Actions That Could Result in a Truck Accident
Behavior and actions that cause truck accidents and why they pose a risk for all drivers on the road.
Truck accidents can result in severe injuries that have lifelong consequences on a victim’s life. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 67 percent of fatalities in truck accidents were occupants of cars and other passenger vehicles, while 16 percent of fatalities were truck drivers or occupants. Truck crashes can be devastating to smaller vehicles because of their size and weight. A truck’s braking capability, driver fatigue and other factors have been known to be the main causes of truck crashes. We have outlined common causes of truck accidents and why they pose a risk to truckers and other drivers.
Truck drivers may be under pressure from their employers to meet strict delivery schedules, they may have to work for longer hours than what the law allows, and this reckless behavior puts them and other drivers at risk of an accident. Truck drivers and trucking companies must follow the Hours of Service Regulations set by the Department of Transportation, this set of rules limits the number of consecutive hours a driver can work without a break. The HOS rules protect drivers from driving long hours and hold trucking companies accountable if they break them. During the Coronavirus outbreak the Department of Transportation issued a national emergency declaration which lifts the enforcement HOS regulations. Lifting HOS regulations could result in truck drivers working long hours and driving drowsy. Drowsy driving increases the risk of an accident because it slows a driver’s reaction time, makes it harder for them to pay attention to the road, and affects their ability to make good decisions.
Alcohol and Prescription Drugs
Truck drivers under the influence of prescription drugs can feel drowsy or distracted while behind the wheel. Some drink alcohol or use drugs to stay awake while working long hours. The FMCSA lists prescription drug use among the top 10 factors associated with truck crashes. Truckers driving under the influence can make riskier movements or not react on time to an unexpected event on the road and result in an accident.
Poor Training and Poor Truck Maintenance
A truck with poor maintenance that has faulty breaks or other faulty equipment could also cause a car accident. Truck drivers that weren’t properly trained lack the experience and skills to properly maneuver a vehicle of that size and could contribute to an accident. A trucking company could be at fault for an accident caused by poor truck maintenance, so can a product manufacturer if a faulty part was responsible for the accident. A personal injury lawyer can assist you with your truck accident claim by determining liability for your accident and holding them accountable for their actions.
Extreme Weather Conditions
Poor weather conditions like rain or snow can be difficult to drive in on any type of vehicle, but especially for trucks. An inexperienced truck driver may not be prepared to drive in these adverse conditions. Rain and snow are especially hard for truckers to drive in due to the vehicle’s weight and height. Truckers need to drive at a slower speed, leave enough room between vehicles and break slowly to avoid hydroplaning or a jackknife accident.
Another main cause for truck accidents is drivers who are going above the speed limits. The pressure they are under to deliver shipments on time can push truckers to drive faster. Traveling at high speeds doesn’t allow for enough time to react to other driver’s actions and could result in a rear-end collision or other dangerous accidents.
Determining who is at fault in a truck accident can be complicated and often requires the expertise of a personal injury attorney. A legal team will assess the specifics of your accident and determine who is at fault and hold them responsible for the damages they caused. Avoid a complicated accident claim process by practicing safe driving techniques, especially when driving near large trucks.