According to the IIHS, truck accidents were responsible for the deaths of over 4,100 people in 2018, and 67 percent of these fatalities were people traveling in passenger vehicles. Many of these truck accidents are caused by the negligence of truck drivers. This negligence may include:
- Driver Fatigue – Federal regulations require that truck drivers take regular breaks and limit the number of hours a driver is allowed to drive continuously. However, some drivers and their companies violate these rules in an effort to make their deliveries on time. As a result, drivers fall asleep behind the wheel and lose control of their trucks.
- Drug and alcohol use – Driving while under the influence of drugs and alcohol can caused slowed reaction times and impaired judgment, resulting in devastating accidents.
- Speeding – Commercial trucks are much larger and heavier than standard passenger vehicles, and take much longer to come to a complete stop. Truck drivers that operate their trucks at an excessive rate of speed may not be able to stop in time to avoid an accident. Drivers may also be driving too fast while making a turn, causing the truck to jackknife out of control.
- Distracted driving – Trucks are often more difficult to maneuver than passenger vehicles, making it even more important for drivers to stay focused while on the road. However, truck drivers may negligently engage in texting and driving, eating, adjusting the radio, checking e-mail, and other forms of distracted driving.
- Overloading or poor maintenance – Truck drivers, as well as trucking companies, are responsible for making sure to adhere to load limits when loading their trucks. They are also responsible for conducting regular inspections to ensure that the trucks are safe to operate. Failure to properly inspect and maintain trucks can cause brake failure, tire blowouts, and other mechanical issues, which could lead to an accident.
While any motor vehicle accident can have devastating results, truck accidents have proven to be particularly catastrophic. If you have been in a truck accident, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent truck driver and trucking company responsible for your injuries and damages. A personal injury attorney in your area can review your case and help you decide how to move forward.