Brad Pistotnik Law
Abogado El Toro

Truck Accident Lawyer Group

U.S. Department of Transportation Sets New Rules on Truck Driving Hours to Improve Safety

Date August 16, 2013

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently announced new federal regulations to reduce trucker fatigue and improve the safety of other drivers. The regulations went into effect July 1, 2013.

The regulations will cut the average work week from 82 to 70 hours for truck drivers, which will only impact the most extreme of schedules. More than 85 percent of the truck driving workforce will see no changes, says the FMCSA.
Another regulation will now require truck drivers to take a 30 minute break during the first eight hours of a shift. Driving long, continuous hours can lead to chronic fatigue, which is a high risk of truck crashes. The new regulations are estimated to prevent 1,400 crashes, 560 injuries and 19 lives each year.
The rules for fatigue-fighting were created based on years of scientific research, says the FMCSA. The department estimates a savings of $280 million from fewer large truck accidents and $470 million in savings from better driver health.

A summary of the new FMCSA regulations are as follows:

  • The maximum average work week for truck drivers is now limited to 70 hours.
  • Truck drivers who reach the maximum 70 hours of driving in one week will be allowed to resume once they have rested for 34 consecutive hours.
  • Truck drivers are now required to take a 30 minute break during the first eight hours of a shift.

If companies or passenger carriers allow the drivers to violate the driving limits by more than three hours, they could be fined $11,000 per offense, and the drivers could face civil penalties up to $2,750 for each offense, says the FMCSA.

To read the full news release by the U.S. Department of Transportation, please visit

Truck Accident Tire Blowout Caught On Tape – Devastating Results

Date August 8, 2012

For all of the articles and discussions about truck accidents, it’s important to remember that behind these stories are real people with real injuries. Videos can often convey details much more profoundly than words can. Such is the case from the below incident, which was caught on tape and occured sometime before 2009.

There are few details about this truck accident, but it appears left-front tire failure causes a truck driver to completely lose control of his vehicle, swerving into oncoming traffic in the process. The result is a spectacular, fiery crash that is said to have killed both drivers and cause injuries to other passenger vehicles on the roadway.

Once again, this video is a reminder of the danger trucks, big-rigs, and tractor trailers can pose to others on our nation’s highways.

Tire Blowout Incidents Can Result in Truck Accidents

Date August 6, 2012

Tire blowouts are a common cause of accidents for many vehicles on the roadway. Tire failure at high rates of speed can result in a loss of control of a vehicle and a serious accident with injuries. When this occurs on trucks, the results can be compounded and much more devastating. Because of the number of tires on a truck, tire blowouts during highway driving do not always result in accidents. However, tire failure is still a very common cause of truck accidents.

Trucking companies are required by law to adequately inspect and maintain their vehicles on a regular basis. Tires are an important part in this process and unfortunately, in order to cut costs, some companies use cheaper retread tires and other efforts to place profits ahead of safety.

Retread (re-used) tires on trucks and 18-wheelers increase the chances of tire failure on the roadway. Many times, the top layer of the tire will completely peel away, leaving dangerous obstacles behind for drivers. If anyone has done any highway driving recently, chances are you have seen these tire scattered all over the road on many of our nation’s interstates.

If you have been involved in a truck accident due to tire failure on a truck, it’s important to determine if the truckimg company or truck driver attempted to circumvent safety laws and maintenance requirements.

At the Truck Accident Lawyer Group, we will aggressively investigate truck accidents to determine liability and negligence, seeking to provide our clients with monetary damages as a result of injuries that may have occured during these types of accidents.

If you have been injured in a truck accident or have had a loved one killed from truck driver negligence, call the Truck Accident Lawyer Group at 1.877.736.4222 for a free and private consultation to discuss how we can potentially help you.

Truck Accident Statistics – Important Data on Truck Crashes

Date July 31, 2012

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a division of the USDOT, truck accident data for 2008 is available and includes the following important information:

  • One out of nine traffic deaths in 2008 resulted from a collision involving a large truck
  • 380,000 large trucks (>10,000 lbs.) were involved in accidents out of the approximate 9,000,000 that were registered
  • As a result of these accidents, 4,229 individuals lost their lives, broken down as follows:
  • * 677 were truck drivers or truck occupants
    * 3,139 were occupants in other vehicles other than a truck
    * 413 were non-motor vehicle deaths (pedestrians, bicyclists, etc.)

  • Additionally, 90,000 injuries were sustained in those accidents
  • In 2008, roughly 2% of drivers operating large trucks that were involved in fatal crashes had a Blood Alcohol Content level of .08 or higher
  • Total # of Vehicles Involved in Fatal Crashes Broken Down By State (Top 10):
  • 1. California (4,749)
    2. Texas (4,619)
    3. Florida (4,227)
    4. Georgia (2,070)
    5. Pennsylvania (2,030)
    6. North Carolina (1,892)
    7. New York (1,703)
    8. Ohio (1,649)
    9. Illinois (1,437)
    10. Michigan (1,414)

For more detailed information on the above stats, you may download the NHTSA PDF guide here

Why Do Truck Accidents Cause Greater Injuries to Drivers?

Date July 30, 2012

It goes without saying that accidents involving trucks inflict greater damage to life and property than regular motor vehicle accidents. While this may be somewhat of an obvious observation, there are specific reasons why truck accidents are considered much more dangerous to motor vehicle passengers. These include:

Higher Rates of Speed. The majority of truck accidents occur on our nation’s highway and as a result, happen at high rates of speed. With most US Interstates having an average speed limit of 70 mph, accidents involving trucks will have greater collision force, increasing the chances for injuries to vehicle occupants.

Weight. The weight for an eighteen wheeler can be up to 80,000 lbs. This does not even take into account any oversize or overweight permits that may be in place. In contrast, the average automobile on the road weighs in at roughly 5,000 lbs. The weight involved in truck accidents is a significant reason why damage and injuries in a truck accident can be so devastating.

Cargo. Eighteen-wheelers are designed to haul just about anything you can imagine….from lumber to food to livestock — even homes. Additionally, potentially hazardous cargo is transported everyday throughout the United States on the roadways (petroleum, gas, etc.). Because trucks are often loaded with these items, they can become flying missles and major hazards during an accident.

Above are just a few of the reasons why truck accidents can be so devastating. In fact, recent data shows that approximately 100,000 people are injured in large truck or bus accidents on the roads each year. Nearly 5,000 of those lose their lives.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, contact the Truck Accident Lawyer Group today for a free and confidential consultation and we will determine the factors involved in your accident and whether or not the trucking company or its driver(s) were negligent in their responsibilities.

Do Trucking Companies Falsify Log Books?

Date July 28, 2012

The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) has numerous laws and guidelines in place to ensure the safety of truck drivers and motor vehicle drivers on the roadways. Part of these guidelines includes a restriction on how many hours a truck driver may remain on the roadway per day.

For many trucking companies, this restriction can result in a loss of revenue due to the added time it takes for trucks to arrive at their intended destinations. Unfortunately, some companies will attempt to skirt these laws by falsifying documents and committing outright fraud.

Such was the case back in 2004, when employees and owners of a New Jersey trucking company were indicted for falsifying required driver rest periods and concealing a driver’s positive drug test. The investigation stemmed from a fatal crash on the New Jersey Turnpike.

You can read more about that case here and here.

While this 2004 story is just one example, these incidents can and do occur. When there are serious injuries or fatalities in a truck accident, all evidence must be collected and examined to determine any negligence on behalf of the truck drivers or trucking companies.

A common practice is to force truck drivers to work longer shifts by using “double-books,” essensially forcing them to drive longer hours than what is permitted by law. Many attorneys do not know how to reconstruct these laws to determine wrongdoing, but our firm does.

The Truck Accident Lawyer Group is an experienced personal injury law firm that handles truck accident cases involving fraud, deception, and falsification of records by trucking companies. If you have been injured in a trucking accident, call our office toll free for a free and confidential consultation to determine how we can be of assistance to you.

Tires and Truck Accidents – Roadway Safety Issues

Date July 27, 2012

Truck Accident AttorneyWe’ve all seen them while driving on the highways — pieces of tire fragments that have peeled away from other vehicles. In most instances, this debris is caused by tire separation on big rigs, semis and 18-wheelers.

This tire debris can be extremely hazardous, both during the time of tire separatation and as the debris sits on the road. Commercial trucking companies have an obligation to protect the safety of their drivers and other passenger vehicles, and tire safety plays a big role in this responsibility. Quality tires are a must for all vehicles, but unfortunately, in an attempt to save money, some trucking companies may use tires that are outdated or not considered safe for the road.

Federal laws require trucks to be properly maintained and serviced and this includes ensuring that all tires are in satisfactory condition.

If you have been involved in an accident involving road debris from a truck, there may have been a failure to adhere to proper safety standards, as outlined by the USDOT. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, it is imperative that you contact an experienced truck accident lawyer as soon as possible to ensure the collection of proper evidence to build a case on your behalf.

Brad Pistotnik of The Truck Accident Lawyer Group has over 30 years experience in personal injury litigation, particularly in the area of trucking-related accidents. Mr. Pistotnik and our team of attorneys aggressively defend the rights of truck accident victims who have been involved in accidents due to the negligence of others.

For a free and personal consultation, please contact our office by calling us toll free, or by entering your information on the right hand side of this page. An experienced legal professional will contact you right away regarding your case.

Federal Trucking Laws Rules and Regulations – An Overview

Date July 23, 2012

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is an arm of the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) and responsible for the regulation and implementation of trucking laws throughout the United States. Established in the year 2000, the FMCSA employs over 1,000 people and has a complex array of laws, rules, and guidelines in place for drivers, vehicles, and companies within the trucking industry.

Because of the vast amount of trucks that operate on our roadways on a daily basis and due to the complex nature of the trucking industry, the FMCSA has extensive guidelines in place to protect both life and property.

Some of these regulations are broken down in the following areas (click to learn more):

When truck accidents do occur, it is important to determine whether or not the trucking company, driver, or vehicle has been in compliance with the FMCSA regulations. If not, innocent accident victims who were driving in regular motor vehicles have certain rights and in some instances, should seek legal representation.

If you have been injured or have a loved one who has been killed in a truck accident as a result of the negligence of others, please call the Truck Accident Lawyer Group today. We have a nationwide network of attorneys and as such, are able to represent clients in all 50 states.

For a free and private phone consultation, call our toll free number at 1-877-736-4222 or fill in your information on the right hand side of this page. We are available to answer any question you may have and help you understand your rights as a truck accident victim.

Jackknife Truck Accidents – Important Info

Date July 17, 2012

Jackknife trucking accidents are very common occurances on highways and happen when there is a sudden application of the brakes by truck drivers operating semi-trucks and tractor trailers. In some instances, improper truck maintenance can lead to braking problems, leading to these types of accidents. Brake failure symptoms include the absence of pedal pressure. When there is too much pressure placed between the centerline of the tractor and the semi exceeds 15 degrees, the truck will then jackknife.

Jackknifing trucks at high rates of speed can lead to catastrophic damage and injuries to both truck drivers and passengers in motor vehicles who are unfortunate enough to be in the vicinity of these accidents.

If you have been injured or have a loved one who was injured or killed as a result of a jackknife truck, call our office today for a free and personal consultation to discuss your rights as a victim.

We will fight aggressively on your behalf and your family’s behalf to recover compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, funeral expenses, hospital fees, and other related issues.

Call us at 1.877.736.4222 or you may fill in our quick contact form on the right hand side of this page.


Date July 9, 2012

There are over 46,000 miles of highway within the US highway system. Thousands of trucks and vehicles travel on these roadways daily and as a result, a significant number of truck accidents occur each year. Below are some of the most common causes for truck accidents on our nation’s roadways:

Common Causes Of Truck Accidents:

  • Driving without proper training or qualifications by truck operator
  • Excessive speed
  • Alcohol/prescription medication/drug use
  • Driving without proper rest (driver fatigue)
  • Falling debris from trucks
  • Tire damage/failure
  • Exceeding maximum load capacity
  • Blind spot-related accidents
  • Driving while distracted (texting, PDA use, phone calls, etc)
  • … and more

If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident involving a truck, chances are one or more of the above factors played a role in your accident. At the Truck Accident Lawyer Group, we fight for victim’s rights to ensure adequate compensation as a result of injuries sustained from trucking-related accidents.

If you or a loved one has been injured, please contact our law office today for a free and confidential phone consultation. You may contact us by calling 877-736-4222 or by filling in your information on the right hand side of this page.