Trucks are significant contributors to the national economy, as well as the local economy in Utah. However, it comes at a bad price, the catastrophic accidents and lives lost. Big 18-wheelers caused 3,341 in 2011 in Utah – 283 of which were fatal. Learning what causes trucking accidents can help you avoid and prevent them.
Drivers cause over 88% of all truck accidents. Driver fatigue is the most common on average. After long hours on the road, driving all night can contribute to the driver’s drowsiness.
Truckers can disobey their hours of service to keep driving despite feeling tired in order to meet delivery deadlines. Falling asleep behind the wheel of a truck can easily result in other drivers’ fatality on the road if the truck should collide with these smaller vehicles.
Driving Under The Influence (DUI)
Like most states, the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is around 0.05%. Commercial drivers shouldn’t drive after consuming any amount of alcohol or drugs that could potentially impair their driving ability.
It’s extremely difficult to control an 18-wheeler rig with a trailer. This challenge is why commercial drivers receive training and special licenses to operate such a vehicle. Speeding makes these dangerous big rigs even harder to control on turns and stops when compared to smaller vehicles. If a truck driver goes over the speed limit, he/she risks rear ending another vehicle at a stop, losing control of the truck, and in some cases overturning the truck around corners. Weather conditions could cause similar effects with trucks going too fast in snow, sleet, or rain.
People should know that there are very strict laws against drivers and any form of texting or talking on the phone while driving. However, not all drivers obey these laws, including truck drivers. Cell phone use can be very distracting and, in turn, resulting in catastrophic accidents. Other ways a truck driver can be distracted include;
- Outside Distractions
In some cases, trucking accidents are not the driver’s fault, but in fact, the trucking company or vehicle manufacturer’s responsibility. If there’s defective hardware or poorly maintenance, there could be risks such as brakes failing while traveling on the highway. If this is the case, the trucking company may be liable for failure to maintain the truck. The manufacturer could also be liable for the truck containing defective hardware.