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The modern world today is driven by technological advancements. Everything from travel, leisure, and business is fueled by the ever increasing use of technology. We can research an important legal topic at lightning speed and conduct business meetings from halfway around the globe. This unavoidable push to the future is even making its way into the commercial trucking industry.

Researchers from Iowa State University are trying to incorporate the use of big data to big rig trucking. In a detailed report presented to the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), researchers laid out some of the biggest obstacles trucking companies face, including delays, accidents, and safety. It is estimated that trucking companies lose millions of dollars annually sitting in traffic. This is why many truckers face intense pressure to drive as many hours as physically possible, even if it means knowingly disregarding federal trucking regulations such as hours of service. By employing real-time data collected by state traffic centers and other resources, researchers believe truck drivers could potentially receive information on traffic congestion, accidents, road conditions, and traffic speed.

This up-to-the second information could help truck drivers avoid congested or delayed roads, in turn resulting in faster and more punctual deliveries. Dave Cantor, one of the researchers from Iowa State, believes that this technology is already readily available. “The DOT has a lot of real-time data on the operating conditions of state highways and secondary roads, and it wants to make sure the data is of value to carriers,” Cantor said. The problem then becomes what is the best way to transmit this information to truck drivers?

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Attorney Corey B. Trotz is a founding member and senior partner at the firm. He has successfully represented thousands of injured clients over the years. Mr. Trotz is included in various lawyer directories — you can check out a few of his listings below:

http://pview.findlaw.com/lawyer/corey-b-trotz/tn/memphis/MjI4NDM3OF8x/PP
http://www.lawyers.com/memphis/tennessee/corey-b-trotz-157072505-a/

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Car versus bicycle accidents are often some of the most dangerous motor vehicle accidents out there. Even when a bicyclist wears proper safety gear, such as a helmet and pads, nearly all of his or her body is left exposed. When hit by a moving car or truck, the trauma from that impact can cause permanent and catastrophic results, even if the car is only traveling a few miles per hour. This type of accident happened in 2012 in Seattle, Washington. In December 2016, the case went to trial, and the jury awarded $38 million in damages.

In this wreck, the victim, 51 years old, was riding a bicycle in a marked bicycle lane down a one-way street. He was going home from work when a valet driver cut across two lanes in the middle of the street and struck the bicyclist from the side. The valet driver received a citation for failure to yield the right of way. As a result of the crash, the victim sustained a traumatic brain injury and a broken hip, among other injuries, requiring extensive medical treatment. He incurred over $427,000 of medical bills and is expected to need multiple surgeries in the future. Due to the broken hip, his mobility has been significantly limited. For example, he must use crutches to even be able to walk short distances.

This lawsuit brought claims against the valet driver and his employer, Standard Parking, which is part of a national publicly traded company that manages parking garages and provides valet car service. When the accident occurred, the valet driver was in the process of returning a car to a customer at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.  The claims asserted against the company include unsafe practices and inadequate training. Testimony throughout the case revealed the valet driver (like many of the other company drivers) had cut through a parking lot, drove through an alley, and then drove across the middle of the street to take cars to and from the vehicle owners at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. According to the victim’s attorneys, the driver took an illegal shortcut to save time while he should have driven around the block through normal traffic to be safe, regardless of how much more time it would have taken.

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fireIn November in Cumberland County, three people died in a truck crash. Just before 2 p.m., a truck not hauling anything was driving eastbound when it suddenly crossed the median and entered the westbound lanes. The truck crashed into a 50-year-old woman’s car and sent the car flying into the air. It landed, rolled, and stopped on the shoulder. Another car swerved into the median and hit debris. Meanwhile, the truck hit a tractor-trailer that was transporting automobiles. The collision was head-on, and both went up in flames.

The drivers of all three vehicles were killed, and one passenger was taken to a medical center. On average, trucks are less likely to catch on fire than cars because they use diesel fuel, which is harder to ignite than ordinary gasoline is. However, if gas from another car involved in an accident already catches fire, diesel can be ignited. Additionally, when trucks are carrying flammable loads that are easily ignited, the diesel catches fire too.

The people involved in a truck crash may suffer serious burn injuries. The prognosis for these injuries depends on the cause, size, and depth of the burn. First degree burns affect the outer layer of skin. When the layer beneath the outer layer is damaged, the painful swelling and blisters of second degree burns result. Third degree burns damage all of the skin layers and may even affect the muscles and nerves, resulting in permanent scars and disabilities. As in the accident described above, fatal injuries at the scene of the fire are also possible.

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Many commercial trucks and 18-wheelers carry waste and other hazardous materials. Toxic chemicals must be properly secured and transported so that they do not spill after an accident or rollover crash. Just before 3:00 a.m. on December 14, 2016, a commercial semi-truck that was carrying hazardous materials crashed into another truck on Interstate 24 in Rutherford County, Tennessee. This impact caused the truck to overturn followed by a toxic chemical spill onto the highway. According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the truck was carrying chemical cleaners such as chlorine tablets, oxidizers, and other corrosives. After the crash, the truck and the released chemicals caught on fire.

This accident occurred near Buchanan Estates, a Rutherford County neighborhood with around 150 homes. Local law enforcement officers initially instructed all residents within a 1 mile radius of the wreck to stay indoors, as the flames from the fire were potentially toxic. Officials also expressed concerned about the wind pushing the fumes farther from the site and affecting more even people. As law enforcement began to clean up the spill by dumping water on the chemicals, all residents and business owners were told to evacuate the area until it was safe to return.

Exposure to chemicals or toxic waste can be extremely dangerous. Hazardous materials that commercial trucks transport can include radioactive materials, explosives, toxic waste, certain cleaning products, and methane. People can be exposed to these materials in many ways, including through the air or water supply. Exposure can cause significant and permanent injuries that may initially go undetected. Side effects may include cancer, respiratory disease, and developmental problems in children. If a pregnant woman is exposed to toxic or hazardous waste, the child may be born with birth defects.

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garbage disposalIn November, a city utility truck was driving west on a Tallahassee, Florida street at 12:40 p.m. when it crossed over the median and hit a car in oncoming traffic, driving east. The first responders determined that at least one individual was seriously hurt and took him to the hospital. An investigation got underway shortly thereafter.

Like other trucks, utility trucks can be dangerous and, due to their size, can cause serious harm to those in smaller vehicles or pedestrians. After an accident with a utility truck, one question will be whose fault the accident was. In order to establish a utility truck driver’s negligence, you’ll need to show: (1) the utility truck driver owed a duty to drive safely, (2) the utility truck driver breached this duty, (3) in breaching the duty, the utility truck driver legally caused your injuries, and (4) you suffered actual damages. In a case like the one described above, in which the utility truck driver crossed over the median, it is likely that the driver failed to use reasonable care while driving.

Reasons for a truck crossing over the centerline into oncoming traffic and causing a head-on collision can vary, but sometimes they are the result of fatigued driving or distracted driving by a truck driver. For example, a driver who got no sleep the night before might become drowsy at the wheel, or a driver who receives a text message might be distracted and accidentally veer into oncoming traffic. Operating a truck can be physically challenging, but it is important for a driver to receive adequate safety training so that he or she can operate the vehicle safely. In the context of a city utility truck driver causing an accident while in the course and scope of employment through his failure to use reasonable care, the employer of the driver may be partially or fully to blame for the accident as well.

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Last month, a cattle truck traveled off Highway 36 in Missouri and overturned after hitting a ditch at around 4 a.m. The 38-year-old driver of the cattle truck was hurt and taken to a hospital. The cows fell onto the road, and as a result, there were two more accidents.

In the first of these two additional accidents, a 68-year-old Missouri woman was seriously injured when her delivery truck hit a cow that was located in the eastbound lane. This happened about 20 minutes after the cattle truck overturned. In the second of the two additional accidents, a 43-year-old man sustained minor wounds about 30 minutes after the initial cattle truck accident. The Missouri State Highway Patrol, as well as the sheriff’s department, volunteer firefighters, and the Department of Transportation, responded to the scene.

Traffic was severely backed up as a result of these three accidents, and dead cows were observed along the highway. The truck was towed off early in the morning to permit traffic flow.

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mushroomsIn October, a truck carrying Shiitake mushrooms overturned on I-24 near the ramp leading onto the Silliman Evans Bridge and I-40 in Tennessee. It created a traffic jam for hours. Cases of fertilizer and nutrients spilled onto the highway and then onto an avenue below. The driver was taken to the hospital with injuries that were non-life-threatening. Law enforcement rerouted traffic, and the scene was cleared.

Trucks may roll over or overturn for many reasons. One possible reason is that when a tractor trailer travels along a curved path, force and a high center of gravity cause it to push away from the curve’s direction, resulting in a rollover. If a truck driver fails to adjust his speed, the condition of the brakes, the road surface, and the acuteness degree of the curve can push the truck over.

Another possible reason is an unstable load or improperly loaded cargo that alters the balance. There are federal and state regulations related to loads, but they are not always followed. Drivers may fail to take account of their own weight and height when loading cargo.

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highwayIn September of this year, a dump truck being used on a construction site fell off a road on a hill and rolled onto I-40 in Nashville, Tennessee. The accident hit two cars and a semi, and it caused serious injuries to at least one individual and possibly more. The crews at the construction site told the owner of the truck, a waterproofing contractor, that they’d heard a popping sound, and when they turned to look, they saw the truck rolling down the embankment. I-40 was blocked by the crash, and emergency personnel responded right away.

In some truck accidents involving overweight or overloaded trucks, the cause is not immediately clear. When bringing a lawsuit, it is important to retain an experienced personal injury attorney who understands how to develop and work up a truck accident case, which FMCSA regulations might apply, and which tools of discovery are necessary to determine precisely which parties are responsible.

In this case, any number of factors may be at work. The contributing causes could include dump truck driver error, a failure to set a brake, misconduct by another contractor on the site, a braking malfunction, or inadequate chains.

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