Truck drivers owe a special duty of care to the motoring public. First, truck drivers are operating massive vehicles. Just due to the sheer size and weight of their vehicle and trailer, the amount of damage that often occurs when a tractor-trailer is involved in a crash is enormous compared to a typical vehicle. Second, truck drivers are considered professional drivers. They are required to attend additional training to obtain a commercial driver license. Much like a doctor who has obtained additional training in cardiology would be expected to have greater expertise and skill treating heart problems than a primary care physician, a truck driver should have a higher level of driving competency than motorists without such additional training. Unfortunately, despite the gravity of harm that can be caused by tractor-trailer crashes, many truck drivers still drive negligently and sometimes even recklessly. Truck drivers that change lanes repetitively place other drivers at risk because every time a commercial truck changes lanes, great care must be taken to avoid contact with an automobile occupying a lane or merging into a lane. Truck drivers must always keep their vehicle at a reasonable speed in order to avoid endangering the public. Many commercial trucks have governors on them which prevent the vehicle from exceeding a certain speed while under power. Often, however, you will see a truck driver with a large load attempt to “make up time” by allowing the weight of their load to carry the truck well above the speed limit while going downhill. Under these circumstances, a driver can easily lose control of the rig, particularly if an unexpected event occurs requiring evasive action or quick braking.
Truck drivers are not always to blame. Many companies that truck drivers work for do not support a climate of “safety first.” Rather, they create a climate where drivers are expected to deliver their loads to meet a deadline even if it means speeding or driving dangerously. If a truck driver knows that he or she will risk losing their job if they are unable to deliver a load on time, they will likely drive too fast for the conditions. Companies owe it to the motoring public to insist upon safety as a top priority, which means that they must support their drivers when the drivers have to be delayed due to weather, or other unavoidable traffic conditions. The Haynes Firm has represented victims of tractor-trailer negligence and recklessness for decades. We rely on our extensive experience to investigate, prosecute, and resolve injuries and wrongful death caused by trucking negligence and recklessness.
If you or your loved one has been in a truck accident, contact The Haynes Firm today!