8 Major Cause of Truck Accidents along the Highways

Motor accidents are dangerous, but an accident from a heavily loaded vehicle is catastrophic and may cause severe injuries and deaths. Truck accidents are on the rise along the highways, and it’s time drivers and truck companies work together to end this problem.

Causes of Truck Accidents

1. Distractions while Driving

Phone usage especially texting and browsing, are the significant distractors to drivers on the road. Others are distracted by phone calls which makes them lose concentration and miss an oncoming vehicle while overtaking. In few instances, some drivers cause accidents while trying to reach a radio which takes their eyes off the road.

2. Poor Vehicle Maintenance

Trucks go for long distances, and it’s, therefore, necessary to undergo mechanical checkups regularly. A study conducted showed that 55 % of trucks involved in the accident had either one or more mechanical issues. The typical mechanical problems are; worn out or inflated tires, malfunctioning brakes, lack of safety equipment, etc. However, if a truck has the above faults, the ones liable should be the truck company, the mechanic, and the truck’s manufacturer.

3. Speeding and Reckless Overtaking

Truck drivers may be forced to drive faster to meet the employer’s deadline. A truck is a heavy vehicle, and it is hard to control it in case of an emergency when at a higher speed—also, overtaking at sharp corners while speeding can cause an accident.

4. Driver’s Fatigue

In most cases, the truck company is to blame for the driver’s fatigue. These companies require drivers to deliver goods within a stipulated time, and thus they lack time to rest or get enough sleep. As a result, the driver may sleep while driving or lose coordination on the road. However, there are set laws on how many hours a driver can take on one shift, but the truck companies do not follow that since they are after making a profit.

5. Use of Drugs and Alcohol

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drug is a significant cause of truck accidents. The commonly abused drugs are marijuana and cocaine, making the driver stay awake for long and compel them to overtake carelessly and drive at high speed. But once the stimulants wear off, the driver may even fall asleep at the wheel, causing a severe accident.

6. Bad Weather

As much as truck drivers ignore lousy weather, it is still a significant cause of road accidents. However, drivers can prevent such accidents if they follow the traffic rules and drive at appropriate speed on wet roads when there’s snow, hail, ice, etc. The situation may worsen if the driver drives at night or on hilly terrain.

7. Inappropriate Cargo Loading

According to the regulations, every load should strictly adhere to the correct size, width, and length limits. For trucks carrying hazardous materials, the rules are stricter since they can catch fire and cause destruction. Therefore, companies should avoid overloading their vehicles to prevent them from losing control and rolling over. Also, cargo should be stacked properly to avoid falling on the highway and causing accidents.

8. Lack of Proper Training

Driver’s error caused by lack of good training is the number one cause for truck accidents. Some drivers undertake fewer hours of training required to drive a commercial vehicle. According to the U.S Department of Transportation report, trucks move more freight than they used to some years back. The increased freight volume and driver shortages have prompted companies to employ less experienced drivers, likely to cause an accident.

Lastly, if you get involved in a truck accident, check if there are any causalities and take them to the hospital. If you are hurt, seek medical care and consult a truck accident attorney to follow up on injury compensation.

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