When is a Truck Driver Negligent?

Trucking accidents are very serious and can put drivers sharing the roadways at risk of injury or even death. However, if you are involved in one of these unfortunate accidents, you may ask yourself, who is at fault? Has a truck driver been negligent? You may be curious, and this curiosity can lead to answers that may be able to help your case!

Cases Where Truck Accidents are Caused by Truck Drivers
There are certainly some instances in which accidents are actually caused by passenger vehicle drivers. These can include drivers who end up in “No-zones”, abrupt lane changing, misjudging trucks approaching, or unsafe passing. However, sometimes accidents are caused by the commercial truck drivers themselves! Commercial truck drivers are highly skilled and trained for what they do best, but sometimes there are slip-ups and this is where trouble occurs. Characteristics that may contribute to negligence and accidents include:

  • Inadequate training as to driving technique, safety concerns, and defensive driving
  • Systems of compensation that encourage faster vehicle speeds and more hours of consecutive vehicle operation than would normally be advisable
  • Unrealistic schedules and expectations of trucking companies that encourage drivers to hurry, despite safety risks involved

Know the Stats – Prevent Accidents
Truck accidents have increased by 20% over the past few decades, which are alarming numbers. In 2002 alone, 4,897 individuals died and 130,000 people were injured in crashes that involved a large truck. More federal laws have been put in place to govern the trucking industry and prevent these highly deadly accidents.

So, Who is Responsible?
Any number of people can be liable for a trucking accident, as many people are involved in the overall trucking process. These people can include the truck’s driver, the owner of the truck or trailer, the person or company leasing the truck, or the shipper or loader of the truck’s cargo (sometimes seen in cases involving improper loading). There can also be negligence from the manufacturer of the vehicle, tires, or other parts that may have contributed to the cause or severity of the accident sustained.

Driver Error and Equipment Problems
What you should know about Driver Error: Sometimes, driver error is the cause of trucking accidents – in fact, it is the most often seen cause. Drivers of large trucks are actually ten times more likely to be the cause of the crash than other factors. The factors involved include such things like drugs, speeding, fatigue, inattention, distractions, unfamiliarity with the road, and more. The most common causes are driver fatigue and sleep deprivation.
What you should know about Equipment Problems: Equipment failure can include manufacturing mistakes like defective tires, or design errors such as failure to provide backing warning or object detection systems. It can also greatly be caused by a failure to properly maintain the equipment. It is also a good idea to be aware of such problems like removing or depowering front brakes, brake failure due to bad adjustment, tire blowouts from wear, defective steering, improper trailer attachment, and other problems involved in the equipment process.

Have you or a loved one been involved in a trucking accident and the commercial truck driver was at fault? At Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi, we can give you the help you need and gain you the compensation that you deserve. We have worked to collect more than $300 million for injured persons in the New York and New Jersey areas in which we work out of. This widely includes several large verdicts and settlements in truck accident cases. Speak to us today for more information!