When the driver of a large truck is speeding, following too closely, driving erratically, or driving while using a cell phone, that is unsafe behavior, and that truck needs to be pulled over and the driver ticketed. There is little use for laws that are not enforced, but that is what happens too often, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA):
“Law enforcement officers assigned with traffic enforcement responsibilities are often reluctant to conduct a vehicle stop of a large truck. This reluctance is grounded in both a lack of knowledge and skills relating to these types of vehicle stops and a level of comfort which often comes with experience” (FMCSA).
The video below is an accident reconstruction animation used by our law firm to obtain a settlement over $2 million for a husband and wife who were injured. The truck driver carelessly changed lanes and crashed into the back of our clients’ car.
Large trucks are disproportionately involved in fatal crashes:
- 4% of registered vehicles
- 9% of miles traveled and
- 12% of all fatal crashes.
In 20% of truck crashes with at least one large truck occupant fatality, the truck’s speed was a factor related to the crash. In 6% of large truck crashes, driver distraction was a factor, and of the 6%, 12% was related to cell phone use.
3-Pronged Approach to Preventing Unsafe Driving
- Require additional training for drivers of large trucks.
- Amend laws to increase penalties for unsafe driving of a big commercial truck.
- Provide law enforcement with the specialized training needed to confidently stop truck drivers who are not driving safely. FMCSA provides free training information.