Truck Accident Fatalities Are Increasing Rapidly – How Are They Caused?
According to recent reports, in 2023, 4987 large commercial trucks were involved in fatal accidents, a figure that saw a 5% decrease from 2020, but a 35% increase since 2014. When we say large trucks, we don’t include motor homes or buses. These large trucks weigh more than 10,000 pounds. Reports reveal that large trucks account for 10% of all vehicles that are involved in fatal accidents, 4% of all registered vehicles, and 12% of the total vehicle miles traveled.
Though heavy commercial trucks constitute less than 5% of all registered vehicles throughout the nation, the FMCSA, or Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that more than 15% of all fatal accidents on US highways involve at least one bus or commercial truck. The FMCSA published data that showed the existence of 273,607,200 registered vehicles in the US, that included 14,355,910 commercial trucks.
Among the individuals that were killed in truck accidents on American roads, more than 8 out of 10 were occupants of other passenger cars or motorcycles and not the occupants of the truck. While it can’t be denied that these multi-ton rigs keep the economy moving by transporting goods from one place to another, it is also an obvious fact that they are highly dangerous.
What are the most common causes of truck accidents?
Although commercial trucks are involved in 2.5 % of the accidents that occur, it is still important for truck drivers to be aware of the best ways to adopt in order to avoid accidents. Mentioned below are the few most common causes of truck accidents and a few tips to raise your awareness on this concern.
It can’t be denied that overspeeding is the second highest cause of road accidents just after distracted driving. As compared to passenger cars, trucks can exert more force on the vehicle they crash with simply because of their weight and size. This clearly means that a truck driver should always be concerned about his speed and distance between other vehicles while driving on highways. No matter how late you might be running, your safety should be your first priority. By maintaining an appropriate speed limit, you can also reduce your fuel costs.
Tiredness of the driver
Accidents that are caused due to the fatigue and tiredness of truck drivers tend to be the most crucial ones. When a truck driver is tired yet driving, he will have very little reaction time. The impairment is almost similar to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. When the driver has been driving for the last 17 hours, his responsiveness and alertness will definitely deteriorate considerably. Hence, if you are too tired to drive, take a short nap before you start off.
No matter how many weather predictions you have seen before starting your journey, the weather might still change in an instant. You have to be prepared to react instantly to a change in weather if you want yourself and your co-passengers to be safe. Whenever you find clouds gathering in the sky, you should be ready for cloudy weather. Start maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle that is moving in front of you and be extra cautious in case you are driving in snowy conditions. Use your blinker for a longer time than you normally would.
Not properly maintaining the truck
It is vital for the truck company or the truck driver to inspect the truck on a regular basis before and after every trip. When we say truck maintenance, this will include tires, brakes, mirrors, and fluid levels. You have to keep up with preventative maintenance as this will not only save you dollars but also help you avoid accidents on the road. According to www.zehllaw.com, in case you get involved in an accident without performing a pre-trip inspection, the liability of the crash will fall on you.
What are the most common types of truck accidents?
Now that you are aware of the causes of truck accidents, let’s discuss the types of tractor-trailer accident cases that are most frequently seen to occur. If you are subject to such an accident, feel free to discuss the case with a truck accident lawyer who can walk you through the process of filing a claim and obtaining compensation.
Truck rollover accident
Probably the most terrifying and catastrophic accident that one can imagine with a truck is a truck rollover accident. Since tractor-trailers are huge commercial trucks, their center of gravity lies much higher than passenger cars. Whenever it is necessary for the truck driver to take a tight turn or make swerves, truck drivers have to be very careful. There are times when rollover accidents occur due to the reckless and negligent behavior of the driver. Speeding, driving under distraction, and driving under the influence of alcohol are a few reasons behind rollover accidents.
When truck drivers are negligent and reckless, they easily lose control of the vehicle and they might drift out of their lane, slamming into oncoming traffic. There are instances of head-on collisions that occur at stop signs, red lights, and intersections where the drivers are unable to observe their way. Whenever the truck driver falls tired and is driving while he feels sleepy, his driving actions might lead to head-on collisions. This is why it is advised that drivers should take their due course of sleep before they set out for a long journey.
Cars that collide with each other in sideswipe accidents are usually traveling in the same direction and side by side when the collision occurs. In most cases, sideswipe accidents between passenger cars and trucks occur when the trackers fail to check their blind spots before merging into traffic for changing lanes. In other cases, if the truck driver loses control of his vehicle due to a certain road obstacle or tire blowouts, this can also lead to sideswipe accidents.
No matter how safe you drive your truck, you can still be vulnerable to road accidents. Do your best as a driver and get the help of an attorney when you need professional assistance.