What Causes Most Truck Accidents?
More often than not, trucking accidents are more severe than passenger vehicle accidents. Many commerical trucks are as much as 20 times the size of other vehicles commonly on the road, they inflict more damage, even at lower speeds, and often cause serious injuries to those involved. When driving a commercial truck or driving near one, it is important to always take the proper precautions.
Knowing the primary causes of trucking and 18-wheeler accidents can help everyone prepare for and prevent these life-changing accidents. Whether you drive on interstates where large trucks frequently travel, or you’re a trucker trying to improve your safe driving ability, here are the main causes of accidents and how to prevent them:
- Distractions – Both large trucks and passenger vehicles can be responsible for accidents that arise from driver error. Distractions, like texting, sipping on hot coffee, substance abuse, or fatigue can all affect your attentiveness to the road. It only takes a few seconds for a mistake, like swerving, making a wrong turn, or misjudging distance and speed to lead to a deadly crash. Avoiding driving under the influence, driving while tired, and minimizing distractions on busy roads can reduce the chance of driver-error accidents.
- Weather – Some accidents are caused by hazardous weather conditions. Accidents are more common when weather events make the road slick or reduce visibility. Truckers can take a proactive approach to bad weather by monitoring weather reports and avoiding driving during poor conditions. Both trucks and passenger vehicles can improve visibility during weather events by using hazard lights and driving slowly in dangerous conditions.
- Failure to properly load a truck – A commercial truck’s trailer affects the overall performance of the vehicle. When loads are not carefully distributed across the trailer, the imbalance makes the whole structure insecure. Trucks with improperly loaded trailers are at risk for rolling over on the road or losing cargo on the highway. Follow recommended guidelines for loading your truck every time you take on a new assignment.
- Equipment malfunction – When a manufacturer ships defective tires or improperly calibrated equipment, everyone on the roadways are at risk. Truck drivers who fail to maintain their trucks and perform regular inspections before every trip also put the general public at risk. A blown tire or loose bolt may not affect the truck very much, but there are many sad cases of parts flying off of a commercial truck and killing or severely injuring drivers following behind. All truck drivers are required by regulation to perform pre-trip inspections and to regularly maintain their vehicles.
- Failing to follow the rules of the road – Many trucking accidents occur from speeding or failing to follow road rules. Following too closely or coming up on another vehicle too quickly can easily turn into a devastating rear-ending accident. Most commercial trucks include a black box similar to those found on airplanes. If a truck driver failed to follow the law, the information will come out after the accident.
Unfortunately, many accidents result from a combination of errors. There are many different causes for trucking accidents, but most can be remedied with a little more conscientiousness from drivers. Avoid distractions, allow adequate space for appropriate and necessary reaction time, and follow the rules to keep everyone a little safer every time you travel on the roads.
If you have been injured in a trucking accident, you may be confused about liability and your ability to receive adequate compensation. If you were not responsible for an accident causing your injury, contact our Dallas trucking accident attorneys at the Benton Law Firm. We can answer many of your questions at a free initial consultation. Get the support you need by contacting us today for more information.