As with all drivers, truck drivers have many distractions behind the wheel, including mobile phones, radio, and navigation systems. Truck drivers spend hours at a time on the road, often over the course of several days. Truck drivers may do this to satisfy outrageous schedules or to reach financial goals. The longer a truck driver is on the road, the more exhausted they become, causing the driver to be at a higher risk of distracted driving. In trying to satisfy a busy schedule, drivers may be tempted to eat or drink while driving instead of taking a break. This can take the driver’s eyes off the road and hands off the wheel, increasing their chances of causing a collision.
It’s no shock that 18-wheelers are massive in size and weight, weighing in at more than 10,000 pounds, compared to a midsize vehicle weighing in at 3,500 pounds. An average of about 5,000 trucks are involved in a fatal traffic accident each year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration census showed that over 500,000 collisions involve trucks that carry large trailers every year. Five thousand of these crashes include fatalities, while approximately 124,000 were involved in non-fatal collisions. Around 74,000 people are injured every year due to trucking accidents. While not every accident is the truck driver’s fault, here are three ways that a truck driver may be responsible for your accident.
1. Semi-Trucks Not Be Prepared for Safe Travel
Trucking companies too often ignore safety regulation standards set by state and federal guidelines to minimize dangerous travel. This can include things such as defective brakes, broken headlights, improper/overweight loads, and tire failures, to name a few.
2.Truck Drivers Can Become Easily Distracted
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that an estimated 11,000 truck crashes nationwide involved distractions, and an average of 70 percent of large-truck crashes occurred when the truck driver was doing something besides driving the truck. These distractions can include fatigue, outside objects, eating/drinking, texting, and even smoking.
3.Operator Errors and Trucking Company Negligence
NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) 2017 census of fatal crashes involving semi-trucks reviews several examples of operator negligence due to errors such as lane deviation, driving haphazardly in poor road conditions, driving while distracted, driver fatigue and other negligent actions by third party groups and equipment manufacturers.
The West Virginia accident attorneys at Manchin Injury Law have experience investigating and determining tractor-trailer collisions and who is at fault. Many causative issues contribute to you or a loved one’s injuries sustained in a tractor-trailer collision. If you or a loved one discovers yourself the victim of negligence, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation. We are always here to help.