Despite many advances in safety equipment, research shows that truck accidents continue to go up. This is an important subject for everyone on the road, as truck accidents tend to result in more serious injuries than a regular car accident.
Technological advances can only do so much, which is why experts have started looking for reasons behind the high rate of truck accidents, as well as possible ways to reduce the number of tractor-trailer crashes on highways.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a truck accident, you have important legal rights. Because truck accidents involve many complex legal issues, it’s important for you to discuss all of your options with an experienced truck wreck lawyer.
Studies Show Truck Accidents Have Increased
While car accident rates have gone down over the years, the number of truck accidents has climbed steadily upward. According to a report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), there were more than 3,800 truck-related fatalities in 2015, which is a 22 percent increase since 2009.
Why Truck Accidents Happen
Although truck accidents can happen for a number of different reasons, the experts who research truck safety are always looking for reasons why the rate of accidents has gone up. Research has shown that truck accidents occur due to a number of driver behaviors and, in some cases, certain types of technology.
Just like any other motorist, truck drivers can be distracted by phones, the radio, or even navigation systems. Any time a driver’s eyes or attention is off the road, there’s a potential for a serious accident to occur.
According to a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a driver’s risk of being involved in a crash doubles after taking their eyes off the road for two seconds.
Under federal law, truck drivers are only permitted to use hands-free devices behind the wheel. However, studies show that even hands-free technology can be distracting for a driver, as it takes a driver’s focus off the task of driving.
The reality is that most people can’t multitask. Instead of performing two tasks at once, the brain rapidly switches between the two tasks, and never fully concentrates on one or the other.
Truck Driver Fatigue
Truckers often work long hours, with little opportunity to get the rest they need. Although federal law limits how long a trucker can drive without mandatory rest periods, the reality is that many trucking companies push their drivers to bend or break the rules.
In trucking, time is money, and delays can result in serious financial consequences. Unfortunately, some trucking companies put the burden on their drivers, which can lead to catastrophic truck accidents
Many truckers follow the same route week after week. However, construction, traffic, and detours can sometimes force a truck driver to travel an unfamiliar route. As anyone who has ever driven in an unfamiliar city knows, finding your way around a new area can make you distracted behind the wheel and also lead to accidents.
Semi-trucks have a lot of systems and moving parts. Additionally, it’s extremely important for truck drivers to ensure that the loads they’re carrying inside the truck’s trailer are properly balanced. An unbalanced load or a sudden mechanical problem can cause a trucker to lose control. In some cases, a shifting load can even cause a truck to jackknife, putting other motorists in danger.
Many motorists don’t like to drive near semi-trucks, and they might make dangerous maneuvers to get around one. These dangerous maneuvers can put the trucker and the motorist in danger, as trucks have blind spots on all four sides of the truck. When a motorist weaves in and out of traffic or cuts off a truck by merging in front of one, they can cause a serious accident.
Motorists can reduce their risk of being involved in a truck accident by maintaining plenty of space between their vehicle and the semi-truck. It’s also best to avoid driving right next to a truck for an extended period of time, as truckers usually can’t see a car that is driving right next to the truck’s trailer.
Unqualified Truck Drivers
To obtain a commercial driver’s license, an individual must past specific tests. However, it’s up to trucking carriers and trucking schools to ensure the coursework and testing procedures satisfy federal and state requirements. Without a great deal of oversight, there are cases in which an unqualified driver is permitted to get behind the wheel of a semi-truck. There have been many cases in which a trucker’s license was only revoked after the trucker caused a serious accident.
Working with a Dallas Truck Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, it’s important to speak with a Dallas truck accident lawyer. These types of cases are usually more complicated than a regular car accident case. An experienced truck accident lawyer will explain your options and help you make informed decisions about your case.
Dallas Truck Accident Attorney Zachary Herbert
T: (214) 414-3808