The Role of Negligence in Truck Accidents

Jul 29, 2015 by

The frequency by which traffic accidents occur in America is becoming increasingly worrisome. This is particularly true for accidents involving large trucks such as 18-wheelers, big rigs, tractor trailers, and the like. According to information gathered by the Institute for Highway Safety or IIHS, the year 2013 saw 3,062 fatalities cause by crashes where a large truck is involved. The institute found that 67 percent of the victims were riding in regular passenger vehicles. 16 percent of the victims were truck drivers, and another 15 percent of the victims were bicyclists, motorcyclists, or pedestrians.

There’s no surprise as to why large truck accidents are especially dangerous for motorists and pedestrians. As the IIHS notes, these trucks are often 20 to 30 times heavier than cars. A truck can weigh in at about 80,000 pounds, while a car is only roughly around 4,000 pounds. This huge disparity also makes it difficult for drivers to control trucks. Compared to a regular car, trucks need to cover a longer distance before being able to come to a full stop. The size of the vehicle also leaves truck drivers vulnerable to more blind sports or “no-zone” areas.

Still, it’s important to note that truck accidents aren’t simply caused by these factors. While the discrepancy in size and weight heightens certain risks, it is negligence that plays a crucial role in most of the truck accidents reported in America. In most cases, truck accidents are caused by a negligent error committed by the driver or by a careless mistake made on the part of the company in-charge of operations.

According to the website Toronto personal injury lawyers, truck driver negligence can take many forms. The most usual cases of truck driver negligence include committing errors and violations such as drifting between different lanes, failing to properly signal when stopping or turning, using brakes unnecessarily or drastically, failing to yield or give way, ignoring stop lights and traffic signs, as well as speeding. On the other hand, examples of examples of negligence by trucking companies include failing to properly train newly hired employees, hiring unqualified individuals, violating hours of service regulations, and failing to maintain the vehicles in their fleet.

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