Aggressive Drivers in 18-Wheelers
Tight shipping deadlines, low pay, and high fuel prices are just some of the factors that are putting more pressure than ever before on truck drivers — and these conditions do not seem likely to change any time soon. Tractor-trailer drivers constantly deal with tremendous demands to get to their destinations on time. This can lead to high stress levels, which can manifest in aggressive and dangerous driving. About 33% of the truckers in the U.S. will be involved in at least one serious accident in their careers.
Common Dangerous Driving Issues for Large Trucks
According to a study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 73% of long-haul truck drivers think that their deadlines are unrealistically tight. Additionally, 38% of drivers say that they did not receive adequate training at the start of their trucking careers. Between poor training and rigorous deadlines, job pressures can lead to aggressive driving behavior that includes:
- Not allowing enough following distance/tailgating
- Driving in inappropriate lanes, such as using the emergency lane or a lane that is designated not-for-trucks
- Improper lane shifts/weaving through traffic
- Running red lights
- Cutting off other drivers
- Reacting belligerently to real or perceived errors of other drivers (road rage).
All of these actions make an accident more likely to occur.
Trucking Accidents in Louisiana
Louisiana is home to large interstates such as I-10, I-20, I-49, and I-55, which means that the state includes many long-distance shipping routes and a large number of 18-wheeler trucks traveling on them. Due to the sheer size of these semis in comparison to passenger cars, most accidents between them result in the smaller vehicle’s occupants being seriously injured or killed. From 2002 to 2012, almost 1,200 people were killed within Louisiana’s borders in crashes that involved a large truck. In 2012 alone, the Pelican State had 90 fatal crashes involving 102 large trucks. Those figures are enough to rank Louisiana as ninth in the nation for the highest number of fatal accidents involving trucks.
Trucking Companies Protect Themselves
Accidents can be expensive for the trucking companies. Like any business, they have an interest in watching their bottom line. Controlling the costs of accidents is part of that. When long-distance truck drivers are involved in an accident, the first thing they are trained to do is to contact their employer. Often, trucking companies will send one of their representatives to the scene. That person may attempt to get the other parties that were involved in the accident to sign forms that absolve the company and the driver from any liability. If you have been in an accident, it is imperative that you never sign anything before talking to a lawyer who can examine the circumstances and help you determine the best course of action.
We Fight for Accident Victims
We have experience fighting against the trucking companies and getting our clients the compensation they deserve. If you’ve been injured or had property damaged due to the negligence of a truck driver, you may be entitled to financial compensation. The attorneys at the Chris J. Roy, Jr. Law Firm can help by reviewing your case and discussing all available legal options. Call us toll free at 1-800-259-9850 or locally at 1-318-487-9537. We’re ready to help with a free initial consultation. We handle truck accident claims from anywhere in Louisiana with a concentration in Alexandria and surrounding areas.