Today, some of the most grisly accidents on the roads are caused by huge commercial trucks. These large trucks present unique dangers to smaller vehicles and their passengers. These commercial trucks are big, heavy and in some cases carry hazardous materials and explosives. Funny enough, no one takes responsibility for how many truck drivers die a year.
If something goes wrong, there can be a serious collision that can lead to severe injuries. Up to 130,000 people suffer injuries from truck accidents with a 54% increase in such accidents reported since 2009. Truck accidents are not ordinary road accidents; they can be devastating for all parties involved.
Here are the most common causes of truck accidents that every road user needs to know.
Truck Accidents Occur Due to Fatigue
Fatigue by overworked drivers is one of the most common causes of truck accidents. This is because truck drivers tend to drive over long distances for many hours without rest. If they rest, they risk missing their strict deadlines.
The drivers are subjected to lots of pressure from the truck companies. The companies require these drivers to deliver goods to far destinations within a short time. This leaves the drivers with no choice but to adhere to the deadlines set by their bosses.
And as a result, the drivers get little quality sleep during the journey. They end up losing concentration, fail to coordinate well, and end up sleeping on the wheel. You know what happens after that.
Truck Accidents Caused by Human Error
Driver error also accounts for the biggest percentage of truck accident injuries. Human error may be a result of speeding, confusion, and ignoring blind spots before switching lanes. Negligent driving, distractions such as phone use, and the use of a substance are other mistakes truck drivers make.
If drivers are distracted or intoxicated, they can’t make a quick judgment in emergencies. This places them at a higher risk of making errors that can lead to accidents.
Lack of Proper Training
A truck driver who has not gone through vigorous training and acquires the truck driver’s license is at risk of causing accidents. Commercial trucks need different handling from SUV cars, especially if the truck is carrying a loaded trailer.
Truck drivers should go through certain training and meet minimum requirements. There is Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that provides safety tips to commercial truck drivers and other motorists.
Commercial truck drivers who cause accidents have poor training and lack experience in driving commercial trucks. They acquire a license through unscrupulous means and put the lives of other road users at risk.
Improper Truck Maintenance
The law requires trucking companies to maintain their vehicles and keep them in good condition. Most trucking companies overlook maintaining their trucks because of the cost and time involved. They focus more on making profits and deliveries and forget about safety.
Poor driver training and improper truck maintenance are one of the most causes of truck accidents on the road.
According to the report, almost 30% of truck accidents are a result of brake failure. The brake failure might be a result of poor inspection, lack of maintenance, condensation, and even overheating.
The federal government requires both trucking companies and drivers to maintain the conditions of their brakes. In case an accident occurs due to brake failure, more than one party shall be held responsible. This includes the manufacturers and designers.
Another part of the truck that requires maintenance is the tire. Tires play a larger part in many commercial truck accidents. Some of the causes of tire blowouts include poor design, lack of proper inspection, and poor maintenance.
Overspeeding and Overtaking
Trucking companies demand that truck drivers reach certain destinations within a specified time. This isn’t always achievable given that there are many factors that the driver might face on the road. Such factors include poor weather conditions and traffic problems in some parts of the road.
But due to the pressure that drivers undergo to meet the deadlines such as risking losing their jobs, they drive above the speed limit. When they overtake at higher speed, they force on-coming passenger vehicles to veer off the road leading to fatal crashes.
Over-speeding reduces the reaction time. When the driver is not speeding, they might have to break immediately and veer into another section of the road. But when at high speeds, a driver cannot suddenly break into other roads but will only end up crushing.
Improper Truck Loading
Commercial trucks haul a lot of cargo. However, there’s much more that needs to be done than hauling. Think of attaching the trailer to the tractor.
If you improperly attach the trailer to the tractor, be ready to arm yourself with a truck accident lawyer. You’ll need them to defend you against an auto accident lawsuit. Improper loading of your cargo can throw a trailer off balance and cause an accident.
Toxic liquids and flammable materials need proper packing. If you don’t distribute the weight of these liquids evenly, they can get your truck involved in an accident. When you don’t tie down products, they can fly off the trailer onto the road causing.
Also, trucks are designed to carry a certain amount of liquid before they’re full. So it can be dangerous if you fill the truck partially. The liquids can splash around in the trailer and make the truck sway back and forth, which affects speed.
Improper loading can make the driver lose control and cause an accident.
Understand Truck Accident Causes and Avoid Them
Truck accidents widely vary from ordinary car accidents. They are very severe and cause fatal injuries. Victims of such accidents merely survive and if they’re lucky, they remain with lifelong physical and emotional injuries.
Understand the cause of these accidents and how to avoid them. This will not only save your conscience but also protect your property.
Aside from legal matters, you need to learn how to protect yourself and your business from harm. We have both legal and general life blog posts that can help you take care of every aspect of your life. Stay on this site.