Even with the efforts of agencies like the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), truck-related crashes cause thousands of deaths. Statistics shows that about 5,000 people die each year in accidents involving 18-wheelers.
Crashes involving trucks are very destructive due to their weight and strength. Most people who die in these accidents are in passenger vehicles that are not able to withstand the collision. To help prevent severe damages and fatalities, it is important to know the common causes of truck accidents.
Here are some common reasons for truck accidents:
- Distracted Driving. Driver distraction is one of the leading causes of crashes. Distractions include using cell phones, talking to passengers, eating and drinking. Numerous laws have been passed addressing distracted driving, but the laws don’t help if people don’t follow them.
- Driver Fatigue. Another high contributing factor to crashes, regardless of the vehicle type, is driving while fatigued. Truck drivers are prone to experience drowsy driving because of the long days they drive.
- Inexperienced Driving. Driving large and dangerous trucks requires ample training and skill. Unfortunately, some companies do not offer adequate training before allowing drivers to head out on the road.
- Improper Maintenance. Many crashes are the result of poorly maintained trucks and vehicles. Brake problems, light/marker/signal violations, and tire violations are among the leading factors causing big rigs to wreck. All vehicles are expected to be well-maintained and in good condition before they are operated.
- Improper Loading. When the cargo is not loaded properly, a big truck driver may have a harder time steering. It is important cargo be loaded properly.
Agencies like the DOT and NHTSA help address 18-wheeler safety with important laws that truckers must follow. But the real challenge is whether truckers and the companies they work for will follow those laws.
Trucking accidents can easily cause crippling injuries or even death. If you or a loved one were injured in an accident with an 18-wheeler, you may be entitled to money damages. For a free case evaluation, contact the experienced trucking accident lawyers at Wright Pichon & Gray.