Unsafe Trucking Practices

Unsafe Trucking Practices

Jun 08

Everybody on the road should make the effort of avoiding traffic accidents, and each person can do this by following traffic rules and avoiding reckless behaviors. But it can be argued that trucking companies and truck drivers should exert greater effort than everybody else, because trucks are more dangerous when they are involved in an accident compared to other vehicles such as sedans.

Also, according to the website of these Houston truck accident lawyers, those who have been hurt because of the negligence of truckers may have legal options. So, these trucking companies and drivers are not just dealing with hospitals and insurances, because they may also be dealing with courts. Below are some of the most common trucking practices that can be considered negligence and may be grounds for legal action.

Negligent Hiring

Trucking companies should be strict in their hiring process. They should hire only those who have the proper driving licenses and prefer those who do not have multiple driving violations under their names, such as drunk driving.

Failing to do so may result into driving errors that reasonable professionals will not commit and reckless driving behaviors that may cause accidents such as DUI.

Abusive Working Hours and Quotas

Trucking companies also have the tendency to maximize productivity for maximum profit. But these are sometimes done in dangerous ways, such as giving truck drivers unreasonable quotas. These drivers will have no choice but to reach them, so they may rely on tactics that can potentially cause a truck accident, such as driving while fatigued.

Poor Truck Maintenance

Maintaining trucks is important, because it ensures that the vehicles do not have defects and have less tendencies to malfunction. Defects are underrated causes of accidents, even though they can be extremely dangerous, especially those that involve brake systems, tires, and trailers.

Overloading

The website of Williams Kherkher lists several negligent acts wherein truckers can be held liable, and an overloaded trailer is on the list. The federal government has regulations regarding cargo limits, so breaking that limit can be considered an act of negligence. Overloading can make the truck harder to control, not to mention the excessive weight’s effect on the tires.

“No-zone” Accidents Can be Avoided through Mere Acts of Prudence

“No-zone” Accidents Can be Avoided through Mere Acts of Prudence

Mar 09

It can be an emotional and a mental torture for people whose family member, close friend or special someone gets involved in an accident through no fault of their own. The pain will be much harder to bear if the at fault driver were driving a truck, the size of which is enough to crash a victim’s vehicle, cause very severe injuries or worse, death.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which is tasked to improve safety in the operation of trucks and commercial motor vehicles, make sure that, before earning a commercial driver’s license, applicant drivers will first need to go through a set of requirements which they will have to strictly undergo. Some of these requirements are a special training, a written or knowledge test, and a series of skills tests, all of which are to prepare applicant drivers to be up to whatever challenging tasks their driving duties will require of them, including very long driving hours with very short rest periods.

A truck, also called an 18-wheeler or a big rig, is involved in as many as half a million accidents every year, according to the NHTSA. These accidents cause injuries to more than a hundred thousand individuals (drivers of smaller vehicles, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians) and kill more than four thousand others. One of major causes of these accidents is smaller vehicles driving along any of a truck’s identified “no zone” areas.

“No zones” are truck drivers’ blind spots. These are the areas or spots around a truck where crashes are most likely to occur. There are four blind spots identified around trucks:

  • Front: For whatever reason, some drivers (of smaller vehicles) have the very bad habit of cutting in front of a truck and then immediately slowing down after passing it. This is one very dangerous move which invites nothing less than a tragic accident that can result to severe injuries or death. If drivers think that a truck can immediately slow down or stop, they’ll be surprised to know that this is a wrong, deadly thought.
  • Rear: The length and width of a truck will render its driver to fail to notice smaller vehicles tailgating it. Besides not being able to see any danger ahead, a driver of a smaller vehicle may also have nowhere else to go but under the truck (crushing his/her vehicle) if the truck suddenly tries to slow down.
  • Sides: Two other areas that drivers of smaller vehicles should totally avoid are the sides of trucks, especially the right or the passenger side, where truck drivers can totally fail to notice smaller vehicles. If a truck driver needs to change lane or swerve to the right, this can only mean very big trouble for the smaller vehicle.

While majority of “no zone” truck accidents are said to be the fault of drivers of smaller vehicles, this does not take away the responsibility of truck drivers to double check their blind spots, considering the damage their vehicles can cause in case of an accident. Moreover, because they are driving a much larger vehicle, they should display more patience and consideration towards smaller vehicles.

According to the Abel Law Firm, the hard work that truck drivers perform and the contribution they give in the growth of the nation’s economy should merit the understanding of everyone; however, these can never excuse them from liability for accidents they could have easily avoided through mere application of prudence. Though they may never want anyone to get hurt, in the event of an accident, they may have to be answerable for their act of negligence.