Commercial truck accidents can be severe. Those involved are much more likely to sustain catastrophic injuries due to the sheer size and weight of these larger trucks. Unfortunately, accidents involving large trucks often revolve around truck driver or truck company negligence. Here, we want to discuss the most common causes of truck accidents in Colorado and throughout the US.
All truck drivers are required to carry their commercial driver’s license (CDL). Trucking companies must ensure that drivers are properly trained before allowing them to operate company vehicles. Improperly trained or inexperienced drivers are dangerous on the roadways. Poor driving is a leading cause of commercial truck accidents, and driver errors can include speeding, operating too fast for road or weather conditions, turning too sharply, inability to control the vehicle, failing to yield the right of way, and more.
Distracted driving has always been a major problem on the roadways, particularly for those operating larger vehicles. However, as smartphones and other types of technologies have evolved, distracted driving has become even more of an issue. Now, drivers can browse social media, use the phone, watch streaming services, take videos or selfies, and more (maybe even all at the same time). While the vast majority of commercial truck drivers in Colorado and throughout the US operate their vehicles safely, it only takes one distracted driver to cause a catastrophic accident.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has very specific requirements when it comes to how long drivers are allowed to operate each day. These hours of service requirements are enforced on any commercial truck driver who operates across state lines, though Colorado has their own hours of service requirements for commercial truck drivers who only operate within state boundaries. These requirements dictate how long truck drivers are allowed to operate during each work day and throughout the work week, and they also dictate when brakes must be taken.
Additionally, truck drivers should never operate their vehicles while impaired by alcohol or drugs. The blood alcohol content level for commercial truck drivers is .04%, which is less than half the limit allowed for every other driver on the roadway. The use of alcohol, prescription, illegal, and over-the-counter medications should never happen.
Every commercial trucking company and owner-operator is responsible for regularly inspecting and maintaining each vehicle in their fleet. They must also keep records of these inspections and maintenance for a particular amount of time. Large commercial trucks have many parts, and a malfunction at any point along the way could lead to disaster on the roadway. Problems with tires, brakes, headlights, suspension, connections, the engine, and more could all lead to a collision.
If you or somebody you care about has been injured in an accident with a large commercial truck, you need to reach out to a Denver truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. These claims can become complicated very quickly, particularly when going up against insurance carriers, trucking companies, and legal teams. Let an attorney examine the facts of your case, hand all negotiations with these other parties, and take your case to trial if necessary.