There are many different kinds of accidents involving trucks that can occur on our roads and highways. While some of these are due to factors beyond our control, such as infrastructure issues, inclement weather or even attempting to avoid an accident; many are caused by driver error.
Common Causes of Trucking Accidents
- Aggressive Truck Driving: Accidents as a result of aggressive truck driving, road rage and truck driver negligence happen when a truck driver's irresponsible and erratic actions impose needless and preventable risk to drivers of other vehicles. Speeding, failure to maintain lane, erratic lane changing or "cutting off" other vehicles, "brake checking" and running other vehicles off of the road are all aggressive driving.
- Speeding: Speeding has an enormous impact on serious vehicle crashes. The force of an impact is magnified when a large truck is traveling at a high rate of speed. Trucks are heavy and require more time to stop. In the event of a collision, these factors cause them collide with vehicles and objects at a much greater force than passenger vehicles.
- Unsafe Lane Change: Changing lanes without properly signaling is a moving violation and it endangers lives. Additionally, blind spots can lead to a car being struck or run off the road. Drivers need to be aware of their mirrors and remember that if you can't see a trucker's mirrors, the driver cannot see your car.
- Truck Driver Fatigue: Due to deadlines, monetary incentives, and unexpected setbacks like heavy traffic, truckers often look to make up lost time skipping breaks. Because they are not getting rest, truck drivers often get tunnel vision and extreme fatigue which can cause reckless and negligent driving. Sometimes drivers fall asleep at the wheel while hauling heavy cargo. In the U.S. hours of service (HOS) are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
- Faulty Truck Equipment/Unsecured Loads: Drivers must follow strict rules regarding equipment, cargo weight, and securing cargo. Accidents can be caused by improperly secured cargo falling off trucks, tire tread separation/zipper rupture and other equipment malfunctions
- Truck driver substance abuse: One of the effects of the long hours truckers work is that many turn to drugs and alcohol either to stay awake for long runs, or for relieving the stress of the road. Many state laws impose stricter restrictions and enforce tougher penalties for truck drivers driving under the influence.