Being a qualified truck or semi-trailer driver is not easy, it requires different training and practice than the average driver. The dimensions of the vehicle and the way it is driven are not the same as a 4-door car. Therefore, those who drive these vehicles are trained and prepared to act in case of an unforeseen event.
Statistically speaking semi-truck accidents are not frequent comparing to automobile accidents. But they make up twice the percentage of fatal crashes and injuries. And unfortunately, these fatalities occur mostly to occupants of other vehicles and happen on highways and major roads.
Knowing what can cause a trailer truck accident can help prevent these types of accidents and even save lives.
Truck Driver Error
Truck or 18-wheeler drivers are aware of the responsibility they have behind the wheel, which is why they take their training and the applicable road rules very seriously. However, sometimes the driver may cause an accident due to negligence, poor judgment, or improper maneuvering.
The truck drivers can cause the accident because of:
- Poor training including but not limited to:
- Not being aware of blind spots before changing lanes.
- Sudden braking, failing to follow road signs, or making aggressive maneuvers behind the wheel.
- Fatigue and pressure to make tight deadlines.
- Drug and alcohol use.
- Distracted driving.
In Kansas City there are road regulations that establish the qualifications for people who drive commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), that way they can ensure that the operator has a commercial driver license (CDL) and is able to react effectively and avoid accidents.
These same regulations recommend that truck drivers should be alert and well rested. In many cases, fatigue is an eminent reason for collisions. It is estimated that 80% of semi-truck crashes are the result of driver-related actions.
Bad weather does not stop truckers! So many big rigs truck drivers drive in rain, hail, snow, and high winds, both day and night. It is important to note that visibility is reduced during these events and can contribute to an accident.
Poor road conditions that are not 100% visible when driving at night and in foggy conditions, can increase the chances of semitrailer accidents and can affect the performance of the equipment and even compromise the load.
On a regular basis, truck owners must make revisions of the entire trailer and pass a certification; drivers must carry with them the proof that this certification was obtained to avoid fines or legal problems. Even so, going through a big pothole may cause tire brake failures.
The main cause of an accident due to malfunction is the excessive load on the trailer. In Kansas City the regulations specify the weight limit allowed depending on the size and capacity of the semi-truck and the correct way to transport it. Even so, many companies try to break the law to save a trip or two and end up causing serious accidents. Simply because they want to save a few dollars.
The loads carried by these trucks must be secured in such a way that they stay in place even on tight curves, so the personnel in charge of securing the cargo to the trailer also carry with them a certain degree of responsibility. Remember that these people must know how to transport liquids, gas, oil as well as physical objects; so, some loads are quite delicate, and a mistake in the transfer can be a huge catastrophe.
Drivers of personal vehicles
Some motorists do not consider the difference between driving a 4-door car and a truck with tons of weight on top of it. They think that they will be able to brake in the same way they would if someone suddenly crosses their path. This negligence or simple lack of knowledge means that semi-truck accidents can involve serious injuries and fatalities.
What can the driver do to avoid this?
These are the actions every driver should consider when sharing the road with truck drivers and preventing wrecks:
- Avoid driving in the trailer driver’s blind spot and pass truck drivers without caution. In the United States, the driver sits on the left-hand side of a car or truck.
- Avoid changing lanes abruptly in front of the truck.
- Do not drive between 2 heavy load vehicles.
- Avoid slamming on the brakes in front of the trailer and keep your distance when driving behind one.
- Understand That Semi-trucks need space to turn.
- Use Your Signal Early.
If you or a family member has been injured in a Semi-Truck accident, contact an experienced accident attorney to file a personal injury and property damage claim. At Devkota Law Firm we can give you free advice, we have the experience you need and know how to proceed with these cases. We can help!