Brad Pistotnik Law
Abogado El Toro

What Truck Accident Liability Does a Truck Driver Have?

What truck accident liability does a truck driver have in a collision? What driver behaviors contribute to accidents in Kansas and across the country? Truck drivers are ultimately responsible for the safe transport of the cargo they carry. This means they are responsible for adhering to all related regulations including following traffic laws, securing proper licenses, maintaining their vehicle, and adhering to safe handling practices. When a driver neglects these duties, they can be held liable for the personal injuries, property damage, and wrongful deaths that occur as a result. In 2015, large truck drivers were involved in 20.1% of fatality causing accidents which was a higher rate than any other category including drivers of passenger vehicles, motorcyclists, and light trucks.

There were approximately 415,000 accidents involving large trucks reported to police in 2015. Of these, 4.050 caused fatalities, and 83,000 caused personal injuries. Of the accidents that were recorded, 20% were single vehicle crashes that included collisions with bicyclists and pedestrians. The data shows that rural roads like those that cover much of Kansas were the most dangerous with over 60% of fatality crashes involving large trucks occurring away from large urban population centers. Only 27% of fatal accidents occurred on interstates, while 73% occurred on non-interstate roads. Of those who died in large truck accidents in 2015, 74% were drivers of other vehicles.

Nationwide, large trucks are involved in approximately 8% of all fatality causing accidents. In Kansas in 2015, there were 467 vehicles involved in fatal crashes. Of these, 64, or 13.7% involved large trucks. The data clearly shows that motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists in the state are at significantly greater risk than those in other states.

Past driver behavior is an indicator of accident risk. Of the large truck drivers involved in fatality causing accidents in 2015, 20.1% had a prior record of a crash, .8% had a DWI conviction, 21.2% had convictions for speeding, and 8.7% had at least one suspension or revocation on their record. These negligent driving behaviors were factors in 50.8% of fatality accidents and they often occur multiple times before a truck driver causes an injury or fatality. This makes these behaviors reliable indicators of a driver's future risk and employers have a duty of care that includes carefully monitoring drivers for patterns stemming from these behaviors.

Speeding was a factor in 7.5% of fatal accidents, while driver distraction played a role in causing 6.1% of fatalities. Driver distractions include using cell phones while driving, watching television, engaging in conversations via the radio or with passengers, daydreaming, eating, or drinking while driving. Driver impairment caused by fatigue, alcohol, or sickness was a factor in 4.1% of fatal crashes, while careless driving was cited in 3.3% of accidents. Following too closely is an aggressive driving behavior that was a factor in 2% of fatal crashes. Overall, these and other driver behaviors were cited as factors in approximately 36.9% of all fatality causing crashes involving large trucks in 2015. In these instances, truck accident liability falls upon the driver, and potentially their employer.

Brad Pistotnik Law represents clients who are injured, or their surviving family members who live in Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Illinois, Texas, Florida and Missouri. We help clients pursue claims for accidents that happen in Wellington, Winfield, Hugoton, El Dorado, Manhattan, Overland Park, Olathe, Topeka, Wichita, Hays, Lawrence, Lenexa, Shawnee, Garden City, Liberal, Colby, Dodge City, Omaha, Kearney, Lincoln, Grand Rapids, Enid, Satanta, Kansas City, Bonner Springs, Lawrence, Pittsburg, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Enid, Decatur, Chicago, Springfield, Dallas, Laredo, Lubbock, Amarillo, San Antonio, Ft. Worth, and elsewhere in these states. Whether the accident occurred on I-70, US 56, US 183, or on a rural country road, we represent clients in truck accident liability cases and help them recover compensation to cover personal injuries, medical expenses, lost wages,funeral expenses, and other expenses caused by the accident.

We are Brad Pistotnik Law. ® We are Abogado El Toro. ® Hire the real Brad. ® Call in the Bull. ® We are the Bull Attorneys! ™ Call us at 1-800-241-BRAD or call us on our local line at 316-684-4400. You can call Brad Pistotnik on his cell at 316-706-5020. You can call Tony Atterbury on his cell at 316-617-9237. You can call from Western Kansas at 620-THE-BULL. Our main office location is at 10111 E. 21st St. N., Suite 204, Wichita Kansas 67206. Our Garden City office is at 3102 E, Kansas Avenue, Suite 100, Garden City, Kansas. We always give free consultations and we answer the 24/7 and on weekends and holidays for free legal consultation.