Getting in an accident with a truck is decidedly more dangerous than other crashes simply because of the size and weight of a commercial truck. It is not uncommon to hear about truck accidents and how deadly and catastrophic they are.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Hipskind & McAninch, LLC – truck accident lawyers in St. Louis have seen their share of victims of truck accidents. This list of common causes of truck crashes reminds you to drive carefully and responsibly to avoid being in an accident.
When it comes to truck accidents, these are some of the most common causes:
Fatigue ranks among the most common reasons for truck accidents. This is because truckers tend to be on the road for many hours, traveling very long distances, many times unable to take a break because they are pressured to deliver their cargo as fast as possible. With little sleep and issues like highway hypnosis, accidents are almost a foregone conclusion.
Alcohol and Drug Abuse
Truck drivers may use alcohol or drugs for stimulation. Sometimes, they stop to get a drink. Other times, they take alcohol or drugs with them. In any case, driving while impaired can cause an accident.
Prescription drugs are also responsible for many truck accidents since they can impair a trucker’s ability to coordinate, judge, and respond to different stimuli on the road.
Texting and Talking on the Phone
Texting while behind the wheel may be banned at a national level, but that does not stop truckers from engaging in it or talking on the phone to pass the endless hours on the road. However, these behaviors can easily have them taking their eyes or mind off the road, resulting in accidents.
Poor Truck Maintenance
Any vehicle that is constantly on the road, traveling thousands of miles, needs to get regular maintenance, and all its systems should be checked frequently. Worn-out brakes, bald tires, and other defective equipment can easily result in an accident.
Even though a truck driver may wish to stay home and not drive through heavy snowfall, thunderstorms, and other severe weather conditions, the need to deliver their cargo on time compels them to drive in hazardous conditions. Without proper training, truckers may not know how to control their vehicles to avoid skidding, hydroplaning, or jackknifing.
Improperly Loaded Cargo
Sometimes improperly loaded cargo causes an accident. Poorly loaded cargo may make the truck lose its balance and flip on its side or cause other disasters.
Truckers and cargo-loading teams need to follow specific regulations when it comes to loading the cargo. Mistakes when loading or securing the cargo can cause it to spill into the road, causing accidents or traffic delays.
Improper or Insufficient Training
There is no reason why it should be assumed that anyone can get behind the wheel of a large commercial truck without knowing what they are supposed to do. Truckers should be trained on the security components of their trucks, defensive driving, and maneuvering their vehicles in tight spots, just to name a few examples.
They should also take the time to learn about the route they will be taking, look for areas with rough and curvy terrain, and be prepared to tackle driving for long distances.