Truck driving and delivery driving is an important industry in our country. As our internet presence grows, customers expect products shipped quicker and quicker. This increases the demand of truck drivers, while also increasing the number of trucking or big rig collisions. Big rig collisions are often large scale accidents, because of the size and contents of the truck. There are also many situations can contribute to accidents in the trucking industry.
Driving too fast
The U.S. Department of Transportation found that 23% of semi truck accidents are caused by a driver traveling too fast for the road conditions. There are two main problems with speedy drivers when it comes to big rig collisions. The first involves the driver. Many trucks carry thousands and thousands of tons of weight, making them extremely difficult to stop at a short notice. A speeding 18 wheeler truck is unlikely to have the ability to stop quickly. This often results in more serious of damages in an accident.
The second concern is when nearby drivers are driving too quickly or passing in and out of lanes. Truck drivers do not have the ability to maneuver between lanes to avoid accidents, as regular drivers do. When a regular driver cuts off or slams their brakes nearby a large ton truck driver, serious accidents can and do occur. Big rig collisions are commonly caused by one of these two incidents.
Driving when fatigued
With strict driving requirements, drivers are often expected to drive throughout the night. They must get packages to their next destination in the shortest amount of time. Some drivers are also paid by the mile, encouraging truck drivers to drive even faster and throughout the night, when they are fatigued. According to a study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, driver fatigue is a factor in 13% of truck accidents.
Fortunately, trucking companies are attempting to cut down on fatigued related accidents. While trucking companies still expect their drivers to meet strict deadlines, they are often limited to the number of miles they can drive at one time. They may be required to pull over and rest for specified amounts of time. This required rest time could prevent accidents and save lives.
Aggressive driving is another concern when big rig collisions are involved. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, aggressive driving plays a role in 66% of fatal traffic accidents. When a truck driver is involved in aggressive driving, the fatalities tend to be even higher. Aggressive driving between a regular sized vehicle and large big rig can be especially dangerous. The smaller vehicle is able to cut off and around the truck, causing the truck to slam on the brakes and create an overall dangerous situation.
Trucking companies are also attempting to cut down on aggressive driving habits. This can be done by better monitoring new truck drivers. Driving records are an important part of the hiring process. If an existing truck driver employee is accused of aggressive driving, a thorough investigation is needed. Aggressive driving can be a large legal liability not only to the driver, but also to the trucking company. When aggressive driving is involved, an injury attorney is often also needed.
Legal rights during trucking accidents
Because trucking accidents are often large scale, they usually make it to court. Legal charges are brought up to receive compensation, either for the driver of the truck or the other vehicle involved in the accident. Sometimes, the charges might be brought up by the trucking company in an attempt to cover liabilities from an aggressive trucking employee. A semi truck accident attorney specifically represents the rights of those involved in a semi truck or big rig trucking accident.
The trucking industry is more prevalent than ever. Consumers expect deliveries in an extremely fast manner. This, however, can cause truck drivers to overwork and cause additional accidents. Trucking accidents tend to be very dangerous, because of the added weight of the trucks. If you were involved in a trucking accident, either as the victim or the cause, it is important to properly represent yourself with a trucking accident attorney.