Because commercial trucks tend to be much larger and heavier than most vehicles on the road, truck drivers must hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL). To get this license, the driver is required to pass particular tests along with a medical exam indicating the driver is fit to operate such a vehicle. Federal laws exist that are intended to reduce the number of potentially dangerous situations a truck driver might find himself or herself in.
Despite this, some truck drivers still pay no attention to federal regulations regarding how many hours they are allowed to drive in order to meet the deadline for the arrival of their cargo. This can cause a number of potential hazards on the road.
Because trucks are so much larger and heavier than most anything else on the road, drivers and passengers of smaller vehicles find themselves in a vulnerable position in the event of an accident.
Truck accidents commonly occur to due factors such as:
- Driver exhaustion
- Drivers rushing to meet delivery schedules
- Exceding the speed limit
- Driving under the influence
- Lack of experience operating a large truck
- Unsafe reflectors or safety equipment
- Poorly maintained vehicles
- Failure to inspect the vehicle before it departs on its route
- Driver distraction
- Failure to load cargo safely
- Stopping Suddenly
- Backing up without care
In an attempt to curb driver fatigue, federal regulations have been put in place to restrict the number of hours a truck driver can drive within a given amount of time. Truck drivers also must inspect their vehicles prior to each trip. Trucks have specific limits placed upon their weight in order to avoid rollovers and other hazards. Weight stations exist along major highways for this purpose of ensuring that trucks do not exceed their maximum payload.
Liability In Truck Accidents
A legal responsibility befalls truck drivers to drive safely at all times, make sure their cargo has been properly loaded, and see to it that their truck has been properly maintained and serviced.
In addition to the truck driver being held responsible, employers who oversee the operation of the vehicle and be held liable in the event that they:
- Hired a driver without proper vetting beforehand
- Hired a driver with a record of reckless driving
- Never provided proper training
- Failed to enforce regulations
- Encouraged drivers break laws so they could make deliveries on schedule
Other parties can be held liable as well. In some cases, even the former owner of a truck may be responsible if they failed to properly maintain the truck prior to it being sold. Or, in the event of an event of an accident occurring due to improper loading of the vehicle, a third-party loading company may be held liable. And if a defective truck mechanism is the cause of an accident, the manufacturer of that part can be held liable.
Contact Us Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, don’t hesitate. Contact one of our New Hampshire truck accident attorneys right away.