Truck accidents are likely to result in severe injuries or even fatality. Accidents involving trucks occur all the time and often include smaller vehicles that could not move out of the way.
Commercial and delivery trucks present unique dangers to smaller vehicles on the road. Truck drivers should be aware of their large vehicles’ potential hazards, while other drivers should also take extra care when trucks are present on the road. Minor errors such as not signaling before passing can increase the risk for accidents, especially on highways where eighteen-wheeler trucks might be present at high speeds.
Whether on roads or highways, the number of truck accident cases increases due to various causes. If you happen to be involved in one, you must know the next move to make.
Let’s check out the common causes of truck accidents:
- Driver Fatigue
Driving a truck can be a demanding task. Often, trucking corporations will oblige drivers to transport goods to a specific destination in a short period. Drivers travel long distances with few breaks and little rest.
Often, drivers travel long miles for several days at a time. The long rides put drivers in a state of fatigue and sleep deprivation. Over time, they lose coordination and concentration, slowing down their response to road situations. Additionally, it puts drivers in the dangerous condition of falling asleep while driving.
Today, there are laws and protocols on the number of hours a driver can travel in one shift, how much sleep is necessary, and rest breaks. Sadly, some companies don’t comply with these rules, making driver fatigue a big concern.
- Speeding And Overtaking
Often, a driver cannot make a delivery on time, but they might try. Due to the pressure of complying with tight deadlines, the driver might travel faster than appropriate for the truck or the road conditions. If drivers believe they might lose their jobs if deliveries fail to arrive on time, they’re likely to speed to reach the deadline. Sadly, it means speeding along with other smaller vehicles.
- Distracted Driving
Another concern among truck drivers is distracted driving that can result in crashes. Distracted driving is an activity that shifts attention away from driving.
Because truck drivers travel long distances, it can be tedious. In rural areas, the driver might not get a good signal on the radio. The boredom might force the driver to do other things such as texting, eating, or doing something else to stay occupied. Remember that, according to Flores, Tawney, and Acosta, a minor act of reaching over for an object can take the driver’s concentration off the road.
- Alcohol And Drugs
It might come as a surprise, but alcohol and drug abuse occur in the trucking industry. Some truckers utilize cocaine and amphetamines as stimulants to stay awake, especially on long journeys.
- Incorrect Cargo Loading
The trucks’ load should follow the specific weight, size, width, length, and height limits. When a truck is transporting potentially hazardous substances, there are stricter protocols. Sadly, mistakes can happen, which might mean that the load makes a truck too hefty or likely to topple over. When the load falls onto the road, it can result in a destructive accident.
- Poor Training And Maintenance
There are safety requirements and protocols on the number of training hours a driver must undergo to drive a commercial vehicle. Sadly, some drivers manage to go on the road without complying with the requirements.
During bad weather, it requires adequate training and experience, especially when maneuvering a large commercial truck. A driver needs to slow down during poor weather conditions to prevent skidding, jackknifing, or hydroplaning. When the driver lacks training or experience in poor weather conditions, it will put them and others at risk.
Trucking companies should inspect their trucks before getting on the road, but this doesn’t often happen. Maintenance requires time and extra costs, which some companies prefer to spend on the deliveries. Routine maintenance is not a priority, placing the driver at risk while on the road.
- Weather conditions
Driving under inclement weather puts trucks at risk for accidents. Because trucks are larger and difficult to control than regular vehicles, they’re likely to be affected by severe weather conditions. It’s important to note that accidents are likely to occur if drivers speed in rain, snow, or fog. With this in mind, truck drivers need to drive appropriately under such conditions.
Trucking accidents are common these days, and there are various causes. With this in mind, it’s crucial to take the necessary precautions to lower the risk or avoid trucking accidents in the first place.