No matter who you are or what you drive, you accept the obligation to behave responsibly once you get behind the wheel of your vehicle. Truck drivers, however, are getting behind the wheels of vehicles that are vastly larger than anything else on the road. The potential damage they can do if they don’t act responsibly is so great that they and their companies are expected to exhibit a heightened level of care.
However, it doesn’t always work that way. Not every trucker takes their responsibilities to heart and not every trucking company is ethical. When you comb through the various reports by federal agencies, a disturbing list of causes of serious truck crashes starts to emerge:
- Some drivers fail to keep accurate logs that show their hours on duty. Despite numerous regulations and attempts to ensure compliance, drivers still find ways to “cook the books” and work longer than they can safely do so — and the companies know it.
- Some companies are putting inexperienced drivers on the road too soon — and keeping drivers on the job who should retire. Very new drivers aren’t equipped to handle many dangers of a long-haul trip. Older drivers, on the other hand, may be fighting medical conditions, like diabetes or heart problems, that could also contribute to a wreck.
- Some drivers are speeding. Many of them are encouraged to do so in order to meet shipping promises that are, quite frankly, unreasonable. Speed is the most commonly cited underlying factor in truck accident reports.
There are, of course, other causes for a truck crash. Smaller vehicles can be at fault also. Distracted driving is another issue, as are problems with the nation’s highways. If you’ve been the victim of a truck accident or someone you love has been seriously injured or killed, find out more about your legal options.