That semi-trucks pose a serious risk to other vehicles on the road due to their enormous size is common knowledge. If a truck driver, therefore, does not possess the required skills that will enable him or her to safely operate a truck, or if he or she commits an error that results in an accident, then fatalities or people sustaining severe injuries are not remote possibilities.
There are more than two million semi-trucks or big rigs currently operating in the U.S. Half a million of these trucks, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), get involved in accidents every year, accidents which cause more than 100,00 injuries and close to 4,000 deaths. In 2013, the Highway Loss Data Institute, a non-profit research organization, recorded 3,500 fatal large truck accidents. In these crashes, 570 truck drivers died, while the remaining count referred to fatalities which involved drivers of smaller vehicles, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Non-fatal injuries exceed more than a hundred thousand.
Majority of truck accidents, as proven in a study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), are due to the fault of truck drivers themselves (the FMCSA is a separate administration within the U.S. Department of Transportation that has the primary task of enforcing laws that would help reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities involving commercial motor vehicles (CMV), such as large trucks and buses).
Some of the most common truck driver errors identified by the FMCSA are driver fatigue, driving too fast for road conditions, impairment due to use of prescription drugs, illegal drugs or alcohol, overspeeding, lack of experience in operating a semi-truck; lack of focus on the road; distracted driving; failure to check a truck’s “no-zone” areas or blind spots, and failure to make sure that truck brakes are in good working condition.
As pointed out by the law firm Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck, P.A., though many truck drivers and trucking companies do everything they can to stay safe on the roadway, the sad reality is that not everyone exercises this level of caution, putting unsuspecting motorists in harm’s way. Many drivers exceed the set hours of service restrictions, there are those who abuse alcohol and/or amphetamines while behind the wheel, or those who fail to keep their trucks in good working order, exposing everyone on the road to serious risks.
All these acts of failure are due to negligence which can easily be avoided, thus, avoiding too the thousands of accidents it causes. While no one wants an accident to occur, not even the truck driver who may be at fault in the accident, the injuries or death of victims require that the erring truck drivers should only be made to face justice as well as compensate their victims for all damages resulting from (victims’) injuries.Read More