In 2014, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) found that almost 4,000 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes that year. In addition to the 4,000 fatalities, an even more staggering number of 111,000 were injured in accidents involving trucks or buses. In this blog, our Columbia truck accident attorney discusses the top 5 most common reasons truck accidents happen on the road.
Time can be a most sinister enemy for truck drivers on the road. Despite trucking regulations, some companies place unrealistic deadlines on their trucking staff. Many truck drivers feel pressured to meet these deadlines by driving faster than the posted speed limits. Trucks going over the designated speed limit could cause accidents on the highway should they need to slow down quickly.
Studies have shown that in the span of the two or three seconds you take your eyes off the road to check your text messages, email or Facebook, you have traveled the length of at least of a football field. So many things can happen in that small window of time. Whether the driver was distracted by changing the station on the radio, eating a meal or texting, distracted driving is a deadly habit.
Commercial drivers are held to a higher standard for drinking and driving; the law requires them to blow a 0.04% or lower on a breathalyzer. In some cases, that could be as little alcohol as a glass of wine or beer. Drugged driving is another widespread problem amongst commercial truck drivers. In a study published in Reuters, a research team surveyed truck drivers from the U.S., Australia, Brazil, Europe and Scandinavia about their drug use. When asked, 30 percent of the drivers admitted to using amphetamines. Amphetamines are popular amongst truck drivers as they can help drivers stay awake, but they a can also cause vertigo, anger, hallucinations and altered perceptions and reaction time.
4.Poor Weather Conditions
Often weather conditions can cause trucking accidents on the road. Heavy rains and snow have been reported as leading causes of accidents due to the fact the braking distance is increased even further for large trucks. Many drivers do not account for this while driving in the rain, which can cause accidents should the highway traffic come to a quick stop.
5.Changing Lanes without Signaling
Driving signals are the only way to indicate your intentions to another driver, yet so many drivers on the road fail to use them. Due to their size, trucks are more difficult to maneuver around; meaning there could be dire consequences should a truck unexpectedly merge into a lane.
INJURED BY A RECKLESS TRUCK DRIVER?
Car accidents involving trucks can leave their victims fatally injured or with life-altering injuries. If you or your loved one has suffered significant injuries due to the actions of a negligent truck driver, the experienced Columbia truck accident attorneys of Gump & Faiella may be able to help you. Call to schedule your free consultation.