A truck driver going through Georgetown from San Antonio caused a traffic back-up when a large concrete beam fell off his trailer. Authorities later found that the driver was not properly keeping records in his logs or obeying time rules. While no injuries were reported, this local incident is an example of how a negligent truck driver can cause a dangerous situation.
There are strict regulations for commercial truck drivers to promote the safety of everyone on the road. Incidents such as the one in Georgetown show why these rules are so important.
Keeping a current driver log
Every driver operating a commercial semi-truck must record his driving status throughout each 24-hour period. For example, drivers must take note of when they are driving on or off duty. Trucking companies are responsible for enforcing compliance. An inaccurate or incomplete log may conceal violations of hours of service rules.
Obeying the driving limit
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration sets these hours of service rules to give drivers necessary rest to avoid fatigue. If a trucker does not get enough sleep, he could easily lose control of his massive vehicle and cause a collision. Fatigue results in inattentiveness, lapses in judgment and under- or overreactions.
While the Georgetown incident did not have a serious effect, truck accidents often have significant consequences, including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and even death. Knowing the dangers of fatigued drivers, you should always be careful while driving near a big rig. Practice defensive driving and be sure to avoid driving in blind spots.
Rules and regulations for truck drivers exist for a reason: to keep everyone safe. A truck driver or trucking company that ignores these rules can cause a catastrophic accident. If an accident does happen because of such a violation, the driver or company may be legally liable for negligence.