All drivers on the road have an obligation to one another to drive safely and comply with the rules of the road. This applies to drivers of motorcycles, cars, semi-trucks and everything in between. Semi-truck drivers, however, are held to even higher standards than others on the road and are subject to federal regulations with which they must remain in compliance or risk losing their license and livelihood in the process. In addition to risking their job, big rig drivers risk lives when they engage in behaviors that can seriously increase the risk of a crash. While any motor vehicle accident can be serious, semi-truck accidents can very easily lead to devastating damage and injuries. This is due to the fact that these are big, heavy vehicles. The force of impact when these oversized trucks hit another vehicle can have tragic consequences for the passengers in the smaller vehicle.
Factors that Increase the Risk of a Truck Accident?
Sharing the road with an oversized truck carries inherent risks just because of the dangers posed by these large vehicles. When a truck driver engages in certain behaviors, however, the risk of a truck accident occurring can exponentially increase. Let’s take a look at some of the most prominent factors that can increase the risk of a truck accident.
For starters, fatigue is not only a big factor that can lead to a truck accident, but it is also a pretty commonly occurring one. Truck drivers can put in long hours on the road. Many drivers even push or outright violate the rules for how many hours they can put in before resting. Even those drivers within the allotted number of hours they can drive in one period of time can get fatigued. Driving for long periods of time, particularly when the scenery is stagnant or when the driving is at night, can leave a driver feeling very fatigued. Fatigue can leave a driver with slowed reaction time. Their eyes may close for extended periods of time. They are likely not going to be able to pay attention to what is going on around them if they are fatigued. This is what makes fatigued driving dangerous driving.
There are also a number of reckless driving behaviors that can greatly increase the risk of a truck accident occurring. Most prominently, this includes distracted driving. When a truck driver engages in behaviors that take their full attention away from the road, then this greatly increases the risk of an accident occurring. Distracted driving behaviors include texting while driving, eating while driving, and more. Other reckless driving behaviors that can increase the risk of a truck accident occurring include:
- Failure to make repairs
- Improper truck maintenance
- Improperly loading the truck