Who is Responsible for Truck Driver Negligence in Atlanta?
Negligent Drivers and Collisions
Big rigs are the most dangerous vehicles permitted on the road, which is why they are subject to strict federal and state regulations. In addition to size and weight limits for the truck itself, in order to operate such a large commercial truck, a driver needs to qualify for a Commercial Driver's License (CDL), comply with Hours of Service (HOS) regulations, and pass drug and alcohol tests. In addition to these requirements, truck drivers must also obey all road and traffic laws. These rules are in place to keep truckers and other motorists safe. Unfortunately, the priority of many truck drivers is not safety.
Truck driver negligence is a leading cause of tractor trailer accidents across the nation. If you have been injured in a truck crash caused by the negligent actions of a truck driver, you may be entitled to file a personal injury claim.
Types of Truck Driver Negligence
There are a number of actions a truck driver could perform, or fail to perform, that would constitute negligence in civil court, including:
- Fatigued or drowsy driving;
- Distracted Driving;
- Unsafe lane changes;
- Improper braking;
- Failure to apply the brakes;
- Making unsafe turns;
- Improperly loading or overloading the truck;
- Failing to maintain and/or repair the truck;
- Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol;
- Talking on a cell phone;
- Violating right-of-way laws; and
- Running through traffic control signals and/or signs.
Although there are many actions for which a truck driver may be considered negligent, driving fatigued is the most common and usually the most deadly.
Semi Truck Driver Fatigue
All large commercial truck drivers are required to obey the federally mandated HOS regulations. Many trucking companies hold their drivers to unrealistic delivery schedules, or provide incentives for quicker delivery, which pressures drivers to violate federal regulations and falsify the required daily logs. Trucking companies and truck drivers who value profits over safety endanger the lives of everyone on the road. According to HOS regulations, a commercial truck driver may not drive more than 11 hours in one on-duty window. Only after he or she has had 10 consecutive hours of off-duty time can he or she get back behind the wheel.
Effects of 18-Wheeler Driver Fatigue
A driver who is drowsy or fatigued has decreased alertness and slower reaction times. Navigating turns becomes more difficult, speed adjustments are slower, over and/or under-steering is common, staying in one lane requires extra effort, and braking is delayed. Any of these consequences of fatigue can cause a devastating crash; and in the extreme event of a driver falling asleep at the wheel, the truck may lose control and plow into a line of cars, causing multiple serious injuries and fatalities.
Safety should be every big rig driver's priority when they are on the road. If you or a loved one has been injured in a Georgia tractor trailer accident due to the negligent actions of the truck driver, then you have the right to pursue compensation in civil court. The dedicated Atlanta truck accident attorneys at The Law Offices of Wayne Grant, P.C., can help you hold the at-fault driver accountable for losses and damages such as medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call our law firm today to learn more about your legal rights and options at (404) 995-3955 or toll-free at (866) 249-5513.