Top 5 Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Some of the most destructive accidents are truck accidents involving a commercial truck. Close to five hundred thousand accidents on the road are caused directly or indirectly by large commercial trucks. From these five hundred thousand accidents, approximately five thousand lead to deaths. Road authorities have implemented a number of measures to help prevent and reduce the number of collisions and truck accident fatalities. However, the effectiveness of these measures is still uncertain. This list presents five of the most common causes of truck accidents.
1. Fatigue and exhaustion
This is by far the most common cause of truck accidents. Fatigue experienced by overworked drivers is quite common for truck drivers, as most drivers drive over long distances for many hours without a lot of rest in between.
The cause of this lies squarely with the owners of truck companies who expect their workers to deliver goods to their destinations within a limited time window. Some drivers find themselves under a lot of pressure to deliver within the deadline. This can cause them to forego sleep in an effort to get their cargo to their destination.
The accumulated loss of sleep adds up, causing a loss of concentration, coordination, and even sleeping at the wheel.
2. Abuse of Alcohol and Drugs
It is an unfortunate reality that many truck drivers abuse alcohol and non-medical drugs while on the job. Some transport substances to different stops along their route across the country. Some abuse substances while driving, which can lead to impaired driving and the chance of a collision increases.
It’s not just the abuse of illegal drugs that could lead to truck accidents on the road, but some drivers may be using prescription drugs that impair their ability to drive effectively or to affect their judgment.
3. Lack of Skill and Improper Truck Maintenance
Drivers of commercial trucks are required to log a certain number of training hours and to meet minimum requirements of proficiency before they are allowed to drive commercial vehicles on public roads.
However, while every driver is required to undergo the training, not every driver follows the guidelines. What happens next is a poorly trained truck driver without the experience to compensate behind the wheel of a multi-ton truck.
Similarly, truck owners are required by state and federal law to maintain their trucks and keep them in top condition before allowing them on the road. However, sometimes they are not maintained as they should be due to the costs and the time it takes to maintain their trucks. This time could be more profitably used to make deliveries. Poorly maintained trucks driven by poorly trained drivers is one huge factor in the high number of truck accidents.
4. Excessive Speed and Weaving in Traffic
Because of the demands of commerce, and the need to make timely deliveries man truck owners are demanding their drivers reach their destinations within often tight deadlines. Sometimes factors such as weather conditions, or heavy traffic can make meeting these deadlines near impossibly without breaking the speed limit.
Being overtaken by these big trucks speeding at high speeds can force other drivers of smaller vehicles to veer off the road, or to overcompensate or jump lanes in order to not be hit. When both cars are going at high speeds this can spell disaster for both drivers.
5. Distracted Driving Leads to Truck Accidents
It is a fact of the modern-day that more and more drivers, both trucks and private vehicles, are driving while distracted. This is a leading cause of both truck accidents and car accidents. With the long distances and hours of driving involved, truck drivers often experience boredom.
Drivers will turn to their phones to relieve this boredom, to make calls, respond to texts, visit social media sites or watch videos. Even changing the car radio station while on the road has also been attributed to distracted driving, inevitably leading to an accident.
Every fraction of each second counts while driving. Even if taking your eyes off the road for just a second can lead to a fatality.
If you have been the victim of a truck accident in Glendale, CA area, call Shirvanian Law Firm at (818) 835-5396 to arrange a consultation today.