Due to their sheer weight and size, truck accidents can cause serious injury and even death. While there are state and federal regulations in place to minimize the dangers inherent in the trucking industry, truck accidents still occur frequently. There are many common reasons for truck accidents all of which can be avoidable or at least minimized by exercising proper caution.
Driver fatigue tops the list as a leading cause of large truck accidents. State and federal laws have attempted to address this by regulating the number of hours that a driver can work in a given day and work week.
Specific regulations also require a driver to have a minimum number of consecutive off-duty hours. These rules have been specifically designed to keep the driver alert and to limit the possibility of driver fatigue. A large truck driver’s employer can be held liable for requiring a driver to work beyond the maximum number of allowable hours.
Relative to driver fatigue, it is important to keep in mind that the first hour of driving could be the most dangerous as one study showed that a higher rate of incidents occurring during the first hour of drive time. Those who led the study theorize drivers are impacted by the following, just after waking:
Drivers who sleep in the truck’s sleeper berth are believed to be at increased risk of accidents caused by sleep inertia.
According to the National Highway Safety Administration (NTSB), over 25% of fatal truck accidents involved a driver who had been previously cited for speeding. Large trucks are particularly dangerous when they are driven at high or excess levels of speed because of their size and weight.
In addition to excess speed, other issues related to not obeying rules of the road include:
Trucking companies and their drivers are obligated to perform thorough inspections and maintenance of their vehicles. At minimum, this should include regular, appropriate maintenance as well as pre-trip inspections.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations stipulate that all large trucks are subject to inspection including all breaking systems. To ensure compliance and to avoid incidents related to safe vehicle operations, it advised that truck drivers thoroughly inspect the truck before driving every day including (though not limited to):
Truck driving involves driving long hours on the road, and it is difficult to maintain focus for hours at a time. Some drivers rely on illegal substances to stay alert. Employers are required to perform drug testing on their drivers upon hiring. Throughout their employment, drivers often undergo additional periodic drug testing. Times when a driver may be tested in addition to time or hire include:
An improperly loaded trailer can significantly impair the ability of the driver to handle the truck. In the event of a truck accident, the driver could be liable for not following the rules of the road as well as for poorly loaded trailer, which affects the driver’s ability to keep the truck under control.
Truck drivers can avoid accidents and related legal ramifications by ensuring they obey state and federal guidelines put in place to help avoid accidents common among large truck drivers.
Our Personal Injury Attorneys have proudly collected TENS OF MILLIONS of dollars in compensation for clients. Below are some of our recent personal injury case results.
"Overall, I had a great experience working with The Bradley Law Firm!! I would recommend Ryan and his team to anyone. Being involved in a car accident can be quite stressful and dealing with insurance companies can be even more stressful. Having Ryan in my corner lifted a huge burden off my shoulders and made this process much easier for me. They handled everything. Tina is great…she is awesome! She’s extremely patient and kept me informed throughout the entire process. The Bradley Law Firm team is very personable, easy to talk to, and a pleasure to work with."
Our Personal Injury Attorneys have proudly collected TENS OF MILLIONS of dollars in compensation for clients.
It is our mission to ensure you receive a maximum recovery for all of your damages, to the fullest extent under the law.
1424 Washington Ave
St. Louis, MO 63103
107 W. 9th Street
Kansas City, MO 64105
St. Louis Lawyer Disclaimer: The legal information offered herein by The Bradley Law Firm, is not formal legal advice, nor is it the formation of an attorney client relationship. In order for our firm to be considered your attorney there must be a signed agreement between the client and the firm. Any results set forth herein are based solely upon the circumstances of that particular case and offer no promise or guarantee upon the outcome of any other case. Please contact a lawyer for a consultation. This site is not intended to solicit clients outside the State of Missouri or Illinois. The Bradley Law Firm may co-counsel or associate with other law firms around the country at its discretion from initial intake through litigation when it deems appropriate.
1424 Washington Ave., STE 300
St. Louis, MO 63103