Truck accidents can cause devastating, permanent injuries to accident victims. Heavy cargo loads mean that commercial trucks have significant momentum with which to cause damage in a collision. This also means that truck drivers have a higher duty of care to which they must adhere in order to avoid being found negligent in causing a collision.
Columbus truck accidents can cause significant property damage, serious injuries, and death. With proper safe driving habits, truck drivers can avoid both these unpleasant consequences and being found liable for causing an accident.
Tips for Commercial Driver Safety
Safe driving starts before one ever sets foot in a vehicle. It is important to perform regular maintenance and thoroughly inspect a vehicle before it goes out on the road. Check tires for worn treads, under inflation, and debris that could puncture the tire or otherwise compromise its integrity. Ensure that mirrors are both clear and angled properly to minimize blind spots as much as possible. Truck drivers, having much larger blind spots than passenger vehicle drivers, must rely almost solely upon their mirrors to avoid side collisions. Check safety equipment such as the horn, headlights, and seat belts. Brakes, too, should be regularly inspected and maintained.
Next, be sure to avoid distractions in the passenger cab of the rig. Smartphones, entertainment and navigation systems, and other electronic devices have presented more temptations than ever for drivers to divert their attention from the road. This is even more dangerous for truck drivers than for drivers of passenger vehicles. This is because trucks - being larger and heavier - require a greater stopping distance to avoid collisions. Truck drivers thus need even more warning of obstructions in the roadway in order to safely stop in time. Stopping distance is extended even further when rain, sleet, ice or snow create slippery conditions on the roadway surface.
Third, be sure to take regular rest breaks. Federal regulations issued by the Department of Transportation limit the number of hours a commercial driver may travel in various set periods of time. These are known as “hours of service” requirements. In general, drivers carrying property may not drive more than 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty. Drivers are also prohibited from more than 60 hours in seven consecutive days, or 70 hours in eight consecutive days. The consecutive day period may be restarted after taking 34 consecutive hours off duty.
Truck Accidents Affect Cleveland Families
Not all truck accidents happen on the roadway. One Cleveland man was injured, but left in stable condition, after a semi truck crashed into his home and pinned him under the big rig. NBC 4i reports that the truck driver was cited for failing to control his vehicle to avoid a collision and for exceeding federal hours of service limits. The victim was lucky. Many truck accident victims suffer far more serious injuries, which can affect them for years after an accident occurs.
Our truck accident attorneys have seen the devastating and lifelong impact a truck accident can have on an injury victim’s life.