Nearly everything you see in stores and in your home was, at some point, transported overland by a truck. Tractor-trailer rigs, in particular, haul cargo over longer distances than those covered by local delivery trucks. Because of this, they carry much heavier loads and can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. This makes them 20 to 75 times heavier than the average car.
Truck drivers must obey the same traffic rules as other vehicles on the road and like many motorists, their negligence can cause an accident. However, in a trucking accident, the result can be devastating to the occupants of the other vehicle. The overwhelming size and weight of these rigs can completely demolish smaller vehicles. This is why so many federal regulations specifically target large trucks. In spite of these regulations, trucking accidents continue to happen with tragic results. Here are three reasons for this:
Trucking companies do not always perform extensive background checks on their new hires. Truck drivers with multiple traffic violations and trucking accidents on their driving records are somehow able to get rehired. These types of drivers rarely improve their records because of their dangerous driving habits. Habits are notoriously difficult to change.
Trucking carriers are increasingly hiring inexperienced drivers because of the current driver shortage. Most of the experienced drivers are retiring, which means a dangerously large percentage of truck drivers on the road today have minimal experience.
Incomplete Pre-Trip Inspections
Truck drivers are required to inspect their tractor-trailer rigs once every 24 hours before starting their trip. Pre-trip inspections get very repetitive for long-time trucking veterans. Sometimes these drivers might omit some items because they rarely cause problems. However, everything eventually requires adjustment or replacement, and when this does not happen, trucking accidents may result. Other drivers go through the motions of an inspection without careful attention. Drivers in a rush to meet deadlines, sometimes omit the inspection altogether.
These include over-the-counter drugs for relieving cold/flu symptoms or allergies. Many of these drugs reduce alertness or may cause drowsiness. Some truck drivers resort to illegal stimulants, such as amphetamines or cocaine, to stay awake on the road. However, these drugs can change the driver's behavior, sense perceptions, and judgment.
If a negligent truck driver injured you or a member of your family in a trucking accident, seek the legal counsel of Odegaard Braukmann Law's experienced trucking accident lawyers. For answers to your questions and a free case evaluation, please contact us.