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5 Major Causes of Truck Accidents

Aug 9

No matter how safe of a driver you are, it isn’t always possible to know what other drivers will do behind the wheel. Driving near large trucks, in particular, can feel slightly intimidating. Unfortunately, truck accidents happen every day, and they can be life-altering. Fully loaded 18-wheelers can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, which can of course be detrimental when coming toward you on the road.

Whether due to driver error or reasons out of the driver’s control, there are many factors that come into play when it comes to truck accidents. Truck accident lawyers in Utah mention that liability for an accident can fall on several different parties, from the driver and the trucking company to the cargo company and truck’s owner. Keep reading to learn more about 5 of the major causes of truck accidents.

1. Fatigue

In many situations, truck drivers may be going cross-country or on another long-haul journey. While there are laws in place that require drivers to get a certain amount of rest throughout their time on the road, that doesn’t necessarily happen. Drowsiness may be caused simply by spending so many hours on the road at one time, or the trucking company might be pressuring the driver to make more headway.

2. Distracted Driving

From trying to navigate an unfamiliar area to making a call or sending a text message, there are many reasons a truck driver may be distracted behind the wheel. Distracted driving is always dangerous, but when an 18-wheeler is involved it can be even scarier for other drivers on the road. Always remain vigilant behind the wheel and give truck drivers as much space as possible.

3. Road Conditions and Weather

Poor road conditions or bad weather can play a huge role in truck accidents. Though these factors are out of the driver’s control, it’s important that they remain alert while driving. When rain is pouring down and visibility is low, responding quickly to what other drivers are doing is imperative. Give yourself plenty of space during bad weather—particularly with large trucks nearby. It will take them far more time to slow down and stop in an emergency than it will other vehicles.

4. Driving While Intoxicated

Responsible truck drivers know the dangers of driving under the influence, but there are many who feel the need to use substances behind the wheel. Whether out of boredom or as a way to cope with a long, stressful day of driving, some drivers turn to alcohol or drugs for a sense of relief. Driving while intoxicated can be life-threatening for anyone on the road, but when a multi-ton 18-wheeler is involved, it can be even worse.

5. Unrealistic Time Constraints

While trucking companies typically have many rules and regulations around the number of time drivers can spend behind the wheel at once, there are always exceptions. Some companies may put pressure on their drivers to make more deliveries than planned, so drivers may end up feeling rushed and make careless decisions on the road. They may also end up taking fewer breaks than they need and getting drowsy behind the wheel.

It’s important to remain cautious when driving—particularly when large trucks are nearby. Give yourself space and time to respond safely to other drivers on the road.