5 Important Pieces of Evidence to Help Prove a Truck Accident Injury Claim

Kansas City, MO Truck Accident Lawyer - Horn LawIn order to receive fair compensation for your truck accident injuries, it is imperative you secure certain key pieces of evidence regarding the accident, the truck driver, and the trucking company. Documentation is also important, such as the driver’s logs, bills of lading, and delivery receipts. The more evidence you preserve, the higher your chances for a valid claim and fair compensation.

Pieces of Evidence to Collect

Missouri truck accidents are some of the most devastating. If you or a loved one is involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler, do what you can to protect these five pieces of evidence:

  1. Physical Evidence from the Accident – This can include roadway debris, photographs of skid marks, photographs of the positioning of the truck and vehicle (and any other vehicles involved), and photographs of the weather conditions and road condition. If you are unable to gather this evidence, have a passenger, family member, or friend go to the site and take photos on your behalf.
  2. Witness Statements – Written and signed statements from eyewitnesses who saw the truck accident is critical. You do not need to get their statement at the scene, but you must secure their contact information so that you or an attorney can follow up with statements and questions later.
  3. Electronic Onboard Recording Devices – Semi-trucks throughout the U.S. have electronic recording devices that monitor all movements of the truck, including movements leading up to a crash. It can also track the number of hours the semi-truck is in operation each day and help determine if the driver was pushing past the legal number of hours they are permitted on the road at one time.
  4. Trucking Company Records – These may be difficult to obtain on your own; therefore, you should speak to a personal injury attorney in Missouri. An attorney can request the records, including the driver’s employment application, their driving history, Out of Service inspections, and all maintenance records for the truck. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires all trucking companies to keep these documents.
  5. The Truck – Your attorney can draft and send what is known as a “spoliation letter” to the trucking company and their insurance company, requesting that the trailer is preserved – including all contents – until your own expert has had the opportunity to examine it. Because a trucking company will be in a hurry to repair the truck and get it back into operation, this is one of the first steps you should take.

Speak With a Missouri Truck Accident Attorney

Horn Law, located in the Kansas City Metro, can help you with your truck accident claim. We will petition for the proper records, help collect and preserve evidence, and use our expertise to exercise your right to fair compensation. Contact an attorney online or call 816-795-7500 to schedule a no obligation consultation.

Alcohol, Drug Use Common among Truck Drivers

An 80,000- pound tractor trailer being operated by a person who is barely able to focus under the influence of drugs or alcohol- believe it or not, is situation that is not uncommon.  According to a review of several studies on alcohol and drug use among truck drivers conducted across the world, drug use and alcohol use by truck drivers on the job, is fairly commonplace across the globe.

The new study focused on dozens of studies that were conducted across the world on the fairly common problem of drinking and drug use by truck drivers. The review finds that these problems are fairly common, and that they are very worrisome, not only because of the effect that they have on driver’s health, but also because of the heightened risk of truck accidents posed by such intoxicated drivers.

In recent years, researchers have also found that truck drivers are becoming less healthy.  Perhaps the long hours on the road lead to drug and alcohol use which in turn creates more health problems for over-the-road drivers.

The analysis found that truckers were most likely to abuse alcohol on the job, followed by amphetamines, marijuana and cocaine. There are widespread variations among truck drivers in various countries when it comes to drug and alcohol use. For instance, in Pakistan, the authors found that the rate of alcohol use on the job was close to 10%, while in Brazil, it was more than 91%.

The analysis also found that when it came to abusing drugs and alcohol on the job, there were several common factors involved. For instance, the age and earning capacity of the driver seemed to be an important part in determining such risky practices. Younger drivers and those who earned below union-set pay rates, or productivity-linked rates were much more likely to abuse alcohol or drugs on the job.

Doug Horn is a Missouri truck accident lawyer, dedicated to the representation of victims of truck accidents across Missouri.

Kansas City Truck Accident Lawyer Warns of Defective Trucks on US Highways

Under the terms of a treaty between the United States and Mexico, Mexican based trucks have been allowed to enter in the United States, as long as they meet federal environmental and trucking safety regulations. Now there is new evidence showing that, inspection records reveal that many of these trucks continue to fail inspections and checkpoints, and are frequently cited for violations.

Many of the types of violations involving Mexican-operated trucks seem to have to do with defective or malfunctioning truck parts. In many inspections, these trucks are found to have defective brake lights, steering problems, tire tread separation, and other defective components that increase the risk of a truck accident.

For instance, tire tread separation is a very serious problem that significantly increases the risk of a truck rollover accident with devastating consequences not just for the truck driver, but also for other drivers on the road.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced back in 2011, that it would need at least 46 carriers from among Mexican companies to actually generate enough data to show that these trucks are safe to drive on American highways. So far, the agency has not conducted any survey of whether these trucks are safe to travel on our highways.

The other major problem with Mexican trucks has to do with low driver fitness scores. In many cases, these drivers have been found to fail driver fitness scores mainly because of language and communication barriers. Under the terms of the agreement, Mexican trucks that are allowed to operate in the US highways must be operated by drivers who know enough English to be able to interact with officials at checkpoints, fill out forms, and read American highway safety signs and signals. However, many of the drivers don’t meet even these most basic requirements.

Doug Horn is a Kansas City truck accident lawyer, dedicated to the representation of victims of car accidents across Missouri.

Truck Driver Charged in Fatal Hit-and-Run Accident on Kansas Highway

Prosecutors in Geary County, Kansas requested a continuance in their criminal case against a truck driver accused of a hit-and-run accident with a motorcycle. The motorcyclist died of his injuries soon after the crash. The truck driver faces charges related to a fatal motor vehicle accident and false statements.

The accident occurred at about 3:00 a.m. on August 24, 2012. Calls to 911 indicated that a man was lying on the road next to a motorcycle along Interstate 70 west of Junction City. The 28 year-old victim had been heading west on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle on the way to Las Vegas. An 18-wheeler allegedly struck the motorcycle from behind. The victim suffered severe head trauma, and was pronounced dead at the hospital several hours later. The investigation was delayed several hours due to rainy conditions, but investigators were able to return to the scene the following day. They determined at that time that another vehicle had been involved in the crash, and issued a press release asking for information from the public.

The sheriff’s department investigation lasted several months. They collected paint samples, which they sent to state law enforcement for paint transfer tests. They also received multiple tips. On November 2, 2012, they issued a warrant for truck driver Rodney Stockstill, Sr. of St. Joseph, Missouri. According to Topeka’s WIBW News, he is charged with Accident Involving a Death and Making a False Writing, an offense related to false statements to law enforcement of other officials.

Stockstill was incarcerated in Doniphan County on unrelated drug charges at the time the sheriff’s department issued the warrant. He was transferred to Geary County in mid-December, where he reportedly remains in custody on $50,000 bond. Stockstill is a truck driver for a Doniphan County-based company. The night of the accident, he was allegedly traveling on one of his usual routes, which he took several times a week. Local news has reported that he has several prior drug-related convictions, but it is not known if prosecutors are alleging that drugs were a factor in the accident.

The prosecution was expected to present evidence against Stockstill at a preliminary hearing on January 24, 2013. They instead requested a continuance, telling the court that one or more witnesses located out of state had evidence relevant to the prosecution, and that the state needed more time to arrange travel. The county attorney requested forty-five days additional time, which would give them until around March 10.

This accident involved many of the most significant risk factors for highway accidents. 18-wheelers and other large trucks, by virtue of their immense size and weight, pose a particular danger to other vehicles. Motorcycles are particularly prone to accidents, given that they are comparatively lightweight. Motorcycle operators have no restraints to protect them in the event of an accident, and protective gear is only useful to a certain point. The early-morning time of the accident and the rainy conditions further compounded the danger.

Motorcycle accident attorney, Doug Horn is an advocate for safe driving in the greater Kansas City area. He represents the rights of people who have suffered injuries or lost loved ones due to the negligent or illegal conduct of others. Contact us today online or at (816) 795-7500 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

Photo credit: By Edwin Olson, via Wikimedia Commons.

Fatigue, Distraction Contributes to Bus Accidents on Highways

Bus accidents can be particularly devastating in the damage they can cause, both to other vehicles and to bus occupants. Because of the large size of most buses, they are more difficult to maneuver and take longer to slow down. Tractor-trailers are the only other common highway vehicles that present similar dangers. Ensuring that bus drivers are alert and free of distraction is crucial to highway safety. Several bus accidents in recent months have involved driver fatigue and alleged inattention to hazardous road conditions. Other drivers’ distraction can also contribute to bus accidents. Federal investigators blamed a deadly 2010 Missouri crash, which involved two school buses, in part on driver distraction.

Driver fatigue was reportedly the direct cause of a bus crash in Maryland that injured five passengers. A charter bus was transporting a group of teachers from Newark, New Jersey to Baltimore on Interstate 95 on December 21, 2012. The bus driver allegedly fell asleep behind the wheel at about 9:00 a.m.. The bus struck a guardrail, went off the road, and came to rest on an embankment. Five people were taken to nearby hospitals with back and neck injuries, but fortunately none were serious. The bus driver was reportedly cited by police for driving while fatigued and negligent driving.

An Oregon bus accident on December 30, 2012, which also allegedly involved driving while fatigued, had much more severe consequences. A tour bus with about forty passengers travelling from Las Vegas to Vancouver crashed through a guardrail on Interstate 84 at about 10:30 a.m. It slid to the bottom of a 100-foot embankment. Nine people were killed in the crash and thirty-nine suffered injuries.

The bus company blamed “black ice,” ice that forms on highways in cold weather and is nearly invisible to drivers, for the crash. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which regulates commercial trucks and buses, attributed the accident to driver fatigue. The bus driver, the FMCSA claimed, had been on-duty for ninety-two hours during the week of the crash. The maximum amount of time a driver may be on-duty in a week, per FMCSA regulations, is seventy hours, and only a portion of that time may be spent driving.

Distraction by a cellphone contributed to a multi-vehicle crash in Gray Summit, Missouri that involved two school buses and killed two people on August 5, 2010. In its final report on the accident, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) concluded that a pickup truck driver was distracted by text messages on his cellphone, causing him to collide with the rear of a semi tractor. Highway Accident Report HAR-11-03 (NTSB, Dec. 13, 2011) at 80. A school bus, whose driver was distracted by another vehicle on the road, collided with the pickup truck. A second school bus, whose driver was following too close, collided with the first school bus. The driver of the pickup truck and a passenger on the first school bus died in the crash. The accident prompted the NTSB’s campaign to encourage states to ban all cellphone use while driving.

Auto accident attorney Doug Horn is an advocate for safe driving in the greater Kansas City area. He represents the rights of people who have suffered injuries or lost loved ones due to the negligent or illegal conduct of others. Contact us today online or at (816) 795-7500 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

Web Resources:

Highway Accident Report, Multivehicle Collision Interstate 44 Eastbound, Gray Summit, Missouri, August 5, 2010 (PDF file), HAR-11-03, National Transportation Safety Board, December 13, 2011

Photo credit: Alvimann from morguefile.com.

Court Allows Jury to Consider Evidence of Truck Driver’s Cell Phone Use in Accident Case, Excludes Witness Testimony as to Whether Driver Was “Distracted”

A federal judge ruled on a pair of motions in limine seeking to exclude evidence relating to two truck drivers’ alleged cell phone use prior to a 2011 accident that killed two people. McLane, et al v. Rich Transport, Inc., et al, No. 2:11-cv-00101 (E.D. Ark., Sept. 6-7, 2012). The judge allowed the jury to see records of one driver’s cell phone use on the day of the accident, but granted a motion to exclude witness testimony regarding whether either driver was distracted at the time of the accident.

The accident occurred during the morning of February 9, 2011 during snowy conditions with limited visibility. A tractor-trailer driven by defendant Jerry Smith reportedly struck a Jeep traveling west on Interstate 40 near Brinkley, Arkansas. The Jeep went into a spin, and another tractor trailer, driven by defendant Florentino Campos, collided with it. The Jeep’s driver, a twenty-three year old woman, and her one year-old son were killed in the crash. Two other passengers, the woman’s six and three year-old daughters, were injured.

The victims’ family sued the two truck drivers and their employers for negligence. They alleged that Campos had been talking on his cellphone just before the collision. In the two hours before the accident, Smith admitted that he had sent about twenty-four text messages from his phone. McLane, opinion and order at 3 (Aug. 9, 2012). Defendant Rich Transport, Smith’s employer, reportedly had 237 documented violations of fatigued driving rules in the three months before the accident. Evidence also suggested that Smith was in violation of hours-of-service rules when the accident occurred. Id.

The plaintiffs and defendants filed motions in limine seeking to exclude various types of evidence during the trial. Campos and his employer, defendant AAA Cooper Transportation, moved to exclude provider records and fact witness testimony regarding Campos’ cell phone use the day of the accident. The court ruled on September 6, 2012 that the records were admissible, as the question of whether he was distracted at the time of the collision was a key issue in the case. The court held that its probative value was greater than the risk of unfair prejudice towards Campos. The court excluded the fact witness’ testimony, however, holding that even if the witness saw Campos using a cell phone near the time of the collision, testimony as to whether he was “distracted” would require speculation as to his mental state.

In a separate order dated September 7, the court excluded testimony from an expert witness retained by the plaintiffs. It ruled that the expert could not testify that Campos or Smith were “distracted” by their cell phones, nor that either driver was “preparing to text or anticipating a text when the accident occurred.” McLane, order at 3 (Sept. 7, 2012). The expert’s testimony, the court stated, would have been based on testimony by representatives of the defendant trucking companies regarding a lack of cell phone policies for drivers or a lack of specific instruction not to text while driving. The court ruled that the jury could draw its own inferences from the representatives’ testimony.

Auto accident attorney Doug Horn is an advocate for safe driving in the greater Kansas City area. He represents the rights of people who have suffered injuries or lost loved ones due to the negligent or reckless conduct of others. Contact us today online or at (816) 795-7500 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

Photo credit: dee from morguefile.com.

Efforts to Restrict or Ban Texting While Driving Vary Among States and Federal Government

Texting while driving, and whether authorities should ban or restrict the practice, remains a controversial subject. More than half of all U.S. states ban texting while driving by all drivers, and several more prohibit texting by novice drivers or school bus drivers. The federal government has weighed in on the issue with calls to ban texting while driving at the state level. Some evidence suggests that outright texting bans might result in more unsafe driving behaviors. Prevention of texting while driving, while an elusive goal, remains critical to improving highway safety.

Thirty-nine U.S. states, including Kansas, and the District of Columbia ban texting by all drivers on public roads. Five states, including Missouri, ban texting by “novice” drivers, defined in Missouri as drivers age twenty-one and younger. Three states specifically ban texting by school bus drivers while on duty. Numerous cities, counties, and other local governments have enacted their own texting bans.

On December 13, 2011, a press release by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) called for a nationwide ban on use of any portable electronic device, including cell phones, while driving. The press release followed a meeting of the NTSB to discuss a multi-vehicle accident in Gray Summit, Missouri in 2010 involving a pickup truck, a tractor trailer, and two school buses. The nineteen year-old driver of the pickup truck was allegedly sending or receiving text messages, in violation of Missouri law, when he struck the rear of the tractor trailer. A school bus then collided with the pickup truck, and a second school bus collided with it. Two people died in the collisions, and thirty-eight people were injured. The NTSB’s recommendation called on each state to enact its own ban on texting while driving, but some news outlets reported it as a call for federal legislation. This led to an irate response from Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in mid-2012, clarifying that the NTSB only asked Congress to offer incentives to state legislatures to ban texting while driving.

Florida may be the site of the next debate over texting bans. Prior attempts to enact a texting ban in Florida met with opposition from House Speaker Dean Cannon, a Republican from Winter Park, who reportedly referenced distractions like eating or applying makeup while driving in expressing his hesitance to enact further prohibitions on drivers. Cannon left office in November 2012 due to term limits, and lawmakers have already introduced at least three texting ban bills for the upcoming 2013 session. Some bills would make texting while driving a secondary offense, meaning police could not stop a driver solely due to texting, while others would make it a primary offense.

A survey by AAA Auto Club South showed eighty-four percent support in Florida for a texting ban for all adults. A different AAA survey, however, cast some doubt on the effectiveness of texting bans. In September 2010, the AAA Auto Club of Southern California reported that the incidence of texting while driving doubled in the first nineteen months after California enacted its ban.

Auto accident attorney Doug Horn is an advocate for safe driving in the greater Kansas City area. He represents the rights of people who have suffered injuries or lost loved ones due to the negligent or illegal conduct of others. Contact us today online or at (816) 795-7500 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

Photo credit: kconnors from morguefile.com.

Missouri DUI Case Goes to U.S. Supreme Court, Could Change How Police Collect Evidence in DUI Investigations

The United States Supreme Court heard arguments recently in the case of a Missouri man who refused to submit to sobriety testing after an arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence. The arresting officer took a blood specimen from the man anyway, despite the lack of both consent and a warrant. The state appealed the trial court’s order suppressing the blood evidence all the way to the high court. The case, Missouri v. McNeely, No. 11-1425, presents several important questions of Fourth Amendment rights and the extent of police officers’ power to gather evidence without a warrant. From the perspective of a personal injury attorney and safe-driving advocate, the case may bring significant changes to how evidence is gathered in both criminal investigations of DUI and in civil claims for damages.

A state highway patrolman pulled the defendant, Tyler McNeely, over late one night. According to the officer, McNeely presented the “tell-tale signs of intoxication,” and the officer could smell alcohol on McNeely’s breath. Missouri v. McNeely, 358 S.W.3d 65, 67-68 (Mo. 2012). McNeely did poorly on field sobriety tests, so the officer placed him under arrest. He refused to consent to breath or blood tests. The officer, who later testified that he believed he did not need a warrant to collect evidence of intoxication, drove McNeely to a hospital and had a phlebotomist draw a blood sample for testing. Before trial, McNeely moved to suppress the blood evidence, arguing that the warrantless blood test violated his Fourth Amendment rights. The trial court agreed, and prosecutors appealed the order to the state supreme court.

The Missouri Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s order, citing a U.S. Supreme Court case setting strict limits on the ability of law enforcement to collect blood evidence from DUI suspects without a warrant. Schmerber v. California, 384 U.S. 757 (1966). Schmerber involved a DUI suspect who was injured in an accident. The suspect was placed under arrest at the hospital, and the arresting officer instructed a doctor to take a blood sample without a warrant. The Supreme Court held that, while blood tests certainly implicate Fourth Amendment rights, the accident investigation presented “special facts” justifying the warrantless intrusion. Id. at 770-71, McNeely, 358 S.W.3d at 69. The fact that alcohol breaks down in the body, combined with the fact that the suspect in Schmerber needed transport to the hospital, limited the time in which evidence could be collected. The Schmerber court held that these “special facts” justified the warrantless search. The Missouri Supreme Court, however, found no similar “special facts” in McNeely’s circumstances, holding that the dissipation of alcohol in the human body, by itself, did not justify the search.

The U.S. Supreme Court will now consider whether blood alcohol metabolism is sufficient justification, on its own, for warrantless blood tests in DUI investigations. For personal injury lawyers, the decision could have an important impact on the gathering of evidence in accident cases. Current law only allows warrantless searches when the suspect is injured, but not necessarily when the suspect injures another person. The Supreme Court must balance important Fourth Amendment rights with the need for speedy investigation.

Auto accident attorney Doug Horn is an advocate for safe driving in the greater Kansas City area. He represents the rights of people who have suffered injuries or lost loved ones due to the negligent or illegal conduct of others. Contact us today online or at (816) 795-7500 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

Photo credit: clarita from morguefile.com.

NTSB Investigation Finds Faulty Brakes and Driver Distraction Caused Deadly 2011 Truck-Train Collision

A June 2011 collision between a tractor trailer and an Amtrak train in Nevada was the result of poorly-maintained brakes and lack of driver attention, according the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Although the NTSB has not issued a final report, it released a synopsis containing its conclusions and recommendations in mid-December 2012, specifically stating that greater attention from the driver might have prevented the accident. Distracted driving is a serious problem among all drivers, but commercial truck drivers, when distracted, pose an especially great risk to others on the road.

At about 11:19 a.m. on June 24, 2011, a Peterbilt truck-tractor was heading north on U.S. Route 95, about seventy miles east of Reno, Nevada near the town of Miriam. The truck was leading a three-truck convoy. The other two truck drivers stopped when they saw the signal for a railroad crossing, but the lead truck did not. It collided with an Amtrak passenger train known as the California Zephyr on a trip from Chicago to the San Francisco area. According to the NTSB’s statement, the lights and signals were activated at the time of the crash, and the crossing gate arms were in the descended position. The truck was at least 2,300 feet from the crossing when the signals came on, the NTSB estimated, and the driver had a sight distance of more than a mile. Tire marks from the truck began more than one hundred yards from the tracks and continued to the point of impact. The truck was still traveling at twenty-six to thirty miles per hour when the collision occurred.

Six people died in the collision, including the truck driver, the train conductor, and four train passengers. The collision caused a fire to break out on the train, spreading to several cars. About twenty-eight people were missing in the immediate aftermath of the crash. Three days later, at least five people were still missing. Although the engineer put on the emergency brakes before the collision, the train traveled about half a mile before coming to a complete stop. People initially believed to be missing later turned out to have disembarked the train at an earlier station or gotten off once the train stopped.

The investigation of the crash first found that the trucking company had multiple citations from the state of Nevada for poor vehicle maintenance, accidents, and dangerous driving. The NTSB found that the company did not maintain the brakes on the tractor trailer properly, with excessive wear to eleven of the sixteen brake drums. This contributed to the tractor trailer’s failure to stop in time. The train also had structural faults that contributed to the damage, including inadequate side-impact protection and a lack of fire doors to keep fires from spreading between cars.

The NTSB placed a substantial amount of responsibility for the crash on the truck driver, noting that he should have been able to stop in time. It concluded that the crossing signals did not malfunction prior to the crash, and that weather conditions at the time allowed the truck driver to see the signal from a far enough distance to stop. It also ruled out the influence of drugs or alcohol. The precise reason for the driver’s distraction may never be known, although the NTSB suggested fatigue, pain from a medical condition, or cell phone use as possible causes.

Trucking accident attorney Doug Horn is an advocate for safe driving in the greater Kansas City area. He represents the rights of people who have suffered injuries or lost loved ones due to the negligent or illegal conduct of others. Contact us today online or at (816) 795-7500 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

Web Resources:

Highway Accident Report: Highway-Railroad Grade Crossing Collision, U.S. Highway 95, Miriam, Nevada, June 24, 2011 (PDF file); National Transportation Safety Board; December 11, 2012 (source)

Photo credit: ‘112xRP – Flickr – drewj1946’ by Drew Jacksich from San Jose, CA, The Republic of California (112xRP) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

FMCSA Shuts Down Trucking Companies After Fatal Accident

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently ordered two North Carolina-based trucking companies to shut down all of their transportation services following a fatal accident. The companies reportedly had a history of safety violations, and the accident led the FMCSA to conclude that the companies posed a risk to public safety. The December 13 shut-down order cited the accident, along with inadequate maintenance and repair of vehicles, violations of hours-of-service regulations, and allegations of alcohol or drug use.

The accident occurred on November 12, 2012, when a driver for Murfreesboro, North Carolina-based Two Dayes Transport was backing a trailer, owned by Two Dayes Trucking, into a company-owned private driveway. This caused the trailer to block the road, a hilly area of U.S. Highway 258. At about 5:50 p.m. a pickup truck traveling on U.S. 258 collided with the trailer and became wedged underneath it. The pickup truck driver was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators later concluded that he could not see the trailer because dirt was obscuring the reflective tape on both the tractor and the trailer. This prompted a more thorough investigation of the trucking companies, Two Dayes Transport and Two Dayes Trucking.

The FMCSA reportedly discovered that the companies were operating under a revoked registration with the Department of Transportation (DOT), and that Two Dayes Trucking had reincarnated itself as Two Dayes Transport. The two companies had combined operations in a single location, with a primary business of transporting roofing shingles and recycled steel. An investigation of the companies found multiple safety and other regulatory violations, according to the FMCSA. Investigators described a “flagrant disregard” for safety regulations. The companies had no formal program for vehicle maintenance, nor did they have any procedures to determine if their vehicles were safe to drive. They had no records to identify their individual vehicles, and they did not keep records of repairs or maintenance to the vehicles. The companies also reportedly had not followed the FMCSA’s procedures for ensuring driver qualifications. The companies had no procedures for testing drivers for drug or alcohol use. The companies’ two drivers had not passed government-mandated drug tests.

The out-of-service order, effective as of December 13, 2012, prohibits the two companies from operating the two trucks known to the FMCSA for any commercial purpose until they comply with a series of “remedial actions.” This includes compliance with vehicle maintenance regulations and determinations that both vehicles meet federal safety standards. Drivers employed by the company must report on the condition of the vehicles on a daily basis, and must maintain their own qualifications to operate commercial vehicles. Drivers must also submit to and pass periodic drug testing. The companies must follow hours-of-service regulations by requiring drivers to log their hours behind the wheel and ensuring that they have enough time off-duty and resting.

Trucking accident attorney Doug Horn is an advocate for safe driving in the greater Kansas City area. He represents the rights of people who have suffered injuries or lost loved ones due to the negligent or illegal conduct of others. Contact us today online or at (816) 795-7500 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

Web Resources:

Imminent Hazard Operations Out-of-Service Order (PDF file), Order No. NC-2013-5000-IMH, In Re: Henry T. Daye dba Two Dayes Transport, et al, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, December 13, 2012