Common Causes of Truck Accidents
A country’s supply chain could not function without the use of big rig trucks. Many industries would grind to a halt if these trucks were no longer transporting goods around the country. Imagine your grocery store suddenly not having any stock, or your local post office fails to get the mail they are supposed to deliver to you. The trucking industry makes sure that these unfortunate events do not happen. Unfortunately, these road behemoths can also be hazardous, particularly when one is involved in an accident or collision. Although they are not as frequent as you might assume, there are some reasons why a semi truck accident happens.
Even with the rules and regulations that truckers operate under, fatigue still manages to get the best of some drivers. When you stare at a long and often boring stretch of road for too long, it is natural to become tired. If you’ve ever taken a cross country trip, you’ve probably felt this way too. Most of the time, it is not the driver’s fault that they are fatigued. They are put under stressful conditions with tight deadlines that can lead to breaking the rules to get a load delivered on time.
This is less of a problem than it used to be but still can cause issues on the road. Many trucks today are equipped with speed limiters. This stops the truck from going over a certain speed. It does not stop them from speeding on back roads or roads where the posted speed limit is less than the limiter’s top end. Most truck limiters are set to around 65mph, but the truck can still speed if the posted speed limit is 45. Speeding is hazardous in the best of circumstances.
Improperly Trained Drivers
Some companies do not have comprehensive driver training programs. They, instead, rush to get drivers on the road. They teach someone the basics and then allow them to drive. Even with a normal vehicle, it takes years to get used to how the vehicle handles and how to operate it. The same can be said for these large trucks. Unfortunately, new driver mistakes are far more likely to be extremely destructive when they are behind the wheel of a semi.
Too Heavy or Unbalanced Loads
When a truck is pulling beyond its weight capacity or if the load it is carrying is uneven, the truck is more likely to cause an accident. A simple shift in weight can cause the truck to veer erratically, and a truck that is too heavy will have extreme difficulties stopping in time. The use of weigh stations often negates this hazard but not always. Some truck drivers have learned how to skip way stations or take routes where they know the weigh station is closed.
Although having semi trucks on the road is an essential part of commerce, it is important to be aware that these trucks can and do have accidents. Regardless of what caused the accident, the chances of being fatal or extremely destructive are very high.
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