Truck drivers often dominate the freeways in and around Phoenix. We all know that they’re bigger than we are and that they can’t stop quickly, so most of us give truckers plenty of space and get out of the way if they’re bearing down on us. However, many accidents on I-10 and I-17 involve big trucks—and that leads us to wonder why. What is it that’s causing these accidents (some of them fatal) and what can we do about it?
Driving Hours: Who’s Watching Truck Drivers?
Federal law says that truck drivers have to get a certain amount of rest before they drive, and they’re not allowed to drive more than 11 hours per day. While trucking companies are responsible for tracking the number of hours their drivers spend behind the wheel, like with any law, you can expect some people to break it.
There are also other federal regulations that require truck drivers to have 10 consecutive hours off before they’re allowed to drive. That means back-to-back shifts aren’t allowed. Drivers must also take a 30-minute break when they’re on the road. These federal laws are designed to prevent truckers from falling asleep behind the wheel or “zoning out.” Both of those things put other motorists—you and me—at risk on the roads.
Maintenance on Trucks vs. Profits
For most companies, the biggest concern is simple: money. They’re interested in spending less and making more. Sure, that’s understandable; everyone who’s in business tries to get ahead. However, problems are inevitable when a company puts profits over safety, as was the case when a Mexican tour bus in California killed eight people because none of its brakes worked. The company had been cited multiple times for blatant safety violations, but they continued to operate, putting everyone on the road at serious risk.
Maintenance is expensive. We all get that. But you can’t put a price tag on safety, and some trucking companies genuinely don’t care. Yes, there are good companies with stellar safety records, but it only takes one mistake to cost someone dearly. If you or someone you care about has been involved in an accident with a truck on Arizona roadways, you need to talk to an attorney who understands truckers’ regulations and who can fight for your rights.