In 2021, 117,300 truck accidents occurred in the US. 5,700 of them were fatal. In most cases, the driver and occupants of the other vehicles are the ones who die in truck accidents because a truck is much larger than an average sedan. So, the truck driver is in a much safer position than other vehicle drivers.
Truck accidents generally happen as a result of driver negligence. Truck drivers tend to breach the duty of care they owe to other drivers on the road. However, do remember that truck driver negligence is not always the cause of truck accidents. Proving negligence in truck accidents can be tricky. So, get the help of an experienced truck accident lawyer.
5 Types of Driver Negligence That Cause Truck Accidents
The following are some of the truck drivers’ behaviors that lead to truck accidents in the US:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk Driving
- Violating Traffic Laws
- Driving While Tired
Distracted driving is one of the most common reasons for all types of auto accidents, including truck accidents. Being on a call while driving a truck is not a safe practice. Trucks are massive vehicles that can be very hard to drive. Also, the rise of technology contributes to distracted driving. Not just smartphones, even GPS can distract a driver. Truck drivers drive to new areas on each trip, so they will have to use GPS to get around. Looking at GPS takes their concentration off the road.
Another common factor that contributes to auto accidents. Driving under the influence of alcohol or any other drug is a punishable offense that can even lead to jail time and license suspension. Even when not drunk, a truck is a hard vehicle to drive. It is not possible to drive a truck when drunk. The government should start to revoke the licenses of drunk truck drivers for the first offense itself.
Trucks are supposed to be driven at a particular speed to be safe. A truck requires more space to come to a complete stop when braking. At high speed, a truck cannot be stopped suddenly. Depending on the weather conditions, speeding can have worse outcomes. Rain and snow will make the road more slippery, and it will become much harder to control the vehicle at high speed.
Violating Traffic Laws
Traffic laws must be followed at all times, regardless of the type of vehicle you are driving. Violating the laws will result in accidents. Running a red light, taking a left turn, and not respecting the right-of-way rules are some common examples of traffic law violations. In addition to these traffic laws, truck drivers must follow hours of service rules too. Not following these laws is a common reason for truck accidents.
Driving While Tired
Violating the hours of service rules leads to fatigued driving. A driver can only drive for 8 hours per day. In those 8 hours, the driver must take a 30-minute break. Not following hours of service rules leads to fatigued driving, which in turn, leads to accidents. When a driver is tired, their reaction time will be much slower than when they are not tired. Quick reactions are a must for truck drivers to avoid accidents.
Truck drivers are the most common at-fault parties in truck accidents. That doesn’t mean they are always liable. Sometimes, truck accidents can happen due to trucking company negligence. These companies force drivers to violate certain laws. Only a lawyer can determine negligence in truck accidents. They will conduct an investigation, collect evidence, and prove negligence. If you are a victim of a truck accident, speak with a lawyer as soon as possible.
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