Were You Hurt by a Dangerous Truck Driver?
Texas leads nation in truck accident fatalities. In a recent year, there 649 commercial motor vehicle fatalities in Texas. hat’s 272 more deaths than the second leading state.
A fully loaded big rig weighs about 80,000 pounds. When a truck crashes into a regular passenger vehicle, the accident is a lot more likely to kill or injure the people traveling in the car than the truck driver.
Truck drivers must use safe driving habits at all times. It’s also important for trucking companies to seek out experienced truckers with good driving records and never pressure their drivers to log too many hours or drive when road conditions are unsafe.
Distracted Trucker Drivers
With the dramatic rise of cell phones, distracted driving has become a growing concern. When a trucker takes their eyes of the road even for a few seconds, it can have tragic consequences for other drivers.
Professional truck drivers must be held to a high standard to protect the safety of everyone on the road, including pedestrians, cyclists, motorcycle riders, and automobile drivers and their passengers. Factors that contribute to truck driver distraction include:
- Texting. Truck drivers should never text when they’re on the road, and motor carriers that encourage their drivers to send text messages are subject to fines of up to $11,000 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
- Handheld phon Federal law prohibits truckers from using a cell phone unless it’s a hands-free device.
- GPS. Checking your location on a GPS map can cause you to look down at your phone for several seconds.
- Eating, talking, and adjusting the radio are activities that may cause a driver to lose awareness of the road long enough to cause an accident.
- Reaching for an A truck cabin is pretty large, and trying to grab an object on the floor or in the passenger seat isn’t worth the risk.
Trucking companies, mangers, and other employees are all responsible for maintaining safe cargo, but it’s ultimately up to the driver to make sure the load is safe before the trip begins. Improper loading creates several safety issues that may result in an accident that could cost an innocent person their life. There are three types of unsafe loads:
Unbalanced loads. The tires, axel housings, frame, and suspension are all put under pressure when a trailer is poorly loaded. If too much weight is distributed in the front of the truck, it makes the brakes too sensitive, and this could cause the trailer to swing to one side. If too much weight is distributed to the back of the trailer, it can reduce the weight on front tires, making the truck more difficult to handle. If too much weight is distributed on either side of the truck, it can lead to a rollovers when the truck makes a tight turn.
Overloaded trucks. When a truck is too heavy, it increases the driver’s stopping distance and puts increased pressure on the brakes, tires, and suspension. This reduces maneuverability and causes the truck to go too fast when traveling down an incline. All of these factors make it more likely for a dangerous accident to occur.
An unsecured load may move around in the trailer, affecting the truck’s center of gravity and making it more difficult to maneuver. There’s also the possibility that an unsecured load will
fall off truck, causing an accident by forcing drivers to swerve out of the way.
Dangerous Lane Changes
A blind spot is an area immediately surrounding a vehicle where the driver cannot see you. Trucks have large blind spots on all four sides. The blind spot on a truck’s passenger side extends for several lanes. That’s why truck drivers must be extremely cautious when changing lanes.
Truck drivers must make sure that all their mirrors are clean as part of their pre-trip inspection. They should maintain a six second following distance behind other vehicles and begin to signal 10 seconds before initiating a lane change.
Learning how to brake properly is an essential part of being a safe truck driver. Intermittent application of brakes is necessary to ensure even energy distribution. Truck drivers must apply brakes gradually to avoid causing skidding, rollovers, or a jackknife accident.
Truck drivers must be careful not to use their brakes too much when driving down an extended incline. Instead, they should downshift into a lower gear. If truck drivers don’t downshift properly, their brakes can go out, resulting in a runaway truck.
It’s essential for truck drivers to reduce their speed before heading into a curve. When there is a hazard in the road, truck drivers should steer around it instead of braking suddenly. And they should not hit the brakes too quickly while turning because this can cause the wheels to lock up and skid.
We Specialize in Severe Injuries
At The Lenahan Law Firm, our Dallas truck accident attorneys have recovered millions of dollars in settlements for our clients. We can help you get the money you need to cover your medical expenses if you have been in a catastrophic accident caused by another person’s negligence.
We only handle a limited number of severe injury cases, and we give each client our total attention. The Lenahan Law Firm has the resources to take on big insurance companies and win. Call (214) 295-1008 to learn more today.