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Category Archives: Michigan Truck Accidents

Why higher speed limits for trucks will kill more people: Physics

Michigan’s proposed new law to increase speed limits for large commercial trucks and buses is a very dangerous idea

speed limit trucks

Yesterday, I wrote about the perilous Senate Bills 895-898, which would allow  trucks and buses to speed up to 70 miles per hour – up 10 mph from the current law.

Speed kills. It’s not just a catchy safety phrase. It’s science. And it’s a hard fact that I see in many of the truck accident cases that I’ve litigated as an attorney who practices in this area of law.

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Speed kills. With big trucks and buses, speed annihilates.

Senate bills 895-898 would allow  trucks and buses to speed up to 70 miles per hour – up 10 mph from the current law

speed limit trucks

We’ve all been there. Watching in our rear-view mirror as a big 80,000-pound, fully-loaded commercial truck is barreling down the road. We’ve all had that sickening feeling in our stomachs as we watch the tractor trailer loom larger and larger behind us.

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MDOT to improve a Holland truck stop that’s host to 70 crashes — and recently killed a teacher

Why does it take 70 West Michigan accidents near the Tulip City Truck Stop with people being injured and killed, before MDOT acts?

Joshua Hoppe

Holland Teacher Joshua Hoppe was killed at the dangerous truck stop.

Too late in the game, important safety improvements are coming to a Holland, Michigan truck stop, after a local teacher named Joshua Hoppe was killed in an accident with a commercial truck.

The Department of Transportation has recently released recommendations from a long-term study of M-40 near the Tulip City Truck Stop, which includes adding roundabouts and a median, between Waverly and 52nd Street, according to an article on WZZM13.com, “Truck stop to improve safety after teacher died.”

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Finally, a way to stop people from texting while driving

OrigoSafe literally prevents drivers – and commercial truckers –  from texting behind the wheel

ORIGO

Cell phones and distracted driving are causing horrific car and truck accidents every single day.  And every single day, people are dying and being terribly injured because people can’t stop themselves from texting while driving.

I recently wrote about a terrible Arizona crash involving a truck driver who was allegedly surfing photos of scantily clad women Facebook on his cell phone, and  barreled into a line of emergency vehicles, killing an innocent police officer (full disclosure: I am very close friends with the attorney who is representing the estate in this case, and have also consulted with him on it).

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Michigan lets propane truckers drive as long as they please

An exemption for hours of service requirements for truck drivers hauling propane and heating oil in this horrible winter weather is a ticking time bomb

Michigan propane HOS exemption

Picture this: A very tired trucker hauling a fully-loaded propane truck has been driving a 20-hour shift. It’s 2 degrees below zero, the highways are iced over, and the snow is starting to pour down again.

And he’s driving on the same roads as your family.

In Michigan, truckers hauling propane and heating oil can drive as many hours as they please this winter – legally.

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Attorney Kevin Seiferheld recovers $2.5 million settlement for a truck accident victim with herniated disks

Michigan Lawyers Weekly lists Michigan Auto Law attorney for 17th straight year with the top-reported trial verdicts and injury settlements

Attorney Kevin Seiferheld, Michigan Auto Law

I’m happy to announce that a Michigan Auto Law attorney has recovered one of the highest-reported truck accident settlements in Michigan for the 2013 year.

This also marks the 17th consecutive year that an attorney from Michigan Auto Law has recovered a top auto accident or truck accident settlement or trial verdict for a client, according to the Michigan Lawyers Weekly year-end listings of the top-reported verdicts and settlements in the state.

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Truck accident deaths spike in last 3 years – and it’s 72% of innocent drivers paying with their lives

NHTSA data shows more truck crashes, including increases in multi-vehicle accidents and deaths among occupants of cars involved

Innocent people are being killed in completely preventable truck accidents  every day. And it’s  getting worse.

2012-truck-fatalities

This may sound harsh, but the numbers don’t lie.

According to a recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):

  • Fatalities from serious truck accidents increased by 3.7% from 2011 to 2012.
  • In 2012, there were 3,921 fatalities resulting from semi-truck wreck, compared to from 3,781 people who were killed in 2011.
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Holding truck drivers to a higher standard: Michigan copying how Louisiana law treats truck accidents is a great start

truck driver

Truck drivers are professional drivers. And they’re expected to drive  that way. They earn their living on the road. They go to “truck school.”  They have to pass a special test and have a special CDL license. They have more training and experience. And they’re driving fully-loaded vehicles that weigh as much as 80,000 pounds.

Yet in many states, and especially in Michigan, lawyers must refer to these professional truck drivers the same as we would any other driver if a case goes to trial.  As a result, dangerous truck drivers can cause serious truck accidents over and over again.

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Here’s a riddle: Can a trucker still lawfully drive on legalized ‘recreational’ pot from a state that has legalized marijuana?

U.S. DOT didn’t relax ‘zero tolerance’ policy for truckers after Washington’s ‘Recreational Marijuana’ law. Will DOT react differently to Colorado’s marijuana law or the pot laws coming to a state near you?

truck driver marijuana

President Obama was all over the media Monday, with his stance that marijuana is no “more dangerous than alcohol”, and that it’s “important” to allow recent legalization efforts in Colorado and Washington State to proceed.

The legal issue is an interesting one, especially when it comes to truck drivers who drive cross country: Is a trucker still breaking the law if he uses legalized marijuana in a  state that has legalized the drug?

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Will paying truck drivers by the hour prevent truck accidents?

Dupré Logistics  has increased safety and retained its drivers by paying hourly wages instead of the industry standard based on mileage

Dupre logisticsIncentives work. Paying truck drivers by the hour instead of on total miles takes away the perverse incentives for drivers to speed, drive fatigued, drive over hours, and take short cuts on safety inspections and maintenance.  In other words, paying by the hour lowers the likelihood that a driver will cause a preventable truck accident.

Consider also: In 2013, the turnover rate for commercial truck drivers increased, according to the American Trucking Associations.

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