Top Causes of 18-Wheeler Accidents
Everyone who goes on the road has a responsibility to be careful and aware of their surroundings. This is true for everyone from big-rig drivers to pedestrians. However, people operating an 18-wheeler or commercial vehicle must take extra precaution when driving. Because of the size and impact of the vehicle, trucking accidents can cause extensive damage and even death.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there is an increase in truck accidents, with even more deaths than in the past. They report that an average of 697 people die in big-rig accidents, while another 25,000 are injured. With such high rates, it might leave some wondering what causes such catastrophes. While each case is different, there are some commonalities between the crashes.
Impaired and Distracted Driving
Drivers have a responsibility to always focus on the road while driving. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Distractions such as texting or passengers can cause a driver to turn attention away from the road. Driving while drunk or fatigued can also cause a person to lose concentration on operating their truck. These can lead to serious accidents with catastrophic effects.
Truck Driver Error
Sometimes it is the driver’s fault for a crash. They can be inclined to drive over the speed limit or recklessly in order to meet a deadline or get to their destination quicker. This can leave them unprepared for dealing with any sudden stops or cause them to lose control of the truck.
Negligence of Trucking Company
Trucking companies have a duty to employ qualified individuals and follow strict guidelines to keep both drivers and others on the road safe. However, this does not always happen. Some companies hire individuals without thoroughly checking their qualifications and training first. Other companies ignore the rules of only allowing drivers to drive a certain amount of hours. Finally, trucking companies may also not maintain safe trucks, causing accidents to occur in the future.
Manufacturers can make mistakes causing a truck to be unsafe to drive. Unfortunately, these vehicles still make it onto the market and onto the road. In a similar vein, trucks need to regularly be serviced to ensure that things like the brakes and steering work. When this does not happen, it can lead to serious accidents.
Overloaded and Loose Cargo
All trucks have a certain weight capacity they can carry; anything over that can be dangerous. If drivers do load cargo that exceeds the limit, it can impair the vehicle from performing as it should. In the same light, cargo needs to be secured. If it becomes loose, it can fall onto the road and cause crashes.
Any 18-wheeler accident can be dangerous and deadly. If you or a loved one has been injured in such a catastrophic crash and it was not your fault, you can be eligible for compensation. Contact our Florida trucking accident attorneys for a free consultation. We will fight for you!