Trucking Accidents- Common Causes
Youve heard of the devastation that has been caused, the thousands of lives that have been lost and the severe damaged that has been done to property. Yes, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration trucking accidents have seen a twenty percent increase in the last twenty years. Trucking accidents is one of the biggest concerns on the highways; because trucks are at least twenty sizes bigger than the rest of the automobiles on the road and tend to weigh as much as eighty thousand pounds they are considered the biggest safety risk on the road.
You may be wondering what causes these horrific trucking accidents that you hear of the on the news. Although, each case is different there are some of the common factors that lead to trucking accidents.
Truck Driver Error
Most of the trucking accidents that occur each year resulted from bad judgment or dangerous behavior conducted by the truck driver.
Its logical to assume that driver fatigue is one of the most common causes of trucking accident but according to research drug use contributed largely to crashes. Back in 2007, twenty six percent of crashes, prescription medicine and recreational drug use had delayed the drivers reaction time.
Speeding is also on the biggest causes of trucking accidents. In past accidents it was found that drivers were driving over the allowed speed limit in order to meet deadlines and keep up with tight schedules. The impact of a speeding truck that possibly weighs over eighty thousand pounds can be deadly.
Failing to properly load trucks with the appropriate amount of cargo has also been a contributing factor. Loading trucks over the maximum capacity and even under loading over the minimum amount required affects the trucks the truck balance and movement.
Another common cause of trucking accidents is failure in equipment. All trucks must be in perfect working order while on the road. Even with the proper training, large rigs are not necessarily easy to maneuver so when components of the truck are faulty this can create a bad situation.
Defective tires that may include seemingly small problems such as; a worn tire or a bolt that has come loose has led to fatalities.
Equipment failure even includes malfunctioning brakes which affects a trucks ability to safely come to a stop. Before a eighteen wheeler or tractor trailer is allowed on the road, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires a pre-trip inspection to be performed and routine maintenance on all vehicles to be carried out throughout the year. Failing to carry this out has led to hundreds of accidents.
Bad Weather Conditions
Heavy snow and rain have had a huge impact on the performance of large trucks. The heavy weight of the truck itself, combined with the weight of the cargo prevents trucks from stopping and steering as quickly as smaller vehicles. Heavy rain and snow makes it difficult to control and maneuver trucks safely. Truck drivers dont always consider these factors when operating their vehicle and this has resulted in deadly consequences.