Some of the worst accidents seen on our roadways today are caused by commercial trucks, commonly known as 18-wheelers. Due to the sheer size of these vehicles, truck accidents often result in severe injuries or death for occupants of smaller vehicles involved. It is important to understand some of the most common causes of these tragic accidents.
Truck driver fatigue is number one on the list. While measures have now been put into place that require drivers to take a mandatory break, there are still those who do not get enough quality sleep to ensure proper focus and coordination. This leads to drivers falling asleep at the wheel. Second, alcohol and drug use is sometimes found to be a factor in truck accidents. However, this does not always mean the substance was illegal. Oftentimes, prescription drugs have unexpected effects on drivers and may impair judgment or reaction times. Third, poor maintenance or driver training can become a factor.
Speed is a significant factor as well. Truck drivers are often under major time constraints to reach a destination. Occasionally, trip time is delayed due to factors such as bad weather or traffic. Once free of those hold-ups, drivers may increase speed to make up for lost time. Finally, the fifth common cause of not only truck accidents, but all accidents in general, is distracted driving. Whether texting, eating or adjusting a radio station, distractions can set off a life-altering chain of events in a split second. One of the most important matters at hand after being involved in any type of commercial truck accident is to make sure evidence is quickly preserved.