Truck drivers arguably are held to a higher standard than other drivers. They should have sufficient training and experience to operate their trucks safely when driving on our roads and highways. Tractor-trailers are difficult to maneuver and require a much greater stopping distance than passenger vehicles. Long hours behind the wheel can also take their toll on the driver. Despite all of this, drivers have to be more alert and aware of traffic and road conditions. Due to their size and weight of the vehicle, truck accidents can be catastrophic.
Speeding is a very common cause of tractor-trailer accidents and a type of accident our Atlanta tractor-trailer accident lawyer sees often. As mentioned above, drivers are under a lot of pressure to deliver their cargo on time. Many truck drivers find themselves in a position where they have to speed in order to make up time. While speeding is common among all drivers, speeding is much more dangerous for tractor-trailers. Speeding means that they require an even longer distance to stop and can make them even more difficult to maneuver in the event that they have to avoid a road hazard or another vehicle.
Tailgating is another common example of truck driver negligence and often goes hand-in-hand with speeding. Following another vehicle too closely is extremely dangerous – if the vehicle in front has to stop quickly, the tractor-trailer is not going to be able to stop in time. Getting rear-ended by a tractor-trailer can easily result in severe injuries and even death.
Atlanta Tractor-Trailer Accident Lawyer for Unsafe Lane Change Accidents
Trucks have an unusually large blind spot. This means that truck drivers have to be extraordinarily careful that they check their mirrors before changing lanes to avoid colliding with another vehicle.
Driving While Under the Influence Truck Accidents
Trucking companies make considerable efforts to curb drug and alcohol abuse among their drivers. Unfortunately, some companies are less conscientious than others, and drivers are unsupervised for days at a time. As a result, drivers who are on the road while intoxicated is a problem.
Another potential issue our Atlanta tractor-trailer accident lawyer recognizes is drivers who are impaired to due prescription or over-the-counter medications. While these medications are safe when taken appropriately, they can sometimes have unexpected side effects when combined with other substances. For example, a driver may become impaired because they took an over-the-counter allergy medication along with their regular prescription medication.
In some cases, drivers may be taking a prescription medication with known side effects that prohibit them from driving. Afraid of losing their job, they fail to disclose their condition to their employer and continue to drive even though their medication impairs their ability to remain awake and alert or have clear judgment.
Whether it’s due to alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescription or OTC medications, driving while impaired is against the law. It’s also considered negligent driving if their impairment results in an accident.
Atlanta Tractor-Trailer Accident Lawyer for Drowsy Driving Truck Accidents
Driving while sleepy is another common form of negligence in tractor-trailer accidents. Truck drivers spend long days behind the wheel and are often short on sleep. In addition to falling asleep behind the wheel, drowsy driving can affect the driver’s ability to drive safely in the following ways:
- Poor decision making: Fatigue makes it difficult to think clearly and can lead to making dangerous decisions.
- Slowed reaction time: Fatigue can dull your reflexes and make it difficult to avoid hazards in time.
- Inability to pay attention: Fatigued drivers tend to get lost in their thoughts or are simply less aware of what is happening around them.
Truck drivers will rarely admit that they were drowsy when the accident occurred. An experienced Atlanta tractor-trailer accident lawyer will be able to determine whether the driver was not fully alert.
Failing to Account for Weather or Traffic Conditions
All drivers should adjust their driving to reflect the current weather or traffic conditions, but especially truck drivers. Driving at a high rate of speed in icy conditions, during a thunderstorm, or in heavy traffic can quickly result in an accident.