If you are like most drivers, you have probably felt a little nervous when driving next to an 18-wheeler. There are good reasons for these feelings. While semi-truck accidents do not occur as frequently as those among passenger vehicles, the results of a wreck with a large commercial truck can be devastating. Even a seemingly minor collision can do serious damage to a smaller motor vehicle and its occupants.
By understanding the reasons for truck accidents, it will increase your chances of avoiding one. Here are the top causes of semi collisions.
Truck drivers, like everyone else, are human and make mistakes. They might drive while drowsy, under the influence or distracted. However, most truck accidents that are due to driver error are because of the actions of someone in another vehicle. In other words, that car you have seen cutting off truckers or not allowing large trucks to merge might be more of a risk to your safety than the truck driver.
Lack of maintenance
Commercial trucks suffer from a lot of wear and tear which means that they require regular maintenance. However, if the operator or truck owner does not keep up with the maintenance on the truck, the rig can turn into a death machine traveling at 70-plus miles per hour down the highway.
A truck can also fail due to the manufacturer’s negligence at the point of production. For example, a brake failure might occur due to poorly manufactured brake pads and not because the driver or owner failed to perform regular maintenance on the truck.
The weather can also play a determining factor in trucking accidents. Rain, snow and ice can cause serious problems for even the most experienced truck driver. In perfect weather conditions, trucks need much more time to stop or complete other maneuvers than do passenger vehicles. In bad weather, they need even more stopping time. Strong side winds can also push a tractor-trailer into your lane.
There are certain rules that truck drivers must follow when it comes to securing various loads. For example, how a trucker secures a load depends on the cargo’s length, width, height and weight. If a load is not properly secured, it can come loose, fall into the road and cause an accident.
While understanding the leading causes of truck accidents may help you avoid one, you might find yourself in a position where it is impossible to do so. If you have been involved in a trucking accident you may be able to file a claim for your injuries and other damages.