Every year, thousands of tractor trailers get into accidents that result in injuries, fatalities, and millions of dollars in property damage. There are many reasons why these crashes occur; here are the five most common ones you should know about:
- Drug or Alcohol Use – Although you hear a lot about truck drivers falling asleep at the wheel, it isn’t the most common reason for accidents. Use of drugs and alcohol were the contributing factor in 34 percent of trucking accidents, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. It wasn’t just illicit drugs either. Over-the-counter medication can also negatively impact a driver’s reaction time, leading to a higher risk of getting into a crash.
- Brake Failure – Another common cause of truck accidents is brake failure. The malfunction is often the result of poor maintenance or manufacturers’ defects. However, in some accident cases, drivers had depowered the front brakes to save money, but ended up making it harder for the truck to stop in an emergency.
- Improper Loading – When the load the truck is carrying is not distributed properly, it can throw off the vehicle’s balance. This results in the truck tipping over in when it would have remained upright had the load been properly placed and secured.
- Speeding – Drivers must often meet tight deadlines, which can cause them to travel faster than is safe. The problem is trucks require more time and distance to come to a complete than a passenger car. A truck driver may not have the necessary time to stop if the driver is traveling too fast for the conditions.
- Distracted Driving – This is one of the top reasons accidents on the roadways occur in general, and truck drivers are not immune. Texting, talking on a cellphone, and even riding companions can draw drivers’ attention away from the road so they don’t see problems until it is too late.
Preventing tractor trailer accidents requires being aware of what causes them and taking steps to minimize the risks. For more information about this issue or assistance with litigating an accident case, contact tractor trailer accident lawyer at Duce Bastian Peterson.
© Duce Bastian Peterson