You can often see semi trucks on literally all Interstate Highways. There are actually around 2 million such vehicles in operation right now, all throughout the US. They are a huge part of the economy but because of their sheer size, when an accident happens, it can be horrific.
Small passenger vehicles often end up destroyed when colliding with semi trucks. The injuries that are suffered by car passengers often require the help of semi truck accident lawyers and extended medical care. So, it is always a good idea to be aware of the common causes of accidents involving semi trucks. This will help us protect ourselves.
In most semi truck crashes, the cause is driver error. The FCMCSA statistics show us that 88% of all truck crashes happen due to this reason. Human error can include several things, like failing to check mirrors, driver confusion, and speeding.
Some common mistakes we often see with truck drivers include negligent driving like speeding, distracted driving like texting, and substance abuse. Also, a major contributor we should mention is driver exhaustion. There are specific hours of service that should be respected by truck drivers but when these are not respected, catastrophic crashes can happen.
Trucking companies rely on drivers reaching destinations in a specific time period. Sometimes, this is not possible because of unexpected factors, like poor weather or traffic congestions. Since there is pressure to reach the destination, the truck driver can end up driving way over the legal speed limit. Since speed is higher, it is easier to stop and perform maneuvers that might be needed to avoid dangers.
Unfortunately, in the trucking industry, driving fatigue stands out as a huge problem at the moment. The law does limit work hours but we are still seeing drivers being behind the wheel for way too much. There are even truck drivers that do all they can to stay awake and drive even if they should be resting or at least taking breaks.
Remember that many truck drivers end up compensated based on how fast they transport goods. This encourages longer and faster driving, which is not safe. We often see semi trucks in unsafe weather conditions, which in itself can lead to crashes. Around forty percent of trucking accidents are because of driver fatigue.
Distraction and inattention cause several trucking accidents, just like for regular passenger cars. As the driver is involved in long distance hauling for several hours, boredom appears. In an attempt to do something to be occupied, distractions appear.
Some example causes of distractions while driving semi trucks are reading text messages, using phones, looking at social media profiles, drinking, and eating. Even changing the radio station can become a distraction that leads to a serious accident.
If the semi truck driver is distracted for just a second, there is always the possibility that an accident might happen. And the results can be very serious. And, as time passes and technology evolves, more and more sources of distractions appear and can influence trucking drivers to make bad choices that would be dangerous.