Truck drivers on Montana roads and elsewhere in the nation must follow and obey road signage. This includes signs that prohibit truck use. Bridges and overpasses may have clearances too low to safely allow the passage of large trucks. Sometimes, the bridges on these restricted roads aren't rated for the 80,000-pound maximum weight of trucks. A trucking accident, such as getting the trailer jammed underneath a bridge or shearing its top off, shouldn't happen if truck drivers remain alert to these signs.
Unfortunately, blind reliance on GPS devices has caused some drivers to stop noticing truck specific road signage. This habit can eventually lead to an accident when the GPS omits information. This may happen when it isn't up-to-date, or when the truck driver uses a GPS meant for cars. A car GPS doesn't take into account the truck's height, length, width, or weight when making route suggestions.
Truck drivers use car GPS devices often because the fleet owner doesn't provide a truck-specific GPS. Some truck drivers aren't inclined to buy one because they're more costly. In addition, the truck driver likely has a GPS for his car, and using it is a matter of convenience.
GPS Related Truck Accidents
GPS related truck accidents aren't limited to colliding with overpasses and bridges with low clearances. A low clearance may cause a truck driver to attempt a U-turn in poor visibility situations such as at night, in the fog, or near a blind turn. This may cause an underride accident with a car while the truck is attempting the turn.
GPS can lure unsuspecting truck drivers seeking a shortcut through roads and small towns not meant for semi-trucks. Driving over a bridge that isn't rated for the truck's weight may damage the bridge and increase its vulnerability to failure when stressed by flood waters or stalled-out traffic. A GPS that isn't current, may misdirect the truck driver up a one-way street against traffic flow and cause an accident.
Wrong or Incomplete GPS Information Is Not an Excuse
The law requires traffic to obey road signage. A truck driver who rides on roads restricted to cars cannot blame the GPS device. Avoiding an accident is ultimately the trucker's responsibility, and blindness to road signage because of over reliance on GPS technology doesn't change this.
Over reliance on GPS is exacerbated further when the driver uses a GPS inappropriate for trucks. If you were injured in a trucking accident, let our lawyers put their experience to work for you. For more information, or to schedule a free consultation, don't hesitate to contact us.