The size and weight of commercial trucks make them a big hazard to majority of other vehicles. Commercial trucks take more time to stop. After a crash, the load of the trucker may spill, creating another problem for others on the road and potentially exposing people to hazardous chemicals. The commercial truck industry is a regulated industry, but drivers flout a lot of those regulations in an effort to shorten their travel.
A vast majority of fatal accidents involving trucks also involve passenger vehicles. The company that the commercial trucker works for may be responsible for providing compensation for injuries resulting from the negligent behavior of the driver either as the employer or as the truck owner.
According to federal law, the driver of a commercial vehicle can drive for only a certain number of hours every day. There are also regulations on the number of hours the driver should sleep each night. Drivers are supposed to continuously log the number of hours they spend driving, the number of miles they drive, driving start times as well as stop times, and the number of hours they sleep. Despite these regulations, as a matter of routine drivers make false entries, log information days after, and ignore regulations. A driver who has become tired may also feel the temptation of using stimulants for staying awake and alert.
According to federal regulation, the driver of a commercial truck is not allowed to consecutively drive for over 10 hours at a time or over 11 hours in one day. When the driver has driven for 11 hours in a day, it is necessary for him/her to take a break. The duration of the break should not be less than 10 hours. A driver does not have the right to drive for over 60 hours per week, or over 70 hours in eight days consecutively.
There may be other applicable regulations. The employer should make it their responsibility to audit the driver logs for ensuring that they comply with the above-mentioned regulations.
Improperly Secured Load
If the truck is carrying a load that has not been properly secured, the load can move from its place and create the risk of a rollover. If the truck is transporting a loose load underneath a tarp and the tarp is not properly secured, there is the possibility of debris falling out of the truck onto the road and other vehicles. Overloading also creates a huge risk of a crash.
It is important to properly maintain the commercial truck. A mechanical failure, especially brake failure, can be very dangerous. The braking system, lighting system, as well as other equipment for safety should be checked on a regular basis. A trucker should do a full pre-trip inspection of the vehicle.
Excessive speed is a major factor in accidents involving commercial trucks. Truckers are aware of the fact that obeying the speed limit law is safer, but, sadly, they may opt to go faster for delivering their loads quicker.