Irresponsible and Reckless Driving Accidents
Most commercial trucking accidents are the unfortunate result of irresponsible or reckless driving habits. Speeding and reckless driving are two of the more common types of irresponsible driving habits that can potentially lead to a reckless driving accident. Truck drivers must maintain safe speeds in order to remain in control of their vehicles, some of which can have a gross weight of 80,000 pounds. Speeding can cause a driver to lose control of his or her vehicle and cause an accident.
Alcohol usage is another cause for irresponsible or reckless driving accidents. It is illegal to operate any motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Truck drivers who disregard this law jeopardize their life and the lives of those on the road. Drivers are representatives of their employers, and as such, the employers are liable for any injuries that may occur due to commercial trucking accidents. Employers have a responsibility to ensure that drivers do not drink alcohol and drive the company vehicles.
The FMSCA regulates the maximum allowable weight of a truck and its corresponding load. The heavier a truck is, the more difficult it can be to control. If a driver has to respond quickly to something on the road, it can be nearly impossible if the truck’s weight exceeds FMSCA regulation.
In accordance with the FMSCA, the max gross vehicle weight cannot exceed 80,000 pounds. Similarly, maximum gross weight on any one axle cannot exceed 20,000 pounds and maximum gross weight on tandem axles cannot exceed 34,000 pounds.
Trucking companies are constantly looking for ways to transport as much material as they can at one time. As such, it is not uncommon that trucks are overloaded in an effort to save/make more money. Highways will commonly have a variety of scale checkpoints at which trucks are routinely weighed so as to determine whether or not their load falls within the regulated weight limit. If a person is injured in a commercial trucking accident due to excessive weight, then the owner of the truck may be liable for those injuries.
Weight Distribution and Improperly Secured Loads
Not only is the overall weight of a commercial truck important but also how the weight is distributed. It is important for the safe operation of a vehicle that the weight be distributed so as not to cause the vehicle to tilt or to pull one way or another. The driver’s focus should be on the road and other vehicles, not constantly correcting the changing position of his or her own vehicle due to a lopsided load.
Securing the load is also important. Pre-trip inspections are used to ensure that tow bar / saddle mount connections are properly secured to the towed and towing vehicle. A loose rig could potentially become disconnected from its truck and cause a serious commercial trucking accident. As in irresponsible driving, the owner of the truck is liable if the vehicle is loaded in such a way as to increase the probability of an accident.
The Law Offices of Pat Maloney, P.C., provide car accident attorneys San Antonio relies on if you’ve experienced an automobile accident.