Truck accidents are different from others. Commercial trucks easily outsize and outweigh civilian vehicles. This fact plays a vital role in truck accidents.
Just like their size and weight, truck accidents usually result in devastating consequences, particularly for the victims in other vehicles. This is one of the important reasons why trucks should practice safe driving practices and take immense care when operating their vehicles. In the event that you are involved in a truck accident, your first course of action should be to get help from truck accident lawyers in your locality.
Below are some common reasons why trucks are involved in accidents.
Everyone uses smart devices these days. Along with smartphones, smart devices also include GPS systems, music players, voice-controlled devices, etc. Some truck drivers pay more attention to these devices than the road, leading to accidents.
Smart devices aside, some drivers often eat while driving. Since truck drivers spend so much time on the road, some even brush their hair and carry out other grooming activities while driving. All this often causes accidents.
Sometimes nature is to blame for truck accidents. Poor conditions refer to both road and weather conditions.
When talking about road conditions, the common culprits are potholes, debris, cracked asphalt, random obstructions on the road, no proper signage, and worn-off lane markings.
Poor road conditions aside, the weather can also wreak havoc on truck drivers. Slippery weather conditions like snow, ice, sleet, and rain can make a truck hard to control. Conditions like smoke, fog, mist, and smoke may interfere with a driver’s vision.
Two elements fall under irresponsible driving.
The first is intoxication. If a truck driver operates a vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.04% or higher, they can be arrested for DUI (Driving Under the Influence). Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious crime that can lead to jail time, the cancellation of a driver’s license, and other serious consequences.
The second is reckless driving. A truck driver has a higher duty of care than other motorists. When drivers resort to irresponsible driving tactics like ignoring traffic signals and tailgating, they put other motorists in serious danger.
Speed limits exist for a reason. Excessive speed greatly increases the chances of an accident. In addition to hitting another vehicle, speeding can also cause the cargo to shift. All these lead to accidents that may have disastrous consequences.
Lack of Experience
Truck driving is a skill that is hard to master. In addition to driving skills, a truck driver must also possess the composure to tackle tricky situations and the responsibility to deliver the load on time without breaking road rules or endangering other motorists.
This is something that inexperienced truck drivers lack. They focus too much on delivering the load on time, ignore safety rules, and don’t think about other drivers on the road.
Poor Truck Maintenance
This is one part where the trucking company and the driver have equal responsibility. A poorly maintained truck is more prone to accidents. Not replacing worn-out tires, operating a truck with damaged windshield wipers and cargo restraints, ignoring electrical or engine issues, and not changing burned-out lights are some maintenance issues that can lead to truck accidents.
Truck driving is a strenuous profession. Couple that with short deadlines, and the job becomes a stress fest. When truck drivers skip breaks, they’re bound to fall asleep at the wheel. Drowsy drivers often drift into other lanes, swerve and break frequently, and often run over rumble strips on the side of the road.
Improper Cargo Loading
A truck’s cargo must be secured properly, considering that it is about to be transported over hundreds of miles at high speeds. Poor cargo loading and securing doesn’t just damage the cargo; it also leads to accidents and may cause harm to other motorists as well.
The aftermath of truck accidents is brutal, often resulting in serious injuries and massive property damage. Knowing the common reasons why truck accidents happen can contribute to their prevention and go a long way towards keeping our roads safe.