If every accident is preventable, why do they still happen? Why are there so still so many accidents, injuries, and fatalities on the roads today?
Understanding the causes of any kind of automotive accident is key in prevention. Given the significantly increased risk of injury and death when an 18 wheeler accident occurs, we need to know the reasons why. What can we learn about common causes of trucking accidents?
So many things can go wrong on a commercial truck. Mechanical failure can occur on even well maintain trucks. A flat tire can make any day terrible for a normal driver. It is much worse when it happens with an 18 wheeler. Think about how much shredded rubber can fly around at high speed. Brake failure on an 80,000 pound truck moving at 70 miles per hour can be catastrophic. Federal guidelines dictate training and execution of thorough mechanical inspection before each drive. Unfortunately, the temptation to ignore inspections is great in the face of profits and deadlines. Be aware. Pay extra attention to the large trucks we share the road with.
Each truck is meant to be loaded with safety in mind. Several weigh and inspection stations along the interstates make sure each truck is loaded appropriately. Too much weight on an axle can lead to mechanical failure. If the load is unstable and not properly secured it can tip over and fall off the trailer. In the worst cases scenarios, a truck can overturn and even roll.
Louisiana experiences a multitude of weather types. Often, we experience them on the same day. The same weather factors that lead to normal accidents hold true for large trucks. In fact, the trucks are at increased risk on wet roads as the distance needed for stopping is increased. High winds can affect a fully loaded trailer differently than a passenger vehicle. Wet, muddy or icy roads can affect the driver’s ability to control the truck.
Engineering has not perfected the driver-less vehicle yet. We are all human. Truck drivers can make the same mistakes as any driver. No amount of training can prevent 100% of all driver error. In some instances, the truck driver’s tight delivery schedule may result in speeding. Drivers often push to make deliveries and may circumvent the hours of service rules. Driving while fatigued can be as deadly as driving intoxicated. Remember, if the trucker cannot see you he or she cannot plan for you.
Sometimes a deal really isn’t a deal. Shippers must research the trucking companies they choose. If not, the shipper runs the risk of putting lives at risk with a company that does not follow the federal guidelines. As with all businesses, some are more professional, responsible and reliable than others.
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Truck Accident Victims Represented by Personal Injury Lawyer Receive Nearly 3.5 Times More Money in a Settlement Than Those Without an Attorney.
– Insurance Research Council Study 2004
Understanding what causes these accidents is the first step in prevention.
Do your part by avoiding the following behaviors while driving:
Truckers are no stranger to driver error. Fatigue and negligence lead to accidents just as easily- no matter who is driving.
A sleepy driver is an unsafe driver. Federal laws dictate the need for proper rest, but not every driver will follow the law.
Many drivers turn to over-the-counter and illegal drugs to prevent fatigue. When caffeine and drugs wear off, the crash can be catastrophic.
A trucker must watch his blind spots carefully. Vehicles move in and out of the blind spots often. Additionally, carrying too much speed into a turn or trying to brake too abruptly can cause jackknifing, rollovers, and any other kind of collision.
A driver may disable the front brakes and rely on the trailer’s brakes. While this can reduce wear and tear on the brakes, this leads to trucks not having the braking power to stop. Not taking the time to properly attach the trailer can lead to jackknifing as well as a lost trailer.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you need a trucking accident attorney. Commercial vehicle accidents require a lawyer with the skill and experience to battle with the high power insurance companies. Call the Law Offices of L. Clayton Burgess to schedule an appointment to discuss your case.