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Common Causes of Truck Accidents on the Road

truck accidentsAccidents happen, even to the most experienced drivers. Truck drivers spend their days on the road, but they are as susceptible to making mistakes as any other motorist. Unlike other motorists, they have specific risks that heighten the likelihood of an accident when compared to the average driver. However, there are ways to lessen these risks. The first step to doing this is understanding what makes driving a truck riskier and what the most common sources of accidents are for truck drivers.

Depowering Front Brakes

Trucks have the potential for depowering front brakes, which other motorists are unlikely to deal with. As an effort to lessen the wear and tear on brakes, truck drivers may decide not to use their front brakes. However, using only trailer brakes and downshifting in order to stop a truck heightens the risk for an accident due to the lessened control.

Driver Fatigue

Time is money in any business but that is particularly true for truck drivers. To get to destinations on time or to make more headway, truck drivers will often forgo the necessary rest breaks they are required to take. While time logs are being designed to make that less of an option and are quickly making technological advances, there are always around any system. Fatigue is the 7th leading cause of driver-reported factors in large truck crashes, with brake problems, as described above, at number one.

Impairment

Drug use is a major problem when operating a large truck. Even prescribed medication can pose some issues when not monitored or administered properly, or when unforeseen side effects kick in. However, when a driver decides to self-medicate, the risks are even higher. In some cases, truck drivers try to take medication aimed at controlling fatigue either over the counter or illegally. These pills can make the driver feel as though they are more alert, but they don’t cure the underlying physical and mental issues beneath fatigue.

Truck companies must be prudent in testing truck drivers for illegal substances but also other medication that is not necessarily illegal but could negatively affect one’s ability to operate heavy machinery. If you have been injured by a truck driver under the influence, it may be the company you must seek damages from. Contact our team today with the details of your case to get legal advice on your claim.