There are more than a half million trucking accidents across the United States each year. Many truck drivers feel they own the road, simply because their vehicles are so large. Additionally, the truck drivers may feel they are not bound by the same rules of the road as other drivers. As a result, they may drive their commercial trucks aggressively, speeding or swerving in and out of traffic. They may even engage in dangerous driving behaviors, such as texting while driving.
Truck Driver Distraction can be Fatal
Distracted driving can take many forms, and some research indicates that between 25 and 50% of all motor vehicle crashes in America are the result of driver distraction. Truck drivers may talk on a cell phone, text, change radio stations, attempt to read a map while in traffic, talk to a passenger, look at something happening on the side of the road, or eat while behind the wheel of the truck.
While trucking companies may not actively encourage their drivers to drive more hours than allowed, they may not particularly discourage the practice either. Truck drivers are only paid while they are behind the wheel driving. The quicker loads are delivered, the more income for the trucking company. This makes truck driver distraction not only possible, but very likely. They may be forced into engaging in multi-tasking behavior, such as eating while driving or making motel reservations. Further, long haul truck driving is very solitary in nature, making it more likely for truckers to engage in potentially dangerous distractions such as talking on the phone or texting.
Reckless and Aggressive Driving by Truck Drivers
Reckless and aggressive driving is dangerous no matter who is behind the wheel and what size the vehicle is. Reckless or aggressive driving can be particularly deadly when engaged in by the driver of a large commercial truck. Some types of aggressive or reckless driving include:
- Failure to maintain lanes;
- Erratic lane changing;
- Cutting off smaller vehicles;
- Tailgating a smaller vehicle;
- Making obscene gestures to other drivers;
- Hitting the brakes to “punish” a vehicle driving too closely behind, and
- Blatantly attempting to run other vehicles off the road.
Any type of behavior which shows a disregard for drivers can be considered reckless or aggressive driving.
According to Driving Insights, aggressive truck drivers are almost three times more likely to have a collision than fatigued drivers. Further, the likelihood a truck driver will be involved in a crash rises significantly when the driver regularly engages in aggressive driving behaviors.
Contact Knowledgeable Trucking Accident Lawyers
If you have been injured in a trucking accident in the Washington, DC metro area, Virginia, and throughout the State of Maryland, the trucking accident attorneys at Patrick Malone & Associates can help. We know that distracted driving is rampant throughout the trucking industry. As such, we work diligently from the very start to build a case that is designed to prove liability and maximize compensation for our clients. Call us at 1-202-742-1500 or 1-888-625-6635 or fill out our confidential contact form for a FREE Consultation and review of your case.
The trucking accident attorneys at Patrick Malone & Associates have successfully represented injured individuals in Washington, DC, Arlington, Alexandria, Annapolis, Rockville, Baltimore, Richmond, Fairfax, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, and other locations throughout Maryland and Virginia.