Truck accidents can be as devastating as any other vehicular crash, but more so than most. Trucks are large and powerful and can cause severe property damage to other vehicles and even fatalities to passengers and drivers. Even a small truck crash can cause thousands of dollars worth of property damage, medical bills, lost income, and emotional trauma to victims.
According to the NHTSA (National Highway Transportation Safety Administration) statistics, almost 5,000 people died in significant truck accidents in 2017. 72% of all fatalities were caused by other vehicles. 10% were pedestrians and cyclists, and 18% were truck drivers. It’s easy to see that these crashes can cause more damage to cars around trucks than to the trucks. Truck accidents rank first on the global list of fatal accidents. Below is a detailed look at the leading causes of such accidents.
Truck accidents in the United States are 1/3 caused by driver fatigue. Truck drivers are often on tight deadlines, have long work hours, and face severe penalties if they miss them. Truck drivers are often tired from the demands of their jobs, and they can be drowsy when driving. Truck accidents can be catastrophic if truck drivers are fatigued. This is due to poor coordination, decreased focus, and falling asleep behind the wheel.
Truck drivers can speed over the limit due to pressure to meet delivery deadlines. It is dangerous to speed on busy roads. This can be combined with the truck’s weight and size, which can cause severe damage to other vehicles. A commercial truck must travel an average distance of 2 football fields before it can stop completely. This makes it easy to see how speeding trucks can cause traffic accidents.
Large loads can’t be added to commercial trucks. It isn’t easy to drive safely if the load’s weight or volume exceeds the truck’s safe capacity. This increases the chance of traffic accidents. If the cargo isn’t properly balanced or secured to the truck, the chances of an accident are increased. Rollovers can occur when heavy shifting loads are pushed onto the truck. The driver may lose control and roll over, hitting another vehicle.
Large trucks, such as commercial trucks, are more susceptible to mechanical problems than small cars. They also require regular maintenance to ensure safety. Failing brakes can lead to fatal traffic accidents without enough maintenance or improper repairs. Trucks have more complicated brake mechanisms than other vehicles. Even a minor fault can cause catastrophic crashes.
Truck accidents can be avoided by truck drivers making conscious efforts to observe all traffic rules and ensure safety for everyone on the road. An experienced Houston truck accident lawyer could help you sue the negligent party if you or a loved one were injured in a semi-truck accident.