Truck Accidents

While any accident involving vehicles can be scary and expensive, accidents involving large commercial trucks are often deadly for the driver of the smaller vehicles. In fact, recent statistics have shown that 500,000 recorded vehicle accidents can be attributed directly or indirectly to commercial trucks, and out of those, 5,000 cause death.

Commercial trucks, or tractor-trailers, are massive pieces of machinery that can pull two or even three trailers, depending on the state. This means that these massive vehicles can weigh up to 80,000 lbs. Imagine that bearing down on you!

Measures have been put in place over the years to minimize these accidents, including rules pertaining to how long commercial truck drivers can be on the road without taking a break and how often the vehicles need to be inspected. However, accidents still happen. 

Here are the top five reasons why:

1. Tired drivers

While there may be rules in place concerning how long semi drivers are supposed to be on the road, that doesn’t mean these rules are always followed. Higher demand for rush and overnight delivery means that owners of trucking companies want their goods delivered as fast as possible. Drivers then push themselves to meet these demands—or risk losing their jobs. Unfortunately for us, and for them, this puts lives at risk as drivers become overtired and fall asleep at the wheel.

2. Poor truck maintenance

Semis have driven incredibly long distances in all kinds of conditions and put under a lot of strain, because of this, they are more likely to need repair and maintenance. However, maintenance puts the truck out of commission, which is why routine care is sometimes skipped. Poorly maintained trucks blowing tires or otherwise breaking down is a huge cause of accidents.

3. Drugs or alcohol

Driving a truck can be a lonely and boring job, which is why some truck drivers indulge in drugs and/or alcohol while at stops. Sometimes, they use drugs to help them stay awake so they can continue driving. No matter which way these substances are used, or for what reason, this can negatively affect their driving and cause accidents.

4. Overtaking or speeding

Truck drivers are often required to reach their destination at a certain time. Unfortunately, this isn’t always feasible due to roadwork, weather, or other factors outside the drivers’ control. To make up lost time, drivers will sometimes speed and overtake cars to cut time off their trip. Overtaking can force smaller cars off the road as they try to get out of the way of the massive truck. Speeding makes it much more difficult for truck drivers to stop the truck in time.

5. Distraction

Trucking means long hours on the road alone, which can quickly become boring. Like any repetitive or tedious task, people get bored driving and are prone to becoming distracted. Talking on the phone, texting, or checking social media are all ways that truck drivers can become distracted and lose control of their vehicle.

If you have been involved in an accident with a commercial truck, it’s important that you find semi truck accident lawyers who handle cases with meticulous care. Accidents with semis are different than your typical car accident and require legal help by someone who is familiar with the unique laws and requirements surrounding this type of accident.