Huge commercial trucks are everywhere, whether you are traveling the highways or driving through Main Street in your home time. Handling these massive vehicles take training and experience – just look at the way a truck driver needs to handle the vehicle when making a turn. In order to drive one of these vehicles, an individual is required to go through extensive training and obtain their commercial driver’s license (CDL). Despite these requirements, trucking companies still manage to hire bad truck drivers. These poor hiring decisions are responsible for more than 4,000 truck accident fatalities each year and leaving thousands more seriously injured.
According to statistics from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a majority of truck accidents are caused by reckless driving on the part of the truck driver. Approximately 20 percent of crashes are caused by truck driver speeding. Another 15 percent occur because of truck driver cell phone use. Studies have found that many reckless driving crashes occur because of improper truck driver training.
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In these cases, the crashes could have been avoided if the trucking companies engaged in better employee vetting and provided driver training programs. This failure by the trucking company leaves them legally liable when a truck accident is caused by the reckless behavior of the truck driver. Other factors that can leave the trucking company liable is forcing drivers to drive more than the federal legal limit and poor vehicle maintenance.
Driving Under the Influence
One of the most dangerous reckless behaviors that truck drivers engage in is driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. FMSCA regulations state a truck driver can lose their CDL license for life if they have multiple DUI convictions, but many truck drivers still get behind the wheel while under the influence, putting themselves and everyone else on the road in danger. There have been numerous cases where a trucking company has hired a driver who had previous DUI convictions.
One factor cited for trucking companies hiring inadequately trained drivers or drivers who have a history of DUI or other reckless driving history is because there is a nationwide shortage of qualified truck drivers. It is projected that within the next five years, that shortage will be as high as 178,000.
At Shapiro & Appleton, our truck accident attorneys have successfully advocated for many truck accident victims and their families in getting them the financial compensation they deserve for the terrible injuries they suffered because of negligent or reckless truck drivers and trucking companies, including:
- Our Virginia truck accident victim law firm helped the survivors of a man killed in rear-end collision caused by a negligent tractor-trailer operator secure a $2.4 million settlement without going to trial.
- Virginia Beach truck accident victim receives $350,000 settlement. Our client suffered a fractured kneecap and multiple serious cuts and bruises when a truck driver turned left in from of his minivan in Virginia Beach. The official crash report showed conclusively that the truck driver failed to yield right of way before turning. A quick settlement was reached without going to trial.
Contact a Virginia Truck Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in any type of truck accident, contact a Virginia truck accident attorney to discuss what legal recourse you may have. Truck accident cases can be complex and it is not uncommon for there to be multiple at-fault parties who are responsible for the payment of financial damages you may be entitled to for your injuries. Our personal injury firm has successfully represented many injured victims and their families and we are happy to meet with you and offer legal guidance on what the best options may be for your circumstances