When a large truck is in an accident, the results can be grisly. This is especially true if the accident involves a passenger car since a truck is usually 20 to 30 times larger than the average car. There are several common reasons why trucks get into accidents, from carrying heavy loads to difficulty controlling the vehicle on slippery or icy roads.
In 2017, 4,102 people were killed across the United States in accidents involving large trucks. 86 percent of the fatalities were occupants of a car, 17 percent were in a truck and 14 percent were pedestrians.
What are the main reasons why large trucks get into accidents?
- Fatigue – Since many commercial truck drivers are on a schedule and often have specific times for delivery or loading, they can stretch themselves too thin. Driving can also consist of going long distances on baron roads. Sitting for long periods of time, driving at night and not maintaining a healthy diet can all contribute to severe fatigue.
- Lack of training/truck maintenance – Driving a large 18-wheeler can be challenging for beginners and novices. Although there are specific rules and requirements for drivers before they can drive large trucks, there are drivers who do not adhere to these guidelines. Also, standard maintenance may be overlooked or delayed to avoid costs or a delay in shipments.
- Alcohol/drug use – Alcohol or drug use, including the abuse of prescription drugs, is a problem across the nation and is not unique to truck drivers. But for drivers who may be on the road for up to 12-hours a day, the results could prove deadly.
- Speeding/aggressive driving – Truck drivers are known to take their professions very seriously and often drive with more precaution than average drivers. However, there are exceptions. When these exceptions include drivers increasing their speed to make a deadline or using their truck to intimidate other traffic to get out of their way, a large and deadly crash may be imminent.
- Distracted driving – Driving for long hours day-after-day can make some drivers turn to other outlets to keep their minds occupied. Besides looking at their phones, they may look at GPS, adjust the radio, eat or even read. Since large trucks are harder to maneuver and take longer to stop, any delayed reactions can result in an accident.
If you have been in an accident with a truck, you should contact an attorney right away. You may be eligible for compensation due to the negligence of the truck driver.