Top 5 Causes of Preventable Trucking Accidents
A commercial truck can easily weigh over 75,000 pounds! Their sheer size and weight make them extremely difficult to manage and maneuver and can cause catastrophic, life-altering injuries for drivers and passengers of other vehicles involved in accidents with them.
Federal regulations govern matters such as how many hours a truck driver is permitted to drive before he or she must take a rest break, the maximum weight a load can be, and the types of information a trucking company must find out about a prospective employee. Each state also has trucking regulations to further protect the public.
5 of the most common preventable causes of truck accidents:
Truck Driver Fatigue
Regulations set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) require truck drivers to take rest breaks. Specifically, truck drivers are only allowed to drive a maximum of 11 hours in a row after taking 10 consecutive hours off. They cannot drive beyond the 14th hour after going on duty. They cannot drive trucks for more than 60 hours in one week or more than 70 hours in eight days. Unfortunately, not all truck drivers follow the rest break rules. Falling asleep or experiencing driver fatigue can lead to unnecessary risks and and can often lead to accidents. Unrealistic schedules and expectations of trucking companies that encourage drivers to hurry, despite safety risks involved, are the main culprits behind these crashes.
Drugs and Alcohol
Truck driver alcohol and drug abuse is a serious problem. It can lead to devastating accidents. Passenger vehicles are no match for large commercial trucks on the road. Because an intoxicated truck driver may not swerve, skid or brake as a driver normally would do, the results of these truck crashes can be grave.
Driving While Distracted
A big rig driven by a distracted driver is a lethal weapon. Driver distraction is a frequently cited factor in accidents involving large trucks. In fact, researchers have found that truck drivers who send text messages are about 23 times more likely to get into an accident or a near-miss than drivers who keep their eyes on the road. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration now prohibits truck and bus drivers from texting with any handheld cell phone or other device that takes the drivers’ eyes off the road. Truck or bus drivers who violate the regulation are subject to a penalty of up to $2,750.
Mechanical failure traffic accidents are still a major problem. When considering the size and weight of commercial trucks, safety is critical. All drivers have a duty to maintain their vehicles as well as all mechanical parts and safety devices. A tire blowout or faulty breakes can be prevented by inspecting their rigs regularly and performing recommended maintenance.
Improperly Loaded Cargo
Loading cargo onto a truck is just as important as driving safely. Every truck driver should be properly instructed in proper loading procedures and be able to identify when cargo is improperly loaded. A trucking company that hires or fields a driver without sufficient training to recognize improperly loaded cargo also shares culpability in a cargo shift accident.
Getting Legal Help in Southern California
Navigating through the events following a truck-related accident can be overwhelming without the help of someone who is knowledgeable and skilled with trucking law. If you have been injured in a truck accident in the state of California, the Duque Law Group has the expertise and experience to be able to help you figure out who exactly is responsible so that you can proceed with a strong case and get the reparations that you deserve for your suffering. You will want a personal injury attorney to help you in your case after a truck accident, and the Duque Law Group is here to help you.
Contact our team of Personal Injury Attorneys at 1-877-241-9554 to learn more about your legal options. A free consultation is just a phone call away. You can even use our online contact form, and we’ll reply to you quickly.