Having maybe one of the dullest parts of your day. For professional drivers, it is their main professional responsibility. It takes a lot of skill, focus and patience to safely drive a commercial vehicle for 10 or more hours a day.
Not only do commercial drivers need to keep their minds focused on the road ahead of them, but they also have to be ready to respond in a moment when traffic conditions suddenly change. Their employment conditions may actually influence how likely they are to get into a crash.
What kind of workplace conditions might increase a truck driver’s risk of causing a commercial crash?
An unforgiving schedule
Commercial transportation companies often require that drivers travel the maximum number of miles possible given how long they can drive. Hours of Service rules typically limit how long a driver could be at the wheel, and employers expect a driver to maximize how much ground they cover during their active time.
Drivers may end up speeding or otherwise making poor safety choices when their pay or job security depends on reaching their destination on time. They could also experience severe fatigue at the wheel at the end of a long shift, which could potentially lead to a wreck.
Some truck drivers help load their trailers themselves, and others simply pick up a pre-loaded trailer and hit the road. When the client doesn’t tell a driver about the content of a trailer, especially if there is a large amount of liquid in the trailer, the possibility is much higher for them to end up losing control of the vehicle and crashing. Additionally, clients that hire transportation companies could contribute to crashes by overloading a trailer or loading it improperly so that the weight is uneven.
Improper vehicle maintenance
Some transportation companies do not have enough mechanics on staff to keep their fleets in top condition. Others may delay certain repairs that they know will be particularly expensive. When an issue with the vehicle is the underlying cause of a crash, the driver may not have any control over the bad brakes or other maintenance issues that eventually lead to a wreck.
Although truck drivers are frequently the ones who make mistakes and cause crashes, sometimes the circumstances of their employment are truly to blame. Identifying the underlying reason that a commercial vehicle crash occurred can help those harmed in such collisions hold the right party responsible.