By Allen Brown
More and more people seem to be on the road these days. Owning a car can often be essential for our everyday lives. Many people use the roads for work purposes as well, whether driving company cars or large trucks.
As with all vehicles, there are large numbers of reported crashes. When it’s a truck, however, the destruction can be major. One survey revealed that nearly 5,000 Americans were killed in 2017 during incidents that involved trucks. While they comprise less than 5% of the vehicles on the road, they are responsible for one in ten highway mortalities. A person may be understandably shocked, and wonder why this is so. This article has been written to answer that question.
Sadly driver error is a major factor. People need to be skilled and fully trained at their job, but this is not always the case. Truck drivers may have been going too fast, or may have maneuvered badly. Perhaps they refused to give someone the right of way, or were distracted. Such factors here could include reading maps, doing personal grooming or looking at the control panel. Phones can be a distraction too, and anyone who texts while they drive will be 23 times more likely to crash.
Greenville has a current population of 14,693 and is the 38th biggest city in Tennessee. According to a truck accident attorney Greenville, even when the cause is human error, truck companies often try to deny responsibility. It often takes the involvement of a lawyer to navigate the complex federal and state laws, in order to fight for fair compensation.
While regular breaks may be taken by long distance truck drivers, they are frequently not long enough. Research found that some people were only having 4.8 hours sleep a day, and over half admitted to experiencing several minutes of drowsiness while driving.
The government introduced hours of service regulations to tighten things up, but truckers say they have not helped. People are still able to travel for up to eleven hours nonstop.
One survey of truck accidents found that 5% of the drivers involved had at least one illegal drug in their system, be it narcotics or marijuana. It’s a concern that even some over the counter drugs can impair peoples’ ability to drive safely.
Research revealed on one occasion that brake or tire problems were responsible for 5% of truck accidents. Drivers are required to check such things before every new shift. Sadly this is often missed by people who are in a hurry to get on and complete their journey. Routine maintenance of such vehicles is also essential. Sadly it is not always done, and new parts are sometimes wrongly installed, or faulty.
When a truck starts out, its contents are meant to be stored securely. When this is not the case they can move around and affect the balance of the vehicle. Sometimes this results in things falling out of the back of the truck, on to the road or traffic.
As with most vehicles, trucks can have blind spots. Alarmingly they may exist on the front, rear and sides. This means the drivers should manually check the coast is clear before they pull out or change lanes. When this doesn’t happen, there is always the risk of having a collision.
When roads are being maintained or modified, there are often lanes that become narrower, or there is a reduction from e.g. two lanes to one. Care may also need to be taken where maintenance vehicles have joined the traffic.
Sadly this is another scenario where large vehicles often crash. Trucks need to have a longer braking distance than cars. If a driver is unprepared for the slowing traffic or stopped lanes, they may run into the car in front.
Any driver will appreciate that rain, snow or ice can affect road safety. The freeway can become slippery and vehicle tires struggle to grip the road. Fog and rain can adversely affect visibility too. When trucks are travelling too fast for the adverse conditions, they may not be able to slow down quickly enough. Alternatively they may jack-knife, skid or hydroplane across the road.
As we can see, the issues that a car may face are magnified when they apply to a truck. This is why incidents involving larger trucks can affect so many lives and vehicles. For this reason, both car drivers and truck drivers should be fully ready and prepared for each journey.
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