Truck Accidents Caused by Driver Error

Truck Accident Statistics

Most trucking accidents are caused by driver error. In fact, according to a study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), they are ten times more likely to be the cause of a trucking accident than other factors such as vehicle performance, road conditions, or weather conditions. This same study reveals that out of all accidents caused by driver error, 44 percent involved drivers who were under the influence of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, 23 percent were travelling at speeds that were unsafe for current conditions, and 18 percent were caused by fatigue.

In many cases, drivers who are under pressure to meet deadlines will often take unnecessary risks and make poor judgments while on the road. In circumstances where long-haul drivers are fatigued after several hours of driving, drivers have an increased risk of not being able to react quickly enough to dangers on the roadway to prevent an accident.

Common Truck Driver Errors

There are several Unsafe Driving Acts (UDAs). Here are some of the most common unsafe driving acts from a truck driver:

  • Distracted driving (e.g., reading, eating, texting or talking on a phone)
  • Driving while fatigued
  • Driving under the influences of alcohol or drugs
  • Unsafely merging into traffic, resulting in an unsafe truck maneuver or hard braking
  • Failure to stop at a stop sign or traffic light (this also includes passing through a signal too early or too late)
  • Failure to reduce speed in a construction zone
  • Unsafe speed (e.g., approaching too fast from the rear)
  • Taking a turn too fast, resulting in a rollover
  • Unsafe following distances
  • Failure to reduce speed in response to environmental conditions (e.g., fog, rain, smoke, or bright sun)
  • Abrupt lane changes (especially when followed by abrupt braking)
  • Failure to notice the vehicles in the truck’s blind spots, or “no zone”
  • Unsafe turning or passing
  • Depowering the front brakes (this increases the chance that the truck will jackknife)
  • Operating at dawn or dusk without headlights

Driver Negligence and Liability

Trucking companies may be held liable for your injuries through the legal theory of “vicarious liability,” which holds them responsible for the negligent actions of their employees. Speak with a lawyer from our firm to discuss what other parties may be held liable in your case to find out how best to proceed with your claim for compensation.

If you have been involved in a truck accident, you need a skilled and experienced attorney to analyze the facts of your case and help you choose the best option for legal recourse. Contact the San Francisco truck accident lawyers from Scarlett Law Group for a free consultation regarding your case.

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