Every time you shop at a grocery store or a retail establishment, you are directly benefiting from the hard work of truck drivers. Every day, millions of Americans hop behind the wheel of large semi-trucks and drive long distances to deliver a variety of goods. But transporting goods across the country comes with risk and many accidents occur every year in the trucking industry.
If you get into an accident as a truck driver or are involved in a crash with a transport vehicle, you may face a lengthy battle with an uncaring insurance company. If you are a truck driver or travel on highways regularly, then you need to work hard to stay safe while behind the wheel.
Here are some of the most common causes of trucking accidents today and how to avoid them.
One of the main goals that most trucking companies have is maximizing profit margins. The best way to do this is by carrying as many items as they can to businesses and warehouses across America. Some trucking company owners, however, act in a negligent manner just to increase profits. This usually means that they overload the trucks they own without regard for the danger this can cause.
It is estimated that out of the millions of semi-trucks on the road, thousands of them are overloaded. If the trailer is carrying too much cargo, simple driving tasks such as stopping can become almost impossible. When these trucks have to come to a quick stop to avoid hitting another vehicle, they are unable to do so, leading to collisions, damages, and injuries.
Adhering to the load capacity of the truck can help avoid dangerous driving conditions and costly damages. If you feel like you are being forced to carry larger loads, you need to contact a lawyer to figure out what your legal rights are.
The average truck driver faces a number of dangerous distractions as they navigate the roadways of America. Things such as cell phones, radios, and even digital shipping manifests can take your attention off of the road. Each year, more than 400,000 people are injured in accidents caused by distracted driving. Instead of putting your life and the lives of the drivers around you in danger, you must work to remove these distractions.
Instead of driving with your cell phone on your lap or on the seat beside you, consider keeping it plugged in at the back of your cab. Putting this device out of arm’s reach can help you focus more on driving safely. If you need to be able to answer phone calls as you drive, invest in a Bluetooth headset. These headsets allow you to talk hands-free, which makes them well worth the investment.
The average truck driver spends a lot of time away from the people they love. In some instances, a driver’s desire to get back home as soon as possible can lead to some bad decisions being made. This can lead to a truck driver staying up late or driving over their allowed time to get to their destination more quickly. While this may seem like a worthwhile sacrifice at the time, it is actually one of the most dangerous things a truck driver can do.
If you are driving without adequate sleep, your ability to drive safely is diminished substantially. This means reaction times and your general awareness of what is around you will be limited. Nodding off while behind the wheel can be deadly, which is why fatigued driving needs to be avoided at all costs.
There are many laws in place that dictate the number of hours a truck driver can work on a given day. If you are stopped while breaking these laws, you run the risk of receiving a hefty fine and you may possibly lose your CDL license. As you can see, fatigued driving simply isn’t worth the risk to your career and well-being.
Another common mistake truck drivers make when attempting to get to their destination quickly is speeding. The faster you go down the highway, the harder it will be to avoid hitting other vehicles if you have to stop or change lanes quickly.
Speeding can also lead to expensive tickets along with consequences from your employer, which is why you should always keep your truck slightly under the posted speed limit.
Staying Safe Is Not Easy
Now that you know more about the most common causes of trucking accidents, you can take steps to ensure you are driving in the safest way possible, and call a truck accident lawyer every time you get in your truck. Avoiding the bad habits described here can help you to stay safe while driving across America to deliver important goods.