Being involved in a car accident is a terrifying experience no matter the circumstances. However, if you’re driving your truck for work when it happens, a whole new dimension of stress is added to the experience.
If you’re involved in an accident with your semi while contracted or on the job, you may be concerned if it will cause you to lose your job and if it will affect your career overall. This is why it’s important to understand how a semi-truck accident differs from a regular car accident in these seven ways.
Driving a semi-truck for a living means that you are one of the biggest, most dangerous vehicles on the road. This has nothing to do with your driving skills and simply because semi-trucks are heavy industrial vehicles that take a long time to bring to a stop or change direction. This means that an accident involving a semi-truck and a regular car can be catastrophic.
- Impairment testing
While some people may be tested for impairment at the scene of an accident, it is often mandatory for semi-truck drivers to be tested–no matter what caused the crash. Whether you’re at fault or not, testing is something companies will require directly after a crash to confirm whether or not you had illegal drugs or alcohol in your system at the time of the crash.
- Your logbook
As a semi driver, you are required to keep clear records on how much time you spend behind the wheel. Driver fatigue can play a significant role in the cause of an accident, which is why most semi drivers are mandated to 11 cumulative driving hours in a 14-hour period, followed by 10 hours of rest. If you are found not to have adhered to these rules or not to have filled out your logbook consistently, you may be blamed for the accident.
- Vehicle maintenance
Like any vehicle, your semi requires regular maintenance. If you’re driving a truck owned by a company, it’s most likely the company has taken care of the upkeep (though it’s always good to know the maintenance logs of the vehicle you’re driving). However, if you’re driving your rig on a contracted job, it’s essential that you’ve regularly maintained your semi and have kept records proving that.
- Improper loading
Your semi’s load will significantly affect how your truck performs, and it’s stopping and braking distance. Improper loading or overloading could contribute to an inability to control the vehicle, which could lead to an accident.
- You may still lose your job
Even if you were not at fault for the accident, there is still a risk that you could lose your job if you’re involved in an accident while working. This is because of companies who choose to terminate drivers that are involved in serious accidents. To prevent this, hire an attorney familiar with trucking accidents like those at Keller & Keller https://2keller.com/practice_areas/indianapolis-semi-truck-accident-lawyer.cfm who can help guide you and help you win your case.
- Being made a target
While it might seem obscene to drivers who understand the power and danger of cutting off a semi, there have been cases of people purposely cutting off a semi in an attempt to be rear-ended and get a settlement. To prevent this, always use a dashcam in your rig that will show other drivers’ behavior around you.