A Familiar Problem
We all try to stay attentive, obey the rules of the road, and practice defensive driving when we get behind the wheel. Any deviation from this practice may cause an accident. This is even true for truck drivers. An error made behind the wheel of a truck has the opportunity to become an accident with serious injuries.
In a recent study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), “more truck crashes are caused by the driver than by vehicle malfunction, weather, and road conditions combined. This is often caused by the truck driver failing to follow safety protocol, which places other drivers in jeopardy.”
The Most Common Errors
According to the FMCSA, the most common errors made by truck drivers are:
- Driving while texting. Any use of electronic devices while driving is illegal and can lead to distractions that may cause the driver to lose control and crash.
- Driving through rest breaks. Truck drivers are federally mandated to take rest periods in between driving long shifts. Logs must be maintained for each trip, accounting for every minute traveled.
- Speeding. Speeding is of course illegal, but when a trucker speeds it can be even more dangerous
- Driving while impaired. The blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for drivers is 0.08%. The limit for commercial truck drivers, however, is 0.04%. Federal regulations require random and routine tests of drivers by trucking companies.
Real Life Consequences
Recently in White Plains, a tractor trailer overturned and dumped a load of rocks onto I-287. The driver was charged with a DWI. Thankfully, other than the crash causing significant traffic delays, no one was hurt.
Practicing good driving habits is essential when getting behind the wheel, but keep in mind that you always have to watch out for the other drivers on the road who may not be doing the same.