A high volume of trucks on the road generally increases the chances of a major accident. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the U.S. has more than 3.5 million registered commercial driver’s license holders.
Although motorists tend to take safety precautions such as wearing seat belts, commercial drivers also owe a duty of care to maintain control over their vehicles at all times. According to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, during an annual inspection of truck drivers and their vehicles inspectors found several violations that placed operators out-of-service in 2020.
Major out-of-service violations
Logging too many hours of driving reflected a common violation. It resulted in regulators placing nearly 1,000 commercial truck operators out-of-service. Operating a semi-truck with insufficient rest or sleep raises the chances of an accident.
Traffic violations, such as using a cellphone while driving, also contributed to taking operators out-of-service. Louisiana’s laws prohibit holding a mobile phone while operating a vehicle. A truck driver found using a cellphone or texting before a collision may incur liability for any resulting harm.
Evidence may prove an operator’s negligence
As noted by the American Bar Association, when it appears that a distraction contributed to a driver losing control of a vehicle, the court may request cellphone records. Logs may reveal the date and time stamps and help determine whether a driver made a call or sent a text message.
A variety of circumstances may contribute to a roadway accident and CDL holders owe a duty of care to remain aware of them. When an operator neglects his or her duty and causes an accident, a harmed individual may file a legal action for damages. In addition to compensation for medical expenses and lost wages, a jury may award punitive damages.