Truck Driver Error, a Major Cause of Large Truck Accidents

According to the non-profit research organization Highway Loss Data Institute, there were 3,500 fatal large truck accidents in 2013. In these accidents, 570 truck drivers lost their lives; other victims of these fatal accidents included passengers of smaller vehicles, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians.

A number of surveys say that accidents involving passenger cars and trucks are more blamable on car drivers; however, a study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) says that trucking accidents are more due to errors committed by truck drivers rather than drivers of passenger cars.

These errors are usually results of many different factors which directly affect a truck driver’s capability to react properly and on time to danger. The top three factors that the FMCSA has identified include driver fatigue, driving too fast for road conditions, and impairment due to alcohol, prescription drugs or over-the-counter-drugs. There are other causes of errors, of course, including speeding, unfamiliarity with the road or vehicle, driving distractions and inattention, improper attachment of trailer, failure to check blind spots, depowering of the front brakes (this is what truck operators commonly do in order to minimize wear and tear on tires and breaks and so save on operating costs), and failure to make sure that the brakes are in good working condition before starting a long drive.

Once on the road, truck drivers can practically do whatever they want, like drive continuously despite feeling fatigued, just to be able to cover as many road miles as possible, or drive over the speed limit or too fast for certain road conditions. Because of these, as well as the fact that driving a truck is just much more challenging than driving any passenger vehicle, both the federal and local authorities make sure that a driver, before being granted a commercial driver’s license, has been given the necessary training in the safe operation of large trucks, has passed the required tests, and is totally aware of how dangerous trucks can be on roads and highways.

According to the law firm Ravid & Associates, P.C,. “Commercial trucks are a common and accepted presence on U.S. highways. Driving amongst them can be intimidating, however, due to their massive size. Although truck drivers are especially trained to drive these vehicles, sometimes they may drive negligently or even make a careless mistake that results in a devastating accident. When this occurs, drivers must be held entirely accountable for any damages in order to cover the costs that victims may be burdened with.”
An Iowa personal injury lawyer, points out, though, how highly complex legal matters can be. Thus, if you are considering pursuing legal action, then it may be in your best interest to secure the services of a qualified truck accident or personal injury attorney.

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