We often hear about the horrors of negligent truck drivers in the news. One recent truck crash on Interstate 70 in Belmont County caused a chain reaction of crashes that left one person dead, according to WTRF.
Another Ohio truck driver received an out of service order from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) after causing a "string of multiple crashes coupled with multiple drug violations," according to CDL Life.
Incidents like these only reinforce the fears passenger car drivers have around large trucks. These massive vehicles not only require an adequate amount of training and experience to operate, but those who operate them must act responsibly.
Drivers witness the negligence first-hand
According to a recent survey conducted by the FMCSA, this is unfortunately not the case with many truck drivers. The study was commissioned by Verizon Connect and Wakefield Research and polled more than 1,000 adult drivers in the United States.
More than half of the study's participants said they have seen crashes involving large trucks. More than 80 percent reported seeing truck drivers engage in behavior that puts others at risk, including:
- Speeding — witnessed by 69% of the study's respondents
- Making abrupt lane changes — witnessed by 55%
- Erratic and reckless driving — witnessed by 46%
- Turning too quickly — witnessed by 37%
As a result, more than 80 percent of study participants believed that they practice safer driving habits than truck drivers.
What are leading factors in negligent truck driving?
Distracted driving, drowsiness, and impaired driving are often factors in negligent or erratic driving that leads to truck crashes.
Truck drivers often disobey the posted speed limit or drive erratically when they are under stress or trying to make as many deliveries as possible. Since large commercial trucks can weigh as much as 80,000 lbs., it can take about 200 yards for a big rig to come to a complete stop when traveling at 65 mph — the length of about two football fields.
What can drivers do to stay safe?
If you notice a truck driver behaving erratically, it's best to keep a safe distance. Truck crashes, however, can happen without warning and the actions of truck drivers can be unpredictable. Drivers can better protect themselves by using these tips offered by the FMCSA:
- Be careful when passing trucks: Anytime you pass a large truck, or a truck passes you, you are likely in a blind spot.
- Expect wide turns at intersections: When approaching an intersection, be aware of trucks making wide turns. In some cases, trucks may use the middle lane to turn or require more than one lane.
Watch the FMCSA video below on blind spot safety:
If you were injured in a truck crash, or lost a loved one, it's important that you consult with a highly-skilled legal advocate who can help you pursue a strong legal claim. Smith Law Office is dedicated to holding negligent truck drivers, and the companies that employ them, accountable.
With more than 40 years of combined legal experience, we can aggressively investigate your truck accident. We can fight to maximize your compensation. You shouldn't have to pay for your own recovery out of your own pocket. To learn more, contact us online and schedule your free case evaluation.