Commercial vehicles and semi-truck drivers provide a valuable service to this country by delivering the products we use every day. While these vehicles are essential, the accidents they are involved in can become deadly. Trucks have a much higher potential to deal with catastrophic injuries, so what causes these accidents?
Semi-trucks do a lot to protect the driver of the vehicle, which is why the drivers and passengers of other cars are twice as likely than the trucker to pass away after an accident involving an 18-wheeler. Everyone knows that these trucks can be dangerous, but what keeps causing these accidents?
Larger vehicles have many different blind spots than a four-door car. For semi-trucks, a car completely vanishes if it is too close to the truck’s front or back, and truckers can barely see who is immediately next to the right of their truck. If a trucker cannot see you, the chances are that they won’t know if they are about to drive into you.
Semi-trucks take between 20-40% longer than other cars to come to a complete stop. If something ahead on the road calls for a sudden halt, anything immediately in front of the vehicle is in danger of the truck crushing it. Tailgating a truck is also dangerous as rear-ending one is comparable to colliding with a brick wall.
When truckers spend too much time behind the wheel, fatigue can become a problem. It is common for truckers to take over-the-counter medicine like caffeine pills to stay awake. While these pills keep the user awake, they also make them jittery and unfocused. A fatigued driver may not see another vehicle on the road or react in time to avoid hitting them.
If a truck’s brakes, signal lights, mirrors, cameras, and windshield wipers are not fully operational, everyone is at risk. Maintaining these and other features of a vehicle is a cheap method of avoiding deadly accidents.
Driving under the influence
Caffeine pills, alcohol, and illegal substances all impair a trucker’s ability to drive. When a person under the influence of drugs operates a vehicle weighing several tons, they can cause others to suffer catastrophic injuries or wrongful death.
Avoid truck accidents
To be a better defensive driver around commercial trucks, give these vehicles the proper space. If you see signs of swerving or other erratic driving, let the truck pull ahead and away from you. Many things can cause a truck accident, but you do not have to be one of them.