Truck accidents are among the most catastrophic types of crashes on the road. The massive size and weight of semi-trucks make them quite likely to cause severe damage when they strike people or property.
Because of this, it is crucial that these vehicles are operated by safe, qualified drivers. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. Below, we discuss four types of dangerous truck drivers who put motorists’ lives in danger.
- Unqualified or untrained drivers – As a result of the current trucker shortage — or to just try and save money — some trucking companies hire untrained or unqualified drivers. This includes drivers who don’t have a commercial drivers’ license, inexperienced drivers and those who have certain medical conditions that prevent them from safely driving a commercial vehicle.
- Drowsy truckers – In accordance with federal Hours of Service regulations, drivers have restrictions on how long they can be behind the wheel. These limits minimize the risk that a trucker will be on the road when he or she has not had adequate rest. However, not all drivers follow these rules. Some even falsify logbooks to drive longer than they should.
- Distracted truckers – Truck drivers can get distracted while driving. They might send texts on their phone, watch movies, eat or engage in other distracting behaviors while driving, which means they are not able to completely focus on the road. This can make it easier for them to crash or lose control of their vehicle.
- Impaired truckers – Trucking is a demanding occupation. Between the boredom and long hours away from family, it can be difficult to stay alert and focused on the job. To cope, some drivers engage in dangerous behaviors like misusing alcohol and drugs before they get on the road.
Of course, not all truck drivers are reckless or dangerous. In fact, most are well-qualified and comply with state and federal trucking regulations. However, when a trucker makes a mistake or breaks the law, the consequences can be catastrophic.
In these situations, victims of a serious truck accident and their families may be eligible for compensation for damages suffered in a crash. Because these cases are often complex and may involve multiple parties, legal guidance can be crucial when assessing your options and pursuing a claim.