Common Causes of Trucking Accidents in Raleigh
Any given truck out on the road can weigh upwards of 40,000 lbs., so it is no surprise that when a truck collides with a much smaller vehicle, like a car or a motorcycle, that the other driver stands very little chance of defending themselves against the devastating impact. Unfortunately, statistics show this to be true, as most truck-related fatalities leave the driver of the passenger car dead.
For this reason, it is important to understand why trucking accidents continue to happen at such an astounding rate across the US. Of the total number of accidents that happen across the country each year, most of them are caused by the negligent actions of the truck driver, so it is vital for the victims of such collisions to understand what factors may have contributed to the crash.
Prescription Drug Use in Raleigh
Surprisingly, prescription drug use takes the top spot when examining the top ten causes of trucking accidents. When a driver fails to read the warning labels of their prescribed medications or simply decides to ignore the possibility that the side-effects could impair their driving, the consequences can prove to be devastating for the other drivers sharing the road.
In fact, a trucker’s use of these medications may violate local DUI laws in Raleigh. While most people assume DUI to only apply to the use of alcohol, in fact, these laws prohibit people from introducing any foreign substance into their bodies that can impair their ability to drive. This is especially important in truck accident claims for compensation since DUI is negligence per se in accidents. This means that a criminal conviction for DUI allows a civil court to presume liability for a crash.
In a close second, driving at unsafe speeds accounts for a significant portion of all trucking collisions in Raleigh. When a commercial driver is responsible for maneuvering a multi-ton vehicle safely around other motorists, it is imperative that they adhere to the rules of the road, as failing to do so can result a much greater potential for a fatal accident to occur.
The list then goes on to say that driving in an unfamiliar environment, taking over-the-counter-drugs when operating a commercial vehicle, and failing to adequately check one’s surroundings account for a large percentage of trucking accidents, as well.
Driving Excessive Hours
Driver fatigue and distracted driving are also common causes of truck-related collisions. These are two of the most commonly stated reasons for an injured driver to pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. Although truck drivers often work long, sleepless hours, that is not an excuse that can justify getting behind the wheel and subsequently injuring another driver. As such, they can be held liable for damages if their irresponsible actions have caused an accident resulting in injury.
This overexertion is such a problem that federal regulations specifically limit the number of hours that a commercial driver may be behind the wheel during any given day or week. A failure to follow these laws is another example of negligence per se that leaves a trucker presumably at-fault for a collision.
The Nature of Commercial Trucking Itself Can Cause Many Collisions
Even if a commercial driver takes all possible precautions by following federal and state laws while on the road, the fact is that accidents still remain a common threat. This is due to the massive size and weight of commercial trucks. When fully loaded, a tractor-trailer can weigh around 80,000 pounds. This makes them slow to stop in an emergency and sudden pressure on the brakes can cause a truck to jackknife or rollover.
Trucks carrying large amounts of cargo can also have large blind spots. Even the most advanced mirrors and modern cameras cannot provide complete visibility to truckers when behind the wheel. A failure to check these blind spots before changing lanes or making turns is another common cause of trucking accidents.
Speak with a Knowledgeable Attorney Today
If you have been involved in a serious accident at the hands of a negligent truck driver in Raleigh, whether they were driving aggressively or they were unlawfully intoxicated at the time of the incident, you may have grounds to pursue compensation. For more information about the common causes of trucking accidents, get in touch with an attorney today.