Truck accidents are considered more dangerous than the typical car crashes due to the truck’s incredible weight and size. Passenger vehicle usually weighs about 4,000 pounds on average while a truck (18-wheeler in particular) weighs up to about 80,000 pounds. Therefore, it’s easier to realize why truck accidents are deadlier and more catastrophic than most other vehicle accidents. Understanding the common and usual causes of truck accidents can help save lives and can also help individuals become a responsible and alert truck driver.
The following are common and usual causes of truck accidents:
This is one of the most common causes of truck accidents. Overworked drivers experience fatigue, which is considered one of the common reasons behind road mishap, including trucks. Truck drivers usually drive long distances for long hours with minimal rest in between. There are many instances that truck drivers weren’t able to take rest because of demanding bosses and truck owners asking them to make prompt or timely delivery of goods in such a short period of time.
That being said, truck drivers feel a lot of stress and pressure to deliver and comply with the specified deadlines. They get little sleep in the course of their trip and their accumulated stress and fatigue trigger them to lose coordination, concentration, and end up sleeping while on the wheels.
Drug and Alcohol Use
Many truck drivers are guilty of using drugs and alcohol while on the driving job. Some truck drivers use drugs or drink alcohol at stops while other drivers carry these along with them during their trip. Regardless of how alcohol or drugs are used, driving can be impaired, and these usually cause truck accidents. It is not just the illegal drugs that can cause accidents but also prescription drugs that truck drivers are taking since these can have negative effects such as impairing their judgment and coordination, resulting in road accidents.
Despite having increased responsibility of driving safely, many truck drivers commit mistakes just like other truck drivers. These drivers might drive drowsy, they might drive drunk, and under the influence of drugs and drive recklessly and distractedly. But, there are studies revealing that most of trucks accidents happen are not because of truck driver error but due to passenger vehicle driver error. This calls for the significant need to improve the defensive driving strategies and techniques like keeping the safest distance from the other vehicles and being patient with reckless and slower drivers utilizing turn signals.
Overtaking and Over-speeding
Owners of trucks commonly demand truck drivers to reach a particular destination within a set frame. This is not always achievable because of many different factors, including traffic in certain sections and poor conditions of weather.
Nevertheless, because of pressure experienced by the drivers due to the challenge of meeting the deadlines and facing the worry of losing their jobs, drivers usually drive over the set speed limit. Being overtaken by these bigger trucks at breakneck speed forces the oncoming drivers on smaller cars to veer off the road resulting in crashes, most of these are fatal. Also, over-speeding has effects of reducing reaction times.
When driving at higher speeds, drivers might be required to break suddenly or immediately veer to another portion of the road. When at much higher speeds, this isn’t always possible.
Texting While Driving
In many instances, texting while on the wheels is prohibited by law and it’s banned nationwide and for commercial trucks. But this law doesn’t deter all the drivers from being engaged in this risky behavior.
Poor Maintenance of Vehicles
Trucks drive a thousand miles each day. In order to keep up with the extensive wear and tear, these vehicles should be regularly maintained. Equipment failure like worn and damaged brake pads and the cracked windshield can result in major accident. It is the responsibility of drivers to check their rig at the start of each shift and then submits a report regarding vehicle maintenance. Failure in doing so can be risky.
Poor vehicle performance is not just the only thing that causes truck equipment to somewhat fail at such a dangerous time. Equipment manufacturers might be guilty of their negligence in the course of production of parts resulting in dangerous and defective components. The parties that might be liable for the damaged and defective parts in the trucking accidents include parts manufacturer, a trucking company that sold the truck, truck manufacturer, and the mechanic who created the part repairs.
If a truck driver is not highly trained and well prepared for driving in severe weather conditions, he is likely to end up into truck accidents. Ice, snow, and rain can be tricky for truckers for the truckers to drive into; because of slow stopping speed of the vehicle and its heavy weight. Truckers need to travel at the right speed for all scenarios and learn the right braking techniques to prevent skidding, jackknifing, and hydroplaning.
Improper Loading of Cargo
Cargo issues can cause truck accidents. There are various ways on how cargo can cause a crash. The cargo can be mislabeled or dangerous resulting in dangerous explosion and spill. Cargo may be loaded in the wrong way wherein incorrect distribution or weight happens because of this. This is a factor that can cause a rollover accident.
Cargo loading teams and truckers need to follow specific-industry regulations in terms of loading cargo. There are particular height, length, width, and weight limits to truck loads and special methods of securing cargo for the purpose of transportation. Negligence or mistakes during the process of loading and can make loads fall off in the road causing major catastrophic accidents.
If a truck was not designed well and bad parts were installed just like failing tires and breaks, the chances for truck accidents increases. The manufacturers and the designers might also be held liable for the resulting damages.
Improper or Inadequate Training
If a driver does not have good and proper training, especially on how to handle and drive trucks, security components, and defensive driving, then the truck driver can pose serious hazards on the road.
Inexperience Driving and Unfamiliarity with the Road
Any individual traveling to an unfamiliar street can face driving difficulties. Try to envision if that individual was driving about the 80,000-pound vehicle for the very first time and didn’t understand how rough and curvy that specific street was. These circumstances can be awful.
There are guidelines that decide how much weight a business truck can carry since overloading can result in errors and unwanted accidents like jackknife accidents, tire blowouts, and more.
Road construction and road development undertakings can cause delays in terms of traffic. These literal barricades regularly limit truck drivers to one path of traffic. A few drivers may attempt to move around these constructions by driving in the middle or the shoulder, however doing as such will just cause truck accidents.
Other Road Issues that Can Cause Truck Accidents
There are many other factors that can contribute to or cause accidents involving trucks such as obstacles on the road. Whether a truck driver is driving carelessly or not if there are various obstacles on the road, more severe or dangerous truck accidents can occur. In other instances, accidents on the road that are due to poor maintenance and designs can result in a catastrophic crash. The moment this happens, the particular entity responsible for the road upkeep, which is usually a government entity might become the target of truck accidents lawsuit.
Other causes of truck accidents are unsafe driving practice, following another vehicle very closely, failure to properly check on the blind spots, changing lanes more often, road rage and failure to utilize turn signals.
Get Help for Your Truck Accident Case
Since there are such a significant number of potential reasons for truck accidents, these scenarios can actually be both contentious and complex. The trucking industry can be highly controlled, so even if you know who to blame for the truck accident, it isn’t sufficient to secure the necessary payments of the claim. Many truck drivers, and their managers, as well as their insurance agencies, will try to just deny the obligation for the accident and just offer a settlement for significantly less than a case is really worth.
The most ideal approach to ensure that your rights are completely secured is to seek the help of experienced and knowledgeable truck accident lawyers. If you or a loved one have been harmed as a result of a commercial vehicle accident, hire a lawyer that is highly focused on maximizing the compensation from any verdict or settlement so that you can concentrate on your healing.
The competent, knowledgeable lawyers at Fisher Stark will certainly advocate for their client’s rights and fight in order to secure the right compensation that the clients really deserve for their losses. A trucking accident is included in their areas of expertise so you rest assured that you can achieve the most favorable outcome for your case.
Contact Fisher Stark, P.A. today and schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. The firm is committed to helping you get the fair compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and more.