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Every year, big rigs cover millions of miles transporting all types of goods across the country. Although 18-wheelers are crucial to our economy, their size makes them a formidable force on the roadways. Truck accidents often cause much more serious injuries than other types of motor vehicle accidents, which is why it is incredibly important for drivers to abide by federal working hour regulations, for trucks to undergo regular maintenance, and for everyone involved in the transportation industry to receive the proper training.
The Bigger The Vehicle, The Bigger The Responsibility
Every driver has a responsibility to drive safely and responsibly. This is even more true for truck drivers operating vehicles weighing tens of thousands of pounds. To help keep the roadways safe, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets strict guidelines for truck drivers and trucking companies.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Just like other motor vehicle accidents, truck accidents can be caused by a variety of factors. Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include:
- Distracted driving – Sadly many truck drivers are driving distracted. Whether using cell phones, eating, or changing the radio station, any type of distraction can have deadly consequences on the road.
- Speeding – Truck drivers are often put under tight deadlines. Sometimes in an effort to meet these deadlines, truck drivers will exceed the maximum speed limit. However, because trucks cannot come to a complete stop as quickly as smaller vehicles, speeding can be particularly dangerous.
- Fatigued driving – Even though the FMCSA limits the amount of time a truck driver can drive consecutively, many drivers and companies choose to ignore these rules. Drivers that fall asleep at the wheel not only endanger their own lives, but they also endanger the lives of other drivers on the roadway.
- Poor maintenance – 18-wheelers travel thousands of miles each year. In order to keep them running properly, trucks need to receive regular maintenance. Failure to maintain a truck can cause mechanical failures, which can lead to deadly accidents.
- Inadequate training – Driving a big rig takes a lot of skill. Drivers who do not receive adequate training are more likely to cause accidents than experienced drivers.
- Reckless driving – Things like running red lights, improper passing, or not using turn signals can all contribute to causing an accident.
Truck Accident Lawyers
There is no excuse for negligent driving. Truck drivers that cause accidents and the companies that employ them need to be held responsible for the accidents they cause. If you or someone you love was injured in a truck accident, the truck accident lawyers at Whitfield, Bryson & Mason LLP can help. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case.