Because of their considerable size and weight, trucks can pose a larger threat to safety while operating alongside other motorists. If the driver were to make a small error, the damage to smaller vehicles and their occupants could be serious.
The More Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents are caused for a wide range of reasons including weather conditions, mechanical functions, human error and the various combinations of these factors. Often times it is the fault of the truck driver’s or their companies that are responsible for the accident. There are several human errors that often cause truck accidents:
– Speeding –– probably the most common cause for truck accidents. Trucks are often traveling too fast to make a safe stop and this can be exacerbated by weather conditions. What often happens is that a very heavy truck will not have the capacity to stop in time and rear-ends the vehicle in front.
– Tailgating –– a fully-loaded truck will need plenty of extra room between them and the car in front of them to fully stop. Tailgating means travelling to close to the car in front of you and greatly increases the risks of serious and even deadly accidents.
– Distracted Driving –– distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents today. Anything that distracts the mind, hands and focus of the driver is a distraction and this includes eating, searching for something in the truck cab, grooming, talking to other passengers and other life threatening acts.
– Fatigue –– it takes stamina and energy to drive for many hours and if the drivers are not taking enough of a rest between shifts can result in driver fatigue and the serious dangers this can cause.
– Aggressive Driving –– there is an increasingly large problem with aggressive driving today. Personal pressures, financial demands and health problems as well as bad moods can cause all kinds of wrecks on the roads.
– Inexperience –– a driver that has not been at the job for long may not have the smooth reaction times and poise to react safely in any situation and can cause terrible accidents. For this reason, all drivers are required to have undergone rigid training and complete a certain number of hours driving trucks before they are allowed to drive professionally.
Because trucks have the capacity to do so much damage on the roads the federal and state government have placed regulations to govern their practices. Naturally, there are plenty of financial incentives to deviate from these important regulations and the consequences can be deadly. Failing to follow regulations in place to protect public safety can lead to accidents and is termed “negligence”.
Some examples of driver negligence include driving under the influence of legal or illegal drugs. Truck drivers are also susceptible to fatigue if they are not getting the full rest they should between shifts. While there are federal regulations in place that set the number of hours a driver is permitted to drive, these regulations are not always followed.
There are even some medications that can impair the driver’s capacity to drive safely. Over the counter and prescription medications for drugs can have a number of side effects that make operating heavy machinery a potentially dangerous activity. This can include increased drowsiness and other reactions to drugs that can cause a potential accident.
Driver fatigue remains among the leading causes of truck accidents. There are guidelines in place for the number of hours a driver is supposed to drive and how many they should rest in between shifts on the road, but these guidelines are not always followed. There may often be pressure from management to log extra hours despite the guidelines and this can lead to fatal accidents.
The effects of driving while fatigued are a lot like the effects of alcohol or other drugs. Despite their best efforts to stay awake the driver may suffer from blurred vision and not perceive angles and distance properly. Then there is always the chance they will fall asleep at the wheel.
Reckless driving is another leading reason for truck accidents. Some examples of reckless driving include distracted driving, speeding and tailgating and are all part of driver negligence. Drivers who are overly aggressive can also cause serious accidents that can have serious implications for smaller vehicles as well as their driver and passengers.
A fully-loaded commercial truck can weigh upwards of 80,000 pounds. If these trucks are carrying extra heavy loads or have the balance off center, the dynamics of the truck in motion will change dramatically and this can also cause accidents.
Truck drivers can be guilty of the same type of dangerous and negligent activity as other drivers only the consequences of their carelessness can carry much greater devastation. The only difference between truck drivers and other motorists is the size of the vehicles and everything that entails.
If you or someone you love have been hurt or even killed in a car accident, it is important that you hire the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer. They will be able to look over the details of your case and explain to you your best course of action for getting the compensation you deserve.
If you need help with your truck accident case call and speak with a qualified attorney.