Aggressive Drivers On 18 Wheels
- February 29, 2016
- Truck Accidents
The job of a truck driver has never been more challenging than it is right now. The trucking industry is stretched thin, struggling to find enough drivers to meet shippers’ demands. That means that truckers, too, are stretched thin in the demands of their employers. To make matters worse, the problem doesn’t show signs of improvement anytime soon.
The stresses of tight shipping deadlines, inadequate pay and the general demands of a life on the road leave many truckers with frayed nerves. While it’s easy to understand why so many truck drivers might be so stressed out, it’s also unsettling for the rest of us who share the roads with potentially disgruntled drivers.
Why So Angry?
A trucker spends long periods of time away from home, constantly travelling busy roads. They’re doing so on less-than-optimal pay. Many truck drivers are paid per mile, as opposed to per hour. That fact has become a sore spot for many truckers around the country. Labor strikes like those on the West Coast last year give us a clue as to just how unfavorably truck drivers view their own compensation, as do class action lawsuits filed by thousands of drivers across the nation seeking back pay against their employers.
Don’t Drive Angry
When a person is unhappy or stressed, their job performance suffers. If a driver is angry, they are also more prone to be involved in vehicle accidents. The Department of Motor Vehicles compares the level of emotionally distracted drivers to that of cell phone users. An emotional or angry driver can have reduced reaction times and curbed observational abilities and be more prone to risky driving maneuvers.
Aggressive Driving Practices
When facing time constraints, drivers will sometimes drive in a way that pushes, if not directly breaks, traffic laws. Aggressive driving practices include:
- Following Too Close Behind Another Vehicle (Tailgating)
- Improper Lane Shifts or Cutting Off Another Driver
- Failure to Use Turning Signals
- Improper Use of Traffic Lanes (Driving in Emergency Lanes).
Large Truck Accidents in Texas
NBC 5 Dallas-Ft. Worth reported in 2013 on efforts by many police departments in North Texas to curb aggressive driving among drivers, including big rig operators. The TACT program (Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks) aimed to single out drivers who posed a threat to other motorists.
After four people were killed in a crash involving a commercial truck in the Red Bird area of Dallas in 2015, a post on the Dallas Morning News website highlighted multiple violations by the trucking company which employed the driver, including a number of speeding violations by other drivers. Stories like this drive home the need for an emphasis on safety, not just by truck drivers, but by trucking companies, as well.
The NHTSA said that in 2013, Texas led the nation in fatal large truck crashes with 493 crashes; 71 percent of those killed in collisions involving large trucks were the occupants of the other vehicles, compared to only 17 percent of large truck occupants. The same report said that 17 percent of truck drivers involved in fatal crashes had at least one prior speeding conviction, a rate slightly higher than that of passenger car drivers.
Trucking Companies Act in Their Own Best Interests
When a truck driver is involved in a vehicle accident, they often notify their trucking company immediately. These companies will sometimes send a representative to the scene of the collision to reduce their legal liability. It is not uncommon for representatives to solicit signatures from the other parties involved in a truck collision in an effort to absolve the trucking company and the driver from legal responsibility. If you’ve been involved in a trucking accident, it is important never to sign anything given to you by a driver or a trucking company representative.
We’ll Fight For You
At Guajardo & Marks, our Dallas truck accident attorneys have represented many clients involved in large truck collisions, and we know what it takes to fight back against these trucking companies. If you’ve been injured due to the negligence of a truck driver, you might be able to seek compensation for damages and injuries sustained in a truck wreck. Contact Guajardo & Marks today to learn how we can help you.