People in the Reno area who take a few moments to look at a truck can probably recognize that, if a trucker gets in to an accident, it is going to be a serious affair. Given that trucks are much larger and heavier than most of the vehicles around them, motorists in private passenger cars can quite easily suffer a fatal injury following a truck accident. This is true whether the collision happens on Nevada's interstates and principal highways and city streets.
This may seem like a rather obvious question since most Reno, Nevada, residents will assume that lack of sleep is what makes a trucker too fatigued to drive safely. Indeed, as the existence of the previously discussed federal rest rules only reinforce, commercial drivers need to make sure they get enough sleep to be able to do their jobs.
As Reno residents can probably guess, handling a truck or other large commercial vehicle is a tough task. This is why commercial drivers have to get a special license that entails extra training and other legal hoops that those who are just driving ordinary passenger cars do not usually have to worry about.
After meeting a victim and taking on their case, one of the steps a good commercial vehicle accident attorney may take is to start an independent investigation of the accident. Some people in Reno, Nevada, might see this as an unnecessary step, particularly if there is already a detailed police report on file.
As a previous post on this blog discussed, oftentimes state governments or legal subdivisions of those governments operate large trucks and other big commercial vehicles. As much as residents of Reno, Nevada, would prefer to think otherwise, the drivers of these vehicles aren't perfect. Like any other driver of a large commercial vehicle, they can cause a serious motor vehicle accident. In these sorts of situations, it is only fair that victims receive compensation.
A recent accident in Washoe County left a motorist critically injured. The accident involved a firetruck operated by the Truckee Meadows Fire Department. In the course of the collision, four firefighters also suffered minor injuries. The firefighters were, however, taken to the hospital after the accident.
Reno residents might think that since truck drivers need to go through extra training in order to operate their commercial vehicles safely, they would never think of getting behind the wheel of their big rigs while drunk or on drugs. Unfortunately, drunk and drugged truck driving is still too common on the highways of both Nevada and other states. Among the almost 52,000 drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2016, about 4,150 were operating a large commercial truck at the time. Of those, 84, or a little over 2 out of 100, of these drivers had over .08 blood alcohol content at the time of the accident, making them legally drunk.
Police are still investigating a pileup that happened in the Reno are on Interstate 80 recently. This truck accident involved several vehicles and also involved a truck flipping over on to its side. The truck obstructed one direction of freeway traffic. The truck also lost its load of canned goods and leaked some fuel because of the accident.
For those who are not familiar with the term, a large commercial truck "jackknifes" when the wheels on its trailer move in one direction while the cab of the truck continues to move in another direction, thereby causing the trailer to swing to one side of the road or the other. When a truck jackknifes, the trailer can easily slam into unsuspecting motorists in the vicinity, possibly sweeping them off the road in the process.
As this blog has discussed on previous occasions, there are many laws and regulations that many truckers who travel in or through Nevada have to follow. By way of example, some of these laws ban truckers from using cell phones while driving, and others require truckers to pull over and rest for a while after being on the road for a certain number of hours.