There are more big rigs on the road than ever before — and the pressure on truck drivers to meet unrealistic goals may be a leading cause of accidents involving semi trucks.
It’s just common sense: in a collision between a car or noncommercial truck and a tractor trailer, the smaller vehicle is going to become more damaged. Most passenger vehicles weigh around 3,000 pounds, while a fully-loaded big rig can weigh in excess of 80,000 pounds. It isn’t surprising that crashes involving big rigs cause some of the worst injuries and even fatalities.
Here in California and Arizona, there are thousands of tractor trailers on the road. They haul almost everything we need for our daily lives—from the food we eat, cars we drive, gas, and much more. Trucks are a necessity — but they can also be dangerous. Part of this is due to their sheer size, but unsafe driving practices can also contribute to unsafe situations. Sometimes companies that employ truck drivers put too much pressure on them to get goods from Point A to Point B in a short period of time. If you’ve been hurt in a collision with a big rig, you’ll need a skilled semi truck accident attorney to can help you recover from your injuries.
How Unrealistic Goals Can Fuel Truck Accidents
There are many possible causes of truck accidents. After all, truck drivers are only human, and they’re just as likely to engage in the unsafe driving behaviors that so many of us do on a daily basis (such as distracted driving, texting while driving, or not following the traffic rules). But in some cases, the goals set for truck drivers by their employers lead directly to bad, aggressive, and unsafe driving — which can have disastrous consequences for anyone else unlucky enough to be on the road with them.
Truck drivers are often held to completely unrealistic schedules, and are asked to get to a certain destination that is simply not realistic or safe. They may be awarded bonuses for getting to a place ahead of schedule, or simply held to standards that cannot be safely maintained. This can lead to drivers skipping sleep, driving too fast, or guzzling energy drinks to stay awake long after they should have been off of the road. The trucking industry is competitive, with low profit margins. For some drivers to make enough money to support themselves and their families, they may have to cut corners and break the law to meet unrealistic schedules.
This was the case in the accident involving comedian and actor Tracey Morgan. A truck driver working for Wal-Mart was overly fatigued behind the wheel, leading to the accident that seriously injured Morgan and killed his friend and mentor, James McNair. At the time of the accident, the driver admitted that he had not slept in 28 hours and that he did not slow down despite posted warning signs for a lower speed in a construction zone. He had driven more than 800 miles overnight from a Wal-Mart distribution center in Delaware to pick up a load beforehand, and did not stop for sleep before setting out on this trip.
No matter what causes a trucking accident, victims must be compensated so that they can recover for their injuries and move forward with their lives. At the Law Offices of Larry H. Parker, we are skilled semi truck accident attorneys. We understand how to litigate these cases, including investigating the trucking company, the truck’s log and “black box,” and navigating the complex web of laws and regulations governing the trucking industry. Contact our office today at 800-333-0000 or email@example.com for a free consultation. Our initial consultations are always free of charge, and we never charge a fee unless we recover money for you.