Placing the Blame on Truck Drivers in the Event of Truck Accidents
There are more than 15 million trucks operating in the U.S.; about two million of these are semi-trucks, also called big rigs or 18-wheelers. Due to their very large size and very heavy weight, these can cause major property damage and serious or fatal injuries in the event of accidents. For this reason, the federal government requires that those who will operate a truck should have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), which they can earn after going through a special training and education, and a series of tests that deal with the proper operation and handling of this types of vehicle.
Thus, as pointed out and emphasized by the law firm Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, drivers of semi-trucks, have greater responsibility on the road than drivers of other types of motor vehicles because if an accident were to occur, great damage and serious injury would likely result. Unfortunately, despite the great responsibility which they fully know they should display, some truck drivers are negligent and drive irresponsibly. However, in spite of the threats of trucks due to their huge size and the irresponsible behavior of some drivers, truck operation will continue to go on due to the major contribution this make in the notion’s economy.
Once a driver earns a CDL, he/she and his/her employer are expected to comply with all federal laws enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Department of Transportation. A few of these laws, which are meant to ensure the safe operation of trucks and the avoidance of road crashes, require:
– Maintenance and regular check of trucks;
– Use of parts, such as tires and brakes, that pass the quality standard set by the FMCSA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) ;
– Strict observance of the hours of service, which is the maximum number or hours drivers are allowed to drive, and the required number of hours of rest;
Despite all the laws, yearly rate of truck accidents remain at 500,000. These accidents result to more than 100,000 injuries and at least, 4,000 deaths. Many studies show that majority of truck accidents can be blamed on drivers of smaller vehicles most of the time; however, this finding is contrary to the findings of the FMCSA, which say that no less than 90% of accidents are the fault of truck drivers.
Contributing factors to truck accidents include driver fatigue, impairment due to alcohol, prescription drugs or illegal drugs, driving too fast despite poor weather or road condition, not being familiar with the road or the truck, inattention and driving distractions, improper way of attaching the trailer, improper loading of cargo, failure to double-check blind spots, and failure to ensure that the brakes are in good working condition.
Truck accidents are more numerous in some states due to the presence of many more trucks in these locations. In the state of Texas, for instance, Dallas truck accident attorneys of The Benton Law Firm confirm that the number of truck accidents have suddenly increased over the recent years due to the recent oil boom which has resulted to more 18-wheelers on the road.
Truck accidents, far more than any other type of automotive accident, can result to catastrophic or fatal injuries, causing many families to face devastating consequences. This is why it is often possible for those who have been injured or killed in a truck accident to take legal action against the party responsible for their suffering.