Truck accidents are a significant concern on roads and highways, as a single accident can lead to devastating consequences. And when motorists encounter negligent truck drivers while driving, the results can be disastrous.
While it is up to commercial truckers to operate their vehicles safely, drivers should understand the common causes of truck accidents to take the necessary steps to avoid them whenever possible.
One of the leading causes of truck accidents is driver fatigue. Long hours on the road, tight delivery schedules and inadequate rest breaks can lead to exhaustion. Accidents are more likely to occur when fatigued truck drivers struggle to stay alert, make poor decisions and have slower reaction times.
Excessive speed is a frequent contributor to motor vehicle accidents involving trucks. Trucks require more time and distance to come to a complete stop than smaller vehicles. When truck drivers exceed the speed limit or drive too fast for road conditions, they have less time to react to potential hazards, making accidents more likely.
Distracted driving is a problem that affects all motorists, including truck drivers. Distractions such as texting, talking on the phone or adjusting the radio can divert a driver’s attention away from the road. Remember, even a moment of inattention jeopardizes all other motorists.
Trucks with unsecured cargo are more prone to tipping over or losing their load, which endangers other drivers. Accordingly, commercial truckers must be sure to fully secure their cargo before heading out.
Truck accidents can also result from mechanical failures, such as brake failures, tire blowouts or engine malfunctions. Regular maintenance and thorough vehicle inspections are important for preventing these issues.
Truck drivers need proper training to operate these large vehicles safely. Inexperienced or inadequately trained drivers often struggle to handle challenging situations, increasing the likelihood of accidents.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 37 people lose their lives to a drunk driving incident each day in the U.S. While driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is dangerous for any motorist, impairment can be especially catastrophic for commercial truck drivers.
It is the duty of all motorists to maintain safety when sharing the road. However, the sheer size of commercial trucks means that truck drivers have an even greater responsibility on their hands.