What are the reckless truck driver behaviors that can cause fatal truck accidents?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration – the agency that oversees commercial trucks and buses – provides safety tips to truckers on its website. These recommendations provide insight into how truckers can cause catastrophic wrecks.
Drivers who exceed the posted speed limits or drive too fast for road, weather or traffic conditions are dangerous. The FMCSA reiterates this, relating that speeding not only can cause crashes with other vehicles but truck rollovers and cargo spills, which can exacerbate losses of property and life.
Tired Truck Drivers At Higher Risk for Crashing
“Stay sharp” is another safe truck driving tip offered by the federal government. Fatigued truckers, like any driver, are at higher risk for crashing. But with rigs that weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, when truck drivers fall asleep behind the wheel the results can be exceedingly calamitous.
This makes the recent federal government decision to drop new truck driver sleep apnea testing guidelines – following extensive truck lobbying opposing the safety precautions – even more alarming.
Distracted Truck Drivers
According to the FMCSA, truckers who text and drive are much more likely to crash or almost crash, like swerve outside their lane. While it is illegal for truckers in Missouri and elsewhere to text and drive, the government’s safety tips mention other driver distractions that can cause truck wrecks, including eating or drinking, map reading or fiddling with a GPS device.
The FMCSA urges commercial truck drivers to pay special attention to highway construction work zones, pointing out that 30 percent of all fatal work zone crashes involve at least one commercial truck. While work zones are special roadway conditions, maneuvering safely through them means truckers simply should observe typical safe driving behaviors: appropriate speed, proper rest, and paying attention to changing road conditions ahead.
And it’s not just truck drivers’ negligent behaviors on the road that are dangerous. Truck maintenance is included in the truck driver safety tips from the federal government. Drivers should be sure their rigs are properly maintained and inspected, and any known defects, especially in brakes or tires, quickly repaired.
There are many actions or inactions that truck drivers take that hurt or kill others. If you lost a loved one or you were seriously injured in an accident involving a commercial truck, consult a truck accident attorney to pursue your legal rights against all those responsible.
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertising.
Authored by Gray, Ritter & Graham, P.C., posted in Blog October 9, 2017