Utah’s system of state highways is made up of city streets, rural roads, and freeways. The roads are scenic, pleasurable to drive on, and yet dangerous because of the freewheeling trucks, blind spots, wide turns, and more.
Winter makes these roads even more dangerous because vehicles must be equipped with snow tires that do not skid and allow braking with ease. With winter upon us, the rush is on to change tires, unfortunately, no one knows how many truckers have taken the proper precautions and replaced their old snow tires. That’s a wildcard that drivers in Utah have to navigate.
Per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of traffic fatalities fell by 2% in the first half of 2020, however, the fatality rate increased to 1.25 per 100 million miles traveled, which is up from 1.06 in 2018. Needless to say, it’s important to be cautious while driving in the winter months.
A truck accident can be devastating to human life because trucks are monstrous in size and weight, and can crush vehicles on impact. Victims often find it tough to understand their rights, recover damages, navigate through Utah’s accident laws, avoid mistakes, negotiate with third parties, and file insurance claims.
That’s why the Utah attorneys at White and Garner who focus on trucking accidents, wrote up this whitepaper to better explain the laws of Utah to the public.
- When should a victim hire a Utah-based truck accident attorney?
The answer is – immediately after the accident. That’s because court procedures take time and accident-related evidence starts getting extinguished rather quickly. The legal process must start rolling immediately because time is at a premium.
As per federal laws, truckers are required to maintain a variety of records for varying periods. For example, logs that record service hours are required to be maintained for 6 months, and dispatch records/periodical reports for 3 years (each). Personnel, payroll, driver experience, claims, insurance, equipment, maintenance, and other records that can be used in a lawsuit are required to be maintained for varying periods.
Anything can happen in between – records can get lost, or destroyed. Or, they may not be analyzed correctly.
There’s plenty more to check in the limited time available – single and dual tire skid marks, substance use by the driver, qualifications of driver, truck fitness/defects, rules for 18-wheel trucks, and much more.
Let’s face it – the evidence is overwhelming and a layperson, or even an inexperienced lawyer, is likely to commit mistakes if he attempts to handle the case. Only an experienced and successful Utah lawyer who specializes in settling truck accident claims can extract the right kind of information from trucking accident records, and negotiate with third parties. Therefore, you need a lawyer to handle your claim, and you need him ASAP.
- What are Utah’s trucking laws?
This is another complicated issue. The law allows semi-trucks to attach one trailer of up to 48 feet or two trailers of up to 61 feet. The permissible weight cannot exceed 10,500 pounds and is dependent on the type of axle used.
Other laws prescribe attaching flaps behind tires, signs that the truck is carrying hazardous material (if it is), fire extinguishers, different warning signals, etc. The driver also should fulfill Utah’s physical fitness requirements. Most of these laws are not easy to understand by the average Joe.
- What are the rules that a car driver should follow to avoid Utah’s deadly truck accidents?
People just need to drive cautiously and defense oriented, follow the basic driving rules, road signs, and double their alert level when a truck is passing – especially so if it is snowing or raining.
They need to be very careful around blind spots (no-zone areas) because that’s where vulnerability maxes out. Remember that the area of the blind spot is directly proportional to the size of the truck.
Be careful and don’t get too close when trucks are turning because they take a wide turn. Even a minor slip can result in an accident. So, give the truckers room.
NO-COST CONSULTATION OFFER WITH A SUCCESSFUL UTAH TRUCKING ACCIDENT LAWYER
You need a knowledgeable, experienced, and successful Utah truck accident attorney to dig into your case, launch an investigation, build the case, negotiate with third parties, and help you get the right compensation.
The attorneys at The Garner Law Firm are experienced and successful and have helped truck accident victims get the compensation they deserve. So, here is our no-cost, no-obligation consultation offer that will help you make an informed decision.