What Causes Truck Crashes?
Most Texas drivers have a duty of reasonable care. They must avoid traffic accidents when possible. Truck drivers are common carriers in Texas. Since they are professional drivers, they have a higher duty of care. The law reflects this higher duty of care. A lower speed limit applies to large trucks. The general duty of care is different as well. Most noncommercial drivers should maintain about a two-second following distance on the road. The large truck following distance is about seven seconds.
A higher duty of care means it’s easier for a Missouri City personal injury attorney to establish negligence, or a lack of care, in court. If negligence causes a truck crash, the victim may obtain compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering, in court. Generally, a third party, usually the shopping or transportation company that owned the truck or cargo, is financially responsible for damages in these cases.
We mentioned the two most common kinds of trucker aggressive driving above, tailgating and speeding. Truck driver economics usually contributes to such aggressive driving.
Most truckers don’t get paid by the hour. Instead, they get paid by the load. So, they have a financial incentive to deliver their loads as quickly as possible. A fast delivery doesn’t just mean extra money in a trucker’s pocket. Truck driver profit margins are so thin that a few dollars here or there could mean the difference between making money and losing money on a particular job.
Large truck design also contributes to aggressive driving, particularly on surface streets. Large trucks have very poor sight lines in traffic. Most truckers simply don’t see many surrounding vehicles. Additionally, these massive vehicles, which could weigh over 80,000 pounds when fully loaded, are almost impossible to control, even for experienced operators.
A Missouri City personal injury attorney can use the negligence per se rule or the ordinary negligence doctrine to obtain compensation for victims and survivors. Negligence per se is basically a violation of a safety law. Ordinary negligence is a breach of ordinary care, which in this case is utmost care, as outlined above.
The aforementioned economic forces compel many truckers to stay behind the wheel as long as possible. Almost half of truck drivers admit they use amphetamines while driving. So, the actual number is probably much higher. Most likely, many drivers simply don’t admit they use these drugs.
Contrary to popular myth, amphetamines don’t effectively combat fatigue. These drugs make users feel awake, but they don’t address issues like fatigue-related poor judgment skills. If anything, amphetamines impair judgment skills even further. These pills make most truckers edgy and suspicious.
Finally, when these drugs wear off, users crash fast and hard. In response, most truckers take more drugs, and the vicious spiral begins.
On a related note, medical impairment is a serious problem among truckers as well. Mostly because they sit for so long, sleep apnea is common among truckers. People with sleep apnea basically nap all night. So, in the morning, they’re fatigued. That’s especially true if the trucker slept in a cab bunk instead of a regular bed.
Work With a Savvy Fort Bend County Attorney
Injury victims are entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Missouri City, contact the Henrietta Ezeoke Law Firm. Lawyers can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no insurance or money.