News Room

Trucking Companies Must do More to Keep the Roads Safe

Written on behalf of Brian Kabateck

August 17, 2018

There’s a reason why many drivers are scared to share the roads with 18-wheelers. Large trucks are involved in one out of every 10 highway deaths and most fatalities involve passengers in smaller vehicles, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. On May 17th, a Texas jury returned a $90 million-dollar verdict against Werner Enterprises finding the company was negligent in a fatal crash that killed a seven-year-old in 2014. The incident involved a student truck driver who was driving during icy weather conditions. The collision happened on I-20 in Texas during freezing rain and black ice conditions. The large verdict raises concerns about whether trucking companies are doing enough to train their drivers and keep the roads safe for everyone.

Every state’s Commercial Driver’s License manual instructs 18-wheeler drivers to slow down and get off the road during icy conditions. Shiraz Ali, the Werner student truck driver in this case, did not get off the interstate. Instead, he was driving at speeds of 60 mph for the 52 miles he was driving on icy conditions prior to the crash, and was traveling over 50 mph seconds prior to the collision. According to the Truck Safety Coalition, more than 250,000 crashes involving passenger cars and large trucks occur each year. In more than 70% of fatal crashes involving autos and big trucks, police report that the automobile driver contributed to the cause of the crash. Although many believe that accidents typically occur during bad weather, most crashes between autos and trucks happen during daylight hours on straight and dry pavement under good weather conditions. Because trucks are so much bigger and heavier than cars, the driver of the car is killed in fatal car-truck collisions four out of five times.

Even the trucking companies that have hired the safest and most experienced truck drivers want to ensure truck driver safety. Trucking companies that are aware of the importance of truck driver safety have started providing extensive training experience to their truckers. Many companies are taking the advantages that technological advances are bringing to the plate as well. They can contribute to truck driver safety, but on the negative side, technology can’t help with accidents that occur due to human error.

Some ways to reduce trucking accidents are to train drivers on the right protocol when it comes to driving in dangerous weather conditions. Looking at the forecast ahead of a trip could help the driver be prepared for any stops they might have to make in order to avoid driving in bad conditions. Trucking companies should also start to reinforce driver training and monitor the driving behavior of their truck drivers on a regular basis to ensure their safety as well as the safety of others sharing the road. Dash-mounted cameras are also another solution that trucking companies have started implementing, with the aim to ensure truck driver safety. These technologies have helped trucking company owners to track the movement of truck drivers. These tips could help protect truck driver’s safety, which in turn, would reduce the high driver turnover rate and the number of truck crashes.

Truck accidents have increased by 20% over the past two decades. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) states that in 2012, a total of 3,802 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes, a five-percent increase from 2011. The number of large trucks involved in crashes where someone was injured also increased by 22 percent, from 63,000 to 77,000.

When a trucking accident occurs in California, a lawyer who knows the rules and regulations under the laws of California is needed. Damages caused by a truck accident can be severe including death, brain injury, broken bones, disfigurement, burns, spinal cord injury, paralysis, and amputation. Victims of these severe injuries often endure multiple surgeries and therapies, and require long-term medical care which can lead to significant costs.

Many firms represent they are trucking accident attorneys yet their record is void of any results. If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury or even death because of a large truck accident, contact KBK, one of the leading truck accident attorneys in Los Angeles, without delay. We have the experienced truck accident attorney team in Los Angeles necessary to fight for your recovery.