Getting behind the wheel of a car or even riding as a passenger poses some risk. Accidents can and do happen. Sometimes, however, the other vehicle in the crash is a much larger, commercial vehicle. In these situations, the risk of serious injury, catastrophic property damage and even death are much higher. Commercial trucks are larger and heavier than passenger vehicles. That means that truck drivers who make mistakes behind the wheel are much more likely to injure or kill someone else than to suffer an injury themselves.
The people in the other vehicle end up paying the price for that mistake. Even your best effort at driving safely will mean nothing faced with the size of a commercial vehicle.
Sometimes, truck drivers openly break the law by operating their commercial truck after drinking or taking drugs. Other times, they are exhausted or distracted, just like other drivers on the road. There are special laws in place to reduce the risk of exhausted truck drivers, but many companies pressure truckers to bend or even break these rules by falsifying their rest and break records.
Commercial drivers are subject to stricter rules than other drivers
When it comes to drinking and driving, the laws for commercial drivers are much more strict. A commercial driver should not get behind the wheel of the vehicle for at least four hours after a single drink. For many drivers old enough to legally drink alcohol, their blood alcohol content (BAC) must be 0.08 percent or higher to qualify under impaired driving laws. The law holds commercial drivers to a higher standard, with a BAC of anything over 0.04 percent legally considered impaired driving. Similarly, to prevent exhausted driving, the law limits commercial drivers in the number of hours that they can drive.
There can be financial incentives to break these rules. Perhaps a load needs to reach the customer by a certain time for full payment or a bonus. Maybe the truck driver was called unexpectedly to pick up a load, and he or she has enjoyed a few drinks. Those minor mistakes can result in massive, traumatic accidents that can change your life forever. From broken bones to head and spinal injuries, the physical damage caused by an accident with a commercial truck can affect your quality life and livelihood for months or even years.
An attorney can help you after a truck accident
If you've experienced a trucking accident, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can review the details of your accident and determine what your best option is. He or she can negotiate with insurance companies and even file a civil suit on your behalf.
Source: Nov. 30, -0001