All drivers would surely want to get to their destinations safely, especially if they find themselves sharing the road with a big truck; but if they end up driving at the truck’s blind or “no zone” area, tailgate it or cut in front of it, then the likelihood of an accident wouldn’t be remote.
About two million semi-trucks, big rigs, tractor trailers, and 18-wheelers ply major US roads and highways. And, every year, close to half a million of these trucks figure in an accident, based on a report to the US Department of Transportation. An estimated 130,000 of these accidents result in injuries, while about 5,000 end in fatalities.
Despite the big number, accidents involving trucks are very much smaller compared to car accidents and, surprisingly, in accidents wherein a truck and a car are involved, fault is most often blamed on the driver of the smaller vehicle.
Due to their big size and very heavy weight trucks are considered threats on the road. They can easily crush, like tin cans, anything that would block their way. They require longer breaking distance, carry heavy (sometimes even toxic) cargo, and require federal standard and not worn-out tires to ensure traction, especially during emergency breaks. Truck drivers also regularly drive cross-county, often for at least 10 hours straight, and would usually ignore fatigue or sleepiness due to truck operator’s pay-by-the-mile rule. These are some of the reasons why applicants for a commercial driver’s license are made to go through tough training and tests (written and a three-part skills test on vehicle inspection, basic control and road test) to make sure that they are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills required in operating a truck safely.
It is obvious, however, that despite drivers’ training and readiness to handle their trucks safely plus car drivers’ own set of requirements before being issued a driver’s license by their state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), someone is still very likely to act negligently on the road.
The website of The Law Offices of Vic Feazell, P.C., could not have put it more clearly when it said that we all have a “moral and legal obligation to ensure that we do not recklessly endanger others.” Thus, if by a person’s actions someone gets injured, then that person becomes legally responsible for the results of his/her carelessness or recklessness.