Common Causes for Tractor Trailer Accidents

There’s a good reason tractor trailers require a specialty license to operate them. They’re big, fast, heavy, and – in the wrong conditions – incredibly dangerous. It is estimated that 3.5 percent of all automobile accidents each year involve tractor trailers. Around 4,600 of these result in some sort of fatality. This can be due to the sheer power and size of the machines, but can also be due to user error and, of course, other outside factors that many tractor-trailer drivers face on a daily basis. Here are some of the common causes of tractor trailer accidents in the United States.

Poor Weather

Training can only get you so far when Mother Nature is involved. Anyone and everyone can and should learn good defensive driving techniques, as well as techniques for driving in inclement weather (such as steering into a spin) but if a tractor trailer driver continues on into poor weather, there’s only so much that can be done to prevent things from getting out of control. This can be due to low visibility in the case of heavy rain, snow or sleet storm, wet roads causing hydroplaning, or even the presence of black ice on the roads causing skids. The best prevention in many cases is avoidance and, of course, reduction of speed.

Suboptimal Road Conditions

Depending on where you are in the US, a combination of poor funding, bad organization and the local weather and environment are going to affect road conditions. Everything from uneven roads to potholes can be the cause of excessive wear or even the direct reason for some automobile accidents. Being aware of the roads you’ll be on ahead of time can help you plan, but slowing your speed may also be your best bet in the case of unpaved/dirt roads, or narrow driving paths.

Road and Highway Construction

We normally look at road construction as a cause of frustration or even the impetus for road rage, but what we often forget is the very reason they ask you to slow down in construction zones. They are dangerous. Not only are they often filled with pedestrians in the form of construction workers, but changing and closed lines, a lack of painted lines on the road, and competing for road space with impatient drivers can be a huge source of potential danger. Steady and attentive driving is hugely important, as is trying to find alternate routes whenever possible.

Poor Tractor Trailer Training

This might not be the most common cause, but it is concerning: some truck drivers are simply not trained enough or properly to operate their machines safely. This can often be discovered at the worst time, when an accident can be avoided, but the driver doesn’t know how to do so. Defensive driving is a huge part of learning to drive such a large vehicle.

Be Part of the Driving Ecosystem

With great truck comes great responsibility – truck drivers should drive with the responsibility those trucks require. If you’re near one, you should drive defensively in case of an accident, which could be due to something as simple and unfortunate as fatigue.

You May Also Like

About the Author: rslawoffices

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *