Common Truck Driver Errors
While commercial trucks such as tractor-trailers are essential for our economy, these trucks present a significant risk of severe injuries if a truck accident occurs. While passenger vehicles generally weigh a few thousand pounds, large commercial trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and can crush a smaller vehicle if they collide. Even with seat belts and airbags, motorists in cars or even SUVs often have little protection from a massive truck in a crash. If motorists survive, they are often left severely injured.
According to a study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the leading cause of truck accidents is errors on the part of the truck driver. Driving a commercial truck requires a special driver’s license that drivers receive after extensive training and testing. If the driver wants to operate certain types of commercial vehicles–such as those carrying passengers or hazardous materials–they must receive additional training and licenses. Despite all of the training required for truck drivers, they are human like anyone else can can make serious mistakes that lead to accidents.
Some of the most common examples of truck driver negligence include the following:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- Violations of hours of service regulations and fatigued driving;
- Distracted driving, including texting, using a cell phone, reading, or watching videos;
- Dangerous lane changes;
- Following other vehicles too closely;
- Driving too fast for weather or road conditions;
- Not having the proper license or training to operate that particular commercial vehicle;
- Not complying with FMCSA rules and regulations;
- Failing to properly inspect a truck before each driving leg; and
- Driving with a serious health problem that causes an adverse health event behind the wheel.
If a truck driver causes an accident due to negligence, injured victims can hold the driver and possibly their employer liable for their injuries and losses. However, a victim must first prove that negligence caused the accident. In most situations, a driver will not voluntarily admit wrongdoing, do proof must be accomplished through other types of evidence. Proving driver error is relatively straightforward in some cases and very complicated in others.
For example, if a driver was speeding, the truck’s data recorder can be used to demonstrate the speed at the time of the collision. Also, many trucking companies have installed cameras in trucks that can show whether or not a driver was texting or was engaging in any other type of dangerous behavior when they crashed. However, in other cases, there may be little concrete evidence of driver error. An accident reconstruction expert may be called in to analyze the scene of the accident, the damage to the vehicles, and more to give their professional opinion of what happened.
Call A Boca Raton Truck Accident Lawyer Today
If you believe a truck driver caused your accident and injuries, call a Boca Raton truck accident attorney at the law office of Lavalle, Brown & Ronan as soon as possible. We have helped many truck accidents victims obtain significant compensation, so call for a free consultation at 888-646-1315 today.