Accidents with commercial trucks can turn deadly quickly, especially when they occur at high speeds. There are thousands of accidents on the road involving commercial trucks every year, with many leading to deaths and injuries of varying severity.
What recourse do victims of trucking accidents have to recover compensation for their injuries
and losses? This depends, in part, on the cause of their accident. In most cases, though, people who have been injured in an accident caused by negligence on the part of the truck driver can file a personal injury claim against the driver’s company under the principle of vicarious liability, which states that the actions of an employee are, in essence, the same as the employer. Thus, an employer is responsible for accidents caused by its employees in the scope of their work.
Here’s a quick overview of some of the most common causes of trucking accidents in the United States:
Driver error is consistently among the leading causes of trucking accidents. Bad maneuvering decisions can quickly become catastrophic when other vehicles are present in the area. Examples include truck drivers turning too quickly, or traveling too fast based on the conditions of the road at the time.
Fatigue is a more common problem in trucking accidents than other types of vehicle accidents because truck drivers spend long hours driving on highways without a whole lot of rest. There are federal regulations in place that dictate how much time drivers can spend on the road in a given day or week, but drivers pressed up against deadlines might flout those regulations. Even if they do abide by the regulations, though, drivers can still become fatigued and overworked in such a way that can result in them losing their concentration and coordination and being a danger behind the wheel.
Poor Truck Maintenance
Truck owners are required to perform pre-trip inspections before the trucks can hit the road for a shipment. A failure to perform these inspections or to properly maintain the vehicles in question could make the company liable for any accidents that occur as a result of that lack of maintenance.
Truck drivers often work with tight deadlines and may be required to reach their destination by a certain time. However, poor weather conditions and heavy traffic can make this difficult. If truck drivers begin to speed to attempt to make up time, they could increase the likelihood of an accident. Because of the size and weight of these trucks, they are difficult to maneuver at higher speeds. Plus, the higher the speed, the more the stopping time increases. Truck drivers must always operate at reasonable speeds and stay close to the speed limit.
Some truck drivers might use legal prescription drugs that can result in them being impaired while they’re on the road, increasing the risk of an accident. In addition, the use of alcohol and non-prescription drugs also poses an obvious danger to other drivers on the road.
For more information about the most common causes of trucking accidents in the United States and the steps you should take to recover compensation in your case, contact an experienced truck accident lawyer at Mark Artall, APLC.