The trucking industry is one of the most critical industries in the USA. When referring to roads to transport goods across overland routes, the trucking industry uses light trucks and semi-trailers. This industry is consistently on the rise with total revenue of 732.2 Billion dollars by 2020 even though there are better and newer means invented regularly.
Even though it is considered efficient and plenty of people get their livelihood from it, large trucks are also one of the biggest causes of road accidents. Therefore, it is vital to get some insight into the factors that attribute to these accidents, and they are as follows:
Most trucking companies use speed limiters and speed trackers on their vehicles, but not all companies have this technology. Due to the need to deliver the goods on time, some drivers end up over-speeding, which is more dangerous than regular vehicles due to the extensive nature of the trucks. Therefore, in an emergency, the driver cannot control the truck or even make it come to a stop.
2. Break Failure
Although driver's errors cause most truck accidents, there are instances where the trucking company or vehicle manufacturer is at fault. According to the FMCSA, 29% of the total large truck crashes result from brake problems that the driver had no control over.
3. Fatigued Driving
Truck drivers spend long hours on the road, which causes them to be fatigued. Although the hours of service regulations stipulate that a commercial driver should not be on the road for more than 11 hours, some drivers ignore this because of the work pressure.
4. Distracted Driving
Truck drivers are prone to driving distractions such as texting and listening to music just like everyone else. However, this is a dangerous thing, primarily due to the size of their vehicle. Once they lose control of the truck, it is harder to regain than in a small car.
5. Driving While Intoxicated
Since truck drivers hold commercial driver's licenses, the law requires their blood alcohol concentration always to be less than 0.04% which is half the level of average drivers. However, some drivers get behind the wheel while they are intoxicated, a factor that is considered a crime and truck accident lawyers can use to win a claim against the driver.
6. Poor Vehicle Maintenance
The truck accidents can also be caused by poor truck maintenance, which is a fault that lies with the trucking company and not the driver's fault. For example, worn tires may cause blowouts which have deadly consequences.
7. Overloading Cargo
Poor cargo loading can cause the truck to overturn after a turn or lane change, and Overloading can also cause tire blowouts or the truck to tip over. Depending on the company, cargo loading may be the responsibility of the trucking company, driver, or a third-party company. However, it is the driver who should check the cargo before departure.
8. Severe Weather
Heavy rain may reduce the driver's visibility and cause slick roads, two factors that do not pair well together. They make it challenging for the driver to control the truck because of sliding and skidding. Other factors apart from rain are snow, fog, ice, and wind.
9. Road Conditions
Poor road maintenance and road construction can easily cause a truck accident. The truck may flip or collide with another vehicle as the driver tries to evade the construction or pothole through the road shoulder.
10. Poor Lighting
On highways and roads that are poorly lit, the driver's visibility is limited, which causes blind spots. It is also more challenging for them to navigate narrow streets or see curves and other objects on the road.
Not all truck accidents are entirely the fault of drivers or the trucking company. However, if all the sectors involved in the trucking industry were to come together, the high rate of truck accidents could reduce.