The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that, on average, 11 auto accidents involving at least one semi-truck occur every day. Even through truck accidents kill almost 4,000 people each year, The American Trucking Association estimates that active safety technology is only equipped on 10% of all trucks on the road.
If you’ve been involved in a semi truck accident, determining if a crash was caused by driver error is crucial. Here are the types of driver error to look out for and bring up to your truck accident lawyer:
- Driver Fatigue
- Drug Use
Drivers aren’t allowed to use controlled substances unless a licensed physician aware of their work and medical history has prescribed them. Trucking companies are required to test drivers for alcohol and drug use before employment, and random tests are required for drivers on duty. The Department of Transportation is looking into ways to make sure truckers can’t defeat the testing system.
- Blind Spots
Driver error may be determined if the driver failed to pay attention to their blind spots. Accidents are 60% more likely to occur between cars and large trucks after a car enters a “no-zone.” Truck drivers are responsible for crashes even if they were unaware that a vehicle entered their no-zone.
- Truck Rollovers
Rollovers are often attributed to driver error, especially if a driver is driving at unsafe speeds, fatigued or inexperienced. Driver error may also be a valid claim if the truck’s load is distributed improperly.
- Improper Truck Use
Many truckers will depower the front brakes on their trucks and rely on the trailer breaks to minimize wear and tear, but it also increases the truck’s potential to cause accidents or jackknife. An improperly attached trailer can also increase the chance of jackknifing.
Fatigue can cause truck drivers to fall asleep at the wheel or misjudge obstacles and hazards. They may also freeze up, panic, or react poorly to sudden shifts in traffic. Fatigue is a common truck accident cause, but there are rules in place to prevent it. The Federal Hours of Service Rules place restrictions on how many hours truck drivers can work each day, and how much sleep they have to obtain when driving. If the driver in your accident fell asleep, it’s likely that your semi truck accident attorney will try to determine if the hours of service rules were violated.
Collect evidence for any of these errors and present it to your car accident attorney or truck accident lawyer. Your truck accident lawyer will do everything they can to get you the settlement you deserve.
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