Our Roads Need Safe, Responsible Truckers
June 30, 2021
When you drive a heavy truck, safety must come first
This year, Allentown trucker Don Cook celebrated an almost impossible milestone: 4 million miles driven in nearly 5 decades as a trucker, without so much as a minor accident.
Cook, 79, attributes his incredible driving record to his eyes, reflexes, skill, and patience. “You have to have your wits about you,” he says – and he’s right.
Truckers play a vital role in our economy. “If you bought it, a truck brought it” is a cliché, but it’s also true. And to their credit, most truck drivers are safe, responsible operators who take their work seriously, even if they can’t all set a record with 4 million accident-free miles.
The problem, of course, is that not all truck drivers are like Don Cook.
Negligence behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer can have deadly consequences
Any vehicle can be dangerous, but the larger the vehicle, the greater the danger. Tractor-trailers, which can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded, are potentially the most dangerous vehicles of all. In part, that’s just physics: the heavier the truck, the greater the force of impact when it hits something. Trucks also have much longer stopping distances, larger blind spots, and wider turns than smaller cars.
Inexperienced and inattentive truck drivers can cause deadly truck accidents. Negligence on the part of the trucker is often the cause of:
The proximate cause of a jackknife accident is usually improper braking, which can happen if a trucker follows another vehicle too closely, drives too fast for the conditions, or fails to pay attention and overlooks a hazard until the last moment.
Trucks often roll over when inexperienced drivers take turns too quickly, fail to adjust their approach to the conditions of a particular road, or get distracted or doze off in their seats. Over-steering and over-correcting after drifting out of a lane can also cause rollovers.
When truckers slam on their brakes, a vehicle following behind may hit the truck from behind, causing it to slide under the trailer. Underride accidents can also happen when a negligent trucker parks their vehicle illegally and part of the truck protrudes into the road.
Trucking companies play a role too
Some crashes aren’t just the fault of the trucker. They’re also the responsibility of the trucking company. When trucking companies put pressure on drivers to make deliveries on unrealistic schedules, the results are predictable: speeding, aggressive driving, and skipping mandatory rest breaks.
Some trucking companies also cut corners in the hiring and training process or even skip background checks entirely. Again, when untrained or inexperienced truckers cause accidents, it’s usually someone in a smaller vehicle who gets hurt.
We fight to hold negligent truckers accountable
When regular people are hurt by negligent truck drivers and trucking companies, we fight for justice and accountability. Taking legal action can not only get compensation for your losses, but also sends a strong message to the trucking industry that they have to put safety first – a message that makes our roads safer both for truckers and every other road user.
If you’ve been hurt in a truck accident in the Philadelphia area, we would be honored to listen to your story and explain your legal options. Schedule your free consultation with Villari, Brandes & Giannone, P.C. today.
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