Big rig trucks, semis and 18-wheelers are particularly dangerous when they become involved in an auto accident simply due to their sheer size and mass. Passenger vehicles tend to take the brunt of these collisions, which often prove deadly. If you have been involved in a trucking accident, call us for a consultation at (404) 343-2441.
DID YOU KNOW: Over 15 million trucks are driving on the road in any given year, and in that time there are over 400,000 truck accidents leading to over 100,000 injuries.
What are some of the main causes of car-vs-truck accidents?
- Speeding: When a truck driver speeds in order to meet a deadline, he or she is acting recklessly. Attempting to move an ~80,000 pound road monster faster then the speed limit is never a good idea. It is very hard to stop when you have that much weight and mass behind you.
- Heavy Payloads: When a trucker is carrying an unusually heavy load, then it is that much harder to stop the vehicle. Heavy loads can also compromise the balance of the truck. Furthermore, when the loaded-down truck does hit another car, the damage is far more severe. Flatbed trucks and tanker trucks are notorious for this, but dump trucks and garbage trucks are often just as bad.
- Lack of Maintenance: Maintaining heavy trucks is a necessity if one hopes to avoid mechanical failure. If a truck is not properly maintained, even the safest driver in the world is at a much greater risk of causing an accident. All it takes for one horrific accident to happen is for a single element (such as the brakes or the suspension system) to fail.
- Lack of Sleep: Truckers are only human and when they are overworked or sleep-deprived, they make mistakes. It’s important to realize that many experienced truckers are paid by the mile they travel, and thus want to push their bodies to the limit to earn a better paycheck. When they sleep, they lose out. Therefore, many truck drivers actually push themselves too far and end up falling asleep on the job (very dangerous when driving a 40-ton vehicle)! The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) already allows truckers to drive as much as 11 hours at a time, and some truckers are now lying about their schedules and falsifying hours-of-service records in order to appease their bosses or increase their pay.
- Highway Hypnosis: This condition refers to a sort of trance-like state that occurs after a driver goes thousands of miles watching the same monotonous road scenery. Eventually a driver can zone out and fail to register minor visual details which defensive drivers must catch to avoid a collision.
- Blind Spots: One of the first thing new drivers learn when taking a driving test is to avoid the truck driver’s blind spot. Most mirror systems on trucks do not allow the trucker a full view of the area behind them. Loud engine noise also tends to drown out any honks from concerned motorists. This makes it very easy for them to accidentally sideswipe another motorist.
- Carelessness or Recklessness: Last, but not least, some truckers just have a negligent attitude and think that every other motorist should yield to them because of their massive size. Not everyone can — and the results can be deadly.
If you have been involved in a trucking accident, call us for a consultation at (404) 343-2441.