Being the victim of someone else’s negligence is never a positive thing, but when it results in a truck driver accident, it can have unimaginable consequences. Truck drivers are often on the road for many hours and drive over long distances. They may become tired, distracted, and engaged in other actions such as eating or drinking. Some even use drugs while behind the wheel.
Whether the accident involves a big rig, a semi, or a tractor-trailer, negligent driver truck accidents can result in anything, from terrible injuries to wrongful deaths.
How is negligence present in a truck driver accident in Austin?
All drivers have a duty and responsibility to behave a certain way when on the road. Specifically, anyone who drives a vehicle needs to be sure not to act negligently towards the other drivers and pedestrians around them. All drivers must be careful to ensure the safety of those with whom they share the road.
And when it comes to those that are driving a vehicle that is of above-average size and weight, the care that must be taken is even greater since that vehicle could cause much more damage to both people and property.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has put a higher burden on anyone driving a truck. Higher even than those imposed by state or federal laws. In the case of an accident involving a truck, the higher standard always applies. That’s why anybody who drives a truck must do so very carefully, especially when maneuvering large vehicles through roads that are filled with traffic, through interstates, and when driving across counties and states.
Common Examples of Truck-Driver Negligence
The reasons may be as different and as numerous as the number of trucks on the road. Here are some examples of truck driver negligence:
- Exceeding weight limits
- Driving extremely fast
- Driving faster than road or weather conditions allow for
- Following too closely vehicles in front of them
- Driving an excessive number of hours and becoming fatigued
- Driving trucks that failed to be inspected, repaired, or maintained
- Not securing their loads in violation of federal and state motor carrier safety regulations
- Driving while impaired or intoxicated
- Not following hours-of-service rules
Truck Drivers’ Responsibilities
By trade, truck drivers are some of the most skilled and better-trained motorists on the road. Their jobs call for them to move and maneuver vehicles that most drivers would find impossible to drive, much less drive safely.
An important part of a truck driver’s job is to exercise extreme caution when sitting behind the wheel, always avoiding acting in a manner that becomes dangerous to others on the road. Not behaving in this manner can result in them being held responsible for injuries caused by their actions.
There must be, however, a balancing act between logging a certain number of daily hours on the road in order to receive compensation (which is based precisely on the total number of miles driven plus their ability to deliver the goods they are transporting on time) and driving responsibly.
Can trucking companies also be held liable for a driver’s actions?
Yes, they can. That is why trucking companies must take the time to train their drivers, making sure they are familiar with all applicable federal and state laws. Anyone getting behind the wheel of a truck must learn about the laws that apply to them and to the vehicles they will be driving. Not being aware of the law will not excuse a driver from breaking it. These actions include driving extra hours and falsely reporting on their logbooks the hours driven.
Have you been involved in an accident with a truck?
Did you suffer injuries? Did your loved ones lose their lives? Was your car damaged? You should be aware that accidents that involve trucks can be quite complicated. They need to be fully analyzed by an experienced injury lawyer.
How can an experienced accident attorney help you?
Your Austin injury attorney will help you search for, gather, and preserve evidence. This may include the truck driver’s logbook. Your attorney will also call accident reconstruction experts that will help recreate what happened and explain the reasons behind what happened. They will also help determine who may be responsible for the accident.
If you have been involved in a trucking accident, reach out to your Austin injury attorney to get the damages you deserve. Give us a call today and get started.