What to Do In A Impaired Truck Driver Accident
A significant portion of semi truck accidents can be attributed to driver error. Usually, these errors occur because the driver was impaired or intoxicated in some way – either because of fatigue, distraction, or impairing substances. Here’s what to do if you’re in an accident caused by truck driver error.
How to Avoid Being in an Accident with an Impaired Trucker
Accidents caused by driver error are more likely to occur at night, simply because there are a greater percentage of drivers who are on the road fatigued or under the influence. If you’re traveling at night, be very aware of the semi drivers around you, and drive extremely cautiously as you pass them.
Always give semi trucks a wide berth. Never tailgate, and pass as quickly and smoothly as possible. If you can, put a lane between you and the semi you are passing. If not, drive as far to the outside of the lane as possible to keep a good distance between you.
If you notice a driver weaving or otherwise not in control of their truck, call 911 immediately and report the driver. Do not try to pass the truck; you are far more likely to get into an accident that way. Fall back and drive more slowly until you see a police car arrive to pull the truck over, or get off the road for a while to stretch your legs and give the semi time to move ahead.
In the Event of an Accident: Report Your Suspicions to The Police
If you are in an accident and you suspect the driver was in error, do not mention this fact to the driver. If you see that the driver looks exhausted, if he appears to be impaired through the use of drugs or alcohol, or if you suspect he was using his cell phone or eating food while driving, report these observations to the police when they arrive, but do not engage the driver with your suspicions. Doing so can only lead to an altercation, and you will gain nothing by it.
Call the police immediately. Take the driver’s name and their company’s name, the truck’s number and license plate, and get the name of his company’s insurance provider. If the driver mentions anything that suggests he was distracted or impaired, such as saying how tired he is, or that he doesn’t feel good, or that he was just talking to his wife on the phone, make a note of it discreetly and report his exact words to the police officers privately when they arrive on the scene. They will investigate whether your suspicions are correct, and your suspicions will be noted in the official accident report.
Call your insurance company and give them all the information, including the fact that you have filed a police report, and any suspicions you have about the driver’s impairment. Give the insurance company all the information you have; anything you can tell them will help them investigate the accident.
Contact a Lawyer: Get Compensation for Your Injuries
If the driver was at fault in the accident, it could be because of his own poor choices – but it could also be that his company makes demands that force him into those choices, such as overworking the driver to exhaustion, neglecting maintenance of the truck, or making him pick up his cell phone even when he is driving. You’ll want an experienced lawyer to determine exactly who is at fault.