Do you cringe anytime you drive past a truck or a semi-truck? Well, you’re not alone. Even though large trucks have high economic importance to the nation, it doesn’t take away the fact that they can be intimidating to other drivers on the highway.
The trucking industry is consistently growing despite the availability of better and faster means of transportation. It is one of the most convenient and suitable ways to transport goods within a country.
Regardless of this, the trucking industry has in the last two decades become notorious for the reckless driving of its drivers which has resulted in a large number of accidents. It is estimated that it will become the 5th biggest cause of death in the USA by 2030.
With statistics showing over 65% of all truck fatalities to be passenger vehicle occupants, regular car owners need to be careful around trucks. Here are some causes of these accidents.
Distracted driving is a global problem. It’s any action that draws your attention away from the current task at hand — driving. Whether on local roads or on interstate highways, it’s an issue causing trucking accidents.
Drivers might be tempted to text while driving, eating, searching for a playlist, or perform any activity to keep them occupied. Even when the radio signal is good, reaching out to play with the dial is a source of distraction that can cause fatal accidents. The professionals behind Parnall Law Firm, LLC say that people in such situations should act quickly and gather evidence to support their case. Over time, it has become easy for companies to cover up these detestable acts.
2. Alcohol and Hard Drugs
While hard drugs help drivers stay awake, they create a warped reality in their head that causes them to take life-threatening risks such as driving faster, sharp turning, and risky lane changes. According to a recent study, over 25% of truck drivers confessed to taking amphetamines while driving; 20% took marijuana and 3% cocaine. As these substances start wearing off, the drivers begin to fall asleep again which might lead to accidents.
3. Poor Maintenance and Training
Drivers need to have been trained for a particular number of hours according to state regulations and requirements before taking command of a commercial vehicle. However, drivers manage to cut corners and start driving without meeting the requirements. If this is not done and each truck inspected by the driver or truck company before it gets on the road, it might result in an unwanted occurrence.
4. Partially-Full Liquid Loads
There are custom-made trailers designed to transport liquids alone. They have the capacity of holding a certain amount of liquid before filling these tanks full. However, it is often dangerous to fill it to the brim as it can cause accidents when the liquid splashes inside the trailer’s container. The driver may easily lose control when this happens. Truck companies need to caution and train their drivers to handle such situations.
5. Wide Turns
Trucks because of their large size, limited turning radius, and weight make wide turns when turning. This isn’t a reason for them to turn more widely than they normally should and cross into other lanes. Trucks need to remain in their correct traffic lane when turning and take necessary precautions. Not doing so may result in a serious crash.
The truth is driving for long kilometers alone can be boring and in rural areas, there’s not much entertainment due to possibly poor radio signal. But this is no excuse for drivers to be oblivious to the fact that their actions have consequences — life-altering ones. They need to be well sensitized before hitting the road and punished when their driving leads to accidents.