Accidents involving large, commercial delivery trucks (semis, 18-wheelers) often prove devastating for all those involved. The average semi with freight on board can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. This is about 20 times the size of a standard car, truck or SUV. With that weight disparity, fender-benders can cause serious injuries, side swipes can be life-altering and serious collisions can be deadly. Unfortunately, it’s hard to know what the trucker in the big rig next to you is going through or if his vehicle is in adequate condition. Daily driving is not easy, and when you add large commercial vehicles to the mix, an extra set of caution and awareness is required.
There are a number of reasons why catastrophic trucking accidents happen. The personal injury attorneys at McIntyre Thanasides Bringgold Elliott Grimaldi & Guito, P.A. are providing this list of the top causes for these accidents. This list is meant to bring awareness to drivers on our roadways and encourage precautionary driving when encountering large commercial delivery vehicles.
Unrealistic and dangerous expectations placed on truck drivers
This is likely the largest reason for catastrophic trucking accidents because it feeds into some of the other factors in these accidents. Trucking companies often put strict, unrealistic deadlines on their drivers to make deliveries. Some companies pay drivers per load delivered. This creates an environment in which drivers are encouraged to drive faster and longer to make the maximum amount of money. These drivers are less rested and are driving recklessly. This is a recipe for disaster.
The health of many truckers
As mentioned in the previous section, many truckers have unrealistic and dangerous expectations placed on them. They often continue driving when they are mandated to take a rest. This compromises their health, leads to fatigue and places a vehicle, weighing tens of thousands of pounds, in the hands of a physically impaired individual. A recent study found that a driver who has been awake for 18 hours has the impairment level of someone with a blood alcohol concentration of .05.
To combat high levels of fatigue, many drivers turn to stimulants to give them a boost. However, these drugs affect mood and decision-making ability.
Also, a study commissioned by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration indicated that as many as 27 percent of all commercial truck drivers have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can severely impact driving performance by dramatically increasing fatigue.
For truckers, the drive is long, often as many as 14 hours per shift from some drivers. The monotony leads many to engage in activities that can distract them. Cell phone use, watching videos, eating are all activities that can take drivers away from focused driving and lead to accidents.
Equipment Failure as a cause of trucking accidents
Proper maintenance of large vehicles is critical. However, there are a number of items that can malfunction and if they do, it can lead to a major accident. Also, issues with worn tires or faulty brakes can prove deadly.
If you or a loved one is the victim of a catastrophic trucking accident, you world has likely been turned upside down. Let us help. The Tampa personal injury attorneys at McIntyre Thanasides Bringgold Elliott Grimaldi & Guito, P.A. are well experienced in these cases and can build a strategy to get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at 844-511-4800.