Truck Accident Lawyer
A trucking accident probably lingers long in the memories of those who either survive it or witness it. Due to their indelibility and often serious effects, it may seem that they occur more often than they actually do. In fact, truck accidents are among the least common motor vehicle collision to occur on the roadways, which speaks to the competence of the drivers, the quality of training they receive and the effectiveness of the regulations that govern them.
However, no matter how competent a driver may be at baseline, it is possible for them to become impaired or distracted, and that is when accidents are more likely to occur.
Qualities of Competent Truck Drivers
When hiring people to drive for them, trucking companies look for candidates with the following relevant qualities:
- Stress management skills
- Impeccable driving record
- Sense of responsibility
These people are likely to be able not only to withstand the rigors of the job but to comply with the regulations that are in place for everyone’s safety.
Requirements for Training and Licensing
In some respects, the requirements for obtaining a commercial driver’s license are similar to those for obtaining a personal one. You have to pass a test in order to obtain a CDL, and you get one license issued by your home state that is valid wherever you travel.
However, before taking the CDL test, drivers must undergo a rigorous training program related to operating a huge machine like a semi-truck. There are also additional requirements for extra training in special circumstances like hauling hazardous materials.
Causes of Impairment
However, even the most competent truck driver can become impaired under certain circumstances.
- Driver Fatigue
This is one of the most common and well-known causes of trucking accidents. The federal government has taken steps to regulate driver activity in the interest of preventing fatigue, but a driver may sometimes feel tempted or pressured to circumvent them.
- Substance Use
It is not unheard of for truck drivers to try to extend their waking/working hours with stimulants or other drugs, though it is unclear how prevalent this practice is today. In any case, it is not safe for anyone to take alcohol or drugs, even prescriptions, before getting behind the wheel.
Driving distractions can involve cell phone use, fiddling with the radio or climate controls, eating, grooming, or a host of other activities that take one’s mind off one’s driving. An extreme case occurred recently in which a truck driver had his smartphone propped up on the dashboard to watch a football game and then collided with another vehicle.
Even competent truck drivers can make mistakes. Unfortunately, these sometimes result in accidents and injuries. Contact a law firm for information about how a truck accident lawyer may be able to help your case.