By Allen Brown
Since tractor-trailers are quite heavy, they can be hard to control and involve a lot of risks that can lead to detrimental repercussions in extreme cases. By learning and acknowledging these risks, you can reduce the chances of your trailer-truck getting into an accident and possibly save valuable lives.
While some of the risks are due to the heavy weight of the vehicle, most of them are due to reckless driving. Here are a few reasons why tractor-trailers increase driving risks and how they can be eliminated.
1. Long Driving Hours
In most cases, driving tractor-trailers involves being on the road for long hours and staying behind the wheel for several days at a stretch. With a prolonged period of driving, drivers often get bored and resort to using cellphones instead of paying attention to the road. This can result in distracted driving and increase the chances of crashing or getting into an accident. Even though federal law prohibits the use of cellphones during driving, long-distance drivers rarely obey the rules. They also use their cellphone to navigate their route and track their path when they miss their destination.
2. Exceeding Weight Limit
All tractor-trailers are designed to bear a specific weight limit. In some cases, the trailers are allowed to exceed their limit under official trucking regulations. Depending on the design and type of trailer, the vehicle must not exceed the given weight limit. However, many trucking companies do not abide by this law and overload their tractor-trailer when delivering their orders. This can pose a threat to other drivers and motorists on the same road and route. Sharp turns can cause the tractor-trailer to overturn, thereby risking the lives of pedestrians and other vehicles that are passing by. It can also lead to tire blowouts, brake failures, the inability to steer the vehicle, or the inability to control the vehicle’s speed when going downhill. All these unprecedented events can result in devastating accidents.
3. Lack of Training
Since tractor-trailers are huge vehicles, they must be driven by trained and experienced drivers. Big trucks can be extremely dangerous for drivers and other motorists. Drivers must undergo special training, get certified from a driving school, and practice driving the vehicle for a few months before they actually take the wheel. They are also trained to drive in bad weather, control the heavy vehicle on weak roads, and respond to mechanical failures without panicking. However, not every delivery and logistics company considers it mandatory to hire a specialized tractor-trailer driver, which can increase the chances of accidents and vehicle damage. There are companies who resort to an employee working behind the scenes who barely holds any trailer driving experience, which further increases the risk.
4. Speeding and Aggression
Overconfident drivers often drive aggressively and exceed the speed limit on empty roads. A major part of this road rage is caused by a lack of driving etiquette and a poor sense of responsibility. This can pose a major threat to other drivers and even lead to death. If you have recently been a victim of such an accident, you can file a claim and demand justice. Individuals living in North Carolina can increase their likelihood of winning their case and getting their claim by hiring a competent lawyer in their state. Pick an experienced tractor-trailer accident lawyer Charlotte to win your case. Your attorney will help you identify the liable party, hold them accountable, and claim the compensation you deserve. While you recover from your injuries, your lawyer will take care of the legal documentation and file the paperwork on your behalf.
5. Use of Alcohol or Overworking
Since driving tractor-trailers for long hours can be extremely exhausting, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has charted out some rules regarding the designated working hours for trailer drivers. According to the HOS or hour of service rules, every trailer driver must take a few hours of rest and frequent breaks when traveling long distances.
The law states that the drivers must log in to designated logbooks, which must then be reported to the concerned authorities. However, most drivers feed false timings to earn more, which, in turn, increases the driving risk. Since drivers are easily fatigued in such cases, they are unable to pay full attention to the road and lose track. Even though drinking and driving is an offense, most drivers break this rule.
The reasons mentioned above are primarily responsible for increasing the driving risk with tractor-trailers and putting the drivers’ lives in danger. Whether you are a driver of a tractor-trailer or an owner of one, you must ensure that the vehicle is driven safely. Furthermore, if you are involved in a tractor-trailer accident, you can file a claim to receive compensation for the damages sustained and spread awareness among other professionals within this discipline.