With numerous distractions and hazards on the roads, trucking can be challenging at times. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, long-haul truck drivers work 60 hours per week and drive more than 107,000 miles per year. This puts drivers at risk driving while fatigued, which ultimately can put not only themselves but other drivers on the road in danger as well.
Causes of Trucking Accidents
When trucking-related accidents occur, there can be many different explanations for what happened. Some of the most common causes of these types of accidents include:
- Driver Error- these generally include road fatigue, distractions, and failure to adjust to speeds.
- Harsh weather conditions- this could be fog, rain, sleet, snow, etc.
- Mechanical failures- things like tire blowouts, failing brakes, or improper maintenance can all cause trucking-related accidents to happen.
- Impaired driving- although this only accounts for a small percentage of trucking-related accidents, drivers that drink alcohol or use illegal drugs when operating 18-wheelers or semi-trucks, can cause severe accidents.
Higher Fatality Risk
Trucking-related accidents can be more expensive and destructive than regular vehicle crashes. Even though they may not be as frequent, they pose an extremely higher risk because the weight of a semi-truck or 18-wheeler can be significantly heavier than a passenger vehicle. This can lead to severe, life-threatening injuries. Some of which include:
- Broken or fractured bones.
- Spinal cord injuries.
- Internal injuries.
- Neck and back injuries.
Where Are Trucking Accidents Happening?
Although these types of accidents can occur anywhere, they have been more prevalent in rural areas of the United States. Urban areas tend to have a more prominent police presence and are more crowded, so unlike rural areas, greater attention is paid to traffic conditions. Rural areas are a lot more wide open, creating a false sense of safety, resulting in vehicle operators becoming more distracted and relaxed with their driving habits.
Time of day also plays a significant role in trucking-related accidents. Most of these cases occur during the day rather than at night because roads are busier during daylight hours and weekends, making more road obstacles for the drivers.
Trucking Community Safety
As a truck driving community, there are many precautionary measures drivers can take to help promote safety while on the roads. Drivers can:
- Entry-level driver training is up to date on current needs.
- Make sure that driver schedules aren't so busy that they might violate hours-of-service rules when making on-time deliveries.
- Promote seat belt usage during training and safety meetings.
- Be sure that drivers are aware and adhere to cargo securement and weight limits, ways to avoid drowsy or distracted driving, and safe driving techniques.
- Establish and enforce everyone to buckle up.
- Ensure the highest level of leadership commits to requiring all drivers to participate in driver safety programs.
What to Do After a Truck Related Accident
If you or someone you love has been involved in an accident with a semi or 18-wheeler truck, you may be entitled to financial compensation for losses or injuries. It's strongly recommended to contact a lawyer where you can discuss the details of your case and become familiar with any legal options you may have. Working with skilled professionals after experiences like such can be beneficial to your accident process. Having an attorney on your side can be a great resource in helping you fully understand everything required to have a successful claim.
Here at Hanna Allen, PLLC, we understand that this can be a stressful and challenging time. You deserve to focus on a healthy, full recovery rather than worrying about the stress of filing a claim for your accident. Let us help you. With years of experience under our belts, we have what it takes to fight cases just like yours. Let us be your voice.
Contact us today at (432) 220-2649, or visit us online to schedule your free consultation TODAY.