One is enough, two is too many and three is dangerous. A Michigan trucking company accumulated not one, not two but 17 tickets in a 24-month span! Highway Star Inc. had 17 traffic violations for improper lane change, speeding, failure to wear a seat belt and following too closely to another vehicle, among others.
Highway Star’s violations
The violations committed by Highway Star led the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to advise states to closely inspect their vehicles despite the satisfactory rating it gave the company. The rating was based on Highway Star’s performance during the two-year period where it fell below the national average of 20.72% of inspections resulting in removals. Only 12 of 59 inspections of the company’s trucks resulted in a vehicle being taken out of service – a rate of 20.3%.
Highway Star’s fatal accident
On March 2, 2013, Highway Star Inc. was involved in a truck crash that left six people dead on Interstate 65 near Glendale, Ky. Ibrahim Fetic, 47, drove the company’s tractor-trailer that hit a Ford Expedition which was carrying a family back to Wisconsin from a vacation. Kentucky State Police Master Trooper, Norman Chaffins said no charges had been filed as of Monday, March 4, 2013.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Kentucky had 760 traffic fatalities in 2010, 4% lower than in 2009. In 2012, Kentucky State Police indicated in its preliminary statistics that 729 people lost their lives on Kentucky roadways in fatal accidents.
When your loved one is killed in a truck accident as a result of the negligent actions of another person, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If you win your lawsuit, you will be awarded damages. These may include payments for medical bills, past and future lost wages and pain and suffering (compensatory damages). You may also be awarded punitive damages intended to punish the offending party or deter them from repeating the same action, such as repeated traffic violations. Punitive damages are basically a form of punishment for a company committing illegal and unlawful acts. Kentucky prohibits caps on damages. Punitive damages in a large lawsuit can be as high as a jury believes is appropriate. This is especially true when the at-fault party has shown disregard for the safety, emotional well-being and health of the plaintiffs.
Please always drive defensively. By that we mean, please always be aware of what other drivers and never assume anything. When we start to assume other know what we are about to do, or that we know what they are going to do, an accident can happen. To help prevent accidents, constantly look in your side mirrors and rear-view mirror, as well as always use your blinker to indicate when you are turning or merging. When you are aware of what is around you, you have a better chance at being able to properly react and hopefully avoid an accident.