Commercial trucks are dangerous, though they are necessary. These trucks weigh many tons, and when they are traveling down the highway at speeds of 65 mph or more, they can cause serious damage if they collide with other vehicles.
Ideally, these trucks would always be safely operated, and no accidents would occur. But we don’t live in an ideal world, and accidents happen all the time. In most cases, these accidents – and the significant injuries and deaths they cause – are entirely avoidable.
Here are five common yet avoidable causes of commercial trucking accidents:
Commercial truck drivers have limits on how long they can drive per day, and there are rules for how frequently they have to stop for breaks. Yet they are also under pressure to meet strict schedules so that they can remain profitable. The pressure is even higher for independent truck drivers, who get paid by the load.
Drivers frequently drive for longer than they should, and they alter their driving logs. That means that many truck drivers are sleep-deprived and struggling to stay alert behind the wheel of that monster truck barreling down the highway at top speeds. They are more likely to veer off the road, to follow too closely, to miss turns and signals, and more, leading to accidents.
Anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road contributes to distracted driving. If a driver is messing with the radio to listen to something interesting to stay awake, that can be distracted driving. If the driver picks up a passenger and is chatting with them, that can lead to distracted driving. Talking or texting on the cell phone, or even eating while driving, can also lead to distracted driving.
Distracted driving is common, but it is very dangerous. Commercial truck drivers are prone to distracted driving since it can get very boring sitting behind the wheel of the truck for long hours – they are looking for things to do to stay awake and to pass the time.
Drugs and Alcohol
Commercial truck drivers are frequently tested for drug use, and they are given an extensive background screening before they are hired. However, that doesn’t mean that they won’t use drugs or alcohol while they are on the job – and many do. Some do it because they want to pass the time, and some do it to assuage the loneliness they experience because of the job.
Whatever the reason, drug and alcohol use is deadly on the road. An impaired driver is much more likely to cause an accident. If a truck driver is impaired, the consequences can be even more severe because of the heavy load being hauled.
Commercial trucks need regular maintenance and inspection to ensure that they are safe for the road, but that they don’t always get that care and attention. Some drivers or companies skip it because they want to cut costs, and some don’t do it because they don’t have time in their busy delivery schedule. The result is that the truck can fail while it’s on the road.
Mechanical failure may not be obvious when the accident first happens. Your Mesa personal injury lawyer will work with investigators to have the truck inspected or to look for other signs that mechanical failure was to blame for the accident.
Trucks can carry quite a lot of cargo. If the cargo is not properly loaded, it can shift during travel and cause the truck to swerve out of the driver’s control. Trucks may be loaded improperly because the driver is in a rush or because the driver did not get the proper training.
Again, you’ll need to work with a Mesa personal injury lawyer to get the evidence to prove that improper loading was to blame for the accident. Both the driver and trucking company have an incentive to hide this fact.
An accident with a commercial truck can be devastating, and you deserve the full compensation to pay for all that you have suffered, whether it be your injuries, your time lost from work, or your emotional and mental anguish. Call an experienced personal injury lawyer after your accident to learn about your rights and to create a strong case to get the settlement you deserve.
Rasmussen Injury Law is ready to help you if you have been injured in an accident with a commercial truck or with any other automobile. We have been helping clients just like you in the Phoenix and Tucson area for more than three decades. We are committed to helping you get the best settlement possible after your accident so that you can get some justice for what you have suffered and you can start rebuilding your life. Call us today to schedule a consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers and to learn about your legal options.