Different factors can occur that may cause a collision with a commercial vehicle. If the big rig driver is at fault, and you get hurt in a collision with a commercial truck, compensation is in order if the commercial driver is at fault. Lawyers for the big rig companies may try to cheat the drivers involved out of their compensation for their injuries and other damages. Knowing the causes of the accident is the critical factor in winning a case. Examining any negligence of the commercial vehicle is always the first step the attorney will look into first. In Texas, these are the most common causes commercial vehicles get into wrecks.
- Other vehicles driving in the blind spots of the big rig
- Sudden stops in front of the rig
- Inclement weather
- Lack of vehicle maintenance
- Inexperienced driver
- Driving while distracted
- Overloaded or improperly loaded
Driving in the Big Rig’s Blind Spots
These are not always the driver of the big rig’s fault, but they are responsible for anyone they hit on the road. Sometimes, there is a sign of letting other drivers know that they are driving too close to the rig if they cannot see the vehicle. These signs are strategically placed on the tractor and trailer. In the front, the driver cannot see a small car in front of the rig. This means the rig is following too close. The driver cannot see if the vehicle is too close on the sides, and they cannot see any cars that are directly behind the truck and trailer.
Sudden Stops in Front of the Rig
It takes almost half a mile for a big rig to stop with the weight pushing behind it barreling down an interstate at 75 mph. The driver is responsible for watching for what is up ahead at all times. If the driver of the rig has to come to a sudden stop, it is impossible. Nothing will stop it in time from crushing everything in its path. It is unfortunate, but the driver is responsible if they hit someone from behind. The only way out for the rig’s driver is if there are witnesses to prove the car in front of it was driving recklessly and caused the accident on purpose.
Many truck drivers will try to cheat sleep and drive when they can barely see straight or keep their eyes open. This negligence makes the rig the deadliest machine on the roads. Mechanical devices have been installed in many commercial vehicles to monitor hours of operation. Too many drivers have fallen asleep behind the wheel or become hypnotized by the lines on the road. It is 100 percent the driver’s negligence that causes these wrecks. In many cases, the aftermath has been catastrophic, with fatalities.
The safest thing for a commercial truck driver to do is to pull off the road in a secure location, if possible when the weather is terrible. This situation is only for torrential rains, hail, high winds, hailstorms, blizzards, or undrivable conditions. The driver does not have to get off the road for petty weather conditions. However, the driver should keep in mind the stop time will be more significant on wet roads. Therefore, it is the driver’s responsibility to maintain a safe speed and distance.
Lack of Vehicle Maintenance
Truck accidents happen when there are bald tires, mechanical failures such as brakes, transmissions can fail, and anything can happen. At all times, it is the driver’s responsibility to perform a pre-trip inspection. The driver must have a checklist and go through everything before leaving. Not doing so is negligence, and the driver will be held accountable. The company will also have to answer for the driver, which is when the legal battle begins.
Too many times, trucking companies try to save a buck and hire inexperienced drivers. Situations may happen where an experienced driver would pull out of a bind, not so with beginners. It is one of the saddest things when these situations occur because they can always be avoided. Rookies must understand the entire operation of the rig and know how to handle every situation before they fly solo. This is where companies cut corners and where the lawyers take over in filing negligent lawsuits.
Driving While Distracted
Cell phones, texting, reading, eating, and not paying attention for whatever reason are one of the worst mistakes on the operator’s part. It happens in cars, but it is almost guaranteed a fatality when it occurs in commercial trucks and big rigs. Anything that takes the driver’s mind off of the road and their surroundings is a distraction and will result from negligence.
Overloaded or Improperly Loaded
This issue is something that should be dealt with in the pre-trip inspection. All loads must be placed at the center of gravity. Failure to do so is also negligence.
Overloaded can also become a problem as the trailer can break or the tires can blow out. If the tire has a blowout and hits the driver, they are also responsible.