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Top Three Risks Posed by Drivers of Commercial Vehicles

As a Virginia attorney who represents victims of accident caused by or involving tractor-trailers and other commercial vehicles, I am quite familiar with the laws that set the safety rules for the trucking industry. These rules cover vehicle inspection, repair and maintenance; hours of service and required rest periods to reduce the effects of fatigue; physical and mental health, including good eyesight and general condition; and alcohol and drug use. When operating a commercial truck, drivers must know and follow these rules and possess the skills necessary to control their vehicles safely.

Commercial drivers and the companies for which they work have responsibilities to maintain their trucks in good repair, perform timely maintenance, and perform regular inspections. Staying up to date on inspections is very important because if something goes wrong with a vehicle, an inspection will make you aware of the problem before it is too late. Along with repairing problems, doing maintenance ensures tires, brakes and lights work properly.

Knowing the effects fatigue, poor vision and ill health have on truck driving performance is key for preventing trucking accidents before they happen. Getting behind the wheel when fatigued is not safe for a trucker or anyone else on the road. Similarly, uncorrected poor vision can make a truck driver a threat to other drivers because truckers who cannot see potential hazards cannot react to them in a timely manner. Accidents can also occur if a driver neglect his or her general health. The trucker is in the best position to know if personal health problems make him or her a risk to other drivers and pedestrians.

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is very dangerous. When under the influence, your vision and reflexes are impaired, making you a threat to yourself and all other drivers on the road. DUI/DWI accidents involving big rigs often result in serious injuries and deaths.

Drivers of commercial vehicle are responsible for anything that goes wrong while they are driving. If they do not keep up to date with inspections and maintenance that negligence might result in an accident. If they drive while sick or while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they are endangering themselves and everyone else on the road.

If you have suffered an injury due to the carelessness of a commercial driver, please contact our Virginia personal injury law firm to learn if we are able to help.


Richard N. Shapiro
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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia