While there are many different ways truck accidents can occur, one often overlooked factor in many crashes is the role of the trucking companies. Though truck drivers usually have at least some responsibility for the accident, the driver’s employers often share a portion of the blame.
After all, it’s the trucking company’s job to thoroughly vet the people who drive their vehicles and to make sure drivers are following required safety regulations. When trucking companies fail to do their due diligence, accidents become more likely because careless or inexperienced drivers end up behind the wheel.
An Arkansas truck accident injury lawyer at the Pfeifer Law Firm can help you if you’ve been involved in a truck accident. Paul Pfeifer
is a Little Rock native who understands the toll a personal injury can take on accident victims and those close to them. He’s dedicated himself to helping truck accident victims find justice for their injuries, earning an AV Preeminent
rating from Martindale-Hubbell along the way.
Our Little Rock truck accident team
can help you get the compensation you need to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and other losses from a truck accident. To get started, set up your free consultation by calling 501-374-4440 or visiting our contact page
Why Are There So Many Poorly Trained or Inadequate Truck Drivers on the Road?
Despite being a fairly lucrative job, America has about 50,000 fewer truck drivers than it really needs, according to the Washington Post
. This extreme demand for new drivers puts trucking companies in a bind, as it means they’re scrambling to get anyone they can find to fill their open positions.
This may lead them to take less-than-desirable candidates, such as those with minimal experience handling commercial vehicles or drivers who have convictions for speeding, DUI, or other negligent driving behavior.
An aggravating factor in this situation is the comparatively lax standards to become a truck driver. There’s no formal education required, and the requirements to obtain a commercial driver’s license aren’t incredibly strict. Nevertheless, trucking companies need to perform the necessary background checks on potential drivers to make sure candidates have the necessary experience to handle a vehicle capably, along with ensuring the drivers have a history of driving safely.
When trucking companies hire drivers with minimal training, limited experience, or prior examples of bad behavior in their past, the result is a recipe for disaster.
Risks When Inexperienced Truck Drivers End Up Behind the Wheel
Even truck drivers with extensive experience can be involved in an accident, but the chance of an accident increases when a novice driver is handling a truck. Some of the more common risks associated with inexperienced drivers include:
- A greater chance of a jackknife accident because the driver can’t control the trailer and the truck at the same time, especially when braking.
- Increased chance of brake failure or tire blowouts because the driver didn’t take the time to perform proper maintenance checks before getting on the road
- A higher chance of rollover accidents because new drivers are more likely to take turns too quickly or perform other dangerous maneuvers.
- More rear-end collisions because new drivers underestimate how much time and space is required to bring a large truck to a full stop.
- More blind-spot accidents because inexperienced drivers aren’t as skilled at monitoring the area around their vehicles
- More improper lane change accidents, sideswipe accidents, and similar crashes because of a driver’s inexperience with handling a large truck
Risks Associated With Hiring Negligent Truck Drivers
Inexperienced drivers aren’t the only issue facing trucking companies. Even drivers with many years of experience can cause an accident if they routinely engage in negligent or reckless driving behavior. For example, data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(NHTSA) show that 6.4 percent of all truck drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2018 tested positive for the presence of at least one drug. Drug use obviously correlates with an increased chance of being involved in an accident.
Some of the risks that come with improperly screening truck drivers before hiring them include:
- Hiring drivers with a history of speeding or other reckless driving behavior
- Hiring drivers with DUI convictions
- Hiring drivers with convictions for illegal drug use
- Hiring drivers who’ve previously been involved in truck accidents
How Do You Prove Truck Companies Are Liable for Hiring Inexperienced or Negligent Drivers?
Proving a truck driver is responsible for an accident can be challenging enough, but it’s even more difficult when you’re trying to show that their employer acted negligently. Nevertheless, there are a few ways you can show a trucking company didn’t act appropriately when they hired a truck driver. These include:
- Looking at the driver’s training records to see what kind of training they went through before being hired and how long they’ve held a commercial driver’s license
- Looking at the driver’s accident history to see if they’ve been involved in any prior crashes, which should be a red flag to any potential employer
- Searching for any police records that indicate the driver has a history of speeding, reckless driving, DUI, drug use, or other violations that should be a warning sign to trucking companies
- Looking at the company’s hiring and training policies to see how they select drivers to run their routes
- Seeing if there’s a pattern of drivers employed by the company being involved in accidents, which may indicate some type of issue with how they screen potential drivers
Compensation In Arkansas Truck Accident Claims
Arkansas allows truck accident victims to claim compensation for many different kinds of injuries after a crash, including:
- The cost of your medical bills
- The value of any damaged property
- Your lost wages
- Your reduced capacity to earn a living
- Your physical pain and suffering
- Your mental anguish
Contact Our Little Rock Truck Accident Office Today
It’s important to hold trucking companies accountable when they don’t do their duty to keep motorists safe. If you’ve been involved in a truck accident, the legal team at Pfeifer Law Firm will work vigorously to help you get the money you deserve for your injuries. Call 501-374-4440 or visit our contact page
to get a free case review.