The state of Pennsylvania sees a large volume of commercial truck traffic thanks to its easy access to major cities along the east coast. Large commercial trucks have overpopulated state roads to the point that there are not even enough overnight parking spaces for truck drivers. Pennsylvania is scrambling to get a handle on the situation because it creates safety hazards for truck drivers and others sharing the roads.
Somerset County truck accident attorneys know that a large volume of trucks can unfortunately, lead to a large volume of trucking accidents. The trucking industry is heavily regulated in an effort to keep our roads safe, but when rules and regulations are not followed, accidents occur more frequently.
Rules and regulations
Federal and state rules and regulations govern just about every aspect of commercial truck driving. There are rules related to required truck maintenance and safety inspections, safe cargo loading and securing practices, required driver safety training and licensing, hours of driving limits, background checks, and drug testing. Violating any of these rules creates serious safety hazards not only for the driver, but for anyone else who shares the roads with the driver.
Truck accidents are different than accidents with regular passenger vehicles. Liability for trucking accidents can be confusing and a thorough investigation must be conducted to look into regulation violations, company practices, and possible vehicle defects. Parties that may be liable in truck accidents include the driver, employer truck company, contracting company, the truck owner, or truck manufacturer.
Common causes of truck accidents
- Cargo – Oversized loads or improperly loaded and secured cargo can cause accidents and make truck accident injuries and damages more severe.
- Speeding – Large trucks have more difficulty maneuvering and stopping than smaller, lighter weight vehicles which means that speeding is especially dangerous when it comes to trucks because of their inability to quickly react in emergency situations.
- Distracted driving – Even truck drivers are not immune to the temptation of texting, watching videos, or playing smartphone games while their full attention should be on driving.
- Driver fatigue – Drivers are under often under pressure to meet short deadlines with quick turn around times. Drivers who do not get proper rest or violate hours of service limits become fatigued and are a danger on the road.
- Defective truck or parts – Dangerous or defective truck parts such as malfunctioning brakes or tires can cause or contribute to truck accidents and resulting injuries.
- Lack of driver training – Intense training is required for large truck drivers in order to learn how to properly operate and handle commercial vehicles.