Trucks are critical for getting products from ports to distribution centers and out to the stores and homes, so you can’t avoid driving alongside them if you’re out there on the roads.
Knowing more about trucking accidents and their causes can help identify ways to minimize the crash risk around big rigs and commercial vehicles, however. There are five main causes of truck accidents.
1. Drowsy drivers
The federal government started requiring fleet companies to equip their trucks with electronic logs in recent years to ensure truckers got much-needed rest from driving. Truckers and their employers often find ways around these policies, putting our safety at risk.
2. Trucker inexperience
Many long-term tractor-trailer operators are retiring. Fleet companies have invested significant resources in recruiting new talent interested in securing their commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) in recent years. These truckers don’t graduate with the know-how to deal with unexpected curveballs they may encounter and can end up causing catastrophic crashes.
It’s long been a practice for truckers to visually inspect their trucks before taking a trip. Federal regulators also require fleet companies to keep maintenance records for their trucks. Truckers often don’t take time to perform mandated inspections, and their employers often falsify maintenance without thinking of the repercussions of their actions, though.
4. Improper loading
How much cargo a fleet company loads in its truck and how well it’s packed in there can both affect the speed with which a trucker can stop once they apply their brake. Jackknife accidents may occur if a trucker aggressively pumps the brakes, especially in inclement weather.
5. Distracted driving
Distractions, such as smoking, talking with others, reading, using a global positioning system (GPS) device, listening to the radio or eating, can all take a trucker’s mind, ears and eyes off the road, thus leaving them vulnerable to causing a crash.
What to do if a truck accident left you injured
There are some significant size and weight differences between a passenger car and a tractor-trailer. The combination of this and the above-referenced crash causes often result in catastrophic injuries when a collision occurs. Fortunately, New York law allows injured motorists to sue for damages due to another party’s negligence. A personal injury attorney can advise you of your right to do so in your New York City case.