It seems like nearly every time we tune into the Canton nightly news, we hear of a crash involving a semi-truck overnight or during the daily commute. It is enough to make you wonder why semi-truck drivers are not more careful. After all, a semi-truck crash causes significant damage and loss of life.
The following are five common reasons why truckers cause crashes, as reported by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Speeding of any kind is one of the most common factors in truck accidents. Truckers are often paid by the mile, so the more miles they drive, the greater their paycheck will be. This incentivizes some of them to flaunt speed limits and drive faster than is safe.
Some, but not all, semi-trucks are equipped with features that prevent truckers from driving above a certain speed. Despite this, truckers will drive faster than the speed of traffic or drive too fast for road or weather conditions, leading to crashes.
Distracted driving or simply not paying attention to the road is the second most common reason for truck wrecks. Distracted driving is, of course, dangerous for any driver. However, the danger is amplified when you are driving a large vehicle weighing tens of thousands of pounds.
Truckers can be distracted by the same things as any other driver. They may try to use a cell phone while driving. They often eat while driving to try to save time on the road. Rubbernecking or even daydreaming can take their attention off the road. Any of these activities can easily lead to a truck crash.
Impairment is another common factor behind truck crashes. Impairment includes drunk driving, drugged driving and drowsy driving.
Truckers may use illegal drugs as a means of staying awake during long hours on the road. Alcohol can be a vice for any motorist, including truckers. And despite the fact that there are federal regulations limiting how long truckers can operate their vehicles before taking an extended rest break, some truckers will ignore these regulations and drive even if they are fatigued.
Loss of control
Sometimes, a truck crash is caused when the trucker simply loses control of their vehicle. They may swerve to avoid something in their lane or jack-knife on a slick road.
If a trucker loses control of their vehicle because they were driving recklessly, they can easily collide with another vehicle.
Truckers must ensure their vehicles are in good working order. This means checking the air pressure and treads on their tires, ensuring their brakes are not worn down and that there are not other issues with the truck that could cause it to unexpectedly break down.
Truckers who do not properly maintain their vehicles risk blocking traffic or causing a collision when their vehicle breaks down.
Negligent care and handling of trucks
All of these issues boil down to the negligent care and handling of semi-trucks. Truckers are responsible for operating their vehicles safely, which takes extra knowledge and care. If they do not do so, they can cause a deadly collision.
If you are unfortunate enough to be struck by a semi-truck while driving, you know just how devastating such collisions are. You likely lost your good health, ability to earn a living and you may suffer from ongoing pain and emotional trauma. All of these are good reasons to determine whether you want to pursue legal action following a truck crash.