Driver error is to blame for many trucking accidents. Impairment can come from sleep deprivation, alcohol or drug use, and it can cause drivers to take risks and exercise poor judgment. If you are involved in a truck accident, you and your attorney should investigate the driver’s conduct and what, if any, role the trucking company played in the crash.
Driver Error: Why it Happens
When compared with factors such as road conditions and weather, driver error causes ten times more accidents, according to a study done by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration). The study examined error-causing factors, and found that of all error-related crashes:
* Almost 45% involved a driver’s drug use (either recreational, OTC or prescription)
* 23% involved speeds too high for prevailing road conditions
* 18% involved driver tiredness
Fatigue causes drivers to misjudge distances, ignore dangers, freeze, panic, fall asleep and react to situations disproportionately. Fatigue is one of the most common accident causes, but it is fortunately the most preventable.
Drivers cannot use controlled substances unless prescribed by a doctor familiar with their duties and medical history. Federal law requires trucking companies to periodically test drivers for drug and alcohol use, and random testing while on duty. Any time a driver is involved in a fatal , they must be tested. There are ways for drivers to circumvent the testing measures, but the DOT is combating the abuse by requiring companies to obtain drivers’ past drug testing records.
Blind Spot Errors
Drivers are trained to look for vehicles entering their “blind spots”, which are found on the front, rear, and sides of the vehicle. Many studies show that trucking accidents are almost 60% more likely to happen in the blind spot; errors can happen if a driver doesn’t see the vehicle, or fails to take precautions when a vehicle enters the area.
Getting the Help you Need
Because trucking industry relationships are often complex, getting the information needed after a Trucking accident in Lafayette can be difficult. To get the proof you need, you should hire a trucking accident or personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.