Sharing the road with big trucks may be very intimidating at times. We all see those frightening accidents between passenger cars and trucks and wonder what would cause an accident like that in the first place. Below, our truck accident attorneys look at some of the most common causes of these accidents.
Figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that Tractor Trailers make up three percent of the total registered vehicles. However, they account for nine percent of all fatal accidents. California is included on the list of the top five states for the highest number of truck accidents recorded.
Common sense would suggest that trucking companies would be very careful about training new drivers. That does not seem to be the case. It looks as though only ten percent of trucking companies put their drivers through proper training before allowing them to get behind the wheel.
New truck driver training is simply not up to the standards that people would assume.
Prescription and Illicit Drugs
Most people figure that driver fatigue would be the most common cause of truck accidents. It’s amazing to learn that in 26% of all truck accidents, driver’s reaction time was affected by drug use.
Trucks weigh approximately 80,000 pounds. With each mile over the speed limit, they become more and more dangerous. Speeding is a major factor incausing truck accidents.
Driving in areas that you’re not familiar with makes the travel even more dangerous than driving around familiar areas.
Over the Counter Drugs
It’s not just the prescription and illegal drugs that can affect a truck driver and cause an accident. Over the counter drugs were a factor in 18% of truck accidents in California.
Checking Blind Spots
When truck drivers receive their training, there is focus on blind spot training. Some truck drivers, despite their training, develop a bad habit of not checking their blind spots.
Driver fatigue remains an issue in the trucking industry because many drivers are required to meet mandatory deadlines across long distances. Driving without enough breaks or rest can be extremely dangerous for those who drive for a living.
Failure to Signal
Once you start practicing bad habits, it’s hard to break them and make better decisions behind the wheel. Failing to use a turn signal or driving without regard to traffic laws and procedures is very dangerous.
This is a big no-no right now, and a lot of people are getting charged with it. Using a cell phone or any other electronic device while driving is against the law in California. You can only use your phone on a hands-free device.
Other distractions that you might encounter on your trip are accidents (rubbernecking) and roadwork.
Trying to Avoid a Collision
Believe it or not, a truck trying to avoid a collision can be a very tricky maneuver and does not always have a happy ending. In trying to evade an accident, a truck driver may cause one.
Road Rage and Aggressive Driving
Just because a person is a professional driver, that doesn’t mean they are immune to road rage. It’s easy for a truck driver to forget about the force they carry in the size of their rig. Big, heavy trucks can cause major damage when things get out of hand.
Now that you know some of the causes of accidents that involve big trucks and tractor trailers be sure to use caution, and watch out for these behaviors. If you are involved in a truck accident, get in touch with a truck accident attorney at once.