Trucking accidents are becoming increasingly common, and they can cause catastrophic injuries or fatalities to those involved. These accidents often involve large, heavy commercial vehicles such as 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers, and other big rigs. When a trucking company or its employees act negligently, the chances of an accident increase significantly. Negligent trucking companies can cause truck accidents in several ways, from inadequate hiring and training practices to failing to follow trucking regulations. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most common ways that negligent trucking companies can cause accidents.
Truck Accident Statistics
Before we dive into the causes of truck accidents, let’s take a look at some statistics. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), in 2019, there were 4,119 fatal crashes involving large trucks and buses in the United States. Of those crashes, 67% occurred on rural roads, and 79% occurred on weekdays. Additionally, 20% of the large truck drivers involved in fatal crashes had at least one prior speeding conviction.
Negligent Hiring and Training
One of the most significant ways that negligent trucking companies can cause accidents is through their hiring and training practices. Trucking companies have a responsibility to ensure that their drivers are qualified and trained to operate the vehicles they’re driving safely. However, some companies may cut corners or ignore requirements in their hiring and training practices, putting unqualified and poorly trained drivers behind the wheel.
Trucking companies should conduct thorough background checks on potential hires, including criminal history, drug and alcohol use, and driving record. They should also ensure that drivers have the necessary qualifications, such as a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and specialized training to operate specific types of vehicles. When a trucking company fails to conduct proper background checks or provide adequate training, they are putting other drivers on the road at risk.
Trucking companies often put pressure on their drivers to make as many deliveries as possible in the shortest amount of time. This pressure can lead to drivers being overscheduled and not getting enough rest, which can result in fatigue and a higher likelihood of accidents. When drivers are fatigued, their reaction time slows, and they may make poor decisions on the road. This can lead to devastating accidents.
The FMCSA has established regulations that govern the trucking industry to ensure the safety of everyone on the road. These regulations include requirements for driver hours of service, vehicle maintenance, and cargo securement. When trucking companies fail to follow these regulations, they put everyone on the road at risk.
For example, the hours of service regulations limit the number of hours a driver can be on duty before taking a break. This regulation is in place to prevent fatigue-related accidents. If a trucking company encourages or requires its drivers to violate these regulations, they are putting other drivers on the road at risk.
Trucking companies are required to conduct drug and alcohol testing on their drivers. If a driver tests positive, they should be removed from driving duties until they have completed a substance abuse program and are deemed fit to drive. When a trucking company fails to drug test its drivers or ignores positive test results, they are putting other drivers on the road at risk.
Compensation for Truck Accident Injuries
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident caused by a negligent trucking company, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Compensation can include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, pursuing a claim against a trucking company can be complicated and challenging.
It’s essential to work with an experienced truck accident attorney who understands the complexities of these types of cases. They can investigate the accident, gather evidence, and negotiate with the trucking companies.
Contact Swor & Gatto To Speak With A Truck Accident Lawyer
We invite you to schedule a free consultation to learn how the St. Paul lawyers at Swor & Gatto can help you after an injury resulting from another’s negligence. Contact us at 651-454-3600 or complete our intake form today. If you cannot come to us, we will visit you at home or in the hospital.