What Are the common causes of 18-wheeler truck accidents? 

18-wheeler truck

18-wheeler truck

The likelihood of a fatality or severe injury in an 18-wheeler truck accident is far higher than in a collision between two passenger automobiles. Since the typical weight of a passenger car is only about 4,000 pounds, getting in front of a “big rig” tractor-trailer or semi-truck is next to impossible. The driver of a vehicle sits significantly lower to the ground than a large commercial truck, which isn’t the only difference between the two vehicles. Any truck accident might be disastrous due to these and other causes. In the case of an 18-wheeler accident, consulting with an 18-wheeler accident lawyer is crucial to help aid in the legal frameworks and ensure compensation.

Common factors that lead to truck crashes

Accidents involving large trucks are standard whether you or the truck driver are at fault. However, many of these mishaps can be avoided by hiring experts at the Burch Law Firm. Most truck accidents can be attributed to these factors:

  1. Stressed drivers

Truck driving is a stressful and demanding profession. Truck drivers are often under pressure from their employers to make rapid deliveries. That means they’re putting long hours behind the wheel with few rest stops.

Due to the sheer volume of kilometers that must be covered, drivers often spend multiple nights asleep in their vehicles. As a result, they become less alert and clumsy, taking longer to respond to hazards on the road and even risking falling asleep behind the wheel. A truck driver’s shift length, needed amount of sleep, and mandatory rest break times are all governed by legislation. However, driver weariness is still a significant issue because many businesses ignore these regulations.

  1. Drivers  who multitask

The dangers of distracted driving are widespread and just as severe on the roadways in your community as on the interstates. Any behavior that takes one’s mind off the road is considered distracted driving. Long car rides may be dull; let’s face it. A lack of a strong radio signal can make long drives in rural areas boring. A truck driver may take unnecessary risks to alleviate boredom, such as sending or reading texts, checking their phone for a podcast or playlist, eating, or anything else. Even in areas with adequate radio reception, a driver’s attention and focus can be easily diverted by reaching over to adjust the station.

  1. Substance abuse

Although it’s not immediately obvious, drinking and drug misuse are severe problems in the trucking industry. Some truck drivers resort to drugs like cocaine and amphetamines to stay awake during long shifts behind the wheel.

  1. Overspeeding and overlapping

A driver may try but fail to complete delivery within the timeframe specified by their employer. A driver may exceed the safe speed limit for their vehicle type or the speed limit for the current road conditions if they are under time constraints. Drivers are more inclined to break the speed limit if they fear losing their jobs if products are late. This could necessitate coming up quickly behind a compact car. When you see an 18-wheeler barreling down on you from behind and know you have to get out of the path, you do whatever it takes. Accidents occur frequently because drivers try to avoid obstacles by veering into oncoming traffic or switching lanes.

  1. Inadequate instruction and upkeep

To operate a commercial vehicle, drivers must comply with regulations and complete several training hours. But despite these restrictions, there are still drivers on the road. Storms, whether they consist of wind, rain, or snow, can develop anywhere. Driving a massive commercial truck in inclement weather is a skill that can only be acquired through years of practice and instruction. In bad weather, truck driver must reduce their speed even farther than usual (and below the posted restrictions) to avoid skidding, hydroplaning, and jackknifing. Driver who has not been taught how to handle hazardous weather conditions endangers themselves and other road users.

Each truck must pass an inspection before it hits the road, but this rarely occurs at trucking companies. The corporations recognize that the time and money spent on maintenance may be better spent making deliveries. This means that sometimes a truck will be out on the road despite not being in a safe condition to do so due to a lack of routine maintenance.

  1. Incorrectly loaded cargo

You may be wondering what relevance the contents of a truck’s cargo have to you. Weight, length, breadth, and height restrictions apply to all loads. More stringent rules apply to the truck’s operation if it transports hazardous items. However, accidents may occur, and improper loading can cause a car to be unsafely overweight or topple over. A serious accident could occur if a load collapses onto the road. The same holds for potentially explosive or otherwise harmful materials.

In conclusion, accidents involving 18-wheeler vehicles can have devastating results because of their size and weight. Accidents involving large trucks are unfortunately not uncommon, and many potential causes exist. Some prominent ones include driver fatigue, distraction, substance misuse, speeding, improper training and maintenance, and improperly loaded cargo. The safety of truck drivers and other motorists depends on addressing these issues through better rules, training programs, and industry practices. The security of drivers, pedestrians, and other road users should be the top priority, as should the enforcement of regulations and the upkeep of well-maintained vehicles. We can make roads safer for everyone if we focus on reducing these root problems.