Why And How Do Trucking Accidents Happen?
Every day, we share the road with large, commercial trucks that far outweigh the vehicles that we are driving in. These trucks seem to operate the same way as our cars, but they in fact do not—there is a skill to operating these rigs, and when they are operated incorrectly, catastrophe can be the result.
Greed and Mistakes
The biggest threat from large, 18-wheeler-type trucks, is simply greed, and human error.
The greed comes from companies that put drivers on the road for longer than they should be driving. Often, drivers are not provided breaks or rests, even though laws say that they need to be provided with such rest periods. Many are given bonuses or promotions for getting product where it needs to be quicker, providing an incentive to drive over allowable time limits.
Pursuant to federal law, trucks and truck drivers are required to log when the driver is driving and when the driver is resting, to ensure that drivers are not on the road longer than they are allowed to be. However, many companies continue to ignore these regulations.
The greed also comes from payloads, which often are heavier than what the vehicle should be carrying. Additionally, the payload can be loaded into the truck unevenly or improperly. Sometimes, the driver doesn’t even know how the payload is in the truck, as it is loaded on by other workers. All of these problems can lead to the vehicle being unstable, and tipping over on hills or turns.
No Room for Sickness
Drivers depend on being on the road, as it is how they make a living. However, many companies are not willing to accommodate drivers who may have medical conditions, or who may be taking medicines that make it unsafe for them to drive. This can lead to drivers being under the influence of prescription medicine, or simply not being in the physical condition needed to safely operate a truck for extended hours.
A truck’s mechanical parts, such as brakes, need to be much heavier and more complex than the brakes on our vehicles. As such, they need to be serviced by mechanics with specialties with this kind of machinery. In an effort to shave costs, many companies may not properly maintain their trucks, or may use mechanics who aren’t trained to service commercial trucks.
Differences in Operation
Even the way the truck drives is different than a car. For example, a truck, because of its size, can’t make the tight right turn that your car can make. That requires a driver to swerve out into oncoming traffic, in order to provide enough space to make a safe right turn. If that is done improperly, accidents can and do happen.
A truck needs to allow for more time when emergency braking. The truck’s size and weight don’t allow for it to make the shorter stops that your car makes.
Were you injured by a truck, or in an accident involving a tractor trailer or 18-wheeler? Call the Knoxville personal injury lawyers at Fox Farley Willis & Burnette, PLLC, today.