Common Causes of Trucking/Commercial Vehicle Accidents
Commercial truck accidents are far more complex than other types of motor vehicle accident claims. It is vital in the aftermath of a crash to enlist the services of lawyers who understand how to investigate and litigate these types of cases. At Burress Law PLLC, our attorneys have handled many 18-wheeler and commercial truck wrecks for clients in which the following causes of accidents were revealed:
- Driver fatigue: This is the number one cause of truck driving wrecks. Many times this is proved by uncovering that a driver has falsified his or her logs in an attempt to cut corners and keep up with the company’s unrealistic productivity demands. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations include very strict hours of service requirements for companies, employees and commercial motor vehicles for hire that transport property or passengers in interstate commerce weighing 10,000 lbs. or more. Research shows that sleep-deprived, fatigued drivers are an enormous danger on Texas and U.S. roads.
- Driver distraction: 18-wheeler and commercial truck drivers are often distracted not only by mobile phones and other personal devices, but also by communication systems, mobile computers and other cockpit distractions from devices the company installs inside the large trucks.
- Driver under influence of alcohol and/or drugs: Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs impairs the truck driver’s reaction time, distance perception, motor skills and general driving judgment.
- Improper truck maintenance: Research shows that failing to properly maintain the large truck’s brakes, suspension systems, wheels and tires is responsible for more than 30% of trucking accidents.
- Insufficient driver training: The trucking accident lawyers at Burress Law PLLC are intimately familiar with Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) standards, requirements and penalties; Qualifications of Drivers; and Employee Safety and Health Standard Requirements. Simply put, our truck accident lawyers know how to prove a case when a trucking/transportation company fails to properly train or supervise its drivers.
- Negligent hiring of incompetent, suspended or unlicensed driver: During the course of earning the seventh-largest motor vehicle accident verdict in Texas, which involved a driver of a very large truck, we uncovered documents showing the company’s supervisors allowed the driver to be on the roads even while his license had been suspended. Although the reason for the suspension was not for a driving-related conviction, we were able to get this crucial conviction admitted into evidence in the two-week trial for our client’s benefit.
- Excess weight or improperly secured loads: There are federal regulations that specify how a truck driver must load and secure the cargo on his 18-wheeler. If an 18-wheeler is overloaded, unbalanced or improperly secured, there is a much greater likelihood of an accident due to the propensity of rollover crashes in addition to the 18-wheeler’s brakes and steering being less responsive.
- Defective vehicle: Vehicle defects can include tire failures, brake failures, underride failures and many other issues which can lead to a catastrophic accident.
- Aggressive driving, driver inattention, driver following too closely and/or driver speeding: Even though commercial truck drivers are trained professionals, they can make the same mistakes that every other driver makes. Unfortunately, when these drivers make these types of mistakes, the results are all too often catastrophic.
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