Dangerous Truck Drivers Put Your Life in Danger
A commercial truck weighs up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. That’s why it takes a lot longer to stop a truck than a regular passenger vehicle. When a truck crashes into car, it can do a lot of damage. And when a truck collision causes a fatality, over eighty percent of the time the person who dies isn’t the truck driver.
Unsafe truck drivers put pedestrians, cyclists, motorcycle riders, and automobile drivers and their passengers at risk. In fact, over nine percent of deadly crashes in Colorado involve big rig trucks.
Bad decisions that increase the chances that a crash will occur are inexcusable. Truck drivers and the people who hire them must be held accountable for death and injuries caused by the failure to take adequate safety measures.
Distracted driving is never safe and it’s treacherous when engaged in by the driver of a massive truck. Truck drivers must remain alert at all times because even a momentary lapse of attention can be deadly on the highway. Eating, drinking, daydreaming, adjusting their Bluetooth headsets or GPS, reaching to grab an item on floor or passenger seat, or simply not paying attention to the road are inexcusable actions for a professional truck driver.
Truckers must never use a handheld phone while driving. That’s why federal law prohibits truck drivers from using a cell phone unless it is a hands-free device that’s either voice-activated or has one-button touch features to in initiate, answer, or terminate a call.
The (FMCSA) reports that commercial motor vehicle drivers who text while driving are 23 times more likely to be involved in a safety-critical event such as a crash, near-crash, or unintentional lane deviation. Motor carriers who encourage their employees to text while driving may subject to civil penalties of up to $11,000.
Younger and Inexperienced Drivers
Being a good truck driver requires skill, training, experience, and maturity. When truck companies have a high turnover rate, it means they’re constantly hiring people right out of trucking school. The current shortage of qualified truck drivers is at according to the chief economist for the American Trucking Association.
The sensible thing for trucking companies to do in this situation would be to offer better wages and benefits to attract the safest and most experienced drivers. Instead, bad companies hire younger and less experienced drivers for as little money as they possible can. This creates hazardous situations for all drivers.
Driving in Bad Weather
To make as much money as possible, trucking companies will often create schedules and quotas that require their employees to keep on driving, even when road conditions are not safe. This puts drivers in danger.
When weather conditions are harsh, truck drivers must exercise extreme caution. That means staying alert, reducing their speed, using their lights if visibility is limited, and pulling over or staying at a rest stop when it’s too hazardous to drive.
Weather conditions that can lead to collisions if drivers persist on driving at an unsafe speed include:
- Winds storms that increase the likelihood of jackknifes and rollovers.
- Heavy rain, snow or ice that reduces traction, causes hydroplaning, compromises steering, and increase stopping distance, making collisions much more likely.
- Fog that may reduce visibility down to 5 feet. This makes it impossible to drive safely and creates a risk for pileups.
Poorly Secured Cargo
Trucking companies, managers, and employers who load trucks all bear responsibility for safely loading trucks, but it’s the duty of every truck driver to make sure their cargo is fully secure before hauling a load. The FMSCA has regulations to prevent cargo from falling or blowing off truck.
Failure to inspect cargo may cause the following hazards:
- Falling objects that cause other drivers to swerve or crash
- Shifting cargo that impairs stability and may cause the driver to lose control or lead to jackknifing
- Overloaded cargo that obstructs the driver’s view
- Uncovered material and improperly secured tarps that lead to spilling and dangerous road debris
- Insufficient tie-downs, webbing, braces, friction mats, and other methods used to secure cargo
Were You Injured by an Unsafe Truck Driver?
You shouldn’t be expected to pay for medical expenses and other costs due to another person’s negligence. If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a crash caused by a careless truck driver, we can help you file a claim to get the money you need to put your life back together.
At Leventhal Puga Braley P.C., you will receive the highest standard of legal assistance. We aren’t afraid to take the big trucking companies to court if that’s what we have to do to get you a fair settlement. Give our Denver truck crash lawyers a call today at (303) 759-9945 to learn more.