Top Ten Causes of Trucking Accidents
When a passenger vehicle is involved in a collision with a semi truck, substantial damage and serious injury often occur. Larger vehicles like 18-wheelers and dump trucks are more powerful than the average car or truck. A slight error on the part of the driver can have devastating consequences.
In Atlanta, truck accidents are often so severe that they are fatal. When they do not result in death, trucking accidents are still serious enough that victims often require extensive medical care and experience dramatic changes to their lives.
What Causes Truck Accidents?
Because every incident is unique, the circumstances behind each trucking accident are different. In most cases, however, the accident could have been prevented if the driver had been more cautious, or the truck had been maintained properly.
More often than not, trucking accidents are caused by negligence or error on the part of the driver of either the truck or the passenger vehicle. Here are the top causes of trucking accidents when the driver of the truck is responsible.
It’s not unusual for truck drivers to feel pressured into making it to their destination on time. These drivers may have quotas to meet and always have loads to deliver. These pressures can cause a truck driver to speed in an effort to reach their destination in a more timely manner. Speeding is a factor in the majority of trucking accidents, because it leads to driving more recklessly and having less time to react to situations that occur on the road.
Truck drivers are not immune to the dangers of drinking and driving. While it would seem that these drivers would not drink because they are on the clock, it is not always the case. A driver may drink before they head out on the road, may drink in the cab or may become so intoxicated the night before they drive that they aren’t sober in the morning. No matter how or why it happens, drunk driving accounts for far too many trucking accidents on the nation’s highways.
3. Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is becoming so problematic that it is now considered to have taken over impaired driving as the number one cause of accidents across the country. When a truck driver is distracted, their probability of causing an accident skyrockets.
Distractions in the cab range from eating to smartphone usage. Drivers who take their attention away from the road for any reason are considered to be distracted. Inattention at highway speeds can be fatal.
4. Improperly Loaded Cargo
Many drivers make the mistake of believing that their trailers are packed to the brim before they are taken on the road. While this may be true at times, every trailer they are given isn’t always full. Therefore, whoever loads the truck has to understand how weight can affect the way a truck handles. Stopping and turning can be negatively impacted by improperly loaded cargo. If the cargo shifts, the driver may lose control of the rig.
Falling asleep behind the wheel is a problem for anyone who isn’t getting enough rest at night. Because truckers often drive for many more continuous hours than the typical driver, it’s important that they are getting enough sleep. To help ensure this, regulations have been put in place dictating how far and how long a driver can travel in a 24-hour period. Even with this regulation, drivers still end up being too tired to stay alert while driving.
6. Defective Equipment
In most cases, a proper inspection of the vehicle can make a driver aware of any piece of equipment that may fail. Unfortunately, in some instances, the truck driver would have no idea that a piece of the rig was about to malfunction. It is always recommended that a driver conduct a pre-trip inspection of their truck to ascertain any apparent dangers and fix them as necessary.
7. Improper Maintenance
A schedule of routine maintenance can help prevent accidents. When accidents are the result of brake failure, a system breakdown or other failure, it is likely that the accident could have been prevented through routine maintenance. This may be the responsibility of the driver or the company that owns the vehicle. No matter who the responsibility falls on, it must be done to keep the trucker and other drivers safe on the road.
8. Reckless Driving
Truck drivers must follow the same rules of the road as everyone else. While most drivers operate their vehicles to the letter of the law, others drive recklessly. When they drive in this manner, they put everyone on the road in danger. A driver who fails to check their blind spots, who weaves in and out of traffic or changes lanes without signalling is making the road a dangerous place.
Everyone needs to learn how to drive a vehicle, but the best way to learn is through experience. When a new driver is behind the wheel of a truck, they may make costly mistakes simply because they are in a situation they haven’t experienced yet.
10. Lack of Familiarity
When a driver gets behind the wheel of an unfamiliar truck or gets on a road they haven’t driven on before, accidents are more likely to occur. A truck driver make sure they have extensive knowledge of each truck they drive, especially if they frequently switch vehicles. When a driver doesn’t know where controls are, how a truck handles or is behind the wheel of a vehicle with more power, they are putting people at risk. Also, they should make sure they are familiar with each route they are assigned.
Speak with a DeKalb County Truck Accident Attorney Today
The aftermath of a truck accident in DeKalb County can be devastating. If you or a family member have been involved in an accident with a semi truck or another large vehicle, please call our office. We will speak to you at no cost and advise you of your legal rights. You may have options you haven’t considered. Let us help you hold the at-fault driver accountable for their actions or poor decisions that led to your injuries.