Contributing Factors in Kentucky Truck Accidents
Louisville Attorney Aaron Whaley Represents Kentuckians Injured in a Wide Variety of Accidents
What causes Kentucky truck accidents? The reasons can cover a wide range, from poorly secured loads and defective tires to drivers who are fatigued or impaired by drugs or alcohol. But no matter the reason, reckless truck drivers and negligent trucking companies need to be held responsible for their actions. That's why the experienced legal team at the Whaley Law Firm works so hard on behalf of truck accident victims in Louisville and across Kentucky. You shouldn't have to pay for somebody else's mistakes.
In some accidents, truck drivers are simply not paying attention. A truck driver may also be under the influence of drugs, driving while tired or speeding. Other times, truckers may skip mandatory breaks so they can move their cargo as fast as possible. They may operate unsafe vehicles that fail to meet federal safety standards. The following are some of the common contributing factors in Kentucky truck wrecks:
- Distractions, Fatigue, Substance Abuse, Speeding and Other Driver Errors
- Truck Equipment Failure
- Improper Loading of Cargo
- Violations of Federal Regulations
Serious truck crashes demand serious attention from a tough-minded, results-driven truck accident attorney in Louisville. The Whaley Law Firm takes an aggressive stand against truck driver and truck company negligence. We know the evidence to look for to prove fault. We can help determine the physical, emotional and financial cost of your injuries. Contact us today to learn more. Call the Whaley Law Firm at 866-703-7575 for a free case consultation.
Distractions, Fatigue, Substance Abuse, Speeding and Other Driver Errors
Truck drivers typically operate rigs that may weigh tens of thousands of pounds and carry possibly explosive materials or heavy equipment that could crush a smaller vehicle in an accident. An error in judgment can lead to a tragedy. For the sake of safety, truck drivers are expected to go through extensive training to operate their vehicles. Truck companies must conduct background check on drivers before hiring them to ensure they don't have a spotty driving record or a history of drug and alcohol abuse. Trucking companies sometimes cut corners. They might hire drivers who are not trained or who have a history of moving violations. Even trained truck drivers sometimes make careless or reckless decisions and put the lives of others at risk.
In Kentucky, truck accidents can be traced back to any number of reasons. Perhaps a trucker is preoccupied with his cell phone or texting instead of focusing on the road ahead before causing a rear-end accident. The driver may have tried to log extra hours on the road to meet delivery demands before falling asleep at the wheel or becoming too fatigued to safely operate a vehicle. A speeding accident might occur is trying to deliver his goods as fast as possible. In some high-speed accidents, truck drivers were under tremendous pressure from their employers to get from Point A to Point B.
To stay awake and alert for long hours behind the wheel, a truck driver might even choose to drink and drive or take drugs. Furthermore, a trucking company might knowingly hire a truck driver with a history of substance abuse or an accident record. Not only is it the responsibility of truck drivers to safely share the road with smaller, passenger size vehicles - it's the responsibility of trucking companies to screen all potential employees for alcohol abuse, drug problems and a driving record revealing collision records.
Truck companies are responsible for keeping their fleet of vehicles well-maintained, including conducting proper safety maintenance checks and making necessary repairs in a timely manner. Unfortunately, some trucking companies may willingly put profit ahead of safety, allowing drivers to operate dangerous vehicles on Kentucky roads. If a trucking company puts unsafe semi-trucks on the road, truck company owners may be liable for causing an accident.
Trucking companies can fail to properly maintain equipment in a number of ways. A truck company may complete scheduled maintenance and other repairs with poor quality or used parts. The trucking company may adopt unsafe or inadequate truck maintenance procedures when fixing brakes, changing tires or maintaining other safety components. Even worse, some truck companies may destroy documents indicating negligence or falsify maintenance records in order to deny fault after a trucking accident.
Under pressure to keep deliveries on-schedule, drivers may choose to take to the road with too much cargo, improperly loaded cargo, unbalanced loads and other cargo loading problems. When drivers fail to adhere to safety regulations when loading their tractor-trailer, they threaten the safety of all other motorists on the road. A truck with improperly loaded cargo can become a potentially fatal hazard, particularly when a truck is traveling at highway speeds.
What makes an overloaded or improperly loaded truck so dangerous? Semi-trucks are higher than they are wide. If a load isn't properly balanced or exceeds weight limits, a truck can become vulnerable to a rollover or jackknife accident. Overweight trucks may also run the risk of a tire blowout and may lead to issues with truck brakes and steering, making the vehicle more difficult to control and possibly rendering a truck unable to stop before causing a serious and potentially fatal accident on Kentucky roadways.
Violations of Federal Regulations
Truck drivers and trucking companies are required to follow a number of federal regulations created to keep everybody on the road safe and minimize accident risks. When a truck driver breaks the law while behind the wheel or a trucking company knowingly cuts corners and violates federal regulations governing the trucking industry, either party can be held liable for causing a truck accident in Louisville or any other city or town throughout Kentucky.
Truck drivers are required to follow laws familiar to drivers of smaller vehicles, such as avoiding cell phone use and texting, drinking and driving, and adhering to all posted speed limits. In accordance with the FMCSA's Hours of Service rules, truck drivers must also not exceed 14 hours of driving per day and are required at least two full nights of sleep per seven consecutive days on-the-job. When truckers violate these rules and cause an accident due to fatigue, accident victims may be eligible to receive damages for accident-related expenses.