Car crashes involving a commercial vehicle are much more likely to result in an injury or fatality. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that out of 141,000 observed crashes involving a commercial truck, 87 percent of them were a result of driver error.
Driver error can involve a lot of different actions, including fatigue, traveling too fast and taking over-the-counter drugs before operating a vehicle. In addition to the driver making a mistake while behind the wheel, there are several other reasons why these kinds of accidents tend to happen with such frequency:
Semi-trucks need to be maintained often, mainly because these vehicles can rack up tens of thousands of miles in a short period of time. Therefore, all the components need to be regularly inspected by the driver and a mechanic.
Another factor that needs to be considered is whether the trailer was loaded properly. An improper shift while the truck is in motion can result in the driver losing control.
Illegal systems of compensation
Texas has strict laws on the books about how many hours an interstate truck driver can operate behind the wheel of a vehicle. At the most, drivers can only be on duty for 14-hours. Additionally, drivers need 10-hours off-duty before resuming another shift. These laws exist to fight driver fatigue.
However, many companies try to skirt around such laws by offering compensation for drivers who beat estimated times of arrival. Getting items delivered on-time is never worth the risk a tired driver poses to the public.
Environmental factors are the lowest common explanation for truck crashes, but they still occur with regularity. This can include the effects of harsh weather, such as rain or snow. It can also be the result of the roadways being improperly maintained.
Truckers can reduce the likelihood of an accident by always being vigilant while on the road and checking their vehicles before departing. Other drivers should be mindful of large 18-wheelers and do their best not to get caught in a trucker's blind spot.