A familiar view when driving behind a large truck on the highway is the sticker “How is my driving?” with a number to call with compliments or concerns. Most of the time, the driver of the truck is doing a fine job and there is no reason to call the number unless they did something exceptional or unacceptable, such as changing lanes into another car. But even though most truck drivers do a “fine job”, if you or your loved one have been in an accident with one of these large vehicles, you know the devastation it can cause. While these drivers are subject to many more regulations than a normal car driver would be, they also have to deal with many more problems, including mechanical malfunctions, which could lead to an accident.
A factor that could lead to an increased risk of danger for other cars driving near commercial vehicles is how tired the truck driver is. Even though federal regulations limit the amount of time that a truck driver can drive during an 8-day period, drivers are still expected to reach certain distances in an allotted amount of time. This would cause even truck drivers that are experienced and normally safe to become stressed out and exhausted. Truck drivers are paid by the amount of miles that they drive, not how long they have been driving, so there is a lot of pressure to keep pushing on, even when they are tired, which can increase the likelihood that they either fall asleep at the wheel or are more reckless than they normally would be.
Trucking companies are responsible for the maintenance of the trucks that their drivers use to carry cargo and passengers around the country. When a truck driver gets in a truck to drive, they assume that all maintenance checks have been made and appropriately taken care of, and may have no idea that the brakes aren’t functioning properly or that the tire pressure is low. It is important for companies to perform routine checks on their vehicles and to document all problems that are noted and when they were fixed. If a truck driver is safely driving down the highway and there is a wreck in front of them, they should be able to trust their brakes to stop them from running into anyone and causing more damage.
Finally, a truck driver could be doing any sort of unsafe activity – texting and driving, drinking and driving, not checking before they change lanes – that would normally cause an accident in a car, but it makes it more dangerous because of the type of vehicle they are driving. It is an enormous amount of responsibility to be driving that large of a truck, and any sort of activity by the truck driver that is not completely focused on the road can end in tragedy. The drivers of any vehicle of this size, and any size, are aware of the hazards of distracted driving and should follow all federal and state regulations to ensure safety for everyone on the road.
If you have been in an accident with a commercial vehicle and you don’t know where to turn, please call the dedicated auto accident lawyers in Greenville at the Dan Pruitt Law Firm at 8642324273 today so that we can help you put the pieces together. You deserve justice, no matter whether it was the truck driver or the trucking company that was at fault, and we have years of experience with motor vehicle law and we are confident that we can help you during this difficult time.
Dan Pruitt is a Personal Injury Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. He graduated from University of Georgia, and has been practicing law for 25 years. Dan Pruitt believes in fighting for the injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.