Overworked Drivers lead to the need for increased insurance on big rigs

Most people do not really understand the increased dangers which all big rig commercial trucks cause all while on our roads.

Each day, people are killed or seriously injured while involved in crashes with heavy trucks. Sadly, many of these wrecks are avoidable with the proper care.

The main reasons for truck accidents are improper maintenance, under or untrained drivers, distracted drivers, and fatigued drivers.

According to the NHTSA, a Federal Agency, operator sleep deprivation is a major factor in at least 100,000 of these accidents and in more than 1,550 accident related fatalities every year in our United States.

Now, new studies show that sleep deprivation or fatigue may well be a contributing, or major, factor in a minimum of 30 to 40% of all the heavy truck accidents in the U.S.

Most individuals do not understand the dangers of noticeable sleep deprivation upon an operator’s ability to safely drive a motor vehicle.

The effects of sleep deprivation on drivers include:

  • Decreased driver alertness
  • Increased driver reaction time
  • Degraded driver vigilance and attention
  • Decreased driver motivation
  • Increased driver “microsleeps”
  • Increased chances of dangerous driver error

If you have suffered a Catastrophic Loss or been injured by a rig, call Carabin Shaw, day or night, at 1.800.862.1260 at our statewide number. Our local number in Corpus Christi is at the top and bottom of this article.

In 2013 a bill got introduced in Congress to protect the public even more from heavy commercial vehicles on the road with better insurance coverage. This new law was designed to force an increase in the minimum liability insurance policy coverage that hauling and trucking companies must carry in the U.S.

Way back in 1980 the U.S. Congress established a minimum amount of insurance which hauling, shipping and trucking companies are required to carry to protect the public from the possible negligence of heavy truck drivers and their employers.

Some people argue vehemently that the minimum levels of insurance have actually not accomplished their intended purpose and have had an opposite effect. The argument is that some companies aren’t concerned about safety because they perceive that their insurance policy is their protector. This has allowed irresponsible trucking companies to operate unsafely through creating an unfortunate business environment of unfair competition and wrongdoing.

It is our opinion that if the minimum liability insurance requirements to operate as originally intended by the U.S. Congress, the Federal Secretary of Transportation should mandate or seek an increase in the liability insurance minimum levels to an amount or a sum that provides adequate compensation for the worst injuries and/or deaths from catastrophic crashes. This would allow insurance to function effectively as the primary mechanism that protects safe trucking operations through the usual underwriting process.

With luck, Congress will work across the aisle and take all necessary actions needed to increase these minimum liability insurance limits in the trucking industry. When one of these trucks hits you, give us a call.

Are you in Corpus Christi? Have you been in an accident with an 18 wheeler or other big rig?

Give Carabin Shaw a call. We can help. Call us at 361.444.1111, local if you’re in Corpus Christi.

Visits with the Attorney are by appointment only. Main office San Antonio, Texas.

The Carabin Shaw Offices in Corpus Christi are located two blocks south of the Nueces County Courthouse in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Our Corpus Christi telephones are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 361.444.1111.


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