Semi-trucks transport huge pallets of goods across the country. They’re an essential part of the transportation network and bustling supply chain that keeps our stores stocked with goods. Unfortunately, the essential trucking industry sometimes suffers from a spate of accidents where a semi-truck spins out of control, jackknifes, or flips over spilling its cargo across the road. Here are 5 of the most likely causes of semi-truck accidents and what to do if you’ve just suffered from one.
Going over the speed limit to make a delivery schedule is a common problem. A significant percentage of accidents are caused by a truck driver who drove too fast. Why do they do it? Because they set off too late, stopped too long on a break, or got stuck in traffic and now they’re behind schedule.
Speed, particularly with a semi-truck, can cause it to get out of control in a hurry on slick roads. If you’ve been impacted in your car or affected as a pedestrian, then semi truck accident lawyers can offer advice and legal recourse for any injuries sustained. Also, when you feel that the semi was traveling too fast, that may give you cause for a reasonable case.
2. Substance Abuse
Truck drivers are susceptible to the impact of illicit substances in their systems. This could be alcohol but, equally, it might be either prescription medication or something more illicit. When tested after a semi-truck accident, frequently truckers were found to be under the influence of something that shouldn’t have been in their system when they were behind the wheel.
3. Unfamiliar Roads
Drivers like to cover the same routes. They get to learn each road on the route when there’s a hill coming up and what’s over the hill too. While some dispatchers might see these truckers as a bit of a stick in the mud due to their reluctance to drive a new route, it’s a smart move. Driving on unfamiliar roads leads to many accidents for semis. Not seeing a side road because it wasn’t obvious and then a car seemingly coming out of nowhere gives little time to brake to avoid it. Safer long-haul drivers regularly run the same routes.
4. Blind Spots Catching Them Out
Semi-trucks have multiple blind spots. Even with good mirrors and cameras on the vehicle, it’s up to the driver to actively check to verify that the road is clear. When a semi-truck driver doesn’t use all available opportunities to check and re-check that they’re clear to proceed, they can drive right into an accident waiting to happen.
Fatigue, tiredness, or sleep deprivation are all ways to express that the driver doesn’t have his or her full faculties. When in this state, they’re less likely to check that the way is clear or double-check again as they’re turning (not just before they begin to turn).
Similarly, response times to a driver ahead of them suddenly hitting the brakes creates a delayed deceleration. This costs critical seconds and the truck travels many more feet before it begins to slow down. That may not be enough to avoid a collision.
Despite the great responsibility that semi-truck drivers have to safety, they’re human too. As a result, driver error, unfortunately, ends up being the leading cause of truck accidents. Trucking companies need to be more vigilant to the early warning signs with their drivers to reduce the number of collisions.