While all crashes can be dangerous, accidents involving semi-trucks are especially unsafe. Due to the weight and size of semi-trucks, they naturally cause more damage when in an accident and are especially dangerous to any other drivers, passengers, or pedestrians in the near vicinity. Because these vehicles pose a higher risk, truck drivers and trucking companies have more responsibility to ensure each truck is maintained, packed, and driven safely. When a driver or trucking company fails to act safely accidents can and will happen.
Truck accidents can happen for any reason, but are typically limited to a few general categories. Find out what causes most truck crashes if you ever find yourself injured in a trucking accident.
Truck drivers often work long hours and drive into the night. When they drive for long periods of time it is very common for truck drivers to get drowsy while behind the wheel. Regulations are in place to prevent drivers from taking to the road for long stretches, but sometimes these rules are carelessly ignored or bypassed to meet deadlines. Drowsy drivers can sometimes nod off at the wheel, snap awake and overcorrect a mistake, or may drift into oncoming traffic or off the road entirely.
Drinking while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is never a good idea, especially when you are responsible for roughly 80,000 pounds of machinery, as most truckers are. An intoxicated driver has slower reflexes and unsound judgement, which can easily lead to a dangerous crash.
Careless or Negligent Driving
If a driver makes blatant mistakes, like changing lanes without looking, or making illegal turns, they are breaking traffic laws and therefore driving carelessly. Driving with excessive speed or acting without care for the safety of other drivers may also be considered careless and can be extremely hazardous to everyone on the road.
Inadequate Driver Training or Hiring
Sometimes the fault of the crash, though it may seem to rest with the driver, is actually caused by the negligence of the trucking company. Only competent, legally licensed drivers should be hired by trucking companies, and those drivers should receive sufficient training in safety, driving technique, and vehicle handling.
Trucking companies are also responsible for loading trucks and trailers safely. Failing to tie things down properly can cause trucks to lose their loads while driving, or an uneven distribution of weight in the trailer can cause a truck to jackknife or lose control. Trucks should always be loaded properly and in accordance with trucking safety regulations and weight restrictions.
Truck Malfunctions or Glitches
Sometimes the vehicle itself is the problem, and brake failure or machine malfunctions can cause a crash, rather than the driver. These issues can sometimes be caused by the manufacturing company that made the vehicle or part, or it could be caused by poor service provided by the mechanic. Alternatively, the fault could lie with the trucking company if they failed to properly maintain their vehicles.
If you or someone you love was injured in a truck accident because of the negligence or mistake of the truck company or driver, we can help. Contact BD&J to speak with our California attorneys about your crash.