The entire nation relies on commercial trucks for the transportation of goods and supplies. But when these giant tractor-trailers collide with passenger vehicles, motorcycles, bicyclists or pedestrians, there is a high likelihood of catastrophic injuries. Thousands of people die from large truck accidents every year.
Why do truck crashes happen? There are numerous factors, including driver errors, maintenance issues and mechanical failures.
Fatigue and drowsiness
Truck drivers often travel long distances and drive for several hours. Due to the nature of truck driving, there are federal regulations in place to prevent truck drivers from driving for too long without rest. But many drivers do not obey these rules. Whether the truck companies pressure drivers to break the law or drivers do it of their own accord, it is a deadly choice.
There exist various potential distractions for truck drivers on any given day:
- Texting or talking on the phone
- Eating or drinking
- Using a dispatch device
- Reading a map
- Looking at billboards
- Listening to the radio
Distractions can be far more deadly in this situation due to the difficulty of stopping a heavy truck.
Truck drivers and their employers are responsible for keeping their vehicles in working order. They must adhere to the proper maintenance schedules and have a qualified mechanic make necessary tune-ups and repairs. If there is not enough maintenance, or if mechanics do a poor job, it can impact various parts of the truck.
For example, maintaining the braking system is necessary for large truck safety. When brakes do not work correctly, it can cause a big rig to barrel down the road and cause a severe accident. Another critical area of maintenance is steering. Faulty steering parts can make it impossible for truck drivers to control their vehicles.
As you can see there are varying causes of truck accidents. Depending on the nature of each accident, different parties may be liable, including the driver, employer or maintenance company.