Large commercial trucks are involved in some of the most catastrophic crashes on Alabama roadways today. In general, big rig and other commercial truckers are trained and skillful drivers, but they are still prone to human error and negligence like any other driver.
Apart from the hazards posed by the huge size and weight of the trucks used in commercial transportation and shipping, several other factors can contribute to serious truck accidents. These may include:
- Insufficient training on safety issues, driving technique, and defensive driving
- Compensation systems that promote the operation of vehicles at higher speeds as well as more hours of continuous driving than advisable
- Impracticable schedules and unrealistic expectations of trucking companies encourage truckers to rush, irrespective of the safety risks involved.
The following parties could be at fault in a commercial truck accident:
- The trucker or the trucking company they work for
- The manufacturer of the truck or truck components
- The truck maintenance and quality inspection agency
- A government agency or a municipality
Truck Accidents due to Driver Error
Most truck accidents, unfortunately, occur due to truck driver error. Some common reasons for errors on the part of the truck driver include:
Many truck drivers are on the road for long hours. The primary reasons for commercial truck crashes include driver fatigue and sleep deprivation.
In order to cope with their stressful lifestyle, many truckers seek solace in alcohol and drugs. However, this is also a leading cause of fatal accidents, despite strict laws governing alcohol and substance abuse.
Speeding and Negligent Driving
A commercial truck that is speeding or does not follow traffic rules puts the lives of other motorists on the road in jeopardy. Excessive speed, reckless lane changes, and trucks tailing other vehicles too closely are the causes behind countless truck accidents.
The government put laws in place to govern the trucking industry and its workers. However, some companies try to bypass these rules by falsifying their logbooks and other records. In these types of cases, both a trucker and their company could be held responsible for an accident.
Poor Maintenance or Faulty Design
The inability to maintain trucks properly is not the only reason behind a truck’s equipment failing at a crucial moment. At times, the truck parts manufacturers may be responsible for negligence during the production of the part, churning out faulty or hazardous components.
The truck manufacturer, truck parts manufacturer, the trucking company that sold the vehicle, and the mechanic/installer who made repairs to the truck are some parties that may be held accountable for faulty parts in a trucking accident.
The probability of an accident is much higher is a truck has not been properly designed or is equipped with bad parts, such as failing brakes or inappropriate tires. These manufacturers and designers may be held accountable for consequent damages.
Errors in Cargo Loading
Truck drivers and cargo loading teams have to follow industry-specific regulations when loading a commercial truck’s bed. A load has specific size, weight, width, length, and height limits along with particular methods of securing loads for transportation. A load could fall into the road and cause devastating accidents if mistakes are made during the loading process.
Improper Training or Unfamiliar Roads
A truck driver with improper training on how to manage a commercial truck, defensive driving, and other safety elements will pose a threat to others on the road.
Any individual traveling on an unfamiliar road can experience driving challenges. These challenges increase exponentially if that individual was driving an 80,000- pound truck for the first time and failed to realize how winding, narrow, or rough a specific road was. A combination of such circumstances can lead to catastrophic consequences.
Road Conditions that can Lead to Truck Accidents
A truck accident could result from various factors, including obstacles present on the road. A devastating or more severe crash could occur if there are obstacles on the road, whether or not a driver is operating their vehicle recklessly. A road flaw, due to improper design or maintenance, could also lead to a severe crash.
In such cases, the agency in charge of the road’s maintenance (typically a government body) may be held accountable in a truck accident suit.
Inclement weather can prove hazardous for a truck driver if they have not been appropriately trained to operate a truck in certain conditions. It can be particularly treacherous for truckers to drive in rainy and snowy weather because of the slower stopping speeds and the massive weight of the vehicle.
Truck drivers must travel at the right speed for every condition as well as learn correct braking techniques to avoid hydroplaning, skidding, or jackknifing.
Contact a Skilled Alabama Attorney for Your Truck Accident Case
Truck Accident cases can be complicated and contentious as there are numerous potential causes for such crashes. Understanding who is at fault for the accident is not enough to collect damages against a claim as the trucking industry is strictly regulated. Most trucking companies, their employees, and their insurers will attempt to deny liability for a crash or offer settlement amounts that are much less than what you deserve.
An experienced truck accident lawyer at Hedge Copeland, P.C., will work tirelessly for you to make sure that you get your rightful compensation. Call today at (251) 432-8844 for a free consultation with a seasoned attorney.