Truck Accidents And Truck Driver Error

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In the United States, close to 500,000 truck accidents take place every year. These include accidents involving trailer-tractors, semis, big rigs, 18-wheelers, and other big trucks. At least 5,000 of these accidents result in the death of an individual, and that is only taking into account the statistics that are reported. There could be hundreds more that either don't get reported or are lost somewhere in the system.

Such high numbers are a cause for serious concern, often prompting people, and also the government, to wonder what can be done to reduce the instances of truck accidents. To be able to minimize truck accidents, one first needs to be aware of the various causes of truck accidents. Among the leading causes for truck accidents are malfunctioning of the trucks, passenger vehicle driver errors, and truck driver error.

What Is Truck Driver Error?

The following types of actions can constitute truck driver error in a truck accident:

1)Just getting behind the wheel of a truck can in itself be an error on the part of the truck driver.
2)Driving after drinking or using drugs, driving when fatigued, or driving without having the necessary training and expertise, can all constitute truck driver error in a truck accident.
3)Many truck drivers disregard the legal speed limits for big trucks. Driving on the open highways, which is where truck drivers mostly drive, is like an open invitation for some drivers to speed. If the truck driver needs to stop suddenly, then driving at high speeds can cause braking accidents and rear-end collisions.
4)Overloading the truck with more freight than it is designed to carry, in a bid to make fewer trips, can also lead to serious truck accidents.
5)Driving with liquid loads or other loads that shift, without securing them properly or filling the tankers to the required capacity, can also cause the truck driver to lose control of the truck, resulting in an accident.
6)Not paying attention to road conditions, such as slippery roads, uneven roads, slopes, ditches, etc, and failure to adjust to such driving conditions can also be termed truck driver error.
7)Many times, truck drivers need to work on the hoist of the truck, and raise the truck bed to do so. But they do not block the truck bed safely and properly, which can cause the bed to come down and crush them.
8)Taking a turn too fast can cause the truck to roll over on its side, and end up as a disastrous truck accident.

According to statistics released for 2003, in all fatal accidents involving a big truck and another passenger vehicle (car, light truck etc), only 16% of the accidents were a result of truck driver error. Compared to this, driver error of the other vehicle accounted for 70% of the truck accidents, whereas both the drivers were at fault 10% of the time.

In approximately 27% of fatal truck accidents which were the fault of the truck drivers, the drivers involved had at least one speeding conviction before the fatal truck accident occurred. Out of all of the fatal truck accidents because of the truck driver, only one percent of them were DUI-related.

Nevertheless, if you or anyone you know has been in a truck accident, and you can prove negligence on the part of the truck driver and truck driver error is established, then you are entitled to receive certain damages and compensation. Hiring an attorney with experience in truck accident cases can be the best thing to do under such circumstances.


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