Aggressive driving is a serious problem on the road. When people drive aggressively, they put other people in danger of being injured or killed. When the aggressive driver is behind the wheel of an 18 wheeler, the outcomes are even worse because of the vehicle’s weight and large size. If your accident was caused by an 18 wheeler’s aggressive driving, here are some things to keep in mind.
Truck Driver Fatigue
There are incentives for 18 wheeler drivers to stay on the road for longer to travel more miles and drop off deliveries within shorter windows. This can be a contributing factor to severe truck driver fatigue and even an 18 wheeler’s aggressive driving. If a driver is tired, he may speed or take chances to get to his destination so he can finally rest. According to the CDC, driving drowsy is dangerous like drunk driving. Not only does fatigue impair driving, but it also can make people short-tempered and much more likely to engage in aggressive behaviors that put other people at risk.
Not Enough Training
Generally, there are fairly minimal requirements to get your CDL to drive large, commercial trucks. In most cases, you simply need to pass some basic medical exams and a driving test, before paying a fee to get your CDL. With trucking companies in dire need of employees and high turnover rates, there are plenty of truck drivers on the road with not enough training or experience operating 18 wheelers. With little training, the topic of avoiding 18 wheeler’s aggressive driving may not even come up and it is simply assumed the driver knows that it’s not acceptable.
Lack of Truck Maintenance
18 wheeler trucks require ongoing inspections and maintenance to be safe on the road. Due to a variety of factors, including driver frustrations, demanding driving schedules, and lack of capital for maintenance, some trucks on the road may not be properly maintained. This general lack of truck maintenance can contribute to driver frustrations (and aggressive behavior!) and the likelihood of causing an accident.
This is a particularly important factor, as it can implicate the commercial trucking company, too. Unless the 18 wheeler driver operates as an independent contractor responsible for maintaining their own truck, the trucking company must maintain the trucks. If it doesn’t, the company can be held liable for its role in the accident, too.
Driving Under the Influence
Sometimes 18 wheeler drivers take stimulants or other drugs to stay awake on the road. This means that the truck driver might be under the influence while driving. This can contribute to aggression and create unsafe road conditions that cause an accident.
Signs of Aggressive Driving
There are many different signs of aggressive driving to look out for:
● Running red lights
● Cutting you off
● Weaving between lanes
How to Report Aggressive Driving
If you notice any signs of aggressive driving in truck drivers while on the road, you should first pull over before reporting it to the proper authorities. Start by calling 911. If it’s a company truck with a name and logo on it, you can also call the company directly to report the behavior. Many trucking companies have existing programs in place to solicit feedback from other drivers about bad behaviors through a “How’s My Driving” program phone number.
Steps to Take After an 18 Wheeler Accident
In the event that you are involved in an 18 wheeler accident, there are some steps that you should take immediately to ensure that you get the help that you need.
Call 911. The first step after an auto accident is to call 911 and wait for the police to arrive on the scene. This creates the first documentation related to the accident. It is important to have this information for insurance claims, as well as potential lawsuits. Be sure to report any aggressive driving behaviors that you observed prior to the accident.
Go to the Hospital. Even if you feel that you haven’t been injured in the truck accident, it is important to go to the hospital immediately after the accident. Some injuries are not immediately visible and may not be detected without the help of a medical professional. The hospital records can also be used as evidence for your injuries.
Call a Truck Accident Lawyer. After seeking medical attention, you can call a truck accident lawyer to discuss your next steps. If you are too injured to call, given an bad accident caused by an 18 wheeler’s aggressive driving, a trusted family member or your designee can contact on your behalf. The sooner the better, so your lawyer time to collect necessary evidence and if warranted to file a claim. In Arizona, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years.
Contact an Arizona Truck Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident, especially due to 18 wheeler’s aggressive driving, you could be entitled to compensation related to your injuries and financial losses. Contact Attorney Mark E. Hall at (480) 495-6963 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation. During your free consultation, you can learn more about your legal options to hold the driver and their company responsible for their actions.