Truck Accident Lawyer
Truck accidents are unfortunately common occurrences on our roads, leading to devastating injuries and fatalities. They are triggered by numerous factors, among which some of the most prevalent include driver fatigue, distracted driving, inadequate training, and equipment failure. According to a truck accident lawyer with our friends at MartinWren, P.C., here are some of the most common causes of truck accidents:
1. Driver Fatigue: Long-haul truck drivers often work extended hours, sometimes driving through the night to meet delivery deadlines. Despite regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) limiting the hours a trucker can be on the road, exhaustion still plays a significant role in many trucking accidents. Fatigue can lead to slowed reaction times, impaired judgment, and in worst-case scenarios, falling asleep behind the wheel. This also goes both ways, as other drivers may also be driving drowsy which slows reaction times.
2. Distracted Driving: Distracted driving is a critical problem across all vehicle types, but it becomes especially hazardous when large trucks are involved. Activities such as eating, adjusting the radio, using GPS, or texting while driving can divert a driver’s attention from the road. Given the size and weight of trucks, even a few seconds of distraction can have catastrophic consequences.
3. Inadequate Training: Driving a truck, particularly a large semi-truck or 18-wheeler, requires specialized skills and knowledge. Inadequate training can result in drivers who are ill-equipped to handle difficult driving situations. Inexperience can contribute to errors in speed control, improper loading, incorrect braking techniques, and inability to maneuver safely, all of which can cause accidents. Drivers must also have a special license, so if you are in an accident with a driver who is not certified to be driving a big rig, you may have a legal case on your hands.
4. Equipment Failure: Equipment failure, including brake failure, tire blowouts, steering mechanism failures, trailer attachment failures, and lighting system failures, is a frequent cause of truck accidents. Although maintenance schedules are strictly regulated, trucking companies or drivers might overlook them due to cost-saving strategies or time pressures.
5. Speeding and Reckless Driving: Trucks require longer distances to stop compared to smaller vehicles, especially at high speeds. Therefore, speeding or reckless driving can easily lead to accidents. Additionally, poor weather conditions can increase the risk as trucks can jackknife or tip over due to high winds or slippery roads.
6. Improper Loading: If a truck’s cargo is not loaded correctly, it can cause the vehicle to be unstable. Overloading, or uneven or shifting loads, can make a truck more difficult to control, leading to rollovers or spills.
7. Driving Under the Influence: Although less common, some truck drivers may drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, which impairs their ability to drive safely. This is a serious offense and can have severe consequences. This also includes using prescription medications which warn users to not drive while taking them.
8. Negligent Hiring Practices: Sometimes, the fault lies with the trucking company’s negligent hiring practices. Hiring inexperienced drivers, overlooking a poor driving history, or not enforcing stringent regulations can lead to disastrous outcomes.
All these causes can lead to serious accidents, resulting in severe damage due to the size and weight of commercial trucks. It is crucial for trucking companies, drivers, and regulatory bodies to work together to mitigate these risks, enhancing the safety of all road users. Through increased awareness, stringent regulations, and responsible practices, the rate of truck accidents can be substantially reduced. If you get into an accident, reach out to a lawyer near you for help.