Truck Driver Speeding and Reckless Driving
With the typical automobile weighing between 3000 – 5000 lbs., it is no wonder eighteen-wheelers and most commercial motor vehicles, which weigh a minimum of 26,000 lbs., are subject to strict Federal Regulations when operating on the road.
When an eighteen-wheeler is involved in an accident with one or more passenger vehicles, the vehicles provide very little resistance to the crush forces exerted upon them. Depending on the speed and distance between an eighteen-wheeler and other vehicles, the results of a truck driver accident can be devastating.
Truck accidents can also result in the eighteen-wheeler jackknifing on the roadway, which is an immediate threat to other drivers and also creates the possibility of the truck overturning across the roadway. This can result in the truck blocking traffic for hours, which may also result in further accidents as unsuspecting drivers are forced to take evasive actions. Circumstances like these are just a few of the many reasons why truck drivers and their employers are obligated to prevent and punish drivers who engage in risky driving behavior such as speeding, alcohol and/or drug use or driving while fatigued.
drivers must obey speed requirements at all times. A simple driving history check can often reveal any past history a driver may have of using excessive speed to get their loads delivered sooner. A routine practice of speeding can be grounds for punitive damages being awarded when gross negligent conduct is found in a case.
Alcohol and/or Drug Use
There are strict Federal Regulations restricting the use of drugs and alcohol by truck drivers. In fact, random drug tests are required of all commercial motor vehicle carriers and all truck drivers who are involved in an accident must promptly submit to a drug test to determine whether or not drugs or alcohol were related in the accident. The use of drugs or alcohol while driving an eighteen-wheeler is grounds for losing one’s Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), as well as grounds for punitive damages when gross negligent conduct is found in a civil action suit.
There are numerous Federal Regulations to prevent fatigued driving. Trucking companies are required to ensure their drivers adhere to the strict rules regarding the amount of time they spend driving (on duty) and at rest (off duty). Strict documentation of driving and resting times are required in the driver’s logbook.
Sadly, there are still many accidents each year caused by a drowsy driver nodding off at the wheel. Something that could have been prevented by more sleep or simply pulling over to rest. If you are the victim of a drowsy driver, it is important to hire an attorney who not only understands this field of law, but also has experience reviewing truck driver logbooks because they will know how to identify doctored entries and falsified numbers.
Acting Swiftly to Preserve Evidence
Obtaining and evaluating these types of records early is critical when it comes to proving negligence in a truck accident. These records can be destroyed quickly under “documentation retention policies,” leading to the loss of key evidence in a victim’s case. Sending non-spoliation of evidence letters and issuing subpoenas may be your only chance to stop the destruction of critical evidence.
Call Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. Today
Don’t let the evidence disappear. Simmons and Fletcher, P.C., has been helping those injured by the gross negligent conduct of commercial motor vehicle operators for more than 40 years. If you or a loved one has been injured in a collision with an eighteen-wheeler, please call our truck accident attorneys for a free consultation at 800-298-0111.