Commercial truck driving is a very demanding job. The difficulty of the job translates into the following five principal factors contributing to large truck accidents:
The National Transportation Safety Board has conducted studies, which concluded driver fatigue could be significantly implicated in up to twenty percent of all large truck accident fatalities and seven percent of all accidents involving both fatalities and injuries. In fact, one-third of drivers questioned in a survey admitted they had fallen asleep at the wheel in the preceding twelve months. Research shows driver fatigue is most acute between 2 am and 6 am, followed by mid-afternoon. “Time is money” is an apt adage for truck drivers. Drivers are under constant pressure to meet delivery deadlines and profit margins can be quite slim, thus forcing drivers to continue driving when fatigued.
Poor Driving Behavior
In addition to driver fatigue, long-haul truckers may be induced into practicing poor driving behavior due to business burdens or employer requirements. Common poor driving behavior includes speeding, unsafe passing maneuvers, driving faster than weather or road conditions permit, failure to yield the right of way, and aggressiveness.
Inadequate Driver Training or Licensing
Commercial truck drivers of vehicles over 26,000 pounds are required to successfully complete a written knowledge test, as well as an on-road test with a truck comparable in size and weight to the truck the driver will be operating. Commercial licenses are required for drivers transporting hazardous materials. Unfortunately, not all drivers comply with these regulations or receive necessary specialized training. Finally, truck drivers must generally undergo regular medical examinations to retain a commercial license. Unscrupulous drivers may visit multiple doctors before receiving medical clearance.
While the majority of drivers are safety conscious and ensure their vehicles are regularly maintained and serviced, some operators are less diligent. Large trucks frequently have several operational computer systems, some of which may malfunction. Defective or unmaintained equipment such as brakes, steering, tires and lights are often cited as causes of accidents.
Truck drivers are responsible to ensure cargo is safely and securely loaded. Expertise and training is necessary to ensure proper restraint and load weight distribution procedures are utilized. Flying debris from loads can cause accidents. Hazardous materials and liquids require further training and certification.
Should you or a loved one be involved in an accident with a large truck, the consequences can be catastrophic. Consult with our experienced Truck Accident Attorneys today, by calling 888-244-5480, to make sure your rights are protected.