Driver Error a Common Cause of Trucking Accidents
Most trucking accidents are the result of driver error. Truck driver errors include driver impairment (due to alcohol, drugs or sleep deprivation), poor judgment, taking unnecessary risks, improper loading of cargo, and slow reaction time. If you have been injured in an accident involving a large commercial truck, it’s important to investigate the truck driver’s conduct to determine if they were impaired, are incompetent, or simply failed to follow the rules of the road and shipping industry guidelines.
Below is a quick overview of some of the types of driver errors most frequently to blame for trucking accidents:
- Driver fatigue: Drivers who spend too many hours behind the wheel may fall asleep, become inattentive or miss signs of impending danger on the road. There are federal regulations outlining the maximum number of hours truck drivers are allowed to drive within a single 24-hour period and within an eight-day period. If you suspect driver fatigue was a factor in your crash, your attorney will closely analyze the truck’s logbook.
- Drug or alcohol use: Truck drivers are forbidden to use controlled substances unless prescribed by a physician who has determined the drug will not negatively impact the driver’s ability to safely operate a large vehicle. Trucking companies also must periodically test their drivers for alcohol and drug use.
- Poor judgment and unnecessary risk: Dangerous driving behaviors such as speeding and taking curves too fast can lead to rollover accidents for large trucks.
- Improper loading: Semi-trucks that have been improperly loaded — whether overloaded or unevenly loaded — are more likely to tip over and can be more difficult for drivers to maneuver safely.