Every year in America, approximately 5,000 people are killed in semi truck accidents. Of these victims, the majority were passengers in either a pickup truck, SUV, or passenger car that was struck by a semi. Additionally, there are about 700 semi drivers who are killed each year. While there are certainly exceptions to the rule, here are the top causes of these often fatal accidents.
If you have ever driven for long periods of time, you know how tiring it can be. Imagine being a truck driver trying to push it through the night to make a deadline. Consider, also, that a truck driver is frequently paid per mile. That means that the more miles driven, the higher the pay. The desire to keep driving and push through fatigue is the number one cause of accidents between semi trucks and other vehicles.
Lack of Maintenance
Often, the culprit of a semi truck accident is faulty or improper maintenance. This may be on behalf of the trucking company or, in the case of privately-owned rigs, the driver. Poorly maintained brakes, worn tires, and malfunctioning engines are all known to have caused accidents. There is little doubt that maintenance is an expense, but it can also save lives.
It isn’t beyond the realm of reasonable thought that driving for hours at a time can get boring. Distracted driving is a big problem among truck drivers. From radios to cell phones, there are a number of devices that a driver can use to relieve boredom. Do deter this behavior, a federal ban has been put in place forbidding truckers from texting or using cell phones while driving.
Most truckers understand how to load a trailer correctly. Unfortunately, they are not always in charge of their loads. Improper loading can throw off the weight and balance of the trailer, making braking and turning dangerous. Shifting weight can cause a trailer to jackknife quickly.
Speeding and other failures to obey the rules of the road leads to accidents. Just like a failure to obey road rules in a car can lead to accidents, doing so in a semi truck is that much more dangerous. Truckers are cautioned to follow the speed limit and obey traffic laws at all time.
Accidents involving semi trucks rarely have a good outcome. If you have been involved in such an accident, please call our offices at your convenience. Our experienced personal injury attorneys are here to help you put the pieces of your life back together. Call us today.