Over the past years, we have shared information about Georgia’s rules and regulations that commercial motor carriers must follow on our roads and highways. We have also shared information about the extensive federal regulatory scheme that applies to those who operate and drive trucks in our state. One of the most important aspects of trucking safety includes not only standards regarding the equipment that companies put out on the road, but the experience and knowledge of the drivers that drive for them. There are even standards on how many hours a truck driver can be on road each day.
Driver experience and fatigue can play a big part in the care that these large and heavy vehicles must take when driving, including when making a lane change. A lane change can become deadly very quickly. Recently, a passenger vehicle driven by a Marietta man on I-85 resulted in his death. A truck making a lane change allegedly caused the driver to move his vehicle onto the road’s shoulder. As the car swerved out of control it ended up under the truck’s trailer. This is unfortunately a very lethal situation and not uncommon in truck / car collisions.
Reports now indicate that local authorities have arrested the truck’s driver for allegedly causing the death of the car’s driver. The car and the trailer caught fire and the driver was trapped under the trailer. The charges against the truck driver include second degree homicide by vehicle which is established under Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) section 40-6-393, as well as other alleged violations including OGCA section 40-6-123 making an unsafe lane change and failing to use a turn signal.
The federal rules require that trucks have specific turn-signal placement and color so that they are visible to other drivers. Under 49 Code of Federal Regulations section 393.11, specific details are set out about these lights and many others that must be operational on a truck that is traveling on America’s highways. Had the truck driver in the Gwinnett County tragedy used his turn signal, it is possible that the car driver may have had an opportunity to avoid swerving onto the shoulder and instead give the truck the space to move.
If you are injured or have a loved one who has lost his or her life in an accident, others may be held responsible for this injury or death. Specific family members of a deceased love one may be in a position to file what is called a wrongful death action and hold those responsible accountable for the loss of a loved one’s life.
For information about an injury or passing of a loved one in an accident, please contact me personally for an evaluation of your legal options. There is no fee for this consultation.