Examples of Negligence in Trucking Accidents
Truck Driver Liability
A truck driver can be found negligent if he or she drives too fast, recklessly, under the influence of alcohol or fails to obey any number of safety regulations. Federal law limits how many hours a driver can drive and requires that all drivers maintain certain records. Failing to do so can amount to liability.
Trucking Company Liability
The trucking companies that employ drivers are responsible for properly training drivers, conducting background checks to eliminate at-risk drivers, ensuring drivers are not exhausted from driving too many hours and for conducting alcohol and drug tests. The company must also keep trucks in good working order and abide by numerous federal regulations.
Companies that manufacture trucks have a responsibility to the public to make tractor-trailers that are free of defective parts. This includes everything from the motor to the brakes to the restraints that hold the cargo. A mechanical failure on a highway can have horrific consequences.
Truck accident negligence could be established if any of these parties is found to have failed to meet these basic standards, however, negligence in trucking accidents can come in many more forms.
Truck Driver Negligence
Of the parties that can be found liable in semi truck accidents, negligence most commonly falls on the truck driver. One mistake or bad decision by a truck driver can turn a 40-ton truck into an out-of-control battering ram careening down the highway.
Some of the most common examples of truck driver negligence our office sees:
- Alcohol and substances abuse
- Dangerous lane changes
- Distracted driving
- Driving unsafely for given weather conditions
- Extreme or unsafe turns
- Failing to inspect vehicles
- Failing to see blind spots
- Falsifying driver logs to exceed maximum hours allowable on the road
- Following too closely or tailgating
- Improperly securing cargo
Defective, Faulty and Malfunctioning Truck Parts
Trucking companies must ensure their trucks are always safe to drive. They must conduct routine maintenance and inspections to make sure their drivers and everyone else on the road is not put in danger.
If left unmaintained, parts critical to a truck’s safety can become faulty. Because trucks are so massive, one faulty part can lead to a devastating trucking accident. Brake systems can malfunction. Taillights, signal lights or brake lights can break. Warning devices intended to signal dangerous situations to drivers can falter.
These are examples of truck accident negligence. When these safety hazards cause a truck crash, trucking companies can and should be held responsible for the damages they cause.