Commercial trucking is critical to moving freight across the country, and there are millions of trucks operating in the U.S. Most of these trucks and the people who drive them are safe, but many should not be on the road.
When a truck is unsafe, or parties are careless, a crash can happen. And when they do, the consequences can be catastrophic.
Truck size and weight
The fact is that trucks are enormous and heavy. As a result, they have large blind spots. They require more time to slow down and come to a stop. They cause considerably more damage to smaller vehicles and the people inside when compared to the damage and injury they might sustain.
These factors make trucks highly dangerous to the people who share the road.
We all make mistakes when we drive. However, truckers can make certain errors behind the wheels of their rigs that endanger others.
For instance, truckers can pose a serious threat if they:
- Fall asleep
- Get distracted
- Drive while using drugs or alcohol
- Drive without proper training
- Do not have the necessary credentials
- Fail to comply with traffic laws
- Drive recklessly
Drivers who make these mistakes can dramatically increase the risk of crashing.
All of this was true even before the Pandemic, but driver shortages are leading to the placement of even more unqualified and unsafe drivers on the road.
Trucking companies and owners want to make money, and some will put others at risk to protect their bottom lines.
For instance, they may push drivers to operate outside the limits of Hours of Service regulations so that they can meet deadlines. Doing this can mean truckers are too tired to drive safely.
Some companies also fail to maintain and repair trucks properly. As a result, trucks can be on the road with faulty brakes, obstructed windshields or underinflated tires, all of which can contribute to or cause a devastating crash.
Holding parties accountable
Truck crashes happen when people make mistakes, whether that includes the trucker, the trucking company or someone else. And the outcome of these mistakes is often disastrous for victims.
Investigating these incidents to identify the liable party can help injured victims and their families file a legal claim to pursue the compensation they deserve.