5 Most Common Causes of Accidents in the Trucking Industry
In the past few years, there has been an increase in road accidents that have claimed the lives of many and left many wounded. In fact, there are about 6 million car accidents in the U.S each year, with the first half of 2016 recording a 10.4 percent increase in traffic fatalities. While most of these deaths are associated with accidents involving small vehicles, part of it involves large commercial truckers on the road. According to the United States Department of Transportation, there are over 5,000 accidents in the trucking industry every year.
However, a majority of these accidents are as a result of preventable factors that could be easily avoided only if the drivers practiced safe driving. The following are some of the prevalent causes of trucking accidents you need know to prevent accidents from happening.
While not every accident is attributable to a driver’s fault, some accidents are purely out people’s ignorance on the road. One challenge that most trucks drivers face is fatigue. These drivers normal drive for long hours without taking a break, leaving them extremely exhausted. It’s unfortunate that some of them don’t consider that state and still drive while drowsy. Others even drive under the influence of substances such as drugs or alcohol, endangering their lives and those of other road users. Truck drivers have the responsibility of keeping the roads safe by upholding ethical road practices like maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles, speed limit and obeying traffic signals.
In addition, these drivers should take enough rest to avoid feeling fatigue on the road.
Accidents in the trucking industry are also due to poor vehicle maintenance. These trucks travel for long distance covering thousands of miles, therefore, they are prone to develop issues from time to time. As a truck owner or a driver, you should ensure your truck get serviced regularly to keep it safe for the road. Even the components that seem simple in a truck can lead to an accident. Check everything from the brakes, windows, lighting, tires to the engine. If you fail to do so, the law has no leeway for ignorance, meaning you are liable should an accident occur due to an error your part.
Mother nature has a way of stressing things. A truck is no exception. While it’s impossible to control bad weather, you can at least try to maneuver through it. This boils down to the level of experience you have in driving under certain conditions. Heavy rains, snows, fog can obscure your view and significantly reduce truck’s traction. So it’s important you drive at appropriate speeds while applying cadence braking techniques. This is important particularly for large commercial trucks like the 18 wheeler.
There are strict regulations that govern how loading should be done on trucks and large vehicles. These include things to do with proper weight, height, length and width of the cargo. When loading a truck, securing the cargo is perhaps the most important thing to do, but it’s also vital to consider how the weight is distributed across the truck. This is to ensure the truck carries its required capacity and avoiding falling off of load while on transit.
In 2015, accidents in the trucking industry caused by distracted driving claimed over 3,477 lives. This is another common cause of accidents and it often occurs when driver’s attention on the road is drawn away by cellphones and other gadgets. Experts say that fatigue is one of the reasons drivers lose concentration, which can be very fatal.
Now that you understand some of the causes of accidents in the trucking industry, it’s crucial you understand your next course of action, should you get involved in an accident. There a numerous personal injury attorneys and truck accident lawyer whom you can seek legal help in such a case.