Commercial truck accidents can be potentially devastating for every party involved. Due to their size and weight, an accident involving a commercial truck can be very gruesome. While an average standard car weighs around 1.5 tons, an average loaded tractor trailer weighs around 40 tons. This means that a driver of an average standard car involved in an accident with an average loaded tractor trailer could suffer serious bodily injury, or even death.
Commercial truck accidents can happen for a variety of reasons, some more common than others. What are some of the most common causes of commercial truck accidents?
One of the most common causes of truck accidents is driver fatigue. Many employers set unrealistic deadlines for commercial truck drivers, leaving drivers with very little rest. Employers may demand drivers to drive anywhere from days to weeks at a time. The existence of regulations on the number of hours they drive may help lower driver fatigue. However, many employers normally require their drivers to exceed them. This causes pressure for drivers to meet those deadlines, increasing their exhaustion and lowering their coordination while driving.
Commercial trucks must complete certain pre-trip checks to make sure they can be driven for long periods of time. Employers are required by law to adequately perform maintenance on the trucks. This can include checking the breaks and tires or making sure that the loads are balanced. However, maintaining a commercial truck takes time and is often expensive. Many employers feel that maintenance is not worth the time and expense it takes, thereby exposing the truck and the driver to an unsafe trip.
Another cause of commercial truck accidents is drivers’ alcohol and drug use on the course and scope of their jobs. Driving under the influence of drugs is illegal everywhere in the country and commercial truck drivers are held to a higher standard of care. Regardless of the reason why they consume these substances, drivers may become impaired to the point that they become negligent or even reckless.
Long trips can be tedious and boring for many drivers. To fight the impulse of not falling asleep or becoming bored during the trip, drivers may become distracted with other things such as looking at their phones or eating. Taking the eyes off the road, even for a second, can lead to a disaster. The risk of disaster due to driver distraction increases greatly when driving a commercial truck.
Commercial truck drivers must be able to complete trips before their employers’ deadlines. That means that drivers will most likely face adverse weather, such as rain or even snow. The low field of vision this bad weather can cause, coupled with the weight of the truck, can lead to disastrous accidents.
The attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner have decades of experience, and have handled thousands of cases against the trucking industry. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident with an 18-wheeler, call us today at 713-231-9360 or 1-888-229-5094 or a free consultation.