Main Causes of Truck Accidents and Injury Severity

If you have ever been involved in a tractor-trailer accident or know someone who has been, then you realize how bad truck injuries can be. Reasons such as truck weight, driver fatigue, and overtaking contribute to accidents and to the severity of injuries. Consult a tractor trailer injury attorney to discuss compensation for your injuries, pain, and suffering.

Truck Accidents and Injury Severity

Truck Weight

A typical passenger car weighs about 4,000 pounds. In comparison, a big rig tips the scales at more than 30,000 pounds. When two objects of vastly different weights collide, it’s the people in the lighter vehicle who are probably going to be affected more.

Then there is improper cargo loading. Truckers and companies do not always comply with regulations for weight, size, height, length, and width, even for hazardous materials. Cargo that is improperly loaded can make a truck even heavier or likelier to tip over.

Driver Fatigue

Despite laws and regulations governing rest, truck drivers are often tired. Companies push and push them to meet deadlines. Frequently, drivers must skip sleep to make a delivery in time, especially with unpredictable obstacles such as road closures or accidents causing slowly moving traffic.

Driver Distraction

Distracted driving is a huge problem for all types of drivers. It can be especially so for truckers seeking ways to stay awake or entertained. Truckers often drive in rural areas for long distances and do not always have good radio signals. It can be a struggle for them to constantly concentrate on the road.

In fact, some use alcohol and drugs such as cocaine and amphetamines for stimulation to stay awake. New drug testing rules implemented a few years ago have contributed to truck driver shortages (although it is obvious truckers using drugs have no business driving in the first place). From January 2020 to November 2021, about 72,000 truckers were yanked from the roads for failing random drug tests

Overtaking and Speeding

Tired, harried, and stressed truck drivers do not always make the best decisions. Many are under extreme pressure to make a delivery on time and do not give a second thought to speeding or overtaking cars. These are dangerous situations for drivers of cars, who may swerve or act against their best interests in an effort to quickly dodge an oncoming truck. Accidents are a common result.

Lack of Training and Truck Maintenance

All too frequently, new truck drivers hit the road without having fully completed their training requirements. That is bad enough in itself, but factor in, say, heavy rain or snow, and it’s the recipe for an accident. Trucks are huge vehicles and require plenty of experience for people to learn to drive and navigate safely in them.

Moreover, trucking companies are supposed to inspect the vehicles before each trip. Inspections and maintenance require costs that the businesses do not always want to pay.

A collision between a truck and a passenger car often results in more serious injuries to people in the car than if the collision was between two passenger cars. That’s due to factors such as truck weight and speed, driver distraction, and driver fatigue

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