The city of Decatur is located in north central Alabama and has a population of approximately 55,700 making it the eighth largest city in Alabama. Decatur is the county seat of Morgan County and is home to Calhoun Community College. US 72A is the main trucking route that runs through Decatur. This highway branches off of US 72 in Muscle Shoals, Alabama and runs to Decatur where it becomes US 72 again. Pryor Field Regional Airport provides air services to this city.
Recent Truck Accidents in the Area
September 13, 2011 – Alabama 157 and Alabama 101
Margaret Franks was killed in an automobile accident involving a tractor-trailer driven by Christopher Grissinger in Hatton, Alabama. Both vehicles were traveling northbound when Ms. Franks stopped to make a left turn into a driveway and Mr. Grissinger ran into her.
Rear-end Accidents: Truck drivers have a duty to look ahead and anticipate vehicles stopping in the roadway. The truck driver must maintain enough distance between his vehicle and the vehicle in front of him to come to a stop without striking the other vehicle. Because of the size and weight of the tractor-trailer, it can take more than 450 feet for the vehicle to come to a stop at 55 mph. Unfortunately, many truck drivers do not keep this kind of distance at highway speeds and the inevitable rear-end collision occurs. This type of an accident is easily preventable. We have handled numerous rear-end collisions involving commercial trucks and tractor-trailers. You can review our case results by clicking here.
May 16 – Alabama Highway 157
Jewel Reeves Brock, a Hanceville woman, was killed instantly Wednesday evening, after a utility trailer being hauled by another vehicle detached and landed on her GMC Yukon. The accident occurred at approximately 5:08 p.m., when a single-axle utility trailer being hauled by Cullman resident Perry Latham came loose around the Lake Catoma bridge in the south side lane of Highway 157. Latham was driving a Ford F-150. The trailer struck the bridge and went airborne landing on top of the Yukon driven by Brock killing her instantly.
Proper Trailer Attachment: An F-150 pickup truck and trailer can be considered a commercial vehicle if the combined weight of the vehicle and trailer exceed 26,001 lbs. If the vehicle meets these requirements, it is subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. In most cases involving a pickup truck with a trailer, the trailer is usually attached with a pintle hook configuration. It is highly unlikely that the pintle hook failed without human error in coupling the trailer. As a commercial vehicle, the driver would be required to do a pre trip inspection, that if done properly would have prevented this tragedy. We have handled a number of cases involving mechanical issues with vehicles including trailers becoming detached from the towing vehicle. You can look at our case results by clicking here.
Interstate trucking companies are governed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (“FMCSR”), including trucking operations, driver qualifications, hours of service, maintenance of equipment, insurance, and alcohol and drug testing. Alabama also has state specific regulations governing intrastate trucking companies. Intrastate trucking companies pick up and deliver loads only in the State of Alabama and do not cross state lines. The Alabama Public Service Commission and the Alabama Department of Public Safety have established state specific regulations for intrastate carriers and have adopted many of the federal regulations as also being applicable to intrastate trucking companies. Under Alabama law, intrastate trucking companies must have minimum insurance of $100,000/ $300,000 in liability coverage. Under Alabama law, motor carriers are required to maintain and retain for a period of one year accurate and true records showing total number of hours that each driver is on duty per day and the time at which the driver reports for, and is released from, duty each day. The Alabama Public Service Commission has ruled that certain commodities are exempt from the jurisdiction of the Commission by the Alabama Motor Carrier Act, including many agricultural commodities.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of a trucking accident, you should contact a trucking attorney at Fried Rogers Goldberg LLC as soon as possible to make sure that evidence is preserved and not destroyed by the trucking company. You can contact us by calling 877-591-1801 or clicking here to email us.