It is no secret that big rigs on Louisiana highways create an element of danger that is often difficult to avoid. Whether it is rush hour traffic or the middle of a Sunday night, tractor trailers rule the road with their formidable size and weight. You are probably also aware of the consequences of an accident between a truck and your car, and the likelihood that you will be the one to suffer harm.
The risk factors that make a trucker susceptible to an accident are not all that different from those you face behind the wheel of your car or pickup. Nevertheless, the potential for disaster multiplies when a truck driver succumbs to the common errors drivers may make.
While the trucking industry claims that more than half of accidents involving trucks are not the fault of the trucker, distracted driving is still a major issue. Truck drivers spend many hours and consecutive days in the cab of a truck and may begin to feel complacent about the risks of common distractions. Just as a driver of a smaller motor vehicle may take his or her attention from the road, similar factors may distract a truck driver, such as:
- Cellphones and other devices
- Items lost or out of reach inside the cab
- Food and drink
- GPS system
A driver's own emotions may also distract him or her. You may know that it is difficult to focus when upset, angry or worried. Imagine trying to maneuver 20 to 80,000 pounds of vehicle and cargo when you feel overcome with your own passions.
To err is human
The distraction of a trucker is not the only issue that increases the risk that you will suffer injuries in an accident. Adverse weather conditions and mechanical failure are other reasons why a tractor trailer may end up causing an accident. The trucking industry may not see these as human error, but every driver has the responsibility to adjust speed for weather conditions and ensure their vehicles are in safe working order. Trucking companies may share this responsibility.
Of course, there are obvious acts of neglect and recklessness that may place you and your loved ones in grave danger. A trucker who drives while drowsy, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or with aggression may bring about deadly consequences. When drivers like you are the victims of those consequences, you have every right to seek legal assistance.