Truck driving accidents do not receive as much attention as they should. It was only after actor and comedian Tracy Morgan was seriously injured in a trucking accident in 2014 that many people became aware of their frequency.
Every time we ride behind a truck, we see the familiar sticker, “How’s My Driving?”
However, many of us aren’t aware of the thousands of crashes that occur each year. More than 4,000 people die in truck accidents annually. Another 100,000 are injured, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
And sadly, fatal trucking accidents are on the rise with a reportedly 18% increase from 2011 to 2012, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Driving a commercial truck is much different than operating a passenger vehicle.
With such a large load to carry and the sheer size of the vehicle, it’s imperative the truck driver is qualified and alert. The trucking company must also take care. Here are some of the most common causes of trucking accidents.
Poor Truck Maintenance
Poor truck maintenance is actually one of the most prevalent causes of trucking accidents. Faulty breaks, worn tires and low tire pressure contribute to trucking crashes. On average, these trucks weigh 40 tons. Breaks and tires must be in tip-top condition in order to handle such a massive load. Truck owners, management companies and even the drivers themselves are responsible for properly maintaining their vehicles.
Overloading commercial trucks and improperly secured cargo can pose great hazards to truck drivers themselves and other drivers on the road. Federal regulations restrict how much weight a truck can carry, but overloading still occurs.
Many people assume the majority of truck driving accidents result from driver fatigue, but only a small percentage of all trucking crashes can be attributed to falling asleep behind the wheel. However, it’s important for drivers to stay alert. When driving for several hours at a time, it’s easy for drivers to become tired, bored or distracted. Federal regulations limit the time commercial truck drivers can operate their vehicle in order to reduce the risks of driver fatigue and inattention. Texting while driving is illegal for commercial truck drivers in every state.
Commercial truck drivers must be careful not to:
- Neglect blind spots
- Follow vehicles too closely
- Fail to use turn signals
- Improperly change lanes
Truck drivers must also stay calm at all times. Road rage is especially dangerous when you are operating a several thousand pound vehicle.
Poor or Improper Training
Operating a commercial truck takes skill. All drivers must be adequately trained to handle a large vehicle and learn defensive driving skills.
Road and Weather Conditions
Weather and road conditions play a major role not just in trucking accidents, but all accidents. Road construction, narrow lanes, potholes icy roads, flooding and heavy rain, for example, all pose great risks for large trucks.
If you have been a victim of a truck accident, you need a skilled personal injury lawyer experienced in truck driving accident cases. Amy VanDeLoo of The VanDeLoo Firm offers her clients the dedication, diligence, and expertise to fight trucking companies, manufacturers and firms in order to determine fair compensation and justice. If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident in the Dallas area, contact The VanDeLoo Firm at (972) 200-5080 today.