Commercial truck drivers are required to go through extensive training courses in order to earn a commercial driver’s license (CDL), which they need to have to drive commercial vehicles. But each year, almost 5,000 people are killed in commercial trucking accidents. How does this happen?
One frequent reason is that despite the required training drivers must have, many trucking companies hire drivers with poor records, drivers who are inexperienced, inadequately train the drivers they do hire, or assign drivers trucks that have not been properly maintained. This puts everyone on the road at high risk of being injured or killed in truck accidents.
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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 truck crashes occur because the truck driver was operating the vehicle at excessive speed. Another 15 percent of crashes occur because of cell phone use by the truck driver. In many of these cases, investigations find that the reckless behavior of the truck driver was a result of the trucking company’s failure to provide the driver with proper training.
Although the crashes are the fault of the truck driver, these crashes could have been avoided if the trucking company had done a more complete vetting in the hiring process and provide better training. The failure to provide proper training is an act of negligence on the part of the company and leaves them liable for any losses a victim sustains in a truck accident.
There are other ways trucking companies can be held liable. For example, many companies are guilty of forcing drivers to drive more than the federal government allows. Not only is this against the law, but it also puts all motorists at risk because of how dangerous it is for a fatigued driver to be behind the wheel of a vehicle.
Another dangerous issue that trucking companies are guilty of is hiring drivers who have previous DUI convictions. The FMCSA can bar a CDL holder for life if they have multiple DUI convictions, yet that doesn’t stop many drivers to operate their trucks under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Yet, despite the high risk of letting a driver with DUI conviction history operate a vehicle, many trucking companies ignore these risks and hire the driver anyway.
Contact a Virginia Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, contact a Virginia truck accident attorney to discuss what legal recourse you may have against the responsible party or parties. The legal team from Shapiro & Appleton has successfully advocated for many truck accident victims and their families and we understand how complicated these cases can be. Our attorneys are available to meet and discuss the details of your case and how we may be able to help. Call 800-752-0042 to set up a free and confidential case evaluation.
For more information about truck accidents in Virginia, please download our free guide.