What are the Leading Causes of 18-Wheeler Truck Accidents?
Trucks are a common sight on highways. In fact, there are about 2 million trucks that are in operation in the US. They transport products and goods all over the US and boost the economy. However, deadly truck accidents have been frequently happening on highways and roads. For example, in 2019, there were over 5000 fatalities in truck-related accidents. 18-wheelers are particularly dangerous and destructive in accidents because of their sheer weight, size and length. The leading cause of truck accidents is collision with another automobile. The causes of 18-wheeler truck accidents are;
Many truck drivers are usually under pressure to reach areas in a short period. However, this is not always possible due to problems such as traffic snarl-ups and poor weather conditions. The pressure to meet deadlines and the fear of being fired makes some drivers overspeed. Over speeding reduces the reaction time and may cause crashes on the road.
Driver fatigue and drowsy driving is a big problem in the truck-driving industry. The law has limited and dictated the hours truck drivers should work. However, due to their demanding driving schedules, some truck drivers force themselves to remain awake and continue working for longer hours instead of resting. Driver fatigue and drowsiness can cause truck drivers to have impaired judgement, poor concentration, lower reaction speed and may even dull the senses. This could lead to crashes. According to research, approximately 40 percent of all truck accidents are caused by fatigue driving. If you or your loved one has been involved in an accident with a fatigued driver, it is best to contact an experienced Dallas truck accident lawyer at Angel Reyes & Associates to receive a fair compensation for the damages and injuries. It is not enough to relieve the pain, but it will help in paying hospital bills and other damages.
Driving under the influence is illegal worldwide. Alcohol and other drugs impair the judgement and coordination of drivers, leading to crashes.
Distraction is a huge cause of accidents. Truck drivers drive for long periods and may become bored. To kill the boredom, they may do activities such as drinking, eating, sending texts or daydreaming. The common forms of distraction are; making calls, replying to messages or visiting social media while driving. Changing the controls or the radio station. It may look like a small action that makes a driver take his/her eyes off the road for seconds. However, that fraction of a second could determine whether you reach your destination safely or cause an accident.
The Large Truck Crash Causation Study indicates that about 40% of all commercial truck accidents are caused by reckless driving. Some of the poor decisions reckless drivers make include; overspeeding, changing lanes erratically, failing to obey traffic signs, tailgating, making obscene gestures towards other drivers, failing to give way to other motorists, and improper passing.
Lack of maintenance
The trucking companies are supposed to maintain their vehicles. The maintenance requires time and costs, which cut into their profits. As such, some truck owners try to cut costs by avoiding maintenance services that will ensure their vehicles are in top condition before hitting the road. Trucks that are poorly maintained and driven by poorly trained drivers are one of the leading causes of truck accidents. According to the NHSA, 29% of truck crashes involved a brake failure. Break failures may happen because of overheating, lack of maintenance, and condensation. Another major problem in truck accidents is the tires. Tires support the truck all day every day during the long driving hours and it is important to ensure they are functioning properly. Lack of proper inspection, poor design, and poor maintenance may cause tires to blow and cause accidents.
Poor weather conditions
Natural weather conditions such as heavy rainfall, fog, and sleet decrease visibility on the road. This coupled with distracted driving may be a recipe for disaster.
Poor load securing
Many trailers and trucks usually transport heavy loads which need to be properly secured so they can be safely transported over long distances. The load also needs to be properly packed so the weight can balance on the trailer evenly. Failure to distribute the load evenly may result in an accident, especially when the truck makes a turn or tries to stop.
Making wide turns
Trucks usually make wider turns compared to other vehicles. It is bigger in length, weight, and size. Despite the limited turning radius, trucks still need to keep to their lanes when they are turning to ensure others are safe. Failure to remain in your lane while turning may result in an accident.
This type of crash happens when the driver of a truck fails to stop the truck and it hits the vehicle in front. A car is not able to take this impact and may crumble. All occupants will have a high risk of getting injuries or dying.
Lack of proper training
There is a very high demand for truck drivers and sometimes truck companies do not offer enough training for their drivers or check their driving skills. This sometimes leads to severe accidents, more so because the trucks are bigger in size, weight, and length. If drivers are not given adequate training or time to learn the proper driving techniques, they have a high risk of getting into accidents.
Trucks with small amounts of liquids
Many trailers have been designed to carry liquids such as gas and oil. They can hold a specific amount of liquid before becoming full. However, it is dangerous to leave the hold partially full. For instance, if the hold has liquid that is less than three-quarters full, the liquid will splash in the hold during transportation and may affect the balance of the truck, especially when sudden turns and changes in speed occur. If the liquid makes a sudden and big move, the truck driver may lose control and cause a crash.
There are many 18-wheeler trucks on the road and accidents can be avoided by taking some precautions. You should not drive while distracted, drunk, drowsy, or poorly trained. Moreover, you should not tailgate or change lanes unexpectedly. 18-wheeler trucks should be properly maintained to ensure they are in the right condition to be on the road. To curb 18-wheeler accidents and prevent further deaths from 18-wheeler related accidents, these solutions need to be implemented by every driver. It is sometimes the little things that need to be implemented while driving to make a huge difference in the US and the world. 18-wheeler related accidents can be curbed when we all follow precautions on the road.