When you think of deadly motor vehicle accidents, those involving semi trucks likely come to mind. Semi trucks are huge, often weighing up to 80,000 pounds. Compare this to the average passenger vehicle, which weighs just several thousand pounds.
When the two collide, the results can be disastrous. It is not uncommon for a semi truck to cause broken bones, paralysis, head trauma and even death. Like passenger vehicles accidents, semi truck crashes can be caused by a variety of factors.
Distracted driving is a serious issue among motorists. In 2016, 3,450 people were killed by distracted driving. Cell phone use is a common form of distracted driving among all drivers. Truckers often drive for long stretches at a time and they often get bored. They may pass the time by playing on the phone, reading or eating – all which take their eyes off the road.
Fatigue is another common cause of truck accidents. Drivers are on the road for long periods of time. They are often pressured by trucking companies to work for much longer than they should in order to meet deadlines. This is an illegal practice, but it happens quite often. This often causes truck drivers to fall asleep on the road, causing serious accidents.
Drugs and alcohol can affect one’s judgment and reaction time, but many motorists still drive while intoxicated. Some truck drivers take medications to stimulate them and keep them awake for longer periods of time, but sometimes these drugs can have unintended effects and actually lead to drowsiness.
It is much easier for a truck driver to navigate the roads when the weather is clear. However, this is not always the case, particularly in the winter. Fog, rain, snow and ice can greatly impact a truck driver.
The heavy weight of the truck, combined with slower stopping speeds, can make it difficult for a truck driver to come to a stop in the event of an emergency. This often leads to hydroplaning, skidding and jackknifing.
Semi trucks need to be maintained on a regular basis – even more so than passenger vehicles. A truck driver may drive hundreds if not thousands of miles a day. This leads to an immense amount of wear and tear on a truck. Equipment and parts can go out quickly, which is why trucking companies should adhere to a strict maintenance schedule. A tire can rupture or the brakes can suddenly fail on the freeway. This can lead to deadly consequences. Truck drivers should take the time to inspect their vehicles before each trip. It could save their lives as well as the lives of others.
Taking Legal Action
Semi truck accidents can be highly complex. There are many elements and sometimes multiple parties can be at fault. It is important to seek help from a legal professional who has experience in this area of law.