As a car driver, you may feel a shiver down your spine every time a truck breezes past you. While tractor-trailers have an essential role to play in keeping the country supplied, they can be terrifying to share the road with.
Driver error is responsible for many truck crashes
Truck crashes happen for many reasons. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) launched an investigation last year into why fatal truck crashes have risen by over 50% since 2009. While the results will take some time, they will likely show that, as in previous studies, driver error plays a significant role.
Driving a tractor-trailer takes skill, and even a tiny driver mistake can lead to a devastating crash. Here are some of the most common driver errors:
- The driver was exhausted: Trucking companies work their drivers hard. Fleet owners successfully lobbied the government to change the rules last year so that they could force their drivers to work even longer hours and take fewer rests.
- The driver was distracted: When someone is driving all day long, they do not have the free moments that most of us have to do things such as ringing the bank, talking to the children before bed or grabbing a snack. Thus, they might have been doing one of these things when they crashed instead of concentrating on the road.
- The driver did not allow for the conditions: The term “a freak gust of wind” is misleading. Truck drivers have access to in-depth weather forecasts that tell them when to expect high winds or other potentially dangerous weather. They should adapt their route and driving to account for this.
If you are involved in a truck crash, seek legal help to discover the true cause of the crash and claim adequate compensation.