Often, accidents involving tractor-trailers and trucks are catastrophic. They may happen due to various reasons and during any type of weather. Once the scenario involves a huge rig versus a passenger vehicle, the people in the smaller vehicle are vulnerable to severe injuries and may even lead to death.
If someone is injured in an 18-wheeler truck accident, seek immediate medical attention and legal representation is deemed crucial. The reason behind it is that truck accident cases can be complicated, especially if the accident caused severe injuries to the victims.
Below are some of the known common causes of truck accidents:
Poor Truck Maintenance and Driver Training
Before truck drivers can drive big commercial vehicles on the public roads, they’re required to put in a threshold of training hours to meet the minimum requirements. But not every truck driver adheres to these guidelines. Due to this, some poorly trained truck drivers with less experience often cause road accidents.
Truck carriers, by law, are required to ensure that their trucks are always in top condition before they are used. Unluckily, some trucking carriers don’t check proper maintenance often due to the time and costs involved which they deem can be used in other business operations. So, if a poorly maintained truck is driven by a poorly trained driver, it may result in an accident.
Overtaking and Over speeding
Usually, truck carriers demand that truck drivers reach destinations within a set period of time. This isn’t always achievable due to some factors like poor weather conditions and traffic jams in several sections of the road. But, because of the pressure that the drivers are put under to meet the deadlines and the risk of losing their jobs, some truck drivers often drive more than the recommended speed limit.
Overtaking by big trucks at a break-neck speed forces incoming drivers in small vehicles to veer off the road, which may result in fatal crashes. When driving at a high speed, drivers might be required to suddenly or immediately veer to another road section. It’s not always possible at high speeds.
Unsafe Driving Practices
Every week, truck drivers log thousands of miles. The long period spent on the road can be monotonous and may cause drivers to be less safe with how they run their vehicles. Aside from speeding, some unsafe driving practices that other drivers do include:
- Failure to use turn signals.
- Frequent lane changes.
- Road rage.
- Following other vehicles too closely.
- Failure to check for the blind spots.
Even if there are rules and regulations against it, several commercial truck drivers drive for more hours than they should. There are times that they become overtired at some point.
Truck drivers are also required to take breaks between their shifts and are recommended to rest for several hours daily. But, because of the traffic delays and delivery deadlines, there are drivers who feel compelled to push themselves and try to make up for lost time. It frequently results in a lack of sleep, which may slow down the reflexes of the truck driver or the driver might even fall asleep, causing an accident.
Since commercial trucks are bigger than some vehicles, any accident that involves trucks typically produces lots of property damage and may kill other people involved.
This is a problem almost everywhere and it’s a common issue on local roads and highways. Basically, distracted driving is the activity that diverts the attention away from the task of driving.
In rural areas, drivers might not get a good radio signal, thus there isn’t much entertainment. That boredom could result in a trucker to risk texting, eating, looking at their mobile devices to play songs or other things. Any simple act of taking your concentration and eyes off the road can be considered distracted driving.
Improper Cargo Loading
Every load must adhere to size, weight, width, length, and height limits. If trucks carry hazardous materials, there are stricter regulations on better truck safety and how it should be handled. But mistakes may happen, and errors could mean that a load makes the truck very heavy or could likely tip over. If the load falls to the road, it may lead to a catastrophic accident. The situation may worsen if the hazardous materials catch on fire or cause other dangers.
Another common cause of truck accidents is road issues. There are times that truck accidents happen due to the obstacles on the road. Whether the driver is driving recklessly or not, if some obstacles are on the road, a severe or dangerous accident may happen. One of these obstacles can be flaws in and on the road because of poor maintenance.
The trucking carriers are obligated to do regular proper truck maintenance to ensure safety on the road. Unfortunately, no matter how well-maintained the trucks are, accidents may happen anytime due to other causes like distracted driving and improper driving practices.
If you are a victim of a truck accident because of someone’s negligence, you can protect your rights by hiring an experienced lawyer specializing in such cases. With legal representation, you can be assured that you’ll get closer to financial and physical recovery.