Mistakes by commercial truck drivers can endanger others

| Oct 18, 2018 | Injuries |

When people make mistakes at the wheel, they often increase their personal risk of a crash as a result. They may also create more risk for other people on the roads. People who did nothing wrong and who were driving safely may find themselves suffering severe injuries and dealing with significant property damage as the result of someone else’s mistake.

When it comes to commercial drivers, their mistakes very rarely create as much risk for them as it does for other people on the road. The massive size discrepancy between commercial trucks and the average passenger vehicle effectively ensures that a mistake by a truck driver will have greater consequences for anyone in a smaller vehicle that it collides with.

In fact, statistics indicate that the people in the smaller vehicle are the ones who die in a collision between commercial trucks and passenger vehicles 97 percent of the time. Anyone who winds up hurt or who loses a loved one as a result of a truck driving accident should press for a thorough investigation to determine whether the truck driver involved was responsible for the crash.

Commercial trucks drive much differently than passenger vehicles

One of the many concerns related to commercial vehicles is the fact that they handle much differently than the passenger vehicles they share the road with. In general, they take much longer to speed up or slow down. Their large size means that they develop quite a lot of momentum while traveling and take longer to reach appropriate speeds while accelerating.

They also have large blind spots, which make it difficult for the truck driver to determine if there is anyone in close proximity to their vehicle. In addition, they make very wide turns, especially when they turn right. This has to do with the way of the cab of the truck connect to the trailer.

To offset the potential risks involved with managing such a large vehicle, commercial drivers must have additional education and schooling. They also get held to a higher standard when it comes to driving performance then people in passenger vehicles.

Federal policies regulate everything from breaks to texting

Reducing collisions between commercial vehicles and passenger vehicles is important but difficult. In order to facilitate safer roadways, there are special rules in place for the people who drive commercial vehicles. Specifically, they typically have stricter standards when it comes to measuring impairment via blood alcohol concentration.

In fact, commercial truckers often end up considered impaired at half the amount of alcohol in their bloodstream when compared other drivers for an impaired driving charge. Because of long hours and the potential for exhaustion, there are federal rules and placed limiting how long truck driver can operate on any given day, as well as within a week. There are also rules aimed at preventing truck drivers from texting at the wheel.

Unfortunately, despite these rules, commercial drivers still choose to get behind the wheel drunk, send text messages or get on websites and drive beyond the point of exhaustion. In any of those situations, victims of a crash caused by that driver likely have the right to seek compensation from the truck driver and potentially their employer.