Careless driving costs many people their lives each year, and semi-trucks can create an even greater catastrophe due to their enormous size and weight. Unfortunately, despite federal regulations for truck drivers, accidents still occur because of negligence (though not always on the part of the truck driver). Here are some of the most common reasons accidents occur on the road because someone wasn’t taking his or her job seriously.
Driving long hours of the day, running on tight schedules and constantly dealing with traffic can put truck drivers under a good deal of stress. These are some of the causes of accidents that occur because a driver has pushed him or herself too hard or blatantly ignored regulations meant to prevent negligence:
- Distracted driving
- Aggressive driving, like tailgating or cutting other vehicles off
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs
Federal regulations limit the number of hours a driver can stay on the road before resting, and many highways and roads have areas that limit the speed a driver is allowed to go.
Keeping up-to-date on truck maintenance falls to the employer or trucking company. Completing regularly scheduled checks is required to ensure the truck is running smoothly without the chance of an internal problem occurring on the road that causes the driver to lose control. Examples of failures can be:
- Brake failure
- Engine failure
- Tire issues
If an accident occurs because of a mechanical failure, the company may be held liable for injuries and damage sustained by the crash, though it must be proven that the mechanics were the cause. In some cases, the truck may be defective straight from the manufacturer, and they may be held responsible for releasing malfunctioning products.
Improper Cargo Loading
It’s essential that all cargo be loaded properly onto a truck and that it falls under the approved weight limit before the truck hits the road. Improperly secured cargo could come loose on busy roads and cause accidents in the truck’s wake. Sudden debris in the road can cause other vehicles to swerve to avoid it, potentially driving off the road, into another vehicle or into oncoming traffic, and serious injuries may result.
If you are ever seriously hurt in an accident with a truck because of another’s negligence, contact an attorney who specializes in truck accidents. His or her knowledge of laws pertaining specifically to semis can get you going in the right direction to a successful case.