Truck accidents are scary because they are likely to result in severe injuries or death compared to collisions between passenger cars. Statistics indicate that about 500,000 reported road accidents are caused by trucks. One percent of the total reported accidents often result in death.
In the recent past, authorities have tried to put measures in place to reduce the number of truck accidents. However, the reduction in the number of accidents has been insignificant. Here are some of the common reasons that contribute to numerous truck accidents.
Driving a truck is not an easy task. Often, most truck drivers drive long hours with little or no rest because their companies give them limited time to deliver specific goods. At times, they may have to spend several days on the road to reach their destination.
Driving for long distances and having a few hours of sleep often leads to fatigue. As a result, the drivers lose concentration and react slower to road situations. Additionally, there is a possibility of them falling asleep behind the wheel.
Some laws and regulations have been enacted to stipulate the duration of a truck driver’s shift, sleep duration that truck drivers require, and when they should take rest breaks. However, many truck companies do not follow the rules.
Alcohol and Drugs Use
Many truck drivers use drugs and alcohol while driving. Some take these substances during their stopovers in various towns while others carry the drugs and alcohol while driving. When they use these elements, their driving often becomes impaired, leading to accidents.
It is worth noting that the use of prescription drugs also contributes to road accidents. Some prescription drugs may impair a driver’s judgment and coordination, resulting in road accidents.
Poor Truck Maintenance and Driver Training
Some requirements stipulate the number of training hours that truck drivers should possess before driving a commercial vehicle. However, some drivers do not meet the requirements but continue driving on the road.
Driver training helps them understand how to maneuver around bad weather. It takes extensive experience and training to drive safely in bad weather. Commercial truck drivers must learn how to drive slower than usual in poor weather conditions. A poorly trained driver puts themselves and other road users at risk.
Trucking companies are required to inspect their trucks before they get on the road. However, this doesn’t always happen. There are many costs linked to maintenance, and it also takes time; therefore, most truck companies do not comply with maintenance rules.
Speeding and Overtaking
Truck drivers usually try to make deliveries within the time specified by their employers. Because the deadlines given are generally tight, drivers often speed fearing that they might lose their jobs if they do not deliver within the stipulated timelines.
Being overtaken by over-speeding truck drivers forces drivers in smaller vehicles to swerve off the road, resulting in road accidents. In certain circumstances, drivers may be required to brake immediately to avoid impending accidents, but this is not always possible if they are driving at very high speeds.
Driving for long, consecutive hours is boring. Drivers might opt to look at their phones, text, or even call loved ones to keep themselves occupied. Sometimes, even the simple act of turning the radio on may make drivers lose concentration, resulting in an accident.
Improper Cargo Loading
Each load on a commercial truck must adhere to a particular weight, length, width, size, and height limit. There are strict regulations for vehicles that carry hazardous materials. Regardless of the rules, mistakes in loading cargo happen. If a truck is heavily loaded, it may tip over and fall. Additionally, if cargo is not loaded appropriately, it may fall onto the road, leading to fatal accidents. If hazardous materials drop on the way, they might catch fire or create disastrous situations.
If your loved one has sustained severe injuries or has died because of a truck accident, you should contact a truck accident lawyer. The lawyer will guide you on whether it is appropriate to file a wrongful death lawsuit or a personal injury lawsuit. If you have been involved in an accident, seek medical attention immediately, and once better, find a truck accident lawyer to help you ask for compensation.