With most of the country still under lockdown and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommending social distancing measures, you might expect there to be a decrease in car accidents. Unfortunately, this HealthDay News reports a rise in reckless driving all across the country.
These statistics are just the tip of the iceberg. Commercial vehicles, which weren’t mentioned, may be among those most affected during this time. Our team at Ramos James Law, PLLC is committed to advocating for those who have been injured in a commercial vehicle accident, and if you or a loved one were recently involved in a crash with a commercial vehicle, we can help you get back on your feet.
1. Increased Commercial Shipping Activity
Our reliance as a society on commercial vehicles has increased since the coronavirus pandemic began. With shortages of cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, and toilet paper common in stores across the country, trucks making deliveries to help restock these items are having to work longer, harder hours.
These drivers are aware of the pressure surrounding the situation of getting people the items they need. Because of this, they may be pushing through fatigue in order to meet the high demands stores are facing. This could cause them to be less careful on the road.
2. Increased Hours for Truckers
Because of the heightened need to provide for communities right now, the U.S. Department of Transportation released an emergency relief declaration that states truck drivers can work longer hours. The declaration expands upon relief meant to address national emergency conditions and the need to transport essentials quickly.
The declaration lays out exactly what qualifies as essential and includes equipment meant to treat COVID-19. The declaration explicitly states that drivers who are fatigued still may not be required or allowed to drive commercial vehicles.
3. Social Distancing’s Impact on Trucking
Another reason drivers of commercial vehicles may not be operating as safely on the road is because of the reduced places for rest along their routes. In efforts to maintain social distancing rules, gathering centers within truck stops and the option to dine-in at restaurants are no longer available to drivers, giving them fewer ways to relax during breaks.
These are not excuses for negligent driving but factors that may come into play when on the road. The reality of being a driver of a commercial vehicle has changed drastically since the COVID-19 pandemic reached the U.S.
Common Causes of Commercial Vehicle Accidents
While the COVID-19 pandemic means there are additional concerns for commercial drivers, the old concerns still remain. The following are examples of truck driver negligence that could lead to severe accidents:
- Failing to inspect the vehicle before driving
- Driving more quickly than advised on bad roads or during inclement weather
- Driving without sleeping the night before
- Having poorly secured cargo
- Driving distracted
- Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medication
Ramos James Law, PLLC: Ready to Defend Your Rights
Here at Ramos James Law, PLLC, we know you don’t have control of how other people drive on the road. What you do have control over, however, is how you choose to respond to a truck accident. Our truck accident attorneys here in Austin are dedicated to helping those who have been harmed by negligent trucking corporations and the insurance companies that protect their own interests.