines used to help them stay awake for a longer period of time. A new international study based on a review of related literature from across the world, finds that many truck drivers use illicit drugs or drink alcohol while they are supposed to be driving.

In fact, according to the review, younger drivers are at a much higher risk for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The review was based on an analysis of trucking safety studies conducted across the globe. At least 20 studies focused on surveys of truck drivers while others relied on testing of their blood samples.

The study found that some of the most frequently abused drugs by truck drivers are amphetamines, marijuana, and cocaine. However, the most abused drug was alcohol. The rates of drug and alcohol usage varied significantly among the truck driver population.

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October 1, 2013

Protests against Failure to Regulate Unsafe Mexican Trucks

big%20tire.jpgUnder a bilateral agreement between the United States and Mexico, Mexican trucks that meet federal trucking safety standards have begun plying US roadways. However, many of these carriers are unsafe. Their trucks have failed inspections and have been cited for violations in this country. Unions and trade groups insist that, in spite of this fact, US federal regulators simply chose to look the other way.

The bilateral agreement, signed by Pres. Barack Obama and Mexican Pres. Felipe Calderon in March 2011, ensures that Mexican trucks which meet American safety and environment regulations can begin traveling on American roadways. However, records show that many Mexican trucks on American highways have been cited for a number of violations and some of these companies have been cited repeatedly.

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August 6, 2013

NTSB Calls for Wireless-Connected Trucks to Prevent Accidents

compas.jpgFollowing its investigation of two separate accidents involving school buses and trucks, the National Transportation Safety Board is calling on the federal administration to develop standards for wireless technology that allows vehicles, including trucks, to communicate with each other.

The two investigations involved truck accidents that occurred at intersections in New Jersey and Florida. In both cases, the accidents resulted in fatalities. The National Transportation Safety Board believes that these accidents could have been prevented if all vehicles including light duty as well as heavy commercial trucks, came with in-vehicle technology that enables them to transmit data with other vehicles around.

These systems use a wireless technology to transmit data with other vehicles, including warnings about accident risks that are emerging ahead. The federal administration been enthusiastic about the technology, and believes that it has the potential to save lives and reduce accidents every year. The Department of Transportation conducted studies that found the technology can help save lives. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is currently testing more than 3,000 cars that have been equipped with the technology in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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July 1, 2013

Feds Getting Tougher on Trucking Safety

burning%20bus.jpgOver the years, the federal administration has been criticized for its failure to take action against trucking companies that flout federal regulations and operate under a series of violations. That criticism is likely to dissipate in the wake of a number of recent steps taken against errant trucking companies.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has been increasing enforcement action against errant trucking companies, especially those who are in violation of federal regulations and increasing the risk of truck accidents. The federal agency recently established a special task force given the task of conducting inspections and investigations of commercial bus and trucking companies and to recommend action against errant companies. In light of this action, a number of bus and trucking companies were ordered to suspend operations for violations, while several drivers and trucking companies were also cited for various violations.

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June 17, 2013

Trucking Companies Adopt Distracted Driving Policies

cell%20phone%20vibrate.jpgThe federal administration has banned texting while driving for commercial truck and bus drivers, except in emergency situations. However, trucking companies also need to enact their own individual bans in place, to ensure that truckers are not at risk of distractions while driving. A new survey by Aegis finds that most companies already have strengthened their approach against distracted driving, and have adopted bans on the use of cell phones while driving.

According to the survey titled, Measuring Corporate Attitudes to Employee Distracted Driving, approximately 71% of companies have already adopted anti-distracted driving policies in the workplace. Not only that, 29% of companies that don’t yet have a policy against cell phone use while driving indicate that they intend to implement a policy like this very soon. Among those companies, as many as 52% plan to adopt a policy soon, with 55% indicating that they plan to adopt an anti-distracted driving policy over the next year.

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May 17, 2013

Federal, Private Agencies Educate Teens about Driving Saftey and Trucks

truck%20and%20car.jpgThe Department of Transportation is joining hands with a trucking safety group to aimed at educating teens about driving safely around tractor trailers.

Transportation Deputy Secretary John Porcari recently teamed up with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance to help launch a new curriculum that aims at educating teenagers about driving safely around these huge 18-wheelers. The program, Teens and Trucks - Curbing Distracted Driving consists of an educational curriculum targeting teenagers, and has been developed using funding by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The aim is to modify teen driving behavior so that they can avoid risks involving commercial vehicles.

Every year across the United States, more than 4,000 people are killed in accidents involving commercial trucks and buses. More than 100,000 people are believed to be injured in these accidents. According to the Department of Transportation, most of these accidents are preventable.

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May 10, 2013

Eye Tracking Equipment Prevents Fatigue-Related Truck Accidents

100_1094.jpgThe world's largest mining equipment manufacturer plans to roll out specially developed eye and face tracking technology targeted at preventing the number of accidents caused by truck drivers under the influence of fatigue.

The announcement has been made by Caterpillar which markets and sells mining gear, and the new technology includes sensors and software packages. The eye tracking technology has been designed to detect and identify when a truck driver is in danger of falling asleep or dozing off at the wheel.

The technology is very exciting because it presents a much more practical way to reduce the risk of accidents caused by those drivers who drive while drowsy. Fatigue is a major risk factor for any truck driver, because truckers often drive alone for long periods of time. Moreover, many drivers also drive above and beyond their Hours of Service limits, increasing the risks of being involved in an accident.

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April 19, 2013

Aging Indiana Truck Drivers Could Benefit from Exercise

tennis.jpgThe number of aging truck drivers across the country is likely to increase over the next few years as more truck drivers retire, amid a shortage of younger truck drivers to fill their vacant positions. Older drivers face numerous driving challenges, especially with flexibility and gross motor activities. A new study finds that exercise programs that specifically focus on range of motion and coordination, could help sharpen and hone driving skills.

The study was conducted on a group of senior motorists. Earlier, researchers found that these motorists faced challenges in three key driving areas. They found it difficult to look for blind spot rights behind their car by turning their upper bodies, turning their heads and necks to scan their driving environment while driving, and getting in and out of the car.

A group of seniors between the age of 60 and 74 was recruited as part of the controlled study, and they were armed with physical fitness programs that specifically focused on flexibility, range of motion, coordination and strength training. They exercised for approximately 20 minutes daily, and the exercise programs continued over 10 weeks. At the end of the fitness program, the seniors’ driving skills were gauged using a driving simulator, in lab tests as well as on special tests designed by the MIT AgeLab.

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March 29, 2013

U.S Number One In Cell Phone Use And Driving

cell%20zoom.jpgThis is not the kind of behavior Americans should be aiming to be exceptional. A new study finds that American drivers are much more frequent users of cell phones and electronic communication devices while driving, compared to European drivers.

The survey compared cell phone use in the United States with drivers in several European countries. The study which was conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that more American drivers reported using a cell phone while driving for conversation, compared to counterparts in at least 7 European countries.

As many as 69% of the American drivers admitted to having had a conversation on the cell phone while driving over the past month alone. In contrast, the percentage of European drivers who had a conversation while driving over the past month, ranged from just 21% in the United Kingdom, to 59% in Portugal.

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March 22, 2013

OSA an Ongoing Concern for Indiana Truck Drivers

truck%20front.jpgObstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a serious condition that affects men and women alike. This sleep disorder is familiar to anyone who has shared a bed with a partner who snores heavily and stops breathing at night. Obstructive Sleep Apnea occurs when a person’s airway collapses, preventing much needed oxygen from reaching the lungs. Persons with severe sleep apnea may stop breathing up to 400 times in a night’s sleep causing the blood oxygen level to drop to dangerously low levels.

Several key factors contribute to a person’s risk of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. One of the leading indicators of a person’s risk of sleep apnea is the size of the person’s neck. Other factors include their age, a family history of OSA, the shape of their face and whether or not they use alcohol or smoke.

OSA can lead to high blood pressure, morning headaches, moodiness and depression. In addition, Obstructive Sleep Apnea places a person at risk for heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Perhaps most concerning for Indiana drivers who share the roads with drivers of large trucks, is the reality that people with sleep apnea can experience extreme daytime sleepiness and fatigue.

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February 7, 2013

Digital Billboards Pose Distraction

billboard.jpgA study by Swedish researchers finds that digital billboards divert much attention away from a motorist while driving, increasing accident risks significantly. The study was published in the journal Traffic Injury Prevention. The scientists at the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute found that looking at billboards focused attention away from driving.

Motorists spent more time looking at digital billboards, than other types of signs on the road. Often, these motorists looked at digital billboards for more than 2 seconds while driving.

According to a study conducted in 2006 by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, any activity that takes a person’s attention away from the road for more than 2 seconds at a time is sufficient to cause an accident. Two seconds may seem like an insignificant amount of time, but it can be more than sufficient time to cause a collision.

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December 27, 2012

Report On Highway Fatalities A Mixed Bag

highways.jpgAccording to latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2011, overall traffic accident fatalities dropped to their lowest level since 1949. However, bicycle accident fatalities and trucking accident fatalities bucked that trend, recording increases in contrast.
Indiana recorded a slight decrease in traffic accident fatalities with 750 fatalities in 2011, down from 754 the previous year.

Overall, last year, 32,367 people were killed in traffic accidents in the United States. That was a drop of 1.9% from the previous year, and also constituted the lowest drop on record since 1949. An additional 2.2 million people were injured in traffic accidents across the country in 2011. That was also a decline from the previous year.

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March 5, 2012

Indiana Trucking Company Ordered to Shut Down for Safety Violations

truck%20tire.jpgThe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is continuing its stepped-up enforcement of trucking safety rules. The agency recently ordered a trucking company in Indiana to shut down all transportation services immediately. The order came after a review of the trucking company’s compliance with federal trucking safety rules.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, it conducted a review of the company, U & D Service Inc., and found multiple federal trucking safety violations. These violations included a continuous pattern of employing drivers who do not possess valid commercial driver's licenses. The agency also found in its review that the company frequently employed divers who did not meet federal requirements for English proficiency. A truck driver who is unskilled, untrained and does not possess a valid commercial driver's license, could be at a much higher risk of committing a serious and possibly even fatal driving error.

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November 29, 2011

Trucking Accident Deaths up in 2010

For a while now, the trucking industry has been pushing for a continuation of the current Hours of Service for truck drivers, which currently allows drivers to operate a rig for 11 consecutive hours. The reasoning is that these work hours have contributed to a decline in the number of people being killed in truck accident deaths every year. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has shot down that argument. According to the federal agency chief, estimates of trucking accident fatalities across the country show a possible increase in deaths in these accidents in 2010.

According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Chief Anne Ferro, the number of people killed in truck accidents in 2010 was close to 4,000. That was an increase from 3,360 fatalities in 2009. This information emerged at a hearing on the Hours of Service rule that is currently pending with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The federal agency should have finalized a new Hours of Service rule last month, but missed a deadline to do so.

However, the number of truck accidents declined in 2010. The trucking industry is likely to pounce on this fact as proof that safety has increased since the Hours of Service were increased to 11 hours, from the earlier 10.

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May 13, 2011

Marshal County Accident Kills Two

MARSHAL COUNTY – Two died as a result of a tragic accident at a busy intersection of just northwest of Bremen this week.

An 80-year-old and his wife were killed after being hit by a semi-truck. The man, driving an SUV, was killed instantly while his wife died later due to the injuries she sustained. The driver of the semi-truck was not hurt.

The incident occurred on Thursday. Police report that the driver of the SUV failed to stop at the intersection, crossing the path of the oncoming semi.

This event is another terrible example of the power of semi-trucks and the importance of caution when traveling the roadways. Police believe that the SUV driver was not paying attention because he was close to his home and familiar with the area, feeling more comfortable driving near his home. “Most accidents happen within a certain mileage of your home area,” reported Lt. James Strong of the Indiana State Police.

The investigation concerning the details of the collision is on-going.

April 11, 2011

I-70 Crash Kills One and Injures Two Others

Two men from Cloverdale were injured today in a morning crash on westbound Interstate 70 that killed an Indianapolis man.

According to news reports, the two men were transported to Methodist Hospital for non-life threatening injuries and later released. The Chrysler Sebring in which they were traveling was part of a chain reaction crash following the initial accident.

In addition to the two injured men, The Marion County Coroner's office pronounced one man dead at the scene.

According to an Indiana State Police investigation, a semi tractor-trailer was hauling an oversized construction load. It was headed eastbound at the 73-mile marker and struck several concrete barriers. The impact forced the barriers into one of the westbound lanes of I-70. In turn, the barriers struck a westbound Ford van, which started the chain reaction crash which involved a White tractor-trailer, another car, a Ford Crown Victoria and finally a Toyota passenger car.

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March 6, 2011

Insurance Institute Calls for Safer Underride Guards to Prevent Serious Indiana Truck Accidents

truck%20blur.jpgAs Indiana truck accident lawyers, we have found that tractor-trailer underride guards prevent serious damage to a passenger vehicle when the smaller vehicle crashes into the rear of a commercial truck. However, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has found that these underride guards do little to prevent serious injuries to the occupants of a passenger vehicle in low-speed accidents.

In any rear-ender accident, the front of the car is designed to absorb much of the impact from the crash. However, when a passenger vehicle rear ends a tractor-trailer, the front of the smaller vehicle may slide under the trailer, causing serious injuries to the occupants of the smaller vehicle. Researchers at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety analyzed more than 1,000 accidents that occurred between 2001 and 2003. Of these, 113 accidents were rear-ender crashes in which a smaller passenger vehicle crashed into the rear of a semi or truck or trailer. 28 of these accidents ended with fatalities to the occupants of the passenger vehicles. Out of these, 23 accidents involved complete destruction of the front of the passenger vehicle due to failure of the truck’s underride guard. Most of these injuries are direct impact injuries to the head of the driver and front seat passenger, and the impact is almost instantly fatal.

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March 4, 2011

IPS Student Killed in Truck Crash

Map.jpgA Tragedy occurred this morning when a 13 year old IPS student was killed when the car in which she was riding pulled into the path of a southbound semi truck.

The accident occurred at Harding Street and I-70 and caused major traffic problems for several hours.

Two additional students were injured in the wreck. Reports from the scene indicate that they were not critically injured but were taken to local hospitals as a precaution.

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March 1, 2011

Shelby County Truck Crash Kills Two

Shelby County residents were reminded of the devastating results of a crash involving a truck and a passenger car.

News reports indicate that a man and child were killed when their car struck a dump truck head on. A third person was flown to Methodist Hospital with severe injuries. The driver of the dump truck was unharmed.

The accident is a sober reminder of the need to stay alert while on the roads. The size and weight of any truck can cause severe damage but a dump truck fully loaded with gravel is like a concrete wall moving at 60 miles per hour. The end result is severe injuries and even death.

February 3, 2011

Wayne County Sherriff's Deputy Injured

Winter weather and speed combined yesterday resulting in another road-side injury to a police officer in Wayne county. The officer, handling another traffic accident, was struck when a box truck, unable to slow enough to avoid another collision caused a chain reaction accident. His truck hit the deputy and knocked him into the ditch. The deputy was standing behind his vehicle at the time.

While the deputy is scheduled to be released from the hospital, he was lucky to come away from the accident with his life.

Too often, semi and box truck drivers pay little attention to the conditions of the road, putting pedestrians and safety officials at greater risk. This is another incident in which a driver, unaware of the conditions and the circumstances, caused property damage and personal injury.

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February 2, 2011

Indiana Road Conditions Indicate Continued Caution

100_3311.jpgIndiana weather forecasters are reporting that the catastrophic ice storm has passed and clean up is underway. Local school corporations, daycare centers and businesses have closed for another day. Many state employees will stay home today. Cities remain closed. Even state universities have closed for another day. As of this writing more than 950 closings and delays have been reported.

As the wind subsides and the snow stops falling, salt trucks will pass through your neighborhood and scrape the layers of ice away. Schools will reopen and business will get back to normal. The attorneys Montross Miller Muller Mendelson & Kennedy urge Indiana drivers to proceed with caution for the next several days. While the road may appear clear, blowing winds and drifting snow has combined with sub-zero temperatures to keep the roads icy and slick. Black ice, snow drifts, and inattentive drivers can still pose hazards to unsuspecting and unprepared travelers.

January 16, 2011

Indiana Employers Can Help Prevent Distracted Driving Accidents

Indiana employers have a major role to play in preventing employees from using cell phones while driving, thereby preventing distracted driving accidents. More and more employers in Indiana and around the country are implementing “no cell phone use while driving” policies in the workplace, to prevent employees from being distracted while driving.

The attitude towards a workplace policy banning cell phone use while driving has changed significantly. About five years ago, few companies had policies in place that protected cell phone use while driving for employees traveling on work, to a work-related appointment, or using a company-issued car. Now, Indiana injury lawyers find a number of employers in Indiana with such anti-distracted driving policies in place.

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November 22, 2010

Indiana Truck Accident Facts

orange%20truck.jpg2009 marked a record year of sorts in trucking safety in the US. Last year, the number of people killed in truck accidents around the country dropped to their lowest numbers since records began to be maintained. But does that really mean that motorists are much safer today?

The Institute Agency for Highway Safety has analyzed truck accident fatality data for 2009. Some of the findings from the analysis:

In all, a total of 3,163 people were killed in truck accidents in the US last year. Out of these, 14% were the occupants of the truck, while 70% were the occupants of the passenger vehicle involved in the collision. The remaining 14% were bicyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists.

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November 15, 2010

A Road Design Success Story in Indiana

light.jpgThe city of Carmel, Indiana is receiving a lot of attention for a road design feature that seems to be in abundance there. The city has more roundabouts than any other city in the country. With the addition of roundabouts has come the elimination of many traffic lights.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety credits these high numbers of roundabouts in Carmel for a reduced injury and accident rate. In 2003, there were 252 traffic accidents on 220 miles of road in Carmel. By 2008, the road miles had increased to 395, but the traffic accident rates actually decreased to 223. Between 2003 and 2008, more than two dozen roundabouts were constructed in Carmel. By the end of this year, the number of roundabouts is expected to touch 55. The number of traffic lights there is just 41.

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October 15, 2010

Committed to Excellence

The law firm of Montross Miller Muller Mendelson & Kennedy is fully committed to serving the personal injury needs of all Indiana residents. As a team of experienced, dedicated attorneys, we have successfully worked together for nearly three decades, defending the rights of clients and their families. Our experience in medical malpractice and personal injury law has a proven track record and we are committed to providing the individual attention we know your case deserves.

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September 6, 2010

Stability Control Systems Could Prevent 3,600 Truck Rollover Accidents Annually

truck%20rain.jpgLast year, Indianapolis residents had a close view of the massive destruction that can occur when a tanker truck is involved in a rollover accident. In October 2009, a propane truck flipped over on Interstate 465, and burst into flames. The resulting blaze could be seen for miles around, and even motorists a mile away from the explosion could feel the heat. That accident could likely have been averted if the tanker truck had come equipped with a stability control system of the kind found in millions of passenger vehicles around the country. Unfortunately, federal agencies have failed to make these systems mandatory on all commercial trucks.

This week, representatives of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration told a hearing of the National Transportation Safety Board that the federal administration was looking into the benefits of having electronic stability control systems made mandatory on all commercial trucks. The hearing was linked to the Indianapolis crash, and the National Transportation Safety Board was specifically looking into safety systems to prevent tanker truck rollovers, like the one that occurred last year. According to the researchers who presented the findings at the hearing, electronic stability control systems on all 18-wheelers would prevent 3,600 rollover truck accidents every year, save 106 lives and prevent 4,400 injuries every year.

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July 26, 2010

Progress in Efforts to Develop Brain Injury Biomarker Test

head%20xray.jpgIf efforts to develop a test that will determine the presence of brain injury through biomarkers are successful, we could soon have a simple blood test that doctors at any kind of facility could use to determine the presence of a brain injury.

Currently, procedures for the diagnosis of brain injury are fairly restricted. Doctors can diagnose injury by taking a patient's blood pressure and other vitals, and administering memory and concentration tests. However, the chances of a missed diagnosis are always too high for Indiana personal injury lawyers to tolerate. A delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis, can radically impact a person's chances of completely recovering from the brain injury.

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June 10, 2010

New Law Reduces Speed of Indiana Drivers

road%20work%20sign.jpgUtility crews, emergency responders, police, fire personnel, and construction workers risk their lives every day in an effort to assist the residents of Indiana. With each road construction site, traffic stop and roadside response, these men and women place their own personal safety on the line.

In recent years, Indiana and Federal legislators have added safeguards designed to reduce that risk. These safety measures include a requirement for drivers to reduce their speed, change lanes whenever possible, and always yield the right-of-way to personnel responding to an emergency and requiring personnel at the roadside to wear reflective gear.

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May 23, 2010

FMCSA Working on Safety Technologies to Prevent Accidents

truck1.jpgThe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is in the process of developing/rolling out new technologies to help enhance trucking safety and keep Americans safer. As expected, these technological developments are the kind that make Indiana truck accident attorneys very happy.

First, the agency is in the process of finalizing technological devices that can help prevent rear-ender tractor-trailer accidents. These accidents kill 165 people in the country every year, and injure more than 1,600 more. The agency is considering lighting systems that will alert approaching motorists to the tractor-trailer.

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May 17, 2010

Truck Driver Shortfall Looms, Raises Safety Issues

line%20of%20trucks.jpgTwo trucking safety questions are on the horizon for the trucking industry, safety groups and Indiana truck accident lawyers.

The first question - how does the industry plan to deal with a looming truck driver shortage that threatens as the recession ends?

The second question is linked to the first - will a driver shortfall mean that there will be more older, and thus less safe, truckers, on the highways?

Last week, several trucking groups and Reuters reported that as the recession loosens its grip on the trucking industry, there will be more opportunities in other areas for young men who would otherwise have turned to trucking. Historically, a good economy means more opportunities for potential trucking candidates.

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April 12, 2010

New Federal Rule Will Require Electronic On-Board Recorders for Certain Carriers

clock.jpgThe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is looking at the problem of driver fatigue very seriously. In the latest move designed to reduce the number of tired, drowsy and simply fatigued truckers plying our highways, the agency has passed a rule that requires electronic on-board recorders (EOBR's) to be installed on trucks of carriers that frequently violate the Hours of Service rule.

The new rule will take effect from June 1, 2012. It will require a carrier found to be in violation of the work hour rules more than 10% of the time in a single compliance review, to have the EOBRs installed in all its trucks. The recorders must be synchronized with the truck’s engine to record precise and accurate data. The device must record the truck driver name, location, duty status, date and time. After an accident, the data can be accessed through the device, helping rule out or confirm the role of driver fatigue as a role in the accident.

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March 22, 2010

Jason’s Law Will Help Pay for Parking Facilities for Indiana Truckers

truck%20moving.jpgAs truck accident lawyers in Indiana, we have been very concerned at our state’s decision to close truck stops in an effort to deal with budgetary deficits. Last year, the Indiana Department of Transportation closed seven truck stops in the state. Other states around the country have followed suit, shutting down rest areas in an effort to meet budgetary shortfalls, and in the process, placing truckers and motorists at risk from fatigue-related accidents, violence, robberies and other adverse incidents.

A new piece of federal legislation called Jason’s Law could change all that. The bill, if passed, will provide for financing of new truck stops across the country, enhancing existing parking areas for 18-wheelers, and improving access to truck stops and parking facilities on our highways.

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March 15, 2010

Highway Accident Fatalities Lowest in More Than Five Decades

road.jpgTransportation Sec. Ray LaHood deserved to be proud this week, when he announced that according to preliminary data, highway fatalities across the country had dropped to their lowest levels in 54 years. Fatality numbers for 2009 were 9% lower than they were in 2008. The DOT estimates that there were 33,960 accident fatalities in 2009. Compare that to just four years ago in 2005, when there were 37,261 fatalities.

Obviously that's good news, although 33,000+ deaths in 365 days are still far too many to stomach for Indiana injury lawyers.

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March 11, 2010

Indiana Trucking Employers Gain Access to Driver Accident Records

Trucking companies in and around Indiana will now be able to access updated accident and inspection records of potential drivers, on a website that has just been launched by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

The website was promised by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood last year. Calls for a website like this that allows for easy 24-hour access to a job applicant’s inspection and accident records, have been growing for a while now. Such data would allow employers to screen a job applicant's accident records dating back five years, and inspection records dating back three years. This data could help tremendously in making a hiring decision. Until now, such data had been available only to federal and state enforcement agencies. Now, employers in Indiana will have access to the very same data that the FMCSA has had access to all these years.

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January 27, 2010

Indiana Tractor-Trailer Accident Takes Two Lives

shattered%20glass.jpgIndiana residents were again reminded of the devastation caused by semi tractor-trailer accidents when they awoke last Sunday to the news of a crash involving a tractor-trailer and a passenger van.

According to early reports, a passenger van traveling north on Interstate 65 near Edinburgh was struck from behind by a semitrailer. The accident occurred around 3:30 a.m. on the darkened interstate.

The full-sized passenger van, filled with family members, was returning from a kite flying competition in Atlanta, Georgia. The van carried 18 people. All the passengers in the van were from one Chicago area family.

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January 21, 2010

More Highway Highway Safety Laws Needed to Minimize Indiana Accidents

Stop%20Sign.jpgLast week, a safety group handed out its annual report card for highway safety. Indiana received a mediocre rating for the strength and effectiveness of its highway safety laws. Coming as it does during the first month of a brand new year, Indiana personal injury lawyers hope that the government takes seriously the issues brought up by the report card and its recommendations.

The report by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety called Road Map to State Highway Safety Laws, rated all states based on the kind of highway safety laws they have in place to minimize accidents, prevent fatalities and reduce injuries. Fifteen basic and essential highway safety laws relating to teen driving, drunk driving, adult occupant protection and other aspects of highway safety were taken as bench marks.

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January 19, 2010

Indianapolis Tow Truck Driver Injured

skid%20mark.jpgIndiana State Police responded to a call concerning a near fatal accident on the Indianapolis east side this past Tuesday morning. The accident occurred around 9:00 am when the driver of a van hit a tow-truck driver on westbound I-70.

Indianapolis Police report that the tow truck driver, Mark Daily was outside his vehicle, helping a broken-down car on the side of the highway. While he was working, a van ran over him. Police say that the driver of the car, 40-year old Ronald Stevens, failed to obey the law that requires a driver to move to another lane when service vehicles and emergency personnel are present. He was cited for unsafe lane movement and following too close.

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January 8, 2010

Indiana Personal Injury Lawyers Look Forward to Texting While Driving Ban in 2010

cell%20phone.jpgThe New Year promises to usher in new state and federal laws of the kind that Indiana personal injury lawyers would really like to see. Our state continues to lag behind many in its approach to the safety issues arising from motorists texting and using cell phones while driving. We currently have a ban on all cell phone use by motorists below the age of 18. However, there is no law yet that bans texting while driving for all.

A new bill introduced by Senator Travis Holman (R-Markle) will ban texting and sending emails behind the wheel for all drivers. The bill was filed in the legislature last year, and a non budget session of the legislature which begins on January 5th, has the bill on its agenda. The momentum against cell phone use while driving is gaining momentum in Indiana, and the bill has received support from legislators, Indiana personal injury attorneys and the public.

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January 1, 2010

Increased Indiana Highway Construction Could Mean More Accidents in the New Year

barricade.jpgIndiana is in the midst of a massive 10-year highway construction development blitz, but given a poor nationwide record of enforcing work zone safety standards, personal injury lawyers here will be concerned about the increased risk of accidents and injuries from these development efforts.

In 2006, the Indiana Department of Transportation introduced Major Moves, a highway development plan that includes at least 200 new highway construction projects and 200 preservation projects across Indiana. The plan was initiated as part of efforts to boost development, facilitate easier transportation and generate jobs. All that has been great, but the plan has also meant dozens of highway projects active across the state, at any given time.

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December 10, 2009

Indiana DOT Launches New Website to Prevent Accidents

Road%20Conditions.jpgAs Indiana personal injury lawyers, we are constantly monitoring efforts by our state to prevent automobile accidents, especially those that result in fatalities and catastrophic injuries. With winter here, the chances of accidents increase because of the challenges of driving in adverse weather conditions. That is why we are encouraged to see the Indiana Department of Transportation (DOT) using technology and the Internet to keep motorists in informed about road and traffic conditions that affects their safety.

The DOT has set up a new website at www.trafficwise.in.gov to keep motorists informed of road conditions. The website launched just before the Thanksgiving holiday, which kicks off a high-risk season for accidents in Indiana.

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December 3, 2009

Indiana Truck Accident Lawyers’ Wish List for New FMCSA Chief

semi%20mirror.jpgAs Indiana truck accident lawyers, we have our reservations about the confirmation of Anne Ferro as chief of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Ferro’s confirmation has been controversial, and truck accident attorneys, safety groups and accident survivor groups have their doubts about the good judgment in having a former trucking industry lobbyist leading the country’s premier commercial motor vehicle agency.

Ferro served six years as president of the Maryland Motor Truck Association.
It’s not just the lobbyist past that concerns Indiana truck accident attorneys. Ferro has also been a strong supporter of the 11-hour trucking rule that the Bush administration passed just before he vacated office. Trucking safety advocates and truck accident lawyers in Indiana and around the country have been strongly critical of the rule, which extended the number of consecutive hours a trucker can drive to 11, from the earlier 10.

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October 16, 2009

Indianapolis Truck Accident Kills One, Injures Four Others

car%20crash.jpgInterstate I-65 in downtown Indianapolis was another scene of a horrific accident involving three semi-trucks and two cars. While details are still coming in, it appears that one of the tractor-trailers slammed into the rear of the first passenger car, pushing the vehicle into another semi, causing a chain reaction.

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July 28, 2009

Indianapolis Police and Highway Workers in Danger

safety%20vests.jpg On November 24, 2008, a new federal regulation (23 CFR 634) went into effect, requiring anyone working in the right-of-way of a federal highway to wear high-visibility vests that meet specific requirements. This law applies to anyone who must be in proximity of or in the path of the roadway. Unfortunately, as some local news media have discovered, not everyone is following the law and the result can be deadly.

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