Driving along the highway next to semi-trucks can be intimidating for some drivers. Even worse, being involved in an accident with one of these vehicles can be deadly.
Below we outline the top 11 most common reasons why accidents with semi-trucks can happen.
Just like many drivers, semi-truck drivers speeding can lead to accidents. Because semi-trucks are larger than other vehicles, there are usually devastating consequences if a semi-driver is speeding and involved in an accident.
Focusing on all drivers on the road, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) notes that speeding is attributed to more than 9,500 fatal crashes each year.
Why Would a Semi-Driver Speed?
If a trucker is trying to make a deadline to get a shipment to its destination, they may travel over the speed limit. No matter the reason for speeding, though, it’s a negligent action, and drivers who cause crashes because of speeding should be held accountable.
2. Fatigued Driving
Semi-drivers spend dozens of hours each week on the road. However, laws and regulations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) have strict rules in place for how many hours a semi-driver can drive in a single day. Unfortunately, not all companies follow these rules and force their drivers to make deliveries even if the driver has not had an adequate break.
Being on the road frequently without proper rest is exhausting for any driver, and especially for semi-truck drivers. This type of behavior can have extreme repercussions.
3. Distracted Driving
Between looking at a cell phone, a GPS, turning the radio to a different station, and more, distracted driving is not uncommon for any driver. However, many drivers are surprised to learn that it only takes a few seconds of taking eyes off the road to cause a serious accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes that drivers traveling 55 miles per hour can travel the length of a football field in just five seconds. That’s why imperative for drivers to stay focused on the road at all times.
4. Aggressive Driving
Sometimes semi-drivers let their emotions get the best of them. Especially if they are fatigued or behind on their delivery, a driver can easily get frustrated. This can then result in aggressive driving. If a driver fails to yield, drives too closely to another vehicle or cuts off other drivers, they could hurt themselves and others on the road.
5. Severe Weather
Rain, sleet, snow, strong winds, and other weather conditions make roads hazardous for drivers. Because semi-truck drivers have such large vehicles it can be difficult to maintain their load leading to serious accidents.
6. Poor Lighting
Similar to severe weather, if it’s difficult for a driver to see the road, it increases their chances of being in an accident. While semi-truck drivers are elevated, which allows them to see a further distance ahead, if there are little to no lights around them, it can be hard to prevent a potential crash.
7. Road Construction
Construction is necessary to keep roads safe and in the best condition for all drivers. Unfortunately, this can lead to unexpected issues such as construction tools left out on the roadway and uneven pavement. These obstacles can be dangerous for a semi-truck driver to navigate, resulting in an accident.
8. Overloading Cargo
The cargo on a semi-truck must not exceed a certain weight limit for safety reasons. If a trucker is hauling more than the allowed weight, it could throw off how the driver handles the road and lead to a crash.
9. Driving Under the Influence
There are laws for all drivers limiting the use of substances, such as alcohol or drugs, before going on the road. For semi-truck drivers, these rules are more strict as truckers are carrying a much heavier load with the potential for a more serious accident.
10. Poor Training
Teens are not allowed to get behind the wheel of a vehicle until they’ve spent a certain number of hours training how to drive. This is the same case for semi-truck drivers. Truckers are supposed to have extensive training on how to operate their vehicle, but this does not always happen, leading to inexperienced drivers on the road.
11. Maintenance Issues
As part of their training, semi-truck drivers should be knowledgeable in how to identify potential maintenance issues with their vehicles. Regular maintenance is necessary to keep the semi-drivers and other drivers safe on the road. If a semi-truck driver is in a hurry and doesn’t complete a proper maintenance check before traveling, they could potentially cause an accident.
Injured By a Semi-Truck Driver?
These are just some of the most common reasons why accidents with semi-trucks happen. If you were injured in an accident involving a semi-truck, you have every right to be properly compensated for your pain and suffering.
The team at The Roth Firm, LLC is here to fight your case. Reach out anytime, day or night, to set up a free initial consultation.