Trucking Accidents: Common Causes of Truck Driver Liability

Truck accidents are one of the most devastating types of vehicle accidents that can occur. Unfortunately, many of these crashes result in deaths. For those victims who do survive, injuries are often catastrophic ones, leaving permanent injuries and disabilities for the victim and their families to deal with for the rest of their lives.

A Virginia truck accident attorney can advocate for victims in tractor-trailer claims and lawsuits filed against the at-fault party or parties. Truck accident cases are more complex than other types of crashes because there is often more than one party responsible, including the truck driver, trucking company, freight company, or truck manufacturer.

The following are some of the less common causes of commercial truck accidents that are the cause behind the crash.

Truck Driver Undiagnosed Medical Issues

According to studies conducted on truck drivers, approximately 85 percent of them are overweight or obese. This is often due to the long hours they spend on the road, leaving little opportunity to exercise. Many of the meals truck drivers eat on the road come from fast food establishments, which also play a significant role in obesity issues. Being overweight or obese usually results in health issues that can significantly affect the ability of truck drivers to operate these massive vehicles safely.

Sleep apnea is one of the most common medical issues that has emerged over the past few years. When a person suffers from sleep apnea, they stop breathing multiple times while they sleep. This results in the sufferer feeling fatigued and unable to concentrate during waking hours. A truck driver suffering from sleep apnea is at great risk of falling asleep while driving.

One of the common causes of sleep apnea is being overweight. Many studies have found that many truck drivers suffer from this dangerous condition but are entirely unaware.

Other undiagnosed – and dangerous – medical conditions that truck drivers suffer from include diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

Unqualified Truck Drivers

Operating a commercial truck is much different than operating a passenger vehicle. It requires training, skill, and experience. Due to their weight and size, commercial trucks such as tankers and tractor-trailers must be handled precisely, especially when turning and braking. Anyone operating one of these vehicles must be thoroughly trained and pass both written and driving tests before being given the keys to one of these vehicles.

An untrained or inexperienced truck driver who gets behind the wheel can encounter many issues that can cause a crash, including not allowing enough time for the vehicle to stop when braking or overcorrecting.

It is up to the trucking company to ensure the drivers they hire are physically fit and qualified to drive the truck. Unfortunately, too many companies put profits before safety, resulting in deaths and severe injuries. Investigations have discovered that many trucking companies evade consequences from federal regulations by changing their corporate name.

Contact a Virginia Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, contact a Virginia truck accident attorney to discuss your legal recourse against the responsible party or parties. At Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp, our legal team has successfully advocated for many truck accident victims and their families, and we understand how complex these cases can be. Our attorneys are available to meet and discuss the details of your case and how we may be able to help.

For more information about truck accidents in Virginia, please download our free guide.