Unsafe Truck Driving Leads to Collisions
Safely operating any motor vehicle requires the full attention of the driver. This includes mental, visual and physical attention. The driver should have his or her mind on the task at hand, should be watching the road and checking side and rearview mirrors and should have both hands on the wheel. Unfortunately, some drivers are easily distracted, careless or negligent. The results of this behavior are all the more disastrous when the driver is operating a large commercial truck.
A big rig may weigh in excess of 80,000 pounds. When you consider that a typical passenger car weighs only 3,000 to 5,000 pounds, it is easy to see which vehicle is likely to sustain the most damage in the event of a collision. If a truck driver takes his or her attention from the road even for a moment, the results may be catastrophic. At Arnold & Itkin LLP, we are dedicated to protecting the rights of those who have been injured in truck accidents. Our attorneys represent clients throughout the U.S. in these claims, taking care to provide personalized attention and professional legal counsel through every stage of a client's case. In our years in practice, we have successfully recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for the injured. We are ready to see how we can handle your truck accident claim to seek the
compensation you deserve.
Proving Unsafe Driving by a Truck Driver
Although the majority of truck drivers on the road are experienced and cautious, there are some drivers who operate their vehicles in an unsafe manner. "Unsafe truck driving" may take on many forms:
Truck Driver Negligence
Negligence is defined as an act or failure to act that constitutes a failure to provide reasonable caution or care in the circumstances. For a truck driver, this may mean driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, violating a traffic law, driving while distracted or simply driving in a careless manner. When this behavior results in a truck accident, the injured party or parties may seek to hold the negligent truck driver accountable.
Driver Criminal Behavior
When a truck driver intentionally violates traffic laws or trucking regulations, the results may be catastrophic. Tailgating, speeding, driving longer hours than allowed, carrying too-heavy loads and drunk driving are all examples of criminal behavior that may influence a truck driver's ability to safely operate an 18-wheeler or tractor-trailer. This can easily lead to a serious crash.
Older Truck Drivers
Age can influence a driver's ability to safely operate a motor vehicle – there is no question about it. Age can affect vision, hearing and motor skills. It can also affect memory and mental function, although every driver is different. For truck drivers, age can have more of an impact due to the long hours spent behind the wheel of a large truck. Seemingly small mistakes by an older driver can have more of an impact when he or she is operating a vehicle that weighs 80,000 pounds or more.
Truck Driver Fatigue
Fatigue may affect any driver. For a truck driver, who may work long hours in order to make a delivery on time, fatigue can prove disastrous. Even when a truck driver does not actually fall asleep behind the wheel, extreme weariness can lead to impaired vision, delayed reaction time and an inability to make sound decisions while driving.
Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Drugs and alcohol can influence behavior, mental function and motor skills. Vision may be impaired, as may a driver's reaction time. Whether it is alcohol, an illegal narcotic or even a prescription drug or over-the-counter medicine, it is dangerous to get behind the wheel of a big rig while under the influence of any substance. Because of the large size of their vehicles and the difficulty a large truck presents in terms of maneuverability, drug or alcohol abuse on the part of a truck driver is all the more dangerous.
Because big rigs are more difficult to maneuver than any other type of motor vehicle, they require special training and a particular level of care on the part of the driver. This means that any of the above acts will have more of a likelihood of making a driver lose control, causing an accident and leaving others seriously injured. All of these factors make unsafe truck driving particularly hazardous.
Consult a Truck Accident Attorney Today
An attorney can help with a claim involving a collision with an 18-wheeler, big rig or other large truck. If you believe that unsafe truck driving was the reason for the accident, you may be right. Our team can work to carefully investigate the crash from every possible angle to determine its cause and therefore who should be held accountable. Because the trucking company may try actively to prove that their driver was not at fault, you need a professional with the resources and experience to properly handle your claim. You will find that level of legal representation at Arnold & Itkin LLP – our track record of success speaks for itself.