This country relies on truck drivers to transport critical goods as well as many other products we use and enjoy every day. For that very reason, it is virtually impossible to get on any highway in this country and not pass by at least one truck during your journey. The downside to that is that with so many trucks on the road, accidents are bound to happen. And, when they do happen, they are often far deadlier than car accidents due to the size, weight, and lack of maneuverability trucks have compared to smaller vehicles.
Truck drivers also have a lot of pressure on them to deliver their cargo on time, which can sometimes lead to short cuts or abusive habits that lead to driver error on the road, creating even more accidents. Of course, there are also often mechanical malfunctions or maintenance issues that can cause the accident.
Leading Causes of Truck Accidents
This is a problem everywhere, not just for truck drivers. If we are being honest, we have so many gadgets and temptations, it is almost impossible for someone that spends so much time on the road alone to avoid them all. As we all know, within the time it takes to send a test, an automobile can travel at least a city block and there is plenty that can happen within that time, most of it bad.
As we mentioned above, truck drivers are under a lot of pressure to deliver their cargo and they often spend long, boring hours behind the wheel. Even when truck drivers are sleeping, depending upon where they stop, quality sleep can be hard to come by, so fatigue can set in even faster when during a longer trip. A tired driver will have slower reaction times, which can turn something he or she would normally be able to avoid into a deadly accident.
Drugs and Alcohol
A shocking number of truck drivers have admitted to being under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol behind the wheel. In 2013, Reuters cited a study that showed 30 percent of drivers admitted they had taken amphetamines on the job. Sadly, that was not the only problem, as 20 percent admitted to using marijuana and three percent admitted they had used cocaine while they were behind the wheel. Even more dangerous than using the drugs while driving is the fact these same drivers are more likely to crash as the effects of the drugs wear off, making them even more fatigued and their reactions even slower.
Once again, the pressure to make a deadline can sometimes result in drivers breaking the speed limit. Their boss does not want to hear about a traffic jam, only that the cargo was delivered on time. A truck driver speeding down the highway can not only cause him or her to lose control, but it could also lead to the driver they are bearing down on to change lanes too quickly, leading to a spin-out and a massive pileup.
Training and Maintenance
Commercial truck drivers are responsible for completing a specific amount of hours of training, but that does not mean some people are not sneaking behind the wheel before they should be in control of a big rig. When inexperienced drivers get behind the wheel of a vehicle, it does not take much to put everyone’s safety at risk. For instance, if a driver has not been properly trained on how to avoid hydroplaning during a massive storm or how to go up an incline in snowy or icy conditions, both her or she and everyone on the road near them could be in danger.
Sometimes, companies and/or drivers will take short cuts when it comes to the maintenance of their vehicles. After all, if the truck is not on the road, the driver is not making money and the company he or she works for is unable to deliver goods, hurting the bottom line. If routine maintenance is not being performed or if the mechanic in charge of fixing a truck is not trained properly, it could lead to a breakdown on the road, possibly at very high speed, putting lives at risk.
Common Truck Accident Injuries
Due to the nature of the vehicle, truck accidents can be far more tragic than regular car accidents. Some of the most common injuries we see are:
- Amputation and disfigurement
- Back and neck injuries
- Brain injuries
- Cuts and lacerations
- Internal injuries
- Spinal injuries
Do You Need a Truck Accident Attorney?
Due to the nature of truck accidents, it is imperative that you get an attorney to help defend you or represent you in a case to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. If you have recently been in an accident involving a truck, give us a call at 855-633-0888 to discuss your case. Your initial consultation is free and you are under no obligation to use our services just for speaking with us. If you would like to learn more about our legal services before giving us a call, please click here. You can also fill out our contact form and a member of our team will be in contact with you as soon as possible.
Taryn J. White is a legal research specialist and Injury law news reporter. Her current accomplishments include helping those facing any injuries from vehicle accidents, workplace accidents, and medical malpractice.