Published on May 8th, 2019
Statistics show that most road accidents in the United States are caused by collisions with large trucks or buses.
Collisions with large vehicles like 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers, buses, and other commercial trucks led to 3,660 deaths in 2014 in the United States alone.
Adding this statistic to other fatalities and collisions caused by other vehicles, road crashes are expected to become part of the top five leading causes of death in the United States.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there are about 15.5 million trucks on the road at any given time of the day. This means that the odds of becoming involved in a road accident with a truck is significantly higher.
So what exactly causes collisions with trucks, buses and the like? We list a few of the leading causes of truck accidents so that in the event that you find yourself a survivor of a harrowing experience, you can get the assistance of experienced truck accident attorneys and get the due justice you need.
1. Poor Truck Maintenance And Driver Training
Commercial trucks are different from regular passenger vehicles like SUVs, sedans, and hatchbacks. They handle differently due to their size and weight. Apart from handling differently, commercial trucks also require longer distances in order to come to a complete stop. This means that they have to hit the brakes much earlier than a regular passenger vehicle.
Drivers who are not well trained on operating large vehicles like commercial trucks are less likely to be aware of the many differences between handling commercial trucks and regular passenger vehicles. Federal laws require truck drivers to put in a certain number of hours for training and acquire specific certifications in order to be legally allowed to drive a truck. Unfortunately, not every truck driver is compliant with the law.
Similarly, truck drivers are also required to perform regular tuneups and diagnostic checks on their vehicle. But because of the amount of resources like time and money that is spent on truck maintenance, a lot of truck drivers choose to pool these resources into generating income by making deliveries. Unfortunately, when they drive poorly maintained vehicles, this puts not just their livelihood at risk, but other people as well.
Truck drivers are required by their employers to deliver goods and other merchandise over large distances within a specific period of time. This means that in order to meet their deadlines, truck drivers often force themselves to drive longer distances without stopping to rest in between.
The lack of decent sleep hours causes them to lose concentration, coordination, and sometimes they end up nodding off while behind the wheel. This insane amount of pressure from their employers could have deadly consequences for the truck driver and the other vehicles they share the road with.
3. Route Unfamiliarity
While truck drivers have routes that they ply on a regular basis, they might on occasion be asked to cover a route that they do not know the ins and outs of.
This lack of familiarity with certain routes means that they might not be aware of certain things, which can cause road crashes.
To help avoid this, truck drivers can use GPS navigation systems on their dashboard to help them figure out which turn to take.