The trucking industry plays a vital role in the U.S. economy, hauling nearly 10 billion tons of freight annually. While the industry has seen a decrease in accidents over the past few years, there has been a recent uptick in commercial truck accidents. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) data shows that large truck and bus accidents have increased by 50% over the past decade. So what could be behind this increase? Several factors may be contributing to the rise in accidents, including:
1. Poorly Trained or Inexperienced Drivers
Another factor in commercial truck accidents is often poorly trained or inexperienced drivers. Some trucking companies cut corners when training their drivers, which can result in accidents.
In addition, some truckers may be inexperienced and lack the skills necessary to operate their vehicles safely. This can be especially dangerous if driving in adverse weather conditions or on unfamiliar roads. If you have been involved in an accident with a commercial truck, you must speak with a truck wreck attorney who can help you understand your legal rights and options. Truck accidents can be complex, and the trucking company may try to deny responsibility. An experienced attorney will fight for you and help you get your deserved compensation.
2. Increase in Number of Trucks on the Road
The trucking industry has steadily increased the number of trucks to meet the increasing demand for goods. Unfortunately, the increase of commercial trucks is a major factor in the rise in accidents. With more trucks on the road, there is a greater chance for accidents to occur.
What’s more, most interstate highways were not designed to accommodate the volume of traffic we see today. This can lead to congestion and accidents. Trucks involved in accidents often cause serious injuries or even death due to their size and weight.
3. Distracted Driving
As we all know, distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents across all vehicle types. But it’s an incredibly significant problem for commercial truck drivers. That’s because they spend long hours on the road and can often become fatigued, leading to distraction.
Three main types of distractions can lead to truck accidents:
- Visual: Taking your eyes off the road
- Manual: Taking your hands off the wheel
- Cognitive: Not being mentally focused on driving
All three types of distractions can be potentially dangerous for truck drivers. And with the rise of technology, there are more opportunities for distraction than ever before. From cell phones to GPS devices to in-truck entertainment systems, there are several ways that truckers can become distracted while behind the wheel.
4. Poorly Maintained Vehicles
Some trucking companies may skimp on maintenance or put off repairs for their vehicles to save on costs. But this can be a major safety hazard and is often a contributing factor in commercial truck accident attorney in Denver.
Poorly maintained trucks can have several safety issues, including:
- Tires that are bald or have insufficient tread
- Brakes that are worn or not properly functioning
- Lights that are out or not working properly
- Mirrors that are cracked or dirty
Any of these issues can increase the risk of an accident. And when trucks are involved, the consequences can be severe. That’s why it’s so important for trucking companies to ensure that their vehicles are properly maintained and repaired promptly.
5. Unsafe Driving Practices
Several unsafe driving practices can lead to accidents, including speeding, tailgating, and making improper lane changes. But these practices are prevalent among commercial truck drivers.
Truckers often feel pressure to meet tight deadlines and may be tempted to speed to make up time. But this can be incredibly dangerous for the trucker and other motorists on the road. Speeding is a leading cause of accidents involving large trucks.
Tailgating is another unsafe practice that is all too common among truck drivers. A truck following another vehicle too closely increases the risk of an accident as there is less time for the trucker to react if the car in front breaks suddenly.
Improper lane changes are also a major concern. Truckers need to be extra careful when changing lanes, as their large size and weight make it more difficult to maneuver. If a trucker makes an improper lane change, it can lead to a severe accident.
6. Overloaded or Improperly Loaded Trucks
Overloaded or improperly loaded trucks are another major cause of accidents. When a truck is overloaded, it can be challenging to control and may lead to accidents. Improperly loaded trucks can also be unstable and tip over, leading to accidents.
In addition, if the load on a truck is not properly secured, it can shift during transit and fall off the car, causing an accident. This is particularly dangerous if the load falls into the path of another vehicle.
If you have been involved in an accident with a commercial truck, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages. An experienced personal injury lawyer can assess your case and help you understand your legal options.