National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data shows that trucker deaths have reached their highest level in over three decades. Overall deaths involving truck collisions are also rising, with over 4,000 people losing their lives annually.
Why are an increasing number of people finding themselves involved in accidents with trucks? Read on to find out the most common causes and why you should always speak to a personal injury attorney if you’ve been involved in an accident with a semi-truck.
The average truck driver will drive several thousand miles over the course of their working week. With many of them being paid based on their miles, there can sometimes be an incentive to cover as many miles in the shortest space of time to make more money.
With this in mind, federal regulations are in place to ensure drivers can only drive a specific number every day, and with breaks. Though it is unknown whether all truck drivers follow these regulations as fatigue continues to be one of the most common causes of truck accidents across the United States.
Inexperience Behind the Wheel
Even though truck drivers have to complete trucking courses and gain the appropriate licensing, it’s not always enough to prevent an accident. A new driver can go from being a freshly licensed driver to being in the driver’s seat of a large vehicle with which they are not familiar.
New truck drivers will gain experience over time, but a combination of inexperience and long working hours can put them at risk of causing, or being involved in, a semi-truck accident.
Many people who end up involved in a semi-truck accident come to learn that poor truck maintenance was to blame. While rarely intentional, a number of things can go wrong when vehicle parts and components are not adequately cared for. Sadly, severe injuries and loss of life can be a consequence of this oversight.
Worn tires, unsafe trailers, braking system issues, and a malfunctioning engine are common problems associated with a poor maintenance schedule.
Improper Loading Techniques
Weight distribution is a crucial part of loading a truck. Failure to take this into account before hitting the road can result in jack-knifing and control problems. Sometimes, a lack of experience is to blame. Other times, truck drivers can be in a rush to load cargo and get to their destination. In both instances, the consequences of improper loading can be a serious accident and fatalities.
Any vehicle operator can be distracted by something, but the consequences in a semi-truck can often be more deadly. What’s more, truck drivers can be more susceptible to distractions given their often long working hours and lack of variation in their line of business.
From eating and drinking to phone, GPS, and radio use and talking to passengers, many things can cause a truck driver to take their eyes off the road. Technology in trucks now exists to limit distractions, but accidents still happen.
Who is Liable in a Truck Accident?
If you have been involved in a truck accident and have sought help from a Texas truck accident attorney, you may be wondering who is liable in such an incident. It’s not as clear-cut as just blaming the truck driver.
Many people may be liable for damages, including the driver, trucking company, truck owner, and cargo loaders.
A truck driver may be liable if they have broken the law, such as consuming drugs, alcohol, or becoming distracted. Though, a truck company may also be responsible in part if they have pushed the driver to work beyond their legal hours to complete a job.
If poor maintenance is seen as a contributing factor to an accident, the truck owner responsible for its maintenance could be liable in a trucking incident, as well. Cargo loaders who improperly loaded cargo onto a truck that subsequently crashed may find themselves involved in the legal case, too.
Have You Been Involved in a Truck Accident? J. Alexander Law Firm Can Help!
If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident in Dallas, Texas, and it is believed the other party is to blame, it’s time to contact a Texas semi-truck accident lawyer. They can listen to your story and let you know if they believe you have a case.
One of the trusted truck accident attorneys from J. Alexander Law Firm will then help you navigate the legal world to reach an outcome that works for both parties. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help you get the financial compensation you deserve.