Accidents involving heavy trucks are almost always fatal. They can happen for a variety of reasons and in any conditions. When a big truck collides with a passenger car, the people in the smaller vehicle are particularly exposed to serious harm, if not death.
Driving a truck, whether at highway speeds or through city streets, is a difficult endeavor; as a result, truck drivers must undergo considerable training and obtain special licensing.
A lot of things can cause truck accidents. Most are typically the result of a driver’s negligence, such as speeding, following too closely behind another vehicle, and so much more, some of which are tackled in this article.
On a different note, it is important to know what to do when you get into an accident with a truck. In such a case, you must work with a truck accident law firm to get rightful compensation. This is because they understand the legal requirements and complexities of truck accident cases. And after all, battling the parties involved on your own will exhaust you, get you inadequate compensation, and worse still, lose the case.
What Are the Major Contributors of Truck Accidents?
1. Fatigued Drivers
Driving a truck is ranked among the most stressful and high-pressure jobs. Trucks travel long distances and sometimes within a short delivery time. This means drivers will take long trips with minimal or short breaks.
If a driver is not well-rested, they will lose concentration, react to road situations slower, or worse, fall asleep while driving.
Some companies only prioritize their needs over the laws and regulations set on the number of breaks, sleeping time, and how long a trucker’s shift should last. These companies often do not understand that the cost of an accident will be more than the commitment to make driver safety a priority.
2. Unfit Drivers
Truck companies are required to screen their drivers for drugs and health complications. Some companies skip this step and end up hiring drug addicts for this sensitive job. Such a mistake puts the drivers at risk, endangers other road users, and attracts losses to the company.
Another requirement by the law is that the company checks the driver’s medical certificates. It is unfortunate that some companies ignore this and end and up hiring drivers with serious health complications like seizure disorders and heart diseases.
3. Unfit Trucks
An ill-maintained truck is a dangerous truck. For any long-distance vehicle, servicing should be the number one priority. Traffic police are forced to take some trucks off the road because they have so many service violations.
Trucking companies understand the importance of servicing their trucks. Still, they would rather keep the deliveries going because servicing takes time and costs money that would otherwise be used for more deliveries. Such a company ends up paying more as a result of damages caused by their truck.
An unfit truck’s common dangers come from defective brakes, bad tires, exceeding weight limitations, steering issues, and suspension problems.
4. Passenger Vehicle Mistakes
Sometimes the cause of truck accidents are mistakes from car drivers. Passenger vehicles are advised to be extra careful around trucks because it is difficult to stop or control a moving truck.
Common passenger vehicle mistakes include the following:
- Following too closely
- Driving while drunk
- Driving at a truck driver’s blind spot
- Careless overtaking
- Failure to pay attention to a truck’s movements
- Using a mobile phone while driving
- Cutting off the truck, requiring them to brake harder than anticipated
5. Bad Weather
Truck drivers are advised to be prudent and careful in all conditions. They should be more careful if driving under bad weather conditions. Fog, rain, snow, and hail call for lower speeds and special caution to be given.
If the trucker finds it hard to maneuver bad roads due to changing weather, it is better to pull over than risk their lives and that of other road users.
Always Be on the Lookout
If the truck driver is the cause of the accident, you should be compensated for medical bills, pain, lost time and job, and any other damages suffered. A negligent trucker can change your life in seconds, so you must be careful driving in front, on the sides, or behind a truck.