The COVID-19 pandemic has been rapidly expanding across Texas and its neighboring states in recent weeks. The pandemic doesn't just affect the health and daily lives of Texas residents, but it has a major impact on commerce.
More people are shying away from traditional retail shopping and ordering items on Amazon and other online retail outlets. At the same time, the need for essential items has drastically increased at local grocery, department and home improvement stores as some items are flying off the shelves.
The COVID-19 impact on commerce can be felt on our roads, as we see an increase in large commercial trucks and delivery vehicles.
Can increased retail demand lead to more truck accidents?
We don't know how long the pandemic will continue to impact Texas. What we do know is that our roads can be dangerous during these trying times. When the lockdowns began across the United States back in March and April, we saw a massive uptick in speeding and reckless driving. The lack of traffic and exhausted law enforcement resources may have been the cause.
When you add strained truck drivers and online retail delivery drivers into the mix, it could be a recipe for disaster. Here's why:
- Limited delivery deadlines. Truck drivers and delivery drivers may exceed the speed limit or drive aggressively when trying to meet tight delivery deadlines.
- Increase in distraction. Drivers who multitask or use handheld technology are at a great risk of causing a crash. Distracted driving is especially dangerous for delivery drivers who may encounter pedestrians and bicyclists in residential areas.
- Inexperienced drivers. When trucking companies and online retail providers find themselves in a jam, they may hire anyone they can find. To keep up with demand, some trucking companies may cut corners by hiring unlicensed and inexperienced truck drivers. Without the adequate skill and experience needed to operate a commercial vehicle, truck drivers can be a danger to the public.
- Overloaded cargo. Trucking companies and online retail providers want to move as much inventory as they can. So, some may load cargo beyond the safety threshold. Cargo may also be improperly loaded and balanced. This can increase the risk of jackknife crashes, rollovers and cargo spills.
- Unsafe vehicles. Trucking companies are responsible for ensuring that all active vehicles are properly maintained and inspected. Some trucking companies may bypass these safety measures during a crunch. This can put others on the road in danger. A wheel could come loose, a tire blow out or brakes fail.
Can I take legal action if I was injured by a truck driver during a pandemic?
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic doesn't give truck drivers, trucking companies and retail delivery drivers a free pass to do as they please. They are still bound by state and federal regulations, as well as their duty to other road users.
If you or a loved one was injured in a truck crash during this time, you have the right to take legal action and pursue a truck accident claim. Your best course of action is to speak to an experienced San Antonio attorney. One who knows how to investigate truck drivers, trucking companies and other parties involved in your crash.
The Herrera Law Firm will place an accurate value on your claim and work tirelessly to maximize your chances of being compensated to the fullest extent. Contact us online to schedule your free and confidential case evaluation.