Driving an eight-wheel vehicle is not easy, especially because these trucks are involved in long-distance drives. But the drivers are usually trained and experienced to handle these types of vehicles without any problems. Thanks to their experience, trucks record the lowest number of accidents on the roads.
Despite the small number of accidents, truck accidents are the most fatal with severe injuries. Trucks cause about five hundred thousand road accidents. Five thousand of these lead to deaths.
Investigators of these accidents often find that most of these accidents occur due to negligence on the driver’s side. Some of these include speeding, distracted driving, and driving under influence. This article outlines some common causes of truck accidents to help you know what actions to take in case you’re involved.
Distracted Driver Truck Accidents
Distracted driving is a leading cause of motor vehicle accidents worldwide. The problems are as common in local roads as they are in highways. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving caused 10% of fatal crashes and 15% of injuries in 2015.
Distracted driving is any activity that diverts the driver’s attention from the road. This leads to the loss of focus on the main task which is driving.
Truck drivers are the ones who are caught in such situations due to boredom. This leads them to start engaging in other activities like texting, eating, and playing mobile games. Anything that takes the driver’s concentration from the road can cause an accident.
Poor Training and Poor Truck Maintenance
Driving heavy commercial vehicles is a very difficult task that requires thorough training. There are set threshold hours of training that a driver should meet before being allowed to drive a heavy truck. Not all truck drivers adhere to these training guidelines.
Poorly maintained trucks can also cause an accident. It’s a requirement by law that trucks are kept in good condition before they can hit the road. However, maintaining a truck is usually expensive, and many truck owners are not willing to spend.
Poorly maintained trucks are bound to cause accidents on the roads. Poorly trained drivers and poorly maintained trucks are some of the biggest causes of trucking accidents.
Truck Driver Fatigue
Truck drivers cover long distances and drive for long hours without rest. Sometimes they pass through rural areas and roads without proper places to rest. Even though they are limited by law on driving hours, they sometimes exceed the limit and end up too fatigued to concentrate.
Some truck drivers find themselves working under too much pressure. Their employers may not give them enough time to rest as they need to meet tight deadlines. These drivers end up sleeping on the road due to exhaustion and poor eating habits.
Overworked drivers are most likely to lose focus of the road and cause serious accidents. Fatigue causes loss of concentration, sleepiness, and lack of proper coordination. Truck drivers have been exposed to serious cases that go as far as wrongful death claims because of an accident they could avoid.
Driving Under Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
Due to boredom and long-distance driving, many truck drivers resort to the use of cocaine and amphetamines to keep themselves active. For this reason, truck drivers engage in the highest number of alcohol and drug abuse among road users.
According to a study by Reuters, 30% of truck drivers admit to using amphetamines. 20% admitting to the use of marijuana and 2% agree that they use cocaine to keep them awake on the road. These drugs keep the drivers awake unnaturally, which is bad for the road and their health.
The drugs also cloud their judgment and can compel them to take unnecessary risks such as over speeding, overtaking, and driving in bad weather. Drugs and alcohol use causes impaired driving, which leads to accidents.
Overtaking and Over speeding
Careless driving occurs when truck drivers are under pressure to meet deadlines or reach certain destinations within a time limit. When they work under tight deadlines and pressure, they’ll be forced to over speed and overtake carelessly. They may force other drivers to veer off the road causing crashes.
When they over speed, they reduce their reaction time to emergencies on the road. When they break suddenly or veer off the road, crashes are unavoidable. Crashes caused by over speeding and overtaking can lead to catastrophic injuries either for the driver or other road users.
Improper Loading of Cargo
Every truck is made to handle a specific size, type, height, and width of the load. Drivers also face stricter regulations when handling hazardous materials. But even when they follow the regulations, loading errors can still occur.
Sometimes improper loading occurs due to failure to distribute cargo weight equally throughout the truck. This causes a lot of problems to the driver when turning or stopping because the truck will be heavy and imbalanced. Improperly tied products can also fly off the truck, hitting or blocking another vehicle.
Improper loading can cause a catastrophic accident such as vehicle rolling over, the load falling, or the truck losing control. Hazardous loads can also catch fire, creating danger for the driver and other road users. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure proper loading before hitting the road.
Truck Accidents Are Avoidable
Truck accidents expose not only the driver but also other drivers and pedestrians using the road. Most of these causes of truck accidents are avoidable if both the driver and the truck owner take necessary precautions.
You need to take immediate action when you suffer a truck accident because the driver and the company, they work for need to take partial or full liability. This will depend on the circumstances of the accident. You should investigate who’s at fault and file a claim.
You need financial compensation for the injuries and losses caused by the accident. Get in touch with Roberts Markland, LLP, to help you handle a truck injury case and get the best compensation.