A collision with a large truck inevitably leads to catastrophic or fatal injuries to the drivers and passengers of much smaller cars, pickups and SUVs. Weighing several tons, 18-wheelers involved in a motor crash cause excessive damage along with potential tragedy.
There are many reasons why these accidents occur. And much of that negligence and responsibility falls squarely with the truck driving companies and the truck drivers they employ. For example, an inexperienced and improperly trained driver can make a mistake leading to fatalities. A drunk or distracted truck driver also can cause an extreme amount of harm on the roads, too.
Speeding, fatigue and distracted driving
This represents a list of some of the more common reasons for a big-rig crash:
- Speeding: Excessive speed often contributes to many motor vehicle accidents. With truck drivers facing tight deadlines, they often ignore speed limits, potentially endangering other drivers.
- Reckless driving: Some drivers act as if they are the only ones on the road. They may driver too fast for conditions, make excessive lane changes, improperly pass cars or ignore traffic signals.
- Fatigue and drowsy driving: Exhaustion is a common occurrence among truck drivers who are under continuous pressure to work long hours to transport their cargo on time.
- The use of alcohol and drugs: Truck drivers, sometimes, turn to alcohol and drugs such as marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine while on the road. Their usage affects their response time and endangers other drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a total of 2 percent of large truck drivers involved in fatal accidents in 2019 were legally drunk.
- Distracted driving: This reason has been growing in the last decade with more and more drivers talking and texting with smartphones behind the wheel.
- Equipment failure: Faulty brakes and steering point to poor maintenance of a trucking fleet.
- Unbalanced loads: A trailer’s cargo may shift if not properly loaded, leading to a truck tipping on its side. The loading companies get the blame for this development.
All the reasons mentioned are preventable. Such news, though, is difficult for anyone injured or anyone who has had a loved one killed in a large truck accident to accept.