Each of us has been fatigued at some point in our lives, and we know the feeling. There is a sense of tiredness, a strong desire to rest or sleep, and often an awareness that we are not fit to do any work or complete tasks. Many of us have also pushed through such a situation in order to finish a late-night homework assignment or avoid stopping on an overnight road trip. When this happens without any major consequences, we may tell ourselves that we can simply ignore our feeling of tiredness and keep going any time we like. However, just because a person got away with it once does not make this a safe practice or even a good idea.
What Is Fatigue?
The term driver fatigue refers to a situation when a driver needs sleep or rest. This may be due to a host of reasons, such as being on the road for a long period of time in one stretch. It may also be caused by too little sleep or rest over the previous days.
When a person is fatigued, their alertness decreases. It takes them longer to react, and drowsiness is common. They may begin to nod off, make poor decisions, or have reduced short-term memory. They may experience tunnel vision, and they may drive by roadway signs without even noticing them. These symptoms occur more frequently at nighttime when it’s dark outside and in situations when a person is performing a monotonous activity, such as driving on the highway.
Why Is Fatigued Truck Driving Dangerous?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) compares drowsy driving to driving under the influence of alcohol. Studies have even shown that a driver who has been awake for 24 hours functions similarly to a person with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.10 percent. This amount is greater than the legal driving limit of 0.08 percent in all 50 states.
Given their impaired condition, a fatigued truck driver may not even be aware that their performance is suffering. They may tell themselves that they are fine to drive. They may be under pressure from their trucking company to take minimal breaks and to ignore their body’s signals that they need rest and sleep.
When a truck driver is fatigued, they may begin to drift into an adjacent lane without realizing it. Due to their increased reaction times, they may not begin braking early enough when a vehicle in front of them slows down or stops. They may even fall asleep completely while their truck keeps moving down the road, essentially out of control. This is a recipe for disaster and a leading cause of truck accidents.
Do I Need an Attorney?
If you’ve been hurt in a truck accident with a fatigued truck driver, you may already be facing a stack of medical bills that keeps growing. You might be worrying about how you will pay them and asking yourself how you are going to move on from this painful time.
The deck is stacked against you when it comes to dealing with insurance adjusters because the insurance companies involved are much more experienced in handling insurance claims than you are. They know how to take advantage of the system to pay out as little money as possible.
One way they do this is to offer lowball settlement amounts. They hope that a person will accept their offer because they are unaware of what is fair. They may also attempt to get you to make statements that indicate that the fault for the accident was yours. Each dollar that they don’t pay out is another dollar that they are able to keep in their own pocket.
An experienced personal injury lawyer will take over your case and will make sure that neither of these misleading tactics is successful. They will handle all negotiations on your behalf and will review any offers closely. There are multiple components of potential compensation to which you may be entitled, and each of these should be considered. These may include prescription medication, medical bills, physical therapy, future earnings, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. When you select Evans Moore, LLC, you can rest easy knowing that we will fight for all the money that may be legally yours.
Call Evans Moore, LLC Today
If you’ve been injured in an accident with a truck in South Carolina that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation. You should not have to be financially responsible for an accident that you did not cause. We have successfully represented many people just like you, and we know how to get results.
Our FAQ page answers some of the most common questions we receive about personal injury claims. Contact us today at (843) 995-5000 to speak with a South Carolina truck accident lawyer of Evans Moore, LLC about your case and your options. Let us put your mind at ease so you can put this devastating experience behind you and move on with your life.
Big rigs, 18-wheelers, and large commercial trucks account for about five percent of registered vehicles on the roads and highways of America today. Yet they have the same rate of accidents and fatalities as passenger vehicles, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). This is because they travel more miles than passenger vehicles, are much larger, and their drivers rack up many more hours behind the wheel.
Being involved in a big rig accident, whether you are the driver of a passenger vehicle or the truck driver up above, can be terrifying. It can also lead to serious injury and even death.
Accident Causes and Concerns
Along with their size and weight (more than 50 feet in length and up to 80,000 pounds), big rigs have other issues that make accidents more frequent and more hazardous. Smart drivers can watch out for these problems and avoid big rigs in treacherous conditions before accidents happen.
- Height above the roadway. Called the vehicle’s “profile,” this height makes the big rig vulnerable to high winds. Cars can be hit by the trailer when passing, even when the truck driver is being careful. Be alert to wind direction when passing beside a big rig.
- Blind spots. All vehicles have blind zones, where the driver can’t see a passing car or pedestrian. In big rigs, these zones are huge, and extend far to the sides, front, and rear of the trailer. They are also right next to the cab when the height of the truck can prevent the truck driver from seeing a passenger car in the lane below.
- Underriding. This frightening situation occurs when a high-mounted trailer (frequently seen in container trailers) is taller than a small vehicle. It is possible for a car to become jammed beneath the trailer and dragged. Cars should use great caution when moving alongside or merging onto roadways beside big rigs.
- Driver fatigue and inattention. Truck drivers work on strict schedules, but unethical companies sometimes encourage cheating or “working off the books.” On long cross-country deliveries, even the most rested of drivers can fall prey to road hypnosis. Drivers of smaller cars should be aware of the risk and give big trucks as much distance as possible.
If You Were Involved in a Big Rig Accident
Because of the high risk of injury to the driver and passengers of a smaller vehicle, Evans Moore, LLC strongly recommends that anyone involved in a big-rig accident be evaluated by a doctor. Even if you believe you’re all right, many injuries take time to appear. It may also be required by your insurance carrier.
You should get information from not only the driver but also take down the company name on the truck and on the trailer. There may be several companies involved in the operation of a big rig, and any or all of them may be implicated in an accident.
For instance, the driver may be an employee of the trucking company, the truck itself may be leased from a second company, and the trailer may have been picked up at the dock fully loaded and be owned by a third company. Depending on the nature of the accident, your attorney may need to join all these parties in a lawsuit.
If there are witnesses, you should get their names and information as well. Because of the number of parties potentially involved in a big rig accident, you may need multiple witness statements to verify your account of the accident.
Document everything. If you can obtain photos of the scene at the time, you should do so. Have another person take pictures if you cannot. If you can’t get pictures at the time, try to note if there are traffic cameras or security cameras nearby. Your attorney may be able to get images from those cameras later.
How We Can Help
You should consider contacting an attorney to review your case and documentation, even if you aren’t planning on taking legal action. You should have someone look at any settlement offers before you agree to them, even if they seem completely fair and open.
If you’ve been involved in a big rig accident, the time you have to file a claim or lawsuit is limited. Contact the South Carolina truck accident lawyers of Evans Moore, LLC at (843) 995-5000 and let us take a look at the circumstances of your case in a free initial consultation. We can let you know the best way to proceed and give you our legal opinion. Our attorneys are waiting for your call.
Trying to prove a truck driver is at fault for an accident can be a challenge. If you sustained an injury due to the truck driver’s negligent actions, you deserve compensation from the insurance company to compensate for your medical bills, lost wages, and other losses. However, the evidence you need might not be available, or you don’t know where to find it.
A travel log is critical evidence in any claim against a truck driver. The travel log, also referred to as a logbook, contains information associated with a truck driver’s activity every 24 hours. The logbook could have details to prove the trucker behaved recklessly or violated a federal regulation. If you can obtain the travel log, you might be able to hold the truck driver liable for your injury.
Federal Regulations for Truck Drivers
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforces various regulations truck drivers and motor carriers must follow. Particularly, the hours of service regulations aim to combat driver fatigue and prevent accidents.
The standards included in the hours of service regulations are:
- Drive no more than eleven hours after ten off-duty hours
- Take a thirty-minute break after driving for eight cumulative hours without at least a thirty-minute interruption
- Extend the driving limit by two hours when adverse conditions exist
- Splitting the ten-hour off-duty period is allowed as long as the driver spends at least seven consecutive hours in the sleeper berth and at least two hours off duty regardless of whether they’re in the sleeper berth
- Drive no more than 60 hours in seven consecutive days or 70 hours in eight consecutive days
If a truck driver violates this regulation in any way, they could face an expensive fine. They could even lose their commercial driver’s license if they continue to violate the hours of service regulations.
Information Included in the Logbook
The FMCSA requires every truck driver to complete a record of duty status for each 24-hour period. The information drivers record must include breaks, on-duty hours, and off-duty hours. Some of the details required to be included in the logbook are:
- Signature of the trucker
- The date the twenty-four hours begin
- Total number of driving hours
- Name of the motor carrier and address for the main office
- Name of the co-driver
- Number of hours spent in the sleeper birth, off duty, and on breaks
- Shipper name or shipping document name and contents the truck contains
- Time zone of the trucker’s home terminal location, regardless of different time zones passed through while driving
- City, town, or village and the state abbreviation for each change of duty status
- Explanations for unusual log entries or circumstances
- Licensing state and the truck number or license number of the truck
Some truck drivers don’t have to follow the regulation requiring a record of duty status. For example, truckers driving within a 100 air-mile radius of their home terminal are not required to write down information related to their 24-hour periods.
Information Recorded by Electronic Logging Devices
Commercial trucks have electronic logging devices (ELD) that synchronize with the engine and automatically record data associated with the vehicle’s movements and truck driver’s actions.
The information the ELD records and stores can include:
- Truck motion status
- Engine hours
- The truck driver’s duty status
- Total number of miles driven
- Engine power status
- The trucker or authorized user’s identification and details for the vehicle and motor carrier
The ELD doesn’t record all information required by the FMCSA. That means the truck driver must enter certain information manually.
If requested by law enforcement or another official, the truck driver can electronically transfer the information stored in the ELD. This allows investigations into accidents to determine whether the trucker’s actions are to blame.
How to Prove Fault for a Truck Accident
If the truck driver is responsible for causing the crash, you should seek legal representation immediately. You need an experienced lawyer by your side to help you prove what happened. Since truck accident cases are complex, you shouldn’t try to handle yours alone. You could end up without the compensation you need to pay for your medical bills and other expenses.
Truck accident lawyers are familiar with state laws and have all the necessary resources to obtain evidence, such as electronic logging device data and truck drivers’ records of duty status. The included information could show the trucker was exceeding the maximum driving limit, failing to take the required breaks, or another negligent action.
Contact Evans Moore, LLC
Evans Moore, LLC is available 24/7 to take your call. We’re ready to represent you in your case against the truck driver and hold them responsible for their misconduct. You can depend on us to fight by your side for the justice and compensation you deserve.
If you suffered injuries in an accident due to a truck driver’s negligence, call the South Carolina truck accident lawyers of Evans Moore, LLC at (843) 995-5000 right now for a free consultation and learn more about your legal options.
With the approach of the holiday season, opportunities to gather with friends and loved ones grow more frequent. While these gatherings can be a special time to be with the ones you love and observe cherished traditions, they’re not without risk. Each year, hundreds of Americans are injured in motor vehicle crashes around the holiday season.
There are several steps you can take to make sure you’re traveling safely. Practicing safe driving habits can protect both you and other nearby motorists as you get behind the wheel this holiday season.
Don’t drink and drive. Many holiday gatherings involve sharing meals with those we love. Oftentimes, these meals include drinking alcohol. While drinking isn’t inherently dangerous, driving drunk can potentially be extremely harmful, both to you and surrounding vehicles. When driving drunk, your vision can be blurred, your judgment can be impaired, and your depth perception can be damaged. Not only is drunk driving dangerous, but it’s against the law. If you’ve had alcohol, it’s wise to designate another driver and not get behind the wheel yourself.
Check the weather. As the year draws to a close, the weather patterns begin to change and the temperatures begin to drop. It’s important that you’re well aware of the weather before getting on the road this holiday season. Factors like snowfall, frozen roads, or increased precipitation can all be potential hazards to those who are unaware of them.
Be aware of crossing animals. With the changing of the seasons comes a change in the local wildlife’s migration patterns. You’ll want to keep an eye out for crossing animals as you take to the roads this holiday season, as hitting a large animal can be extremely dangerous.
A few common examples of wildlife that are active at this time of year include:
If you should hit an animal, be sure to contact the local animal control authorities and check to make sure your vehicle has not sustained damage.
Be sure your vehicle is properly maintained. Before going on any long trip, it’s important to make sure your vehicle is carefully maintained. Particularly in the wintertime, it’s important to check your tire pressure, as changing temperatures can cause it to drop. You can check the pressure in your tires by using a tire pressure gauge and comparing the number to the recommended psi (pounds per square inch) for your vehicle, which will be listed either in your driver’s manual or on a sticker inside the driver’s side door.
Another important step you can take is to make sure your headlights are in working condition. Driving at night can be dangerous if your visibility is impaired, so it’s important to make sure that both your brights and normal headlights are fully functional. In addition to your headlights, good windshield wipers are necessary, as they improve visibility when you’re driving through heavy precipitation. Make sure your windshield wipers are in working condition, especially in the wintertime, when precipitation is more frequent.
Stay alert. There are many factors that may cause you to become distracted behind the wheel. Be sure to get the proper amount of rest before driving, as drowsy driving can be dangerous. Additionally, you’ll want to avoid cell phone use or being distracted by other internal factors like changing the music or other passengers. Remaining alert is one of the best ways to ensure your safety on the roads this holiday season.
Need help? Give Evans Moore, LLC a Call Today
Dealing with the devastating effects of a motor vehicle accident can be difficult, particularly if you’ve been wrongfully injured. If you or someone you love has been injured through no fault of your own in a motor vehicle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
The team of top-rated personal injury attorneys of Evans Moore, LLC is prepared to help you. For years, we’ve been representing clients just like you, reaching impressive settlements and favorable outcomes. We’re committed to providing excellent legal counsel in each and every case that we take on, working to reach justice for our clients in their motor vehicle accident cases.
If you’re ready to pursue the compensation to which you’re entitled, call Evans Moore, LLC today at (843) 995-5000. We’ll schedule a free preliminary consultation so that we can get a better understanding of your circumstances. If you’re ready to begin seeking justice for your injuries, call us today.
Many of us are familiar with the “black box” used in airplanes. These virtually indestructible devices constantly record information such as speed, direction, braking, and many other vital pieces of information. Most of us are unaware that the majority of trucks on U.S. roads and highways also contain “black boxes.” While no law mandates their inclusion as of yet, insurance providers, owners, and freight operators install them to protect themselves.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury from a South Carolina truck accident, the existence of a “black box” could be critical to your case. It will provide compelling information concerning the operation of the truck by the defendant. At Evans Moore, LLC, our truck accident lawyers have experience obtaining the black box and deciphering the information contained within to position your claim in the strongest possible position. Our thorough investigation will maximize the compensation you receive.
Data Stored Inside the Black Box
The black box is a treasure trove of evidence for your South Carolina truck accident claim. The black box is wired directly into the truck’s computer and constantly measures several data points. Typically, a black box will contain the following information:
- The truck’s rate of speed
- The truck’s average rate of speed
- The truck’s maximum speed
- Whether seatbelts were in use
- Any attempt to apply the breaks
- Any attempt to steer at the time of the collision
- The revolutions per minute (RPMs) of the truck’s engine
- The trucks tire pressure
- Any mechanical issues or warning indicators
- The amount of time the truck had been driving
- Any rest brakes
In short, the black box tells the detailed history of the accident from the truck’s point of view. This information is objective and not subject to manipulation, so it is particularly compelling in a South Carolina truck accident case.
Why the Data Inside the Black Box Is Important to Your Case
In a South Carolina truck accident claim, one of the elements you will need to prove is negligence. Specifically, you will need to prove that the defendant breached his duty to operate the truck safely. Every driver in South Carolina owes a duty of care to everyone else on the road to exercise reasonable care while operating a vehicle. Exercising reasonable care includes following all traffic rules.
The evidence obtained from the black box may demonstrate whether the driver operated the truck negligently by failing to abide by South Carolina traffic laws. The black box can offer powerful evidence that the driver breached their duty of care. Specifically, the black box may contain evidence that the truck driver was speeding, failed to apply its brakes, had a maintenance issue, and even whether the driver lost control of the vehicle at the time of the crash.
In addition, truck drivers are subject to additional rules concerning the length of time they are allowed to drive without resting. Before the black box, it was extremely difficult to prove exactly how long a truck driver had been on the road and, thus, whether the driver had violated the law in this respect. The black box records data about the truck when it is in motion and records periods of rest. The black box will prove exactly how long the driver had been driving the truck at the time of the accident.
Unfortunately, this crucial evidence is not easy to obtain. The black box remains in possession of the owner of the truck. The owner may or may not be the operator. Notably, the owner is under no obligation to disclose or decode this information for your benefit. An experienced South Carolina truck accident lawyer can compel the owner to turn the evidence over to you in court. This evidence may be crucial to your ability to recover monetary compensation for your accident-related losses.
Talk to a South Carolina Truck Injury Lawyer Today
The lawyers at Evans Moore, LLC understand the importance of the black box and the legal steps necessary to acquire it. We will review your case, answer your questions, and advise you of your legal options. We will work diligently on your behalf to secure the maximum amount of monetary compensation for your injuries. Our initial consultation is always free.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury in a South Carolina truck accident, call our offices today, (843) 995-5000. We look forward to speaking with you today.
As the season turns from summer to fall, fatal car accidents are on the rise. The United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released statistics comparing 2019 to 2020. The data indicates that traffic fatalities increased in the autumn months of September, October, and November. There are identifiable causes that lead to the increase in deaths, as well as precautions you can take to keep you and your loved ones safe.
At Evans Moore, LLC, our attorneys have experience in all types of South Carolina car accident cases.
Why Do Car Accident Fatalities Increase in Autumn?
Many environmental factors contribute to the increase in autumn car accident fatalities,
- There are more vehicles on the road as children return to school
- School zone speed limits return, and drivers don’t adjust right away
- The days are shorter after we “fall back” and, as a result, more people are driving at night
- The falling foliage can obscure dangers on the roadway
- Deer mating season in October causes more deer to be on the roads, which contributes to more autumn car accident fatalities
In addition to the factors listed above, South Carolina experiences more rain in the fall than all but fourteen other states. The rain makes the roads slick, and, when combined with shorter daylight hours, the risk of fatal autumn car accidents in South Carolina rises. The combination of all of these factors is responsible for the increase in autumn car accidents in South Carolina.
Preventing Autumn Car Accidents
You can take several steps to reduce the likelihood that you or a loved one will be involved in an autumn car accident. The suggestions start with driver safety rules and extend through specific safety steps to observe in autumn.
The National Highway Safety Transportation Administration lists several safety precautions that one should apply throughout the year:
- Always obey all traffic rules
- Never drive intoxicated
- Never drive when you are tired
- Never operate your telephone while driving
- Always wear a seatbelt
- Always drive with two hands on the wheel
There are also specific safety measures you can employ to prevent autumn car accidents. It is a good idea to follow these suggestions as soon as summer turns to autumn.
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) has specific recommendations for driving in the rain. The autumn rains make the roadways far slicker than usual. Standing water, which can be challenging to see, can cause vehicles to lose traction, hydroplane, and spin out of control. When it is raining, remember to turn on your headlamps. You should also reduce your speed to match the weather conditions. Also, if water is covering the roadway, do not attempt to cross it until you can determine its depth. Finally, it is a good idea to check the condition of your tires at the end of every season.
With the return of school, school buses will share the road with commuters in the morning. It is a good idea to put an alert in your calendar to remind you of the applicable laws pertaining to school buses. When driving near a school bus, remember to always come to a complete stop and remain stopped until the buses’ lights stop flashing or it retracts its “stop” signal. You always have to stop for a school bus on a two-lane road.
If you are driving during dusk, dawn, or a full moon, you are far more likely to encounter deer on the roadways. Many autumn car accidents involving deer occur when one automobile swerves to avoid the deer and strikes another vehicle. For this reason, it is crucially important to be aware of the presence of deer and always be mindful of the entire road so you can navigate your car to safety. It is also advisable to reduce your speed during the hours when it is more likely that you will come across a deer or another wild animal on the roadways.
Taking these simple steps can significantly reduce the number of autumn car accidents in South Carolina, including fatalities. We all share the road with school children, other drivers, and wildlife.
South Carolina Car Accident Lawyer
If you, or a loved one, suffered an injury in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, call Evans Moore, LLC to speak with an experienced South Carolina car accident attorney today. Our consultations are always free. Our lawyers will take the time to understand your case, answer all of your questions, and advise you of your options. Call our offices today at (843) 995-5000.
FLORENCE COUNTY, SC – One person was killed, and another was injured in a head-on collision on Highway 51 in Florence County yesterday afternoon, according to WPDE.
The collision happened southeast of Florence on Hwy 51 near Carnell Drive at 1:40 p.m. on July 30, after the driver of a 2015 Toyota Rav4 went over the center line and into the lanes of oncoming traffic. The Toyota then crashed head-on with a 2017 Kia.
The driver of the Toyota, who was reportedly not wearing their seatbelt, died at the scene.
The other driver was hospitalized in undisclosed condition.
Evans Moore, LLC provides these blog posts as a way of helping our neighbors and prospective clients stay informed about accidents in the Georgetown, SC area. They are not offered as legal advice. However, if you or someone you love has been hurt because of someone else’s carelessness, our team of South Carolina car accident lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation, online or by calling (843) 995-5000.
COLLETON COUNTY, SC – A portion of Henderson Highway collapsed during intense flooding on Wednesday morning, putting at least two people in danger.
According to Live5News, the flood water affected the 2300 block of Hendersonville Highway on July 28. Two people were attempting to turn around as to avoid the flooding. Their car got pulled into the water when the highway collapsed. Neither was injured.
The South Carolina Department of Transportation estimates it will take weeks to repair the damage.
Evans Moore, LLC provides these blog posts as a way of helping our neighbors and prospective clients stay informed about accidents in the Colleton County, SC area. They are not offered as legal advice. However, if you or someone you love has been hurt because of someone else’s carelessness, our team of South Carolina car accident lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation, online or by calling (843) 995-5000.
SUMMERVILLE, SC – Police closed a portion of North Main Street to recreate a car crash for the purpose of their investigation on Thursday morning.
According to Live5News, the original accident happened Sunday night, July 25. The Summerville police department’s traffic division closed North Main St. from the 700 block to Highway 78 to reconstruct the crash.
The street was closed from about 3:20 a.m. to 5 a.m., so it did not impact traffic.
The crash is still under investigation.
Evans Moore, LLC provides these blog posts as a way of helping our neighbors and prospective clients stay informed about accidents in the Summerville, SC area. They are not offered as legal advice. However, if you or someone you love has been hurt because of someone else’s carelessness, our team of South Carolina car accident lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation, online or by calling (843) 995-5000.
JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, SC – An airman assigned to the 437th Airlift Wing died in an accident on Friday morning, officials say.
According to Live5News, the airman’s identity has not yet been released. It is not clear where the accident happened or what caused it. Joint Base Charleston officials are expected to release more details later.
The July 30 crash remains under investigation.
Evans Moore, LLC provides these blog posts as a way of helping our neighbors and prospective clients stay informed about accidents in the North Charleston, SC area. They are not offered as legal advice. However, if you or someone you love has been hurt because of someone else’s carelessness, our team of South Carolina car accident lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation, online or by calling (843) 995-5000.