Driver error causes more truck accidents than any other single cause. Often disregarding key safety rules, unsafe truck drivers commit traffic violations that leave innocent victims dead, injured or otherwise harmed. A detailed study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration illustrates the overwhelming evidence pointing to driver error as a leading cause of large truck accidents.
5 Examples of Driver Error in Truck Accidents
As a truck accident lawyer, I am very familiar with the most common types of driver error that causes truck accidents. Some of the more common errors made by truck drivers are a result of either not being properly trained on the Federal Motor Safety Carrier Administration regulations that determine the standards by which these drivers must meet to travel safely on the roadways;
- Driving while impaired by alcohol, illegal drugs or prescription medication;
- Driving while sleep deprived: truck drivers can work a maximum of 14 hours per day during which they can only drive a maximum of 11 hours. The driver must be off duty for 10 consecutive hours prior to the start of the shift. The driver also cannot drive after being on duty for 70 hours and 8 consecutive days;
- Driving too fast for conditions: the Federal Motor Safety Carrier regulations require truck drivers to take great precaution in keeping proper distances and speeds due to the inherent challenges of stopping a 65,000 lbs. semi-truck tractor;
- Failing to brake properly; or
- Improperly loading the cargo, causing it to shift during transport, forcing the truck out of control.
Failure to Train Truck Drivers
Errors by truck drivers can often be traced back to a trucking company’s failure to adequately train their drivers and staff. According to the federal safety rules and regulations, trucking companies are required not only to ensure that their drivers are thoroughly trained in accordance with the federal standards, but also to monitor their drivers so as to make sure their drivers are following the safety rules.
In almost twenty years of practicing law, I have seen so many truck companies shirk their legal duties when it comes to training and monitoring performance for their drivers.