Semi-trucks are some of the biggest vehicles out there on the roads. Because of their size, you would think that it would be rather challenging to get into an accident with an 18-wheeler. Unfortunately, serious truck accidents still occur every day due to avoidable causes.
Accidents involving these massive vehicles has reached a 30-year high. Identifying the causes of these accidents can play a pivotal part in preventing unnecessary accidents from occurring. Here are four common examples of what causes a trucking accident.
Truckers typically spend 11 hours or more behind the wheel of a vehicle every day. If the driver is looking to get ahead of schedule or even catch up to their schedule, they may put in even more hours on the road. This time behind the wheel adds up, and can easily result in fatigue setting in, or the driver even falling asleep behind the wheel.
Spending so many hours behind the wheel commonly results in drivers multitasking. As a way of saving time, drivers may eat or drink while driving, adjust their GPS or radio, or even text or make calls on their cell phones. When a vehicle moves more than 60 mph, taking eyes off the road for even a few seconds is equivalent to driving blindfolded for hundreds of yards.
It is a truck driver’s responsibility to ensure that their vehicle is safe to drive. This means they need to regularly check their headlights, turn signals, tire pressure, windshield wipers and fluid, and other necessary features of a vehicle. If even one of these features fails to perform its duties, it can result in a major accident that causes catastrophic injuries or wrongful death.
Drug and alcohol consumption
A truck driver is vulnerable to the same temptations as any person. They are just as likely to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol and may be more vulnerable in some instances. To combat the long hours behind the wheel of a truck, some drivers will consume caffeine pills or other supplements to keep them awake for more extended periods. Staying up for extended hours contributes to the fatigue problem as well.
There are many ways that a truck driver can cause an accident with other passenger vehicles. With proper planning and self-control, we can all help reduce the number of trucking accidents that occur every year.