Fort Walton Beach Attorneys for Truck Driver Errors and Negligence
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), around 510,000 accidents occurred on the nation’s roads in 2019 that involved a large commercial vehicle. Of those accidents, 114,000 involved injuries, and almost 4,500 involved fatalities. Although you typically see a lot of semi-trucks on the interstate and major highways, the report states that the majority of accidents involving commercial trucks actually happen in rural areas.
Regardless of where they happen, commercial truck crashes hold the potential for causing considerable damage to smaller passenger vehicles simply due to a semi-truck’s large size and weight. They are usually too heavy to stop quickly, and their immense size means they cannot easily swerve to avoid a collision. What’s more, many truck accidents stem from the negligence or careless actions of the truck driver, and victims of truck-related accidents caused by the driver could be eligible to pursue compensation for their injuries and losses.
If you suffered serious harm or lost a loved one in an accident involving a large commercial truck, you can contact the experienced Fort Walton Beach truck accident lawyers of The Bruner Law Firm for a full explanation of your options as well as effective representation to help you get the justice you deserve. You can contact us at (850) 243-2222 or through our website’s contact page to get started.
The Reasons for Truck Driver Error and Negligence
Although truck drivers are professional drivers who require special licenses and training to operate these massive vehicles, this does not mean all truck drivers act responsibly behind the wheel. The FMCSA conducted an extensive study in the early 2000s and found that around 141,000 large trucks, those defined with gross vehicle weights of 10,000 pounds or more, were involved in accidents throughout the study period. Contact us today.
The study also examined the reasons for these accidents involving trucks, and the FMCSA created four categories of critical reasons why truck drivers cause or become involved in so many accidents. The reasons are as follows:
- Performance issues – Not being able to perform your job properly and safely can cause problems regardless of your industry. However, those who operate massive vehicles that can weigh up to 80,000 pounds must perform at the top of their game. Some of the issues truck drivers face include fatigue and sleepiness behind the wheel, as well as drug and/or alcohol impairment. Even certain over-the-counter medications can cause drowsiness. Truck drivers can also suffer serious medical conditions while driving, such as seizures or heart problems, that can greatly affect their ability to drive safely,
- Distraction and inattentiveness – Like many other motorists, truck drivers may text while driving or conduct other activities that take their eyes, hands, or mind off the road. Also, many truck drivers have GPS systems in their trucks along with a host of other technologies and gadgets that they must interact with as part of their job. Anything that causes a truck driver to focus on a task other than driving can lead to serious accidents.
- Reckless driving – Although they are controlling an enormous and heavy vehicle, some truck drivers behave as if they were driving a small sports car, weaving in and out of traffic and driving too fast. Perhaps they are afraid of missing a delivery deadline or feel they have another reason to speed, but a large commercial truck cannot slow and stop as quickly as a smaller vehicle. Additionally, some truckers drive too fast for conditions, such as rain or snow, and they may follow other vehicles too closely, which is dangerous considering a truck’s inability to take quick evasive action to avoid a crash.
Along with the actions a driver takes or does not take behind the wheel, other factors that can cause truck accidents stem from maintenance and performance issues of the truck itself. Just as truck drivers have a duty to drive safely and act in accordance with traffic laws and industry regulations while operating their trucks, truckers and the companies they work for are also responsible for making sure their rigs are in proper working order.
- Brake problems – Problems with brakes are one of the leading causes of truck accidents. It seems pretty obvious that a vehicle weighing upwards of 80,000 pounds would cause a lot of wear and tear to its braking systems. However, all truck drivers should ensure their brakes are well maintained and able to bring the truck to a stop within a reasonable distance.
- Tire problems – We have all seen scraps of tires on the sides of the road or even in the roadway itself. Most often, these are retreaded tires that unraveled and flew off of a semi-truck or other large commercial vehicle while it was traveling down the road. Truck owners and trucking companies regularly replace their worn tires with retreads in order to save money, but these retreads hold the potential for failing on the road, which can lead to catastrophic accidents. In fact, a piece of a truck tire can cause an accident or serious injuries to another motorist without the actual truck itself being involved in a collision.
- Other issues – Other reasons for truck driver accidents include things such as the driver not being familiar with the roads or how to get to their destination, issues with the road surface, surrounding vegetation, and structures that affect a truck’s mobility or a truck driver’s ability to see the road or necessary signage, and more.
Contact Us Today
If you were in an accident that involved an 18-wheeler or some other large commercial vehicle, and you believe the trucker’s actions were the cause of the accident, you might be eligible to obtain compensation for your injuries and any other losses you suffered.
Personal injury and wrongful death claims that result from truck accidents caused by trucker negligence are typically more challenging and complex than other motor vehicle accident claims. The reason is that there are typically many parties involved, and the accident will require a comprehensive evaluation to determine its cause and assign liability. At The Bruner Law Firm, we have years of experience successfully handling truck accident claims for our clients, and our lawyers are committed to helping you get the maximum amount of compensation possible under the law.
To speak with us at no cost, you can contact us by phone at (850) 243-2222, or you can fill out our contact form to request a consultation with one of our experienced and compassionate attorneys. Let us help you pursue the compensation you deserve.