Studies suggest that the majority of truck accidents are caused by a small percentage of commercial vehicle drivers.
High-risk drivers are those who have a propensity to:
- Act aggressively while operating the truck
- Are impatient or impulsive
- Be easily distracted or lack focus
The truck driver lost control and caused an accident. What can I do?
Abuse of Alcohol and Controlled Substances: Alcohol and drugs impair your ability to drive. It is even more pronounced when driving a big-rig 18 wheeler truck.
Even after a few drinks, drivers can cause accidents with their inability to respond to difficult driving situations or emergencies. Add to this the fact that a big rig is much more difficult to control in the first place and the results can be serious.
Truck drivers who have had more than 4 drinks or are high on drugs can cause accidents because they are unable to control their truck and stop safely. A driver in this condition can easily rear-end another truck or car and cause serious injury.
Because concentration is impacted by the alcohol or drugs, truck drivers can cause accidents by making unsafe lane changes, following too closely or even hitting pedestrians at truck stops at night when its dark.
They may also misjudge their speed, take a corner too fast and drift into oncoming traffic causing head-on collisions with other drivers.
For many reasons, it is a bad idea to drink or take drugs and then drive your big rig.
Poor Maintenance and Inspection Practices: Even though semis are subject to rigorous inspection and maintenance regulations, truck accidents still occur because 18-wheelers are not properly inspected or maintained.
Truck accident studies by the FMCSA have shown that up to one-third of the tractor-trailers involved in accidents had out-of-service violations, which means the trucks should not have been on the road just prior to the accident.
Some examples of these violations which cause accidents include:
- Brake system problems such as inoperative or defective brakes, out of adjustment clamp or roto-type brakes, brake hose or tubing damage
- Tires with tread depth less than 2/32 of an inch or with tread or sidewall separation
- Steering column with loose bolts or positioning parts, steering wheel not properly secured
- Suspension with cracked, broken, loose or missing bolts, spring hangers, and other positioning parts
Texting and Distracted Driving: Just car drivers, truckers can be distracted while they drive semis on highways. It is arguably a bigger problem with 18-wheelers because companies require them to stay in contact with dispatchers in their operations department.
Studies have found that being involved in a truck crash or near-crash, increases 23 times for bus and truck drivers who text while driving.
Texting while driving is banned in 39 states, and in October 2010 the FMCSA introduced a regulation that bans texting while driving for all drivers of commercial motor vehicles which includes semis, tractor-trailers, and 18 wheelers.
Other activities found to distract truck drivers and increase the risk of a truck wreck are:
- Dialing a cell phone while driving the truck
- Using a calculator in their lap while rolling down the highway in trucks
- Looking at a map on a phone or with a paper map in the truck
- Making notes on a pad or notebook
- Difficult tasks like cleaning side truck mirrors
How Do You Prove Fault In an Investigation?
In any truck or 18 wheeler accident, a proper investigation is critical to determine responsibility. Insurance companies investigate immediately after a truck accident. Our lawyers have extensive experience handling truck accident cases of all types.
To determine the cause of a truck accident we investigate safety inspection reports, security of the load, maintenance logs, GPS logs, and state and federal certifications to determine what responsibility the truck driver holds.
We also examine skid marks, gather witness testimony, and examine driving conditions and other critical accident scene evidence.
Sometimes, individuals other than the driver can be held liable for an accident if they are guilty of negligent entrustment.
The trucking companies have their team of professionals — you need yours!
Attorney Michael P. Fleming has been selected for inclusion in Texas Super Lawyers list every year since 2007. He is also one of the very few lawyers in the entire country to have had the privilege of arguing and winning a case before the Supreme Court of the United States.
What will our attorneys do for you?
We will listen.
Contact our law firm and we will listen carefully to your memories of the accident. We will also listen to how the truck accident injuries have affected you and what losses you have suffered — physical injuries, pain and suffering, lost wages, and property damage.
We will investigate.
Trucking companies are held to high standards of safety. We will examine records to determine if those standards have been met. We will check maintenance logs, driver logs, safety inspections, GPS records, state and federal certifications, and truck accident reports. We also examine skid marks, witness testimony, driving conditions and other critical accident scene evidence.
We will handle all insurance claims for you.
The insurance company and trucking company will have lawyers on their side. You need an 18 wheeler wreck attorney prepared to prove fault. Insurance companies take our law firm seriously knowing we will take personal injury cases to trial.