Large commercial trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded with cargo, so when they cause accidents, the results can be catastrophic for other motorists. That makes responsible truck operators critical. Unfortunately, inexperienced drivers often cause truck accidents.
Any commercial truck crash has the potential to be far more serious than the average two-car collision. The vast majority of truck accident fatalities are other motorists. In fact, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety(IIHS) reported 4,119 traffic fatalities in commercial truck-related accidents in 2019, of which other motorists and their passengers accounted for a stark 67 percent.
Because truck accidents are so dangerous, trucking companies have a responsibility to hire experienced drivers and provide less experienced drivers with adequate training and supervision. Unfortunately, they don’t always meet this obligation.
If you were injured in an accident that you believe was caused by an inexperienced truck driver, you could be entitled to compensation for the cost of your injuries and other losses. The experienced truck accident attorneys at Loewy Law Firm can help you get it. We’re ready to conduct an independent investigation of the accident, determine who was at fault, and fight aggressively for your right to compensation.
Challenges of Driving Large Trucks
Driving a large truck is challenging, which is why commercial truck drivers must earn a special CDL license to operate a tractor-trailer or bus. Some of the main challenges of driving large trucks include: Weight – Large commercial trucks often weigh between 35,000 and 80,000 pounds when loaded with cargo. This makes them more difficult to maneuver, particularly in hazardous conditions. In fact, trucks are often 20 to 30 times the size of regular cars, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
- Weight – Large commercial trucks often weigh between 35,000 and 80,000 pounds when loaded with cargo. This makes them more difficult to maneuver, particularly in hazardous conditions. In fact, trucks are often 20 to 30 times the size of regular cars, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
- Height – Because large commercial trucks are tall, they have a high center of gravity. This makes them prone to rollover accidents, particularly when the driver is inexperienced. Inexperienced drivers may have more difficulty navigating through wind gusts, which can push a truck into another lane. Smaller vehicles can also slide underneath large commercial trucks in “underride” accidents, which are devastating for motorists and their passengers.
- Long Hours – Many truckers worry about making their deliveries on time, and some ignore hours of service regulations set by the FMCSA to meet them. Inexperienced drivers who lack adequate training may not understand the dangers of driver fatigue caused by long hours on the road, which can lead to accidents.
- Truck Maintenance – A lot of time, energy, and expense go into maintaining large commercial trucks. Trucks may have aging or broken-down equipment, and inexperienced drivers may not know how to maintain their vehicles properly.
The Responsibility of the Trucking Company to Hire, Train, and Supervise
Recently, there has been a concerning shortage of experienced truck drivers, and this issue is expected to worsen. Due to the current truck driver shortage, trucking companies have begun to offer incentives like higher pay and bonuses to attract new drivers. In the process, there has been increased hiring of inexperienced drivers. This has concerned many highway safety advocates.
Trucking companies have an obligation to protect other motorists by providing their drivers with adequate training and supervision on the job. Unfortunately, some trucking companies are negligent in that duty. Some examples of trucking company negligence include:
- Failure to provide or require regular drug testing
- Hiring drivers without the appropriate license
- Pressuring drivers to ignore hours of service regulations in an attempt to increase their bottom line
- Failure to report truck accidents to the government.
- Failure to conduct a thorough background check during the hiring process
- Failure to provide adequate training to their new drivers
When inexperienced drivers cause accidents, they may not be the only liable party. If the trucking company was negligent, they could also be responsible for the collision by proxy.
Causes of Crashes
Inexperienced truck drivers cause crashes in a variety of ways. Some of the most common causes include:
- Loss Of Control – Inexperienced drivers are more likely to lose control of their vehicles, which can cause terrible rollover and jackknife accidents, as well as tractor-trailer detachment accidents.
- Careless Errors – New truck drivers are more inclined to make careless mistakes on the road than experienced drivers, which can cause devastating accidents.
- Unexpected Road Conditions – Less experienced truck drivers may not know how to operate in hazardous conditions, such as inclement weather or road construction zones. When road obstructions appear or the traffic situation suddenly changes, they may not know how to react.
- Vehicle Inspection – Sometimes, inexperienced drivers fail to inspect their trucks properly or have inadequate vehicle inspection training from the trucking company. They may not know which parts of their truck to inspect before long hauls. Failure to properly inspect trucks can cause accidents.
Injuries Caused by Inexperienced Drivers
A large commercial truck collision can result in life-altering and even fatal injuries. Some of the most common injuries sustained by victims of truck accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken and fractured bones
- Internal injuries
- Burns, scrapes, and lacerations
Compensation for a Truck Accident
If you were injured in an accident caused by an inexperienced truck driver, the driver, the trucking company, any other at-fault party, and their insurers might owe you money. Financial compensation for a truck accident can cover:
- Related past and ongoing medical expenses
- Lost wages if you are unable to work
- Vehicle damage
- Pain and suffering
Contact an Austin Truck Accident Lawyer
If you were injured in an accident caused by an inexperienced truck driver, don’t wait to contact one of the dedicated Austin truck accident attorneys at Loewy Law Firm. We can gather crucial evidence, conduct a full and independent investigation of the accident, identify all liable parties, and aggressively pursue the compensation you need and deserve. Hold the person who hurt you responsible for their actions and contact us today for a free consultation.