While the aforementioned reasons for trucking accidents are related to the immediate acts made by truckers that resulted in the collision, the underlying causes often have to do with the negligence of trucking firms, drivers, and cargo loaders before the truck collision. Despite the hazards, many trucking firms and drivers continue to act carelessly, which increases the likelihood of trucking accidents.
Truck Driver Tiredness
The typical long-distance trucker puts in 60 hours a week and logs more than 107,000 miles annually. Trucking businesses often let or encourage drivers to break the hours of service requirements, even though their working hours are subject to them. Some truck drivers use stimulants like cocaine and amphetamines to deal with their exhaustion. According to a recent survey reported by American Addiction Centers, among respondents who drove trucks, 27.6% acknowledged using drugs; of these, 21.3% used amphetamines and 2.2% used cocaine.
Truckers Driving Dangerously
According to National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) research, truck drivers engage in or demonstrate several unsafe behaviors. According to 73% of trucker drivers, their delivery deadlines are too tight, which leads to risky driving behaviors including speeding and working longer hours. To drive after being fatigued, they also encourage drug usage.
Trucking Road Conditions That Are Hazardous
Ice, fog, failure, and torrential rain are a few examples of hazardous road conditions that may result from bad weather. Any vehicle may find it challenging to drive in these circumstances, but huge trucks with extended stopping distances are at an increased risk. The NIOSH survey, however, revealed that 24% of truck drivers “frequently” and 47% “sometimes” continued to operate their vehicles in adverse weather, when fatigued, and in congested traffic.
Truckers’ Distracted Driving
According to 2009 research, distracted driving accounts for 71% of heavy truck incidents in the US, making it the most prevalent cause of truck accidents. Within their cabs, truck drivers might be distracted by talking on the phone or sending texts, eating, using dispatching equipment, changing the radio, or reading. Notwithstanding the FMCSA’s limitations on mobile phone usage by truck drivers, which may result in penalties of up to $2,750 per driver and $11,000 per employer, distracted driving incidents are nonetheless common.
Shoddy fleet vehicle maintenance
Trucks that have been neglected may have worn brakes or tires, faulty couplings, failed wheel bearings, hub separation, damaged windscreens or mirrors, rusted axles, or other vehicle problems. Although fleet vehicles are inspected, maintained, and repaired by trucking firms, it is the truck driver’s responsibility to check the truck before traveling.
Inadequate truck driver training
According to the NIOSH survey, 38% of truck drivers reported receiving insufficient training when they first started their professions. While it is the responsibility of trucking businesses to make sure that their drivers are thoroughly screened with background checks and trained, this often fails to happen.
Truckers Under the Influence (DWI)
Truck drivers are prohibited from drinking any alcohol within four hours of operating a vehicle, are not permitted to have alcohol in the cab, and will be charged with a DWI for a BAC of 0.04% or higher (i.e., the CDL alcohol limit is half the BAC limit for regular motorists). While the prevalence of alcoholism among truck drivers is considerable and binge drinking is widespread among approximately 1 in 5 truckers, many trucking firms still accept drivers with a past DUI.
Unsecured or improperly loaded cargo
In an open flatbed truck, improperly secured goods might collapse onto the road and endanger other drivers. In a closed semi-trailer, if the weight is not distributed uniformly and the cargo is not secured, the vehicle may topple. The job of the cargo loader, trucking business, and the truck driver is to secure the goods properly. It might be difficult to determine who is responsible for an accident involving improperly secured goods, but it also leaves room for many insurance claims. For this reason, it’s crucial to retain a Dallas truck accident attorney with knowledge of trucking matters.