Drivers in North Carolina share the roads with commercial vehicles every day. For the most part, we might not even notice them unless we get stuck behind one or see a huge truck merging onto the highway next to us.
But in the event of an accident, tractor trailers have the potential to cause catastrophic damage that is impossible to ignore. This is why it is crucial that they be operated by safe, trained drivers who appreciate the importance of complying with state and federal trucking regulations. Unfortunately, not all truck drivers do.
There are a few common behaviors or actions truckers engage in that are unsafe and increase the likelihood of a crash.
- Driving while fatigued: Long hours on the road can make any driver drowsy, and truckers are no different. This is why they are required to comply with strict federal rules that limit the number of hours they can be on the road. Sadly, there are drivers who ignore these rules and end up falling asleep or being too tired to operate their rig safely.
- Driving while impaired: Driving for a living can be very strenuous, but it can also be monotonous. In order to combat the boredom, anxiety and loneliness of this job, there are some who drink or take drugs before getting behind the wheel. Impairment by drugs or alcohol can and does lead to devastating crashes that are always avoidable.
- Failure to comply with various protocols: Truck drivers who fail to properly secure cargo, address maintenance problems, get a commercial driver's license or stay on an approved route may be in violation of trucking regulations and therefore a hazard to others.
Commercial drivers should know better than to engage in any of these dangerous behaviors, yet too many of them take risks that put their lives and the lives of the people around them in jeopardy.
If you have been injured in an accident with a commercial vehicle, you may not know if the trucker was in fact engaged in these or other unsafe or unlawful behaviors. However, you can work with an attorney who can identify any recklessness or negligence for which a trucker and/or the trucking company can be held financially and legally accountable.