Ordered something online recently? Of course you have. Amazon, Walmart, Target— it was a way we shopped before the pandemic, and it’s only increased since COVID-19 hit.
In 2018, according to Pitney Bowes, 2,760 packages were shipped— per second. According to TruckInfo.net, 70% of all freight transported annually in the United States is delivered by trucks.
With that many trucks on the road, there are going to be truck crashes. The United States Department of Transportation estimates that, before the pandemic, there were more than 500,000 truck crashes every year.
So, what has Covid-19 done to trucking? The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration declared a national emergency because of the coronavirus. Federal regulations were relaxed to allow for quicker shipping of goods. It is now extended until September 14, 2020.
That means that there were more truckers on the road driving further and for longer times without taking breaks. It is important for you to know that a truck driver must still follow the rules of the road even though he is not breaking federal regulations on driving time.
It is the same for all of those Amazon delivery trucks driving around your neighborhood. They might be coming with that overnight guaranteed order to deliver face masks, but they still have to keep their eyes on the road.
Because trucks and tractor trailers are so big and move so fast, there usually isn’t much we can do to avoid a crash with a negligent truck driver. However, as the lawyers at Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, O’Cathain & O’Cathain, LLC can attest, there are some steps we can do to help ourselves.
– Avoid trucks if you can. Take the “cars only” or “motorist only” if it works.
– Remember that trucks have a blind spot. If you can’t see the truck driver’s mirrors, he probably can’t see you and he might cut you off by dangerously pulling into your lane.
So, what can you do if you or a loved one is injured by a truck driver who didn’t follow the rules of the road?
– Call the emergency services. Don’t let the truck driver try to talk you out of making a police report.
– If you feel immediate pain, get medical attention as soon as you can. Sometimes, you hope the pain will go away or the pain doesn’t set in until later. If that happens, do your best to get seen by a doctor within a few days. Truck crashes can lead to horrific injuries such as permanently damaging the discs in your spine. You need good medical care to help through these injuries.
– Call a lawyer. Each state has qualified personal injury attorneys who deal with truck accidents. You’ll want to meet with one to discuss your rights, and the best steps forward for your case.