Driver Errors & Trucking Accidents in Delaware
Trusted injury lawyers representing clients in Delaware truck accident lawsuits
Truck accidents account for about one in every ten fatal highway crashes in the U.S. according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). And while truck accidents can have many different causes, the leading cause by far is driver error. When a large, commercial truck gets involved in an accident with a smaller, passenger vehicle, driver error on the part of the driver of the passenger vehicle also comes into play as a cause of the accident. So, we are not saying that most accidents involving large, commercial trucks are exclusively the fault of the truck driver, rather that driver error across the board is a principal cause of motor vehicle accidents including commercial trucks.
Which errors are most common?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Large Truck Crash Causation Study lists 19 factors that contribute to large truck crashes, and 15 of those factors were caused by driver error.
Some of the critical factors listed in the FMCSA study are included here as causes of large truck crashes:
- Driver fatigue. The FMCSA has come up with a revised set of guidelines for commercial truck drivers to follow to ensure that they are getting enough sleep before they get behind the wheel and put their own life as well as the other drivers with whom they share the road in danger.
- Unfamiliarity with the roadway. A driver who is unfamiliar with the roadway might be consulting a map or GPS, and not paying close enough attention to the other vehicles on the road with them which can make them more prone to getting into an accident.
- Driving too fast for road conditions. Speeding in a large commercial truck creates an even greater hazard. A truck that is traveling too fast for the road conditions will have a lot more trouble stopping quickly when necessary and could cause a crash.
- Distracted or inattentive driver. Whether the driver is reaching for a piece of food, juggling a map, shaving or texting on their mobile phone, any secondary activity that takes their attention away from the task of driving creates a hazard that is equally if not more significant than driving drunk.
- Drunk or drugged driver. The FMCSA has a zero tolerance policy for drunk driving for commercial truck drivers, and a commercial truck driver could lose his or her commercial license for one year after their first offense.
- Reckless driving. Driving aggressively, speeding and using risky maneuvers can all result in a crash.
- Overloaded trucks. The FMCSA has determined safe load limits for large, commercial trucks, and violating those load limits creates a hazard because it makes the truck more difficult to stop and it puts excess wear on tires.
- Inadequate maintenance and inspection. Federal regulations call for the systematic inspection, repair and maintenance for large commercial trucks. Commercial motor vehicle operators are required to submit reports that include pre and post-trip inspection lists.
- Defective truck parts. The inspection and maintenance required for large commercial trucks is designed to make sure that CMV operators are using parts and accessories and safety equipment that is in good working order. Defective parts or equipment could cause the truck to break down unexpectedly and cause an accident.
Driver error comes down to some form of negligence. Either the driver was distracted by something inside the vehicle or outside of it, whether they failed to properly inspect or maintain critical safety equipment, or if they were under the influence of a prescription medication that made them too drowsy to drive. Due to the massive size and weight of large, commercial trucks, a simple miscalculation at highway speeds can end in the death or catastrophic injury of the innocent passengers of a nearby vehicle.
When a truck driver’s error causes an accident with another motor vehicle on the roadway, those who have been injured in the crash, and the loved ones of those who have lost their lives may be entitled to compensation for their injuries and losses. At the law firm of Silverman, McDonald & Friedman we have represented countless clients in lawsuits against both truck drivers, trucking companies and equipment manufacturers. We pursue the responsible party and make sure to get the maximum compensation possible on your behalf.
Schedule a consultation with one of our experienced Delaware truck accident lawyers today
The Delaware truck accident attorneys at Silverman, McDonald & Friedman are proud to represent you with an individualized approach to providing legal services. We strive to make our clients as if they were our only one. You may schedule your initial free consultation with one of our auto accident lawyers today when you call us at 302-888-2900 or fill out our contact form. We serve clients throughout Delaware from our offices in Wilmington, Seaford and Newark.