Commercial truck drivers have a reputation for unsafe driving that isn’t entirely fair. It takes extensive training to earn a commercial driver’s license, and most truck drivers are very aware of the consequences of an accident and diligent about safety.
Nevertheless, truck drivers are also human, meaning that they are susceptible to stress and other factors that may cause momentary lapses. Unfortunately, a moment is all it takes to get into an accident with another vehicle, as a truck accident lawyer. The following are examples of negligence that may cause or contribute to a truck accident.
1. GPS Use
People who drive for a living have to know where they are going. A global positioning system, which receives directional information from satellites orbiting the earth, is a very useful tool. However, operating a GPS can take a driver’s eyes from the road. While distracted, the driver could get into an accident.
2. Speeding or Overdriving Conditions
Speed is a factor in approximately 25% of all truck crashes. After an accident, the driver may claim that he or she did not exceed the speed limit, and that may be true. However, it may also be true that the driver, while obeying the speed limit, was driving too fast for safety given the conditions at the time, e.g., visibility or weather.
If the driver was not obeying the speed limit, the data recorder in the truck should prove it. However, if the driver was not driving over the speed limit, you may need to produce some other evidence that the speed was unsafe for the conditions.
Many truck drivers like to drive at night because there is less traffic on the road. However, it is also the time that the body is primed for sleep. The time between 12:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. sees the most truck accidents due to drowsiness.
However, due to their demanding schedules, truck drivers may experience fatigue at any time of the day. Federal law has imposed limits on how long truckers can drive and regulated how long they must rest. These laws have helped to improve the problem of driver fatigue, but it continues to persist.
4. Eating and Drinking
Eating and drinking behind the wheel is a tempting way to try to save time. For truck drivers, time is money, and some try to multitask in this way even when they know it is a dangerous distraction.
While most truck drivers try to be conscientious, all it takes is one encounter with a driver who is either chronically irresponsible or who has a momentary lapse to change your life forever. Contact a law office to speak with an attorney about your legal options after a truck accident.