All drivers have a duty to be careful with others on the road — to obey traffic laws and avoid reckless behavior that could endanger themselves or others. Because commercial motor vehicles have the potential to cause so much more damage in an accident due to their greater size and weight, their drivers owe an even greater duty of care. This is why CMV drivers are required by law to have a commercial driver’s license, which they can only receive after getting detailed education and training in driving a truck.
Most truck drivers take their responsibilities to others on the road extremely seriously. They know that their livelihood depends on it. However, truck drivers are also subject to extremely precise demands when it comes to the time they have in which to complete the trip and the miles they must travel to earn their pay. These demands sometimes take precedence over safety. When a truck driver behaves without regard to safety, even if no harm was intended by it, and an accident occurs as a result, it could be grounds for a negligence lawsuit. The negligence that results in truck accidents often relates directly to the difficult demands placed on truck drivers.
Truck drivers have very precise schedules to meet, and sometimes unreasonable deadlines. Federal law requires CMV operators to get a certain amount of rest after driving for a particular amount of time. However, in the interest of meeting their schedules, they sometimes do not fulfill these requirements.
Failure to Use Warning Markers
Fatigue sometimes prompts truck drivers to pull over to the side of the road to get some rest. Any time a truck pulls over to the shoulder, the operator is supposed to alert other drivers by placing warning markers in the back. However, they sometimes forget or fail to put them up properly, making the stopped truck less visible to other drivers.
Cargo that is not loaded properly could fall off a truck and pose a danger to drivers behind. An operator who is fatigued or in a hurry may not follow the proper procedures for loading and securing cargo.
Some traffic violations may include speeding, overdriving conditions, running red lights, or failing to signal lane changes. Violations of this type are more likely to occur when the driver is fatigued, unqualified, or just not paying attention.
In addition to driver negligence, the trucking company may be liable for hiring drivers who lack competence, not providing proper training or making unreasonable demands. Hire a skilled truck accident lawyer, like a truck accident lawyer in Salt Lake City, UT, to help you recover damages from your truck accident.
Thanks to Rasmussen & Miner for their insight into what kind of negligence might cause a trucking accident.