The Primary Causes of Trucking Accidents
While most truckers are highly trained and responsible drivers, a select few cause serious and sometimes fatal accidents. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), some of the main causes of truck accidents are as follows:
- Speeding. A truck takes much longer than a passenger vehicle to stop. If a trucker exceeds the speed limit, they may not be able to stop in time to avoid an accident.
- Driving while fatigued. According to federal law truckers are limited in terms of the amount of time they can drive per day. A trucker who ignores these requirements often because of pressure to complete a delivery may cause serious and sometimes fatal accidents without the right amount of rest to safely operate a truck. A trucker suffering from fatigue has a reduced reaction time, which is a common cause of trucking accidents.
- Drug use. Truckers are required to drive for long distances, which can influence some to take medications to help them stay awake.
- Distractions. Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of accidents. Truckers, like any other driver, sometimes fall prey to distractions such as using a cellphone, eating and drinking.
- Mechanical issues. According to the FMCSA, twenty percent of trucks did not pass a roadside inspection as a result of violating a vehicle safety standard back in 2016. Common violations include not having operable lamps on a truck, a failure to repair and maintain a truck, not having had a recent inspection, brakes that fail, and degraded tires.
- Cargo issues. If a truck is improperly loaded or exceeds the maximum weight limits, it could suddenly shift and fall out of the truck, potentially leading to a serious accident.
- Violating safety rules. Both Georgia state law and federal law impose strict requirements for operating large 18-wheelers. A violation of these laws could lead to serious and sometimes fatal accidents.
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