Although the majority of truck drivers are committed to driving safely while they’re on the road, some willfully disregard Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations and drive irresponsibly. Our truck accident attorneys at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad Law Offices have handled thousands of personal injury cases and have seen the devastating effects truck driver negligence can have on victims and their families.
Examples Of Negligent Behavior
1. Distracted Driving
Anything that takes your attention away from the road can be considered distracted driving. Texting, talking on the phone (including hands-free), adjusting controls and even letting your mind wander while driving can cause serious accidents. Trucks like 18-wheelers require a significantly longer stopping distance than passenger cars. A truck driver taking their eyes off the road for just a few seconds can lead to devastating crashes such as multi-car pileups.
2. Drowsy Driving
Truckers often face tight deadlines for delivering cargo. Unfortunately, violation of FMCSA-mandated Hours of Service (HOS) is common. These regulations place limits on the amount of hours that truck drivers are permitted to drive. Exceeding these hours often leads to drowsy driving and falling asleep at the wheel.
3. Aggressive Driving
Truckers may also drive aggressively when they have delivery deadlines to meet. Speeding, tailgating, unsafe lane changes and other reckless behavior put everyone on the road at serious risk.
4. Drug & Alcohol Use
Some truck drivers use drugs to stay awake while driving. Drinking or using sleeping pills to rest when they’re taking a break can also impair a driver’s ability to safely operate a truck after they wake up and hit the road.
5. Poor Maintenance & Inspection
Failing to maintain lights, brakes, tires and other equipment can lead to blowouts, brake failure and a host of other dangerous problems that can cause serious accidents.
Proving driver negligence in a personal injury case can be challenging. An experienced truck accident attorney should understand all of the crucial elements that go into proving the negligence of a driver, trucking company and any other liable parties that may be involved. An attorney will collect vital evidence such as photos of the scene, the driver’s training and driving record, their log book, which provides details about the hours driven, and the black box recorder that can provide valuable insight into how the accident occurred. Accident reconstruction experts may be called in to recreate the scene, and any relevant witnesses will also be interviewed.
Contact A Truck Accident Lawyer To Protect Your Rights
If you’ve been involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle, it’s vital to contact an attorney right away. Do not give any statement to insurance adjusters, accept any settlements or sign anything until you have consulted a personal injury lawyer who is experienced in handling truck accident cases.
Need assistance with your personal injury case? Call our truck accident attorneys at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad at 610-867-2900 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.