Truckers are not Always to Blame for their Accidents

While most truck-related accidents and lawsuits put blame on the driver, it is important to point out not just to the general public but to truck drivers in particular that the driver is not always liable and should not always be blamed.

The obvious cases when the driver is at fault can be highlighted briefly. Drivers who drive irresponsibly either by driving too quickly or by driving erratically must hold the majority of responsibility for any damage they cause. Drivers who have been drinking or are on some other substance that influences their ability to drive safely should be held responsible to the fullest by the law. Drivers who are too tired also deserve some blame, although that may be slightly mitigated by other issues, as will be highlighted presently.

While drivers do deserve blame in the above instances, there are plenty of examples where the trucking company deserves at least as much censure, if not the whole liability. Take for example the issue of driver tiredness. While it is ultimately the individual driver’s choice to drive when they are too tired to remain in control of their vehicles, the fact trucking companies have put unrealistic deadlines on them is the primary cause of this choice. Pressure to deliver more quickly than possible, with the potential to lose income or even a job if those deadlines aren’t met, lead drives to make poor decisions in an effort to keep up. Again, while the ultimate responsibility is the driver’s the truck company deserves at least as much blame for creating those conditions.

Situations where the company deserves all the blame include mechanical problems with the truck. Whether the problem is a lack of servicing or a defect issue, these problems should have been seen to by the trucking company in the first place. Should a truck break down and cause damage due to these issues, it is hardly the fault of the driver.

Another issue is a lack of training down by the company. New drivers are incapable of knowing if they have had sufficient training. When trucking companies look to save money by cutting back on training and therefore put drivers on the road who are unprepared, it is again, the entire fault of the trucking company.

While these issues may seem unimportant to the average driver who feels a truck accident is a truck accident, it is worth pointing these issues out for two reasons. First, to rehabilitate the image of truckers who are too often seen as irresponsible and a risk to other drivers on the road due to their own faults. Second, truckers deserve to know that they are not necessarily at fault should an accident happen, and they should contact a trucking lawyer to discuss these issues further. A trucking company is sure to try to pin all the blame and liability on the trucker if they can in order to save money for themselves. This is often unfair and should be stopped if at all possible.

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