Well, we all know that commercial trucks or 18-wheelers are heavier than passenger vehicles, which is the primary reason why truck accidents usually result in severe bodily injuries or even fatalities. Trucks are so frequent in the US that the possibility of encountering an accident is relatively high. Truck accidents in the US happen most of the time because of reckless drivers and sometimes acts of god. The injuries and damages that victims suffer can be severe and financially upsetting.
What do the statistics state?
In the US the trucking industry is constantly increasing even though faster, and your modes of transport already exist. Transportation through trucks is one of the most sought-after ways to get goods carried across the United States. Read any statistics website about truck accidents in the US, and you will see that the numbers are terrifying. There are different types of trucks handling diverse purposes of transportation. From tractor-trailers, garbage trucks, flatbed trucks, tanker trucks to heavy hauler trucks, car carriers, cement mixtures, the increase of trucks on the roadways has caused the industry to gain massive recognition over the years.
However, the rise in this number has led to an increase in the likelihood of a collision involving trucks, causing catastrophic damage to whoever is involved. According to a report published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 2018 encountered an almost 51 % rise in the number of truck accidents resulting in a fatal crash. In the US more than 4000 people die in large truck crashes. Moreover, 74% of truck accidents involve large-sized trucks, and 68% of fatalities orchid to passenger vehicle occupants. The statistics are indeed scary, and there are different causes of it.
The common causes of truck collisions in the US that you should know about
Speeding, one of the most well-known reasons for truck accidents, has been one of the primary reasons for casualties since 2009. Several trucking companies have speed trackers on company vehicles. But not all company vehicles are equipped with this technology. When compared to passenger vehicles, trucks are much larger, making them more dangerous for truck drivers. This is primarily because larger vehicles react more slowly to a sudden change in direction or speed. Moreover, truck drivers have less control once they build momentum when another car appears in front of it. Nevertheless, it can result in a personal injury accident.
Similar to speeding, distracted driving is equally dangerous and illegal if not a reckless action. Truck drivers who take their eyes off the road even for a few moments or text and call while driving can cause property damage thousands of dollars and multiple fatalities. In the United States, over 11,000 trucks are involved in accidents arising from distracted driving. And almost 3000 trucks are estimated to be in an accident caused by texting or eating.
Generally, trucks travel long routes, and truck drivers are on the road for or a longer time, keeping them in a hurry. It may be to make deliveries or time or to cut short the long-distance, truck drivers are often prone to road rage. If and when they fail to take the right way, drive too close to another driver, try cutting another driver off, they make themselves vulnerable to serious accidents.
There are a few regulations that trucking companies need to follow. One among them is the truck driving regulation that does not permit a truck driver to drive more than 11 hours at a stretch without a break in between. Given the long routes that trucks generally have to cover, drivers are obligated to take a ten-hour break and cannot drive more than 70 hours in eight days. Drowsy driving is even more dangerous for passenger vehicle drivers as fatigued truck drivers can be hard to avoid on the road, especially on the highways. Fatigued driving is a major cause of truck collisions in the US following drunken driving.
Driving under influence
It is indeed a fact that far too many truck drivers drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. As per the road regulations drinking and driving is prohibited for all vehicles for a reason. Therefore, operating an 18 wheeler under the influence of substance is nothing but reckless. Drunk driving solutions lead to life-altering injuries and wrongful death of individuals who might have no liability in such accidents.
Tricky road constructions
Another common cause of truck accidents is drivers encountering difficult road construction situations. Truck drivers may attempt to cut off around the road construction through a median, causing them to either flip or cause a collision with another passenger vehicle. When coupled with insufficient driver training, difficult roads can make the situation even more dangerous. Truck drivers usually need to go through a mandatory licensing program to ensure that they can handle difficult situations on the road. Other drivers may not be responsible for poor truck drivers, but they can often fall victim to such issues.
Severe weather conditions
In the US, accidents resulting from severe weather conditions are a major cause of fatalities. Poor weather not only reduces visibility but also makes it challenging for truck drivers to control their vehicles. Such an act of nature is not under anyone’s control. This is why it is important for trucking companies or owners to get their trucks covered for collision through an insurance company.
Commercial truck insurance
While some instances that lead to truck collisions are man-made, others may be an act of God. For the latter, there’s always collision insurance that offers coverage to commercial trucks. If and when the vehicle is destroyed or damaged in a crash or other driving accident resulting from improper truck maintenance. Collision insurance is a way to reduce uncertainty and risk through uncalled weather conditions on highways and roads.
The instances discussed above are some of the leading causes of truck accidents in the US. Whether the truck driver was negligent or there was poor lighting and severe weather conditions, being involved in a truck accident is nothing less than chromatic. However, there are certain ways through which truck companies can protect themselves from liability claims and victims from suffering financial losses.