Truck Driver Negligence in Trucking Accidents

Truck drivers are responsible for the safe handling of their trucks that occupy the same roadways as passenger vehicles. Truckers have a duty to ensure that their truck is maintained properly, they are physically and mentally prepared and capable of driving, and the weather is suitable for driving. This requires an experienced and properly trained driver who respects the rules of the road and follows them.

A truck driver has a responsibility to ensure that other drivers on the road are not placed in danger by his or her negligence. Trucking companies also have a duty to hire qualified drivers.

Types of Truck Driver Negligence

Truck driver negligence can manifest itself in a variety of ways. Some of the more common types of negligence encountered on the road include:

  • Aggressive driving, failing to use a turn single, tailgating, and speeding
  • Failing to properly inspect trucks before, during, and after a route
  • Driving with an overweight load, improperly balanced load, or improperly secured load
  • Continuing to drive despite an adverse road condition
  • Violating the federal law on sleep and rest time
  • Driving while intoxicated or while under the influence of a drug
  • Driving too fast
  • Driving when too sleepy

In the recent Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration research The Large Truck Crash Causation Study - found that driver behavior was a factor in all truck accidents.

Drivers of large trucks and other vehicles involved in truck crashes are ten times more likely to be the cause of the crash than other factors, such as weather, road conditions, and vehicle performance according to a new study released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

The study, conducted with the help of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, investigated a national sample of fatal and injury crashes between April 2001 and December 2003 at 24 sites in 17 states. Each crash involved at least one large truck and resulted in at least one fatality or injury. The total sample of 967 crashes included 1,127 large trucks, 959 non-truck motor vehicles, 251 fatalities, and 1,408 injuries. Action or inaction by the driver of either the truck or other vehicle was the critical reason for 88 percent of the crashes.

The data offer unprecedented detail about the events surrounding truck crashes that are not available anywhere else. The study database eventually will be available to the public to encourage further analysis and increase the knowledge about large truck crash factors.

There may be many elements of your case to prove.

Dean Goetz is an experienced San Diego truck accident attorney and he will tell you what to do if you are involved in a trucking accident in California.

Preserve important evidence from your accident scene - contact Dean as soon as possible.