Many truck accidents are caused by truck companies and truck drivers who act in a negligent manner and put the lives of others at risk. Many of these accidents are completely preventable if the trucking industry and truck driver take steps to protect other passengers on the roadways. Some of the common reasons for fatal truck accidents include:
Truck drivers are incentivized to deliver loads as quickly as possible because they are often paid by the load. The faster that they can get products delivered, the faster they are paid, causing many truck drivers to cheat the system. Federal agencies recognize the dangers that truck drivers pose and have institute hours of service requirements that require truck drivers to take rest breaks after traveling for so long and to work for a maximum number of hours a day. However, not all trucking companies or drivers follow these requirements. Often, individuals wind up injured or killed in truck accidents caused by tired drivers.
Drivers who want to deliver their loads faster may also speed to get to their destination more quickly. However, commercial trucks often weigh more than 20 times the weight of the average passenger vehicle. This makes it more difficult to stop quickly if the need arises.
Driving a truck can get boring after so many hours on the road. This may cause truck drivers to try to do multiple things at a time, such as talking on the phone, texting, filling out a travel log, eating or entering directions into a GPS unit. These additional tasks can be even more dangerous when coupled with a fatigued driver or someone who is unfamiliar with the location.
Improper Truck Maintenance
Trucking companies must comply with regulations regarding the proper maintenance of their vehicles. These maintenance checks should be documented. Problems such as faulty brakes, tire blowouts or steering issues can result in catastrophic accidents. A truck accident lawyer can investigate if the trucking company kept proper maintenance records and whether it failed to comply with important safety regulations.
Unsafe Driving Practices
Because truck drivers log thousands of miles every week, the travel can become boring and truck drivers may engage in unsafe driving practices. Some examples include:
- Following behind another vehicle too closely
- Failing to check for blind spots
- Failing to use a turn signal
- Making frequent lane changes