Most personal injury lawyers don’t deal with a huge amount of tractor trailer accidents, but they can and do happen, and legal teams should be prepared when such a case comes across their desk. What we do know about these big 18-wheelers is that whilst they are generally safe, when an accident does happen, they have the ability to really create som chaos and leave injured people behind. The fault of course can be with any party involved in an accident and it will be up to the legal team to prove culpability. With this in mind, let’s take a look at what the most common causes of tractor trailer accidents are.
Truck Driver Fatigue
Despite the community aiming to do something about this for years, and changes having been made, we still see a disproportionate number of accidents which have been caused by driver fatigue. Ultimately for drivers they know that they get paid based on the number of hours which they work, and that is why they will try to push their limits. It is of course up to the employer and the driver to make sure that they are responsible and that they only drive for the number of hours which they are legally allowed to. Some 12% of accidents each and every year involving trucks are caused by tired drivers.
These big trucks are able to carry huge loads of cargo and this of course makes them very heavy. In fact this is exactly why they have the capability of causing so much destruction. One common cause of accidents involving these heavy duty vehicles is that they have cargo which has not been properly secured. When this is the case maneuvering at speed can be made very tough and easily contribute towards losing control of the vehicle.
Driving Under The Influence
Despite attempts made by the government we are still seeing too many people who are driving under the influence. This surprisingly includes the operators of these huge trucks, and through their impairment they can easily cause accidents. Sadly we see some truck drivers who have turned to stimulants in order to stay awake when they are behind the wheel, but this ultimately only serves to make driving more difficult, thus resulting in accidents.
Something which many motor vehicle operators aren’t aware of is that there are a number of naturally occurring blind spots which truck drivers have to be aware of. For example 30 feet directly behind the trailer or 20 feet in front of the trailer are areas which the driver simply cannot see. If cars get too close then accidents can certainly happen. Much more is being done using cameras to help truck drivers, but this is still a big problem for many and it certainly causes accidents on the road.
These are the most common reasons for accidents involving these vehicles.