Although car accidents are one of the leading causes of injury and death in the United States, truck accidents are becoming more and more common and are often much more serious. In this post, we’ll discuss several reasons why they occur.
Of course, this list is by no means exhaustive and there are many other factors that could contribute to an accident, but all truck accident injury cases share one commonality: Victims should reach out to a truck accident attorney as soon as possible. If you’ve been injured, know that competent, dedicated representation is available. Contact the Fairell Roy & Associates office to schedule a consultation to discuss your case, especially if you suspect that any of the following factors contributed to an accident.
Common Reasons Why Truck Accidents Occur
Impairment can be caused by many different substances and conditions, but alcohol intoxication is the most common form of impairment among truck drivers. In fact, the American Addiction Centers report that, when asked about substance use on the road, 50% of truck drivers admitted to consuming alcohol on the job.
The troubling statistics don’t end there, however. In the same study, 30% admitted to using amphetamines while on the road. This is hardly surprising, as many truckers are tasked with driving for long periods of time on open stretches of road. In an attempt to meet the unrealistic demands placed on them, many truckers turn to stimulants such as methamphetamine and cocaine to keep them awake on the road. And while these substances undoubtedly do keep them awake, they can have side effects such as hallucinations, irritability, motor coordination problems, and other impairments that make accidents much more likely while intoxicated. Once these substances wear off, drivers are also more likely to fall asleep at the wheel.
Distracted driving is by no means a problem exclusive to truck drivers — how many people do you see texting while driving while you’re running day-to-day errands? If your experience is anything like ours, we’re willing to bet that you see at least several drivers using their phones while at the wheel.
Truck drivers are hardly an exception to this problem, especially when driving on long stretches of open road. They may be tempted to browse the internet on their phones, pull up podcasts, or do other tasks that avert their eyes and focus from the road.
Every truck is supposed to undergo an inspection before hitting the road, but many companies either do a subpar job or skip the inspection altogether. After all, the trucking industry is fast-paced and requires drivers to meet extremely tight deadlines, and the time it takes to undergo an inspection is time that isn’t spent on the road. Not to mention, maintenance is expensive. While regulations around pre-trip inspections and general maintenance have become tighter, it’s still not uncommon for poor maintenance to be a contributing factor in an accident.
We know that it sounds repetitive, but it’s true: Truck drivers are often tasked with meeting deadlines that simply aren’t possible without cutting corners. Whether it’s maintenance before the trip or adhering to the speed limit while on the road, the deadlines given to drivers often incentivize them to make poor decisions. If they have to stop suddenly, aren’t paying attention, are following too closely, or find themselves driving in inclement weather, speeding only makes it more difficult to stay in control.
No matter what vehicle you drive, you know that you need to check your blind spot before switching lanes on the road. Trucks have blind spots as well, but the average person may not know where they are. Also known as “no zones,” blind spots are anywhere that you can’t see the trucker’s reflection in their rearview mirror. Of course, it’s important for drivers to be aware of these zones and do what they can to avoid them, but it’s also important for truck drivers to be aware of these zones and proceed with caution on the road.
Truck loads are regulated and must adhere to certain laws and regulations. Again, the demanding and fast-paced nature of the trucking industry, as well as poor training provided to loading crews, can cause cargo to be loaded improperly. This means that a truck may be too heavy, more likely to tip over when turning, or at risk of spilling its contents out of the back doors.
Need Representation? Contact Fairell Roy & Associates
As we mentioned at the beginning of this piece, these are by no means the only causes of truck accidents. Additional factors such as road conditions, defective parts, and even other drivers can all contribute to life-changing accidents.
No matter the cause of an accident, it’s important to find a truck accident attorney you can count on as you work toward recovery. Contact Fairell Roy & Associates to schedule a case consultation with a personal injury attorney who will put your needs first.