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How trucking companies contribute to 18-wheeler accidents

It might not seem that driving a tractor trailer would be a stressful and exhausting occupation, but anyone who has ever taken a cross-country trip knows otherwise. Drivers need to take frequent breaks and make sure they get adequate sleep in order to maintain their concentration and keep their reflexes sharp as they maneuver their large and heavy vehicles through traffic on the highways and streets of Louisiana and elsewhere. However, trucking companies are in the business of making money, and their actions can contribute to 18-wheeler accidents.

Trucking companies will often offer their drivers monetary incentives to deliver their loads as quickly as possible. In order to receive those incentives, however, drivers push themselves harder than they should. They do not get enough sleep, which means they are on the roadways with diminished reflexes and concentration. On the other hand, some tired drivers take stimulants that can also adversely affect their ability to drive safely.

In other cases, drivers do not receive adequate training in safety, driving techniques and defensive tactics that can help them avoid accidents. Driving an 18-wheeler is not an easy task. Putting someone on the road that does not have the appropriate training puts lives at risk.

For these reasons, trucking companies may be held financially responsible for 18-wheeler accidents. A truck driver's employer can be found liable in an accident under the legal doctrine of respondeat superior, which means that an employer is responsible for the actions of its employees. However, in some cases, a company's liability goes beyond that, and a Louisiana court may rule that it is directly responsible due to improper policies and procedures -- or the lack thereof, depending on the circumstances.

Source: FindLaw, "Common Causes of Truck Accidents", Accessed on March 19, 2016

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