Accidents Happen: The Truth About Trucks on the Road
Commercial trucks present distinctive challenges on the road. In addition to the fact that truck drivers must be uniquely qualified to move cargo between cities or states, they must also be licensed to control thousands of pounds of truck on a road system populated with smaller vehicles. Driving commercial trucks is not for the faint of heart.
WHEN THE TRUCK DRIVER IS LIABLE
Understanding the rules of the road is only a small piece of the liability puzzle. Especially because of the size and weight of a commercial truck, truck drivers must take extra precaution at all times. If drivers are placed on the road with little to no training, accidents are sure to happen. If drivers with bad driving records are put on the road despite their history, disasters are inevitable. If drivers are pushed to meet strict deadlines or drive when they are tired, accidents are likely.
Consider the damage that can be done if the driver of a car is tired, ill-trained, irritated or running late. Now put that same driver in a commercial truck, and the damage can be enormous.
WHEN THE TRUCK DRIVER IS NOT LIABLE
It is important to note that truck drivers are not all at fault, nor are they always at fault when accidents happen. Though it is easy to pile on the truck driver because of the size of the truck, trucks aren’t always to blame.
Many commercial trucks have warnings printed in large black letters where drivers on the road can read them. These warnings remind drivers that trucks stop more slowly or make wider turns than other vehicles. Yet all too often, drivers of cars do not take these reminders seriously and brake quickly in front of a truck or try to turn simultaneously in the adjoining lane. In these instances, the truck driver would likely not be held responsible for the accident. Additionally, driving in a truck driver’s blind spot is an accident waiting to happen. Truck drivers can’t be held responsible for what they cannot see.
While most trucking companies take safety seriously and do all they can to promote good workplace practices, it is no secret that truck accidents are a fairly common occurrence. Sometimes these accidents are out of the truck driver’s control. At other times, the truck driver violated clear protocol and should be held responsible.
Understanding the difference is vastly important.