People never know when they might encounter someone who employs very unsafe practices at the wheel. Although most people might imagine that professional drivers are less likely to engage in negligent behavior than those who operate passenger vehicles, this isn’t necessarily true.
In fact, when looking at an analysis of the most common causes of commercial vehicle collisions in the United States, negligence on the part of the commercial driver is one of the top-reported reasons why such crashes occur.
How can negligence cause a semi-truck crash?
Negligence takes many forms and involves deviating from what reasonable people believe would be necessary for safety in a situation. Commercial vehicles take longer to stop and are harder to maneuver, so drivers generally have to be much more attentive and careful when in control of a semi-truck.
Despite the fatigue that may come from hours on the road, drivers should not give in to the temptations of distraction, whether they want to drink and eat at the wheel or talk to family members on the phone. Many kinds of negligence can contribute to the crashes caused by commercial trucks.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 38% of crashes caused by 18-wheelers and other commercial vehicles are the result of bad decisions on the part of the commercial driver. Driving too fast for weather conditions or following other vehicles too closely could be forms of negligence.
The second most common contributing factor to commercial crashes is failure to recognize and respond in time, which causes another 28% of these wrecks. This category often involves distraction, which is another form of negligence. Medical negligence can also be a consideration, as fatigue or failure to take care of someone’s health might lead to them losing control of the vehicle. There are even crashes caused by poor vehicle maintenance, which is a form of negligence too.
What are the rights of those affected?
State law protects the rights of individuals harmed by others. Either a lawsuit or an insurance claim could be possible after a crash caused by a semi-truck. Those negatively affected by the negligence of others may need to go to court or brace for intense negotiations with an insurance company if they hope to secure appropriate compensation given the consequences of the collision.
Many people who are struggling with the aftermath of a commercial crash require the support of a legal professional to obtain the best possible outcome. Better understanding common causes of commercial vehicle crashes can help people who have been affected by a wreck – and their attorneys – demand justice from the appropriate party or parties.