Truck accidents account for a large number of deaths on American highways every year. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, over 4,000 people were killed in accidents involving trucks in 2017.
Under the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law, vehicle owners are vicariously liable for the negligence of their permissive drivers. This means that if a trucking company owns a truck and the driver hurts someone due to his or her negligence, the trucking company can be held liable. In addition, if the trucking company did not do a sufficient investigation into the background of the driver, and the driver had a history, which might have suggested a proclivity toward unsafe driving behaviors, the trucking company can be held liable under a theory of negligent hiring or perhaps negligent entrustment. Along the same lines, if the driver already did something suggesting a proclivity toward unsafe driving behaviors while on the clock, the trucking company may be held liable on a theory of negligent retention.
As you can see, there are a number of potential causes of action after an accident with a tractor-trailer or large truck. A truck accident attorney can help you identify claims you can bring given your particular situation. Let’s explore some of the dangerous driving behaviors that can give rise to a truck accident.
Driving under the influence is against the law and is also a violation of trucking company rules. When a truck driver consumes alcohol, he or she puts everyone on the road at high risk. As we know, driving under the influence is dangerous under any circumstance. However, some would say that the stakes are higher when the inebriated person is sitting behind the wheel of an 18-wheel rig due to the potential damage they could cause to all parties involved in a truck accident.
Aggressive driving behaviors, or road rage, can also lead to a truck accident. Big rig truck drivers spend many hours on the road each week. When they engage in aggressive driving behaviors, they increase the risk of causing a truck accident and potentially seriously injuring other motorists. When a truck driver engages in aggressive or reckless driving behavior on the road, causing or contributing to a truck accident, the truck owner can be held liable.
Speeding is also an unsafe driving practice that can cause or contribute to the risk of a serious or fatal truck accident. When a truck driver drives in excess of the speed limit, he or she decreases their reaction time and increases the risk that the truck will not be able to stop in time, which could lead to a fatal truck accident.
If you have been involved in a truck accident, you may want to consider speaking with our injury lawyers who can identify potential claims and assert them on your behalf. At William Mattar law offices, our experienced truck accident lawyers can help you file a claim. Contact us today at, 844-444-4444.