Baltimore is a major east coast city surrounded by many other major east coast cities. This means that it has some of the nation’s busiest roads and highways that are often clogged with many different types of vehicles, including large trucks and buses.
Truck accidents often result in major injuries to the occupants of the passenger vehicle, due to the large size and heavy weight of the trucks. Recovering from a truck accident can take a long time and cause numerous medical and financial problems.
Many accident victims also experience mental and psychological distress, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. They may even be afraid to get behind the wheel of a vehicle again.
Truck driver fatigue
There are several common causes of truck accidents. Truck driver fatigue is a huge problem. Truckers are on tight schedules and sometimes have unreasonable deadlines to meet.
Additionally, getting stuck in traffic can cause truckers to get behind schedule, resulting in skipping rest or meal breaks to catch up. This leads to fatigued driving, which increases the risk of an accident.
Truckers, like many of us, can fall victim to distracted driving. There are several activities that qualify as distracted driving, including eating, drinking, talking to other passengers, listening to music or adjusting a navigation system.
One of the biggest forms of distracted driving involves the use of cell phones. Federal law requires truck drivers to only use their phones in hands-free mode.
Under this law, truck drivers cannot hold their phones to make a call, dial by pressing more than one button or reach for a cell phone if it would cause them to move out of their seated driving position.
Distracted driving is a major cause of truck accidents, whether the distraction comes from a cell phone or something else.
Improper training and poorly maintained trucks
Trucking companies have a legal duty to provide their workers with proper training on how to operate a large truck and to make sure their trucks are in safe working condition.
Truck drivers who are not properly trained are more likely to engage in unsafe or risky driving, putting other drivers on the road in danger. If truck drivers feel they do not have the required skills to drive their truck properly, they should ask their employer for additional training.
Trucks should be checked before going out on the road. Truck drivers or their employers should perform a basic inspection of the truck, checking parts such as the tires, engine and brakes.
Problems with the truck should be immediately addressed and the trucks should not be driven until the issue is fixed. Sometimes truck drivers will ignore required maintenance to stay on schedule.
You have options after a truck accident
If you are in an accident with a large truck for one of these reasons, the truck driver or their employer could be held liable for negligence. This means proving they failed in their legal duty to drive safely, causing your accident. You must also prove damages, which is the amount of harm you suffered because of the accident.
Filing a claim for negligence after an accident might be the last thing on your mind. There are professionals who can take care of this, while you focus on your recovery.