On average, a standard passenger vehicle weighs around 4,000 pounds. In contrast, a fully loaded tractor-trailer combination can weigh anywhere from 40,000 pounds to 80,000 pounds, even though the 40K range is more common. Needless to say, semi-trucks, whether they’re fully loaded or not, are road giants and when a car collides with a tractor-trailer, the semi-truck almost always wins. Passenger cars and trucks don’t stand a chance.
While semi-trucks can wreak havoc on America’s roadways, they are here to stay. Since we rely on them so heavily for our economy, we have to do our best to understand them so we can share the road as safely as possible with these road giants. By understanding the major causes of trucking accidents, it can help you be more alert and responsible when driving near them.
Cause #1 Driver Error
Truck drivers are human, which means they make mistakes just like anyone else. Some of the most common errors made by truckers include speeding, taking a turn too fast, texting while driving, driving while fatigued, aggressive driving, tailgating, and lack of experience. If you observe any red flags that a trucker is not driving safely, give the trucker plenty of room and stay out of their path.
Cause #2 Poorly Maintained Vehicle
Everyone should maintain their vehicles, whether they are a passenger vehicle or a large commercial truck. But unfortunately, some trucking companies fail to properly maintain their trucks and as a result, such trucks get into preventable crashes. One of the biggest cause of concern is a truck with faulty brakes. If a trucker knowingly drives a rig with safety issue, the failure to have the issue repaired can be fatal.
Cause # 3 Bad Weather
Bad weather can place any roadway user at risk. If a trucker is driving in heavy rain, on an icy road, or during a snowstorm, it can lead to deadly consequences, especially for the drivers of passenger vehicles near the truck. If a trucker loses control of the truck during poor weather conditions, it can quickly lead to a fatal crash.
In poor weather conditions, truckers need to know how to drive at appropriate speeds to avoid hydroplaning and jackknifing, but they also need to know when to pull over to the side of the road and wait until the road and weather conditions are safe enough to resume traveling. Unfortunately, some truckers decide to drive during bad weather despite the risks involved.
Need to file a truck accident claim? We urge you to contact our firm to meet with a New Jersey truck accident attorney.