Trucks often weigh 20 to 30 times as much as a car. For everyday commuters, this comparison is frightening. While truck drivers are not the main culprits of such traumatic accidents, it’s hard not to do damage when making a mistake.
In 2016, a total of 3,986 people died in large truck crashes. The accidents are linked to a variety of different factors, such as violation of regulations and errors made by both drivers. It’s oftentimes hard to pinpoint what went wrong. There are a few common causes for truck accidents, which includes:
- Fatigue. Drowsiness affects the way many drivers perform on the road. Truck drivers are no exception. Their jobs are demanding. Far destinations and tight deadlines are a deadly combination. These long journeys affect their quality of sleep. Although there are regulations in place, not all drivers follow the recommended break times. Lack of sleep can decrease concentration, coordination and reflexes.
- Equipment failure. Truck drivers usually perform a pre-trip inspection before hitting the road. If the rig is not properly maintained, people can get hurt. Untrained truck drivers might ignore these guidelines. This puts everyone at risk. Tire blowouts, brake failure and steering issues could have fatal results.
- Distraction. Driving long distances gets boring. Almost every driver can attest to that. Sometimes truck drivers entertain themselves by texting or watching videos on their devices. On the other hand, they may just be adjusting their mirrors or checking the GPS. Looking down for just one moment could cause a major collision.
- Weather. Poor weather can catch a truck driver off-guard. Rain, snow and hail can make the roads more hazardous. Trucks already have slower stopping speeds than the average car, and weight doesn’t help things either. Newer truck drivers might practice poor breaking techniques, or they might be guilty of speeding.
- Unsafe driving practices. The causes listed above all involve unsafe driving practices. Truck drivers can also make small mistakes that have big impacts. Failure to merge properly, aggressive driving and riding in blind spots are just a few. Additionally, drug and alcohol use contributes to accidents every day.