Today the INSIDER EXCLUSIVE “Goes Behind The Headlines” in “DANGER ON THE ROAD – Robert Nowicki’s Story” ….. to examine how James Girards, Founder of The Girard Law Firm is getting justice for Robert Nowicki’s family.
And to investigate this very serious problem of deadly trucking accidents, responsible for thousands of deaths per year, and how the Government, Safety Advocates, and dedicated Trial Lawyers, like Jim are working together on national and state levels of government, to reduce this serious problem
The Insider Exclusive analyzed five years of federal crash data. We added up the fatalities, county by county, road by road, during that period. And we found that between 3,500 and 5,000 people are killed in truck crashes on our nation’s highways every year. Although that’s the equivalent of a commercial airplane crash occurring every single week, there is a general lack of awareness on the part of the motoring public about this problem.
Estimates suggest that fatigue is a major factor in up to 30% of fatal crashes and 15% of serious injury crashes. Fatigue also contributes to approximately 25% of insurance losses in the heavy vehicle industry. Driver fatigue is particularly dangerous because one of the symptoms is a decreased ability to judge one’s own level of tiredness.
Research has shown that not sleeping for more than 17 hours has an effect on driving ability…. the equivalent of a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.05. Not sleeping for 24 hours has the same effect of having a BAC of 0.10, double the legal limit.
In the best of conditions, tractor trailers are dangerous vehicles simply due to their size and weight. The average semi can carry more than 40,000 pounds of cargo, let alone the mass of the truck, fuel and trailer. The average passenger vehicle, on the other hand, weighs only 4,000 pounds — a deadly match in any collision.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is in charge of regulating the commercial trucking industry, including how many hours truck drivers are permitted to operate their vehicles within any given day and week. The Code of Federal Regulations, 49 C.F.R. 392 contains mandatory rules regarding fatigue and impairment.
Under present federal hours-of-service (HOS) regulations, commercial truck drivers are required to follow the 11-hour and 60/70 rules:
11-hour rule: Truck drivers may not drive more than 11 consecutive hours within a 14-hour period followed by 10 hours off-duty.
60/70 rule: Truck drivers may spend no more than a total of 60 hours on-duty within any seven-day period or 70 hours on-duty within any eight-day period. A new seven- or eight-day period does not begin until the truck driver has spent at least 34 hours off-duty.
In this Insider Exclusive Investigative TV Special, The Girards Law firm, has been for years… reaching out to some of the more responsible motor carriers to identify issues on which they can work together.
Jim has become not only an extraordinary Advocate for safety on our highways, but has also become one of the most sought after trial lawyers in catastrophic crashes involving trucks. Jim dedicates his time and energy to reducing the number of deaths and injuries caused by truck-related crashes, and working on Issues that are important to improve truck safety…. like:
Hours-of-Service rules that promote safety, and provide sufficient time for drivers to obtain quality sleep.
Drivers paid for all hours worked.
Mandatory posting of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act, STAA 3113 Poster
For (Drivers Rights) Carrier, Shipper, Broker, Freight Forwarder, Receiver accountability and liability for their involvement in illegal shipments and violations of Hours-of-Service regulations.
Availability of sufficient, safe rest areas.
Shipper Loads – Drivers Drive – Receiver Unloads.
Public education on fatigued driving.
This Trucking safety crisis is a direct result of government deregulation in 1980, and a super competitive industry with many companies willing to cut corners. Fierce competition, with shippers frequently having unrealistic demands. Responsible trucking companies also want improvements in safety.
The Government’s mistaken rationale for deregulation was that fewer and simpler regulations would lead to a raised level of competitiveness, therefore higher productivity, more efficiency and lower prices overall.
In every truck crash case that the Girards law firm represents, his firm attempts to require the trucking company to do more than just pay money. They attempt to identify the issue that caused the particular crash in question and require the company take steps to improve that aspect of safety within the company.
The result of years of pushing for improved safety in the trucking industry and joining together with some of the best trial lawyers in the country, and representing truck crash victims across America…. is that the Girards law firm provides compassionate representation for truck crash victims and achieves maximum recovery while also working for maximum reduction of similar crashes in the future.
Jim Girards has earned the highest respect from citizens and lawyers alike…. as one of the best Trial lawyers in Dallas…. In Texas….. and across America. His amazing courtroom skills and success rate …. continue to provide his clients with the results they need……And the results they deserve. He makes sure juries understand how injuries can truly devastate a person’s personal and professional life! Remember… He won’t be outworked. And he will not rest until justice is done for his clients. His success in the Courtroom speaks for itself. …..