Semi-truck accidents are particularly harrowing as the collision between an 18-wheeler with a smaller vehicle can result in catastrophic consequences. Far too often, negligent acts played a crucial role in the crash.
Data from 2019 reveals more than a half-million crashes involving semi-trucks, with nearly 4,500 resulting in fatalities, while 114,000 led to serious injuries and vehicle damage. Injuries to truckers and passengers were only 18 percent.
Driver fatigue tops the list of accidents, mainly when operators go far beyond the regulated time they can be behind the wheel. Current industry mandates allow truckers carrying property to drive up to 11 hours, but only following ten consecutive hours without driving. Carrying passengers is the same amount of time traveling, but after eight straight hours, they are off duty.
Proving the legal standard of negligence, specifically a duty of care, is paramount in prevailing in a lawsuit. A driver’s history is often the best indicator of a potential fault in a case. Commercial trucking businesses must maintain records on truckers beyond maintenance logs.
Federal law mandates that positive drug tests and results revealing 0.02 alcohol concentration or more stay on a record for five years. Negative results are held for one. Data is of particular interest should accident victims pursue legal action.
While the driver is often targeted for blame, many accidents see other factors at play. Insufficient or an outright lack of training can be a decisive factor in proving negligence. A lack of maintenance on the vehicle also causes countless accidents involving semi-trucks. Poor highway infrastructure can also cause collisions.