Accidents involving truck tractor/semi trailers resulted in 389 fatal crashes in Texas and thousands of injuries in 2012. In many cases, these accidents were avoidable if not for the negligent actions of the truck driver. There are many forms of negligent driving among truckers that can put other drivers and pedestrians in peril.
Violating Trucking Laws, Rules and Regulations
Just like any other vehicle, trucks are not exempt from following the general traffic laws. They must obey all traffic signals and operate within the driving laws of the state. There are also many truck-specific laws and regulations that truckers must follow to ensure his or her safety and that of nearby drivers and pedestrians.
Truck drivers must obey the federally-mandated laws for hours of driving and on-duty time. They must record these times in their duty logs and take the appropriate rest periods to ensure they are awake, alert and healthy enough to drive the next leg of their journeys. Failing to follow these rules is not only illegal, it also poses a risk to the surrounding traffic by putting a tired truck driver on the road.
Inspection of cargo and checking in at weigh stations are also part of a truck driver’s duty to safely operate the vehicle. Cargo inspections ensure that a driver’s load is secure so it does not become a hazard to others.
Types of Driver Negligence
Aside from ignoring the rules and regulations for truck operation, a truck driver’s personal actions may also increase likelihood of a truck accident. Drivers who chose to violate driving time rules can become sleepy and turn to energy drinks, caffeine pills or other potentially dangerous (read: illegal) resources to stay awake. This can have an adverse effect on driving ability and cause erratic driving behaviors.
Aggressive truck drivers are also negligent because they are putting others around them at risk by their actions:
- flashing their headlights;
- abusing the horn; or
- attempt to cut off other drivers can cause serious accidents.
Another type of truck driver negligence is indulging in distractions. This includes use of cell phones during truck operation. Federal law prohibits truck drivers from operating hand-held cell phones while driving. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is also a negligent behavior that can significantly increase risk of trucking accidents.
Taking Action against Negligent Truck Drivers
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an accident caused by a negligent truck driver, you have the right to seek justice. Julie Johnson helps victims of negligent truck drivers and trucking companies pursue injury claims to compensate them for their damages and losses.
Don’t let the insurance companies get away with minor settlements. Big trucks often mean big injuries and your settlement should reflect the complete extent of your damages and compensate you fairly. If you’re in or around Dallas, contact us today to schedule a free consultation regarding your case.