Why Do Truck Accidents Happen?
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the number of large truck accidents per million vehicle miles traveled has declined, but there has been an increase in fatal accidents.
Tens of thousands of lives are impacted by truck accidents every year, and getting to the bottom of why that might be the key to bringing those numbers down. The reasons why so many happen each year may just surprise you.
Vehicles Driving in No-Visibility ZonesExperienced truck accident lawyers like Charbonnet Law Firm often hear about people being involved in serious truck accidents because passenger vehicle operators drove where trucks couldn’t see them.
Most trucks have zero-visibility zones, which are at the front, back, and on both sides. Depending on the truck, most drivers can’t see the first 30 feet behind their trailer and the first 20 feet in front of them. As the side-view mirrors are positioned to see behind the vehicle, they can’t generally see what’s beneath the driver’s side mirror.
By driving in these areas, car drivers risk being involved in an accident when the truck driver makes an unexpected driving maneuver.
Misjudging Speed and Braking AbilitiesMost busy people don’t want to get stuck behind a truck going 55 miles an hour, which is why they might make drastic decisions to save time on their commute. However, if that driver underestimates the truck driver’s speed and braking abilities, they may end up in a severe accident.
Many accidents are caused by misjudging a truck’s speed at an intersection, failing to merge correctly, performing unsafe passing maneuvers, and pulling directly into its path in an attempt to get in front.
Not Allowing For Air Turbulence and Cross-WindsBeing a truck driver can be challenging when dealing with the effects of wind. High-sided lorries and trucks, in particular, can be at risk of overturning in high winds. However, accidents can also occur in those same windy conditions involving passenger vehicles.
When overtaking a truck, particularly at high speed, they don’t always allow for the impact of air turbulence and cross-winds. This unexpected gust of wind can cause a vehicle to become out of control and possibly end up in a devastating collision.
FatigueFatigue can contribute to many accidents, causing people to need to find a lawyer and seek damages. Both passenger vehicle operators and truck drivers can experience fatigue, especially when surveys have shown up to 37% of workers don’t get the minimum recommendation of seven hours of sleep per night.
According to the CDC, the effects of fatigue on your driving abilities can be significant. You might fall asleep, react slowly to hazards, make poor decisions, and even drift from your lane. Fatigue can also make you experience tunnel vision, have microsleeps, and forget sections of your travels.
Inadequate TrainingThere is a significant shortage of truckers in the United States, which means many trucking companies may be trying to train new employees quickly to fill the gaps in their supply chain. This means there is potential for vital training to be missed and for truckers to be put in situations that may be out of their comfort zone. Such a situation may contribute to more accidents on the road.
Truck accidents can happen for a wide range of different reasons, both caused by the truck drivers themselves or passenger vehicle operators. When they happen, it can be in your best interest to enlist the services of a truck accident attorney to assist.
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