The number of large trucks the road has increased over the years as consumer demand for more products has increased. Unfortunately, this increased traffic has also resulted in a higher number of accidents involving trucks. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the number of accidents involving trucks has increased 20 percent over the last two decades. Although a variety of issues cause trucking accidents, the number one cause of most accidents is driver error.
Types of Driver Error
Driver error encompasses any mistake made by the truck driver either prior to driving or while on the road. Some of the items that cause driver error to occur are:
- Using prescription or over-the-counter medication that causes sleepiness or impaired motor skills
- Speeding to make up time or driving too fast for weather conditions
- Fatigue from driving too long or receiving too little sleep
- Inattention and distractions caused by using cell phones or other cabin distractions
- Unfamiliarity with the road which can lead to accidents
Of the various causes of driver error, 44 percent of truckers were under the influence of some type of medication, 23 percent were traveling too fast for conditions and 18 percent were fatigued.
Fatigue Is a Real Problem
Truck driver fatigue is a major safety concern for all drivers, as it can lead to devastating injures. When drivers are sleep deprived or exhausted from long drives, they are less attentive, misjudge the distances between vehicles and fail to react quickly to dangerous road conditions. In many investigations of truck accidents, drivers admit that they were fatigued which caused their slow response.
The Risk of Rollovers
Truck rollovers are often devastating, resulting in serious injuries to both the driver and passengers in nearby vehicles. In almost all cases, rollovers are caused by driving errors. Inexperienced or impaired truck drivers cause rollovers by driving at excessive speeds, failing to slow when taking turns and exit ramps or not properly distributing the weight of the items the truck is carrying.
Many truck drivers are actually contractors for their companies, rather than employees. This arrangement allows them to maintain their own truck and equipment. Unfortunately, this means that drivers sometimes employ measures that reduce wear and tear but decrease safety. Some truckers turn off the front brakes of their trucks to preserve them, relying instead on only the rear brakes. Not only does this increase the risk of a jackknife, but it also increases the risk of other types of accidents as well. If you have been injured in a tractor trailer truck accident, you need a good tractor trailer accident attorney to get you maximum compensation.
Make sure you retain a Philadelphia motorcycle accident attorney if you have sustained injuries in a motorcycle crash so you can get the maximum possible compensation.
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The Lassen Law Firm
1515 Market St #1510
Philadelphia, PA 19102