What can truck drivers and trucking companies do to prevent crashes?
Truck drivers and trucking companies are responsible promoting safety on West Virginia roads. Unfortunately, many of them cut corners to save time and money or engage in outright negligent behavior. Since large commercial trucks can weigh anywhere between 20-30 times the average passenger car, they can cause a devastating amount of damage in a crash.
According to the latest truck crash statistics, more than 4,000 people died in crashes involving large trucks on U.S. roads in 2018. Many of these crashes were caused by drowsy driving, speeding, reckless driving, distracted driving, and impaired driving. That's why it's critical that truck drivers are reminded of the safety precautions they should be taking whenever they get behind the wheel.
Federal agency offers truck safety tips
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an agency of the federal government that investigates crashes. The agency recently issued truck fleet safety cards, which offer safety tips to truck drivers and fleet owners based on crashes they have investigated.
The card addresses human error, truck driver health and crash prevention technology. The tips provided to truck drivers include:
- Stay attentive, avoid all distractions, and comply with federal rules for cellphone use.
- Drive at a speed that is safe and prudent, especially during hazardous weather. Never exceed the posted speed limit, even during favorable conditions.
- Take frequent breaks, maintain a healthy diet, and exercise to prevent fatigue. Never get behind the wheel after using prescription drugs that can induce drowsiness.
- Drivers and passengers should be equipped with seatbelts.
- Do not drive while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
The NTSB also offered these tips to fleet owners and trucking companies:
- Implement fatigue prevention guidelines for drivers, as outlined in the North American Fatigue Management Program.
- Ensure that all fleets are equipped with underride guards, speed limiting technology, collision avoidance systems, and other crash-prevention technologies. Truck drivers should also be trained on how these technologies work.
- Screen drivers for sleep apnea or other health complications that can lead to medical events on the road.
What should I do if I'm involved in a truck crash?
Truck drivers who don't adhere to the safety precautions mentioned by the NTSB endanger other road users. Trucking companies are also responsible when they don't comply with federal guidelines to ensure that vehicles are safe to operate.
If you or a loved one was injured in a crash with a large commercial truck, get an experienced West Virginia truck accident attorney on your side who can launch a thorough investigation, deal with the insurance companies, and help maximize your compensation.
Before speaking to a trucking company's insurance provider or accepting a small settlement, contact Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC and learn about the legal options available to you. We offer free consultations.