Semi-truck accidents are almost always serious. They are larger and heavier than most other vehicles on the road, so they can do much more damage. For this reason, commercial truck drivers take on a huge responsibility every time they get behind the steering wheel of their truck, which is why it requires special training and certification.
Operating a 40 ton vehicle is not easy, and should be done with the utmost care and focus. But no matter how much training and experience a truck driver has under their belt, accidents do happen. Sometimes they are driver-error, and other times they are not. Continue reading to learn the top-five contributing factors to truck accidents so that you may better understand road and traffic safety.
Driver fatigue is a common cause for truck accidents, and it is among the most dangerous as well. For this reason, federal regulations now limit the number of hours a truck driver can stay on the road at one time before stopping to rest. Unfortunately, these regulations are not enough to stop truck drivers from driving while fatigued. Many trucking companies still pay by the mile, so truckers will exhaust themselves beyond the point of safe driving in order to make more money.
Lack of Experience
Another common cause for truck accidents is simply inexperience. Experience makes a huge difference in the trucking industry. Truckers who have been driving for decades have “learned the ropes” through years of hands-on experience. Drivers new to the industry are still novices, and naïve to the true nature of the road when behind the wheel of a semi-truck.
Poor Truck Maintenance
Sometimes, semi-truck accidents are not all driver-error. In some cases, semi-truck manufacturers can produce a defective product, while other times, the trucking company itself may neglect their fleets by not providing proper routine truck maintenance. Fluid changes, inspections, tire service, brake service, and more are all important to ensure a truck performs safely and efficiently on the road.
Another common cause of truck accidents is improper loading of cargo. It is vital for freights to be loaded and secured properly in order to prevent accidents and injuries. Improper loading can lead to shifting, uneven weight distribution, and more, all of which are common contributing factors of truck accidents.
Probably the most common cause for truck accidents, or any motor vehicle accident for that matter, is distracted driving. Especially now that most drivers are equipped with certain technologies, like cell phones and flat screen navigation systems, distracted driving is more common than ever before. As for truck drivers, distractions can take on many forms, including smoking, eating, reading, texting, tuning the radio, and more.