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Oregon State Police: Inattentive Driver to Blame for Fiery Semi-Truck Accident

By Marc A. Johnston, posted in Truck Accidents on June 19, 2018

According to reporting from Herald and News, a major semi-truck accident on U.S. Route 97 resulted in a fiery scene that caused the highway to be shut down for several hours.

The crash occurred south of Portland at approximately 3:00 AM on June 13th. Based on a preliminary investigation, representatives from the Oregon State Police told reporters that the cause of the crash was likely an inattentive truck driver. When approaching a construction zone on the highway, the driver of the large commercial truck failed to apply the brakes in time. As a result, he smashed into the back of a Volvo.  

Truck drivers have a professional duty to pay attention to the road at all times. Unfortunately, too many truckers allow their focus to drift away from safe operation. Whether due to distraction or general inattentiveness, a truck driver who is not paying attention to the road is negligent. Here, our dedicated Portland semi-truck accident lawyer highlights three things you need to know about truckers and distracted driving.

1. Nearly 25 Percent of Accidents are Caused by Driver Inattention

In 2013, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) conducted a comprehensive study on distracted driving. These researchers even mounted cameras in cars and trucks to watch how drivers operate over long trips. The results determined that as many as 25 percent of all highway accidents are caused by either driver distraction or driver inattentiveness. This is a serious problem with commercial drivers, especially those who spend long hours behind the wheel each day. There are many different potential distractions that could create serious dangers, from technology to simply drifting off and losing focus.

2. Regulatory Efforts Have Been Undertaken to Improve Safety

State and federal safety regulators have determined that truck driver fatigue is extremely dangerous. Beyond the potential to fall asleep behind the wheel, fatigued truck drivers are far more susceptible to distractions than are well-rested truckers. For this reason, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has recently enacted updated safety regulations that limit how much time a trucker can spend working. There are both daily and weekly limits on the number of hours truckers can spend behind the wheel. These safety rules help to ensure that truckers will get sufficient rest.

3. Trucking Companies are Legally Liable for their Drivers

The big trucking companies have a legal duty to make sure that they are only putting safe trucks on the road. These businesses are responsible for training, supervising, and regulating their drivers. If you were injured in a Portland commercial truck crash that was caused by a distracted or inattentive trucker, then that driver’s employer should be held legally liable for your damages.  

Get Help From a Portland Semi-Truck Accident Attorney Today

At Johnston Law Firm, P.C., our Portland commercial truck accident lawyer is a dedicated advocate for injured victims. We hold negligent truckers and trucking companies legally accountable. If you were hurt in a semi-truck crash in Multnomah County, our legal team is here to help. For a free, no strings attached initial consultation, please call our Portland office today at (503) 546-3167.

Marc Johnston
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