When you’re on the road, just about anything can happen, and, unfortunately, trucking accidents in Arizona are something that does happen fairly regularly. A semi truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds spread out over 18 wheels. Because trucks are so much larger and more powerful than the average vehicle on the road, these wrecks often cause serious damages and/or injuries, and sometimes even death to the other party. For that reason, it is important to be aware of some of the more common causes of truck accidents and crashes and how to avoid them.
Semi trucks and tractor trailer companies are typically governed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations ("FMCSRs") as well as State law. Congress intended the FMCSRs to act as the minimum safety standards for commercial motor vehicles. Here are some of the most common safety violations of trucking companies that result in injury and death to people driving cars.
Negligent Hiring and Supervising
Trucking companies have a duty and responsibility to hire careful and competent truck drivers as well as supervise them. This include criminal and driving background checks. Hiring a driver with a slew of past motor vehicle driving violations, which can be common, can lead to unsafe roads and devastating road wrecks. The trucking company should also ensure the driver's employment application is complete, and calls to previous employers are made to check on the driver's reputation. The driver should also be competently trained and supervised to help keep our roadways safe.
One of the more common causes of truck accidents is driver fatigue. Truck drivers often work very long hours and push themselves to drive for longer than they should. This can lead to truck drivers not being as alert and focused as they should be or even to them falling asleep at the wheel.
While there is obviously nothing you can do about tired truck drivers, you can do your best to be alert and aware at all times and to drive defensively. If you notice a truck behaving oddly, be sure to get as far away from it as possible to protect yourself!
Poor Truck Maintenance
Not all trucks on the road are as well-maintained as they should be. And, unfortunately, worn brakes, bad tires, or other improperly managed and maintained equipment can lead to dangerous accidents on the road. Again, the best thing you can do is to be alert and to stay away from trucks that you think could cause you a problem on the road.
Accidents can often be caused, of course, by distracted driving. Some truck drivers will text while driving, glance down at their cell phone, fiddle with the radio, or talk to a passenger. All of these things take focus away from the road and can cause an accident. Again, being alert and aware and potentially reporting drivers who are on their phones or otherwise distracted is never a bad idea.
Hopefully, you will never be involved in a truck accident! Knowing these common causes and doing your best to guard against them is a great protective measure! But, if you or a loved one ever are involved in a truck accident, be sure to seek the help of an Arizona lawyer right away to get the justice you deserve.