- Driving a safe vehicle and buckling up at all times;
- Driving defensively and anticipating the errors of others;
- Avoiding dangerous roads, intersections and weather conditions;
- Abiding by the traffic code.
Truck drivers and motor carriers have, in general, another view on safe driving. While most truck drivers and their employers certainly want to avoid crashes, their motivation is tainted by the profit motive, a slight bias that changes many things. Truck drivers are paid by the mile, and motor carriers constantly seek to optimize their financial results.
Indirectly, the consequence is that avoidable tractor-trailer crashes occur due to driver fatigue, driver inexperience and mistakes, failing truck brakes, cargo spillage, jackknife or rollover accidents and other causes.
Cases in point are truck rollover crashes. They are often caused by inexperienced truck drivers who are hired and put behind the wheel without the necessary training to get familiarized with the truck and trailer handling. Many factors contribute to truck rollovers, and it takes time for a truck driver to master all of them: entering a curve at excessive speed, collapsed suspension on one side, uneven cargo distribution, shifting cargo, high center-of-gravity load, under-inflated tires, steep road banking or curve, etc.
A semi-truck behaves very differently when the trailer is fully loaded, half-loaded, unevenly loaded or empty. Truck drivers need to know how to adjust and secure the load each time part of the cargo has been delivered, and adapt their driving to the weight they are pulling. All this comes with a lot of training and experience, a costly and time-consuming process. Time and money are things neither truck drivers nor motor carriers have in abundance, and this is ultimately the cause of too many semi-truck crashes.
If you have been hurt in a car, truck or motorcycle accident caused by someone else, call the Daytona Beach attorneys of Johnson & Gilbert PA today toll free at (800) 556-8890 and locally at (386) 673-4412 or send our lawyers an email to arrange a free consultation.