Sharing the road with larger vehicles puts passenger vehicles at risk. When commercial trucks and passenger vehicles collide, the people in the smaller vehicles almost always suffer injuries worse than the commercial drivers. The discrepancy in size and weight is what leads to the imbalance of risk in these collisions.
Although some commercial truck accidents are the result of poor driving practices, such as driving in blind spots or cutting off a commercial truck, many are the result of poor decisions on the part of a truck driver. In these situations, victims from the crash may have the right to seek compensation from a truck driver or their employer.
Truck driving often requires long hours
Commercial truck drivers keep the American economy moving. They transport raw goods, merchandise, produce and other materials across the country quickly and affordably. Many times, truck drivers are subject to strict turnaround times on deliveries. Failure to meet the deadline could mean losing out on extra pay or disciplinary action by an employer.
That may incentivize a truck driver to continue driving well past the point when it is safe. Exhaustion can impact anyone, including those in control of massive commercial trucks. A tired driver has slower response times and more difficulty focusing on the road.
When you combine depleted driving capabilities with control of a vehicle that takes longer to stop and turns awkwardly, you have a recipe for danger on the road. That’s part of the reason why truckers must now use electronic logs, which they cannot adjust or change on their own.
Truck driving can also be very isolating
Unlike many other jobs, trucking is incredibly solitary. You don’t really have anyone to talk to or engage with during your day. Your shift could last as long as 14 hours. That is a long time to go without human interaction. The isolation and loneliness that come with a trucking job can leave professionals in a position where they consider doing dangerous things, such as texting while on the road.
Distraction behind the wheel is dangerous for anyone. It is especially dangerous for commercial truck drivers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has rules in place that prohibit texting or other manual interaction with a mobile device while driving. The rule applies to texting, emailing and surfing the web, as well as dialing a phone manually. However, many truckers still engage in these dangerous behaviors while on the job.
The kinds of injuries that are common with commercial truck crashes can be catastrophic and debilitating. There are also lost wages and property damage to consider. If you or a loved one has experienced a commercial truck crash, you might want to look into your options for seeking compensation. While the money can’t undo the damage, it can offset costs such as medical expenses after the crash.