Accidents involving trucks are the deadliest types of accidents on the road. Their size means that the fatality rate is much higher, and their lack of maneuverability means that it’s hard for trucks to escape a dangerous situation.
However, there is a range of reasons why the number of accidents is now 31% higher than in 2009.
DSS Law Firm has examined the statistics and reveals why the number of truck accidents has increased dramatically.
Fatigued Overworked Drivers
With a booming economy, truck drivers are attempting to increase their salaries by working longer. An extra 100 miles per day can add up to a big salary increase at the end of the month. It’s a fact that more truck drivers than ever are not sticking to healthy driving schedules.
Truck Drivers Driving Under the Influence
Unfortunately, driving under the influence remains a massive problem in the US. DSS Law says that although driving under the influence is common among drivers in all types of vehicles, the nature of truck driving makes this practice all the deadlier.
Not enough is being done to ensure that truck drivers are driving sober. With long hours and a stressful job, the nature of the job makes it more likely that truck drivers will drive under the influence.
Inexperienced Drivers and/or Poor Truck Maintenance
Both drivers and trucks must be in prime condition before starting a long-haul drive. DIt’s not difficult for someone to become a truck driver, and in many states, there are few rules regarding the condition trucks have to be in before setting off.
A lack of training and a lack of maintenance are two factors that are leading to a big increase in the number of avoidable truck accidents and an increase in lawsuits. It is necessary to check if everything operates well before starting the trip. Drivers who suffer an accident need to make sure they get the right legal representation, to not only deal with the actual legalities of the accident but to make sure they are getting the support and medical attention they are entitled to. Visit this page for more information about truck attorneys and what they do.
It might seem the road is smooth and clear, but if the driver has no experience on a particular route, he can bump into the hole or overlook the speed limit sign which can lead to an accident. It is always risky to drive full speed, especially loaded. Using GPS will make a trip easier. it is important to be patient and careful, having in mind you don’t know what to expect on the road. Keeping the distance will prevent an accident.
Errors in cargo loading
Improper cargo loading can increase the possibility of an accident. How? In case of cargo suddenly moves, it will force a truck to move or even flip. Also, if cargo is not properly secured, it can fall out of the trailer and cause the accident.
Speeding is a very common practice in the US. The heavier the vehicle, though, the greater the risks associated with speeding, due to the increased stopping distances involved.
With many truck drivers forced to take poorly maintained roads across the country, particularly in larger states like Texas, there’s little enforcement of speeding restrictions and, often, a lack of signage.
The hours spent in a cab all alone mean that it’s easy to lose focus. When there’s little traffic on the road and you’re six hours into a long drive, it’s tempting to grab your smartphone or to take that call from home.
Studies state that distracted driving is much more hazardous than driving under the influence. A five-second distraction is equivalent to driving the length of a football field blind.
The weather is very often unpredictable and changeable. It is good to pay attention to clouds, or if the temperature is getting lower. Prevent the potential risk of slipping in case it starts to rain. Keep the distance between the vehicle in front, if you see it decelerates, it is probably with the reason. Be concentrated and ready to react quickly.
Driving in the wrong direction
It happened to everyone at least once in life. No matter the reason was tiredness, distraction, lack of signage board, after miles and miles you realize it is the wrong direction. Being aware you have to reach your final destination on time, and you are already in delay, what is the only option you have? To speed it up to get back on the right way as soon as possible, drivers might lose concentration which can be fatal in traffic, both for them and other participants.
There’s no single reason as to why the number of truck accidents has increased. What is clear is that more needs to be done to improve driver safety on all fronts. Not just for truck drivers themselves but the vehicles around these enormous vehicles.
But what every driver can do to decrease the possibility of accidents?
- First thing is to get some rest. This is something every driver has to do with no excuses. After a rest, no matter if it was a short nap or a coffee break, your mind will be clear and ready to move on.
- Another important thing is to be focused on the road. This might be difficult after hundred of miles, but at least try not to text the messages, if you already have to hear someone and you cannot stop, use headphones while making a call.
- Avoid speeding and overtaking. The truck is heavy even unloaded and have in mind the weight can trick you.
- Pay attention to other driver’s reactions and behavior, especially the one in front of you.
- Always keep in mind we only live once