Connecticut Cracking Down on Unsafe Truck Drivers
Due to the size and weight of their vehicles, truck drivers have to be cautious and operate their trucks in a manner that keeps safety at the forefront. The summer driving season saw a sharp uptick in commercial vehicle accidents in Connecticut, and Governor Jodi Rell has had enough. She recently announced a plan to have law enforcement officials with the state police and Department of Motor Vehicles aggressively pursue truck drivers who are not following the rules.
While the cause of truck accidents is as varied as the vehicles involved in them, Governor Rell is concerned that many of the recent Connecticut accidents have happened while the roads were dry, the weather was clear and the traffic is light. Since outside influences do not seem to be primary cause of these crashes, responsibility for the accidents lies squarely at the feet of the drivers themselves.
Common Causes of Trucking Accidents
Aside from weather conditions, there are several factors oftentimes associated with commercial vehicle (big rigs, semi trucks, 18-wheelers, delivery vans and fleet vehicles) accidents. These include:
- Jackknifing/overturned trailers — most often seen in periods of high winds
- Overloading trucks
- Improperly balancing loads, leading to shifting that can throw the vehicle out of control
- Driver fatigue
- Improper maintenance
- Distracted driving — using cell phones, in-cab radios, eating, texting or emailing behind the wheel
Tragically, there are nearly half a million trucking accidents in America each year, 5,000 of them resulting in fatal injuries. On average, one person in Connecticut is killed in an accident every day, and six percent of those fatalities are caused by collisions between large trucks and smaller passenger vehicles. With stakes as high as these, Governor Rell is wise to draw attention to this matter.
Hopefully the increased enforcement will turn the tide of commercial vehicle crashes on Connecticut roads. In the meantime, however, if you or someone you love has been injured in a trucking accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney in your area to learn more about your legal options.