Large trucks are a significant part of the world’s transportation sector. They help open up the economy by transporting major commodities like food and fuel. Unfortunately, truck accidents happen, claiming many lives and causing a lot of injuries and damage. Truck accidents are way more dangerous than other vehicle accidents. As such, you should take extra caution when driving near a truck because controlling such monstrous vehicles can be problematic. Keeping a safe distance is, therefore, your best option.
Apart from how difficult it is to control such vehicles, driver errors also contribute mainly to truck accidents. In the sad event that you are involved in such a calamity, it would be in your best interest to seek the services of a truck accident attorney. Furthermore, it doesn’t hurt to know the leading causes of truck accidents, just to be on the safe side. Such information comes in handy to help you avoid them.
Truck Driver Fatigue
This is a significant problem that affects long-distance drivers in the truck transport industry. That is because they work long hours and often lack adequate sleep. Most only get short naps before they get back on the road. The fatigue could lead to drowsiness which causes impaired vision and reduced cognitive abilities. Some experts use the analogy of comparing fatigue to being drunk. While you may not have alcohol in your system, you are just as much at risk of getting into an accident.
Hours of Service
Hours of service are regulations set in place for how long a truck driver should drive to reduce cases of fatigue. However, these regulations may also lead to accidents, the very thing they are meant to reduce. Some drivers take it upon themselves to cover longer distances, so they hit their target in payment.
With the restrictions in place, they may decide to drive faster to get to their destination quicker. A fast-moving truck with a fatigued driver is a recipe for disaster.
Work Zone Dangers
Work zones like closed roads and diversions can confuse truck drivers. Since trucks require more stopping time than other vehicles, accidents may occur at such zones.
Driving Under the Influence
This is a significant cause of truck accidents because most truck drivers use stimulants during work hours. As a result, some drivers might decide to drink or smoke marijuana in an attempt to stay alert. Truck drivers undergo testing to ensure they do not drive under the influence as it impairs their judgment. But there are ways to work through this, which drivers often find.
Poor truck maintenance is a significant source of accidents. When a truck has bald tires, it can lead to potential injury and even death. The trucks carry a heavy load, and the long distances cause faster wear and tear. If not regularly replaced, the tire treads may not have enough grip on the road, leading to skidding and an accident in a worst-case scenario. Break malfunction occurs when there is a failure of the air brake system. These should be constantly checked and maintained to prevent a dangerous accident situation from occurring.
This is a common cause of truck accidents. Rollovers occur when a driver loses control, and the truck begins swinging sideways. The accident occurs when the truck meets an obstruction like an uneven road or another vehicle. If a truck accelerates or turns too sharply while carrying a heavy load, it could cause a fatal accident.
Trucks have extensive no-zone areas. Most trucks have caution stickers that warn other vehicle owners not to follow too closely. If another vehicle can not see the truck driver from his side mirror, they should automatically realize that the truck driver can not see them. Such accidents can be fatal as the truck driver often has no idea that another vehicle is in their vicinity.
A truck has a specific cargo weight limit. If the limit is exceeded, truckers may lose control of the truck and cause an accident because the load is too heavy to maintain its stability.
If a truck is carrying a load that is not loaded well and secure, it may fall off and lead to an accident. When this occurs, the truck driver is liable for any damage caused due to negligence.