Large commercial trucks can weigh around 80,000 pounds, which is 40 tons; that’s over 20 times as much as the average passenger vehicle. Truck drivers have a duty to handle their heavy and hazardous vehicles with care, and when their negligence leads to accidents, they could be held responsible for the resulting injuries.

All drivers must make an effort to operate their vehicles with the appropriate level of care, but because large trucks have the potential to cause significant damage and catastrophic injuries, truck driver negligence is especially dangerous.

Common Causes of Truck Driver Negligence

Large trucks are difficult to control, which is why additional training is required for drivers. However, the inherent challenges that exist in driving a truck do not prevent drivers from their duty to operate their rigs safely. Truck driver negligence can occur if drivers fail to check blind spots, do not comply with regulations, drive drowsy or intoxicated, or ignore truck maintenance requirements, among other poor choices.

Oversized and Overweight Loads

Connecticut issues special permits to truck drivers who are transporting loads that exceed the state’s 80,000-pound limit, but those permits have numerous stipulations and restrictions. For instance, oversized load permits are not granted for transportation on the weekends or holidays. If a driver fails to obtain a special permit for their overweight load, or if they violate Connecticut’s laws regarding transportation under the permit, this negligence could cause an accident, as well as liability for any harm they cause.

Driver Screening Requirements

Trucking companies have a responsibility to thoroughly screen drivers before hiring or approving them for truck routes. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has made this process easier for employers by granting electronic access to up to five years of driver accident data and three years of driver inspection data through their Pre-Employment Screening Program. Employers who neglect to use an effective screening process could end up hiring drivers with poor driving records, a history of violations, or other safety concerns. Trucking companies and truck driver negligence can have fatal consequences.

Dangerous or Aggressive Driving Habits

Truck drivers must follow the rules of the road just like any other vehicle, but some truckers believe that their size and weight grant them privileges that smaller vehicles do not have. This dangerous approach to sharing the road can manifest in behaviors like tailgating, failing to yield the right of way, speeding, cutting people off, ignoring road signs, and running red lights. While it’s reasonable for motorists to exercise some extra patience and understanding from time to time when large trucks are attempting difficult maneuvers, truck drivers should never create dangerous driving situations for other people on the roads.

Improper Truck Maintenance

Equipment failure is a common cause of large truck accidents. Drivers and truck companies who fail to have the vehicles properly maintained could be held liable for injury and damage caused by a truck’s equipment failure. Tire blowouts, brake failure, transmission issues, electrical system problems, and suspension failure can lead to a dangerous loss of control and other hazardous conditions like fire.

Liability for Accidents Caused by Truck Driver Negligence

Establishing liability in your accident is vital to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. The attorneys at D’Amico & Pettinicchi have extensive experience navigating truck accident claims. We can help you gather the evidence to prove the truck driver’s negligence caused your accident and subsequent injuries. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.