Truck drivers have one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. There are many factors that they have to deal with while they are driving. From truck maintenance to traffic congestion, truck drivers have to make safety a top priority. Unfortunately, there are still thousands of semi-truck accidents and fatalities every year. Many accidents were caused by common factors. Here are the dangerous causes of semi-truck accidents.
Speeding To Meet Deadlines
Many truck drivers who speed to meet deadlines can cause deadly accidents. By driving faster than the flow of normal traffic, these drivers put themselves and everyone else on the road at risk. Since the truck usually weight several times more than other vehicles, truck drivers should be driving within the speed limit. However, when truck operate on deadlines that are too tight, they end up speeding. In the past, this has led to preventable truck accidents. It is up to the trucking companies and drivers to create manageable and safe timelines for deliveries.
Lack Of Driver Training
Despite what most people think, truck drivers must undergo a significant amount of training. In addition to obtaining a CDL license, trucking companies usually provide additional resources and safety information. According to the Girardi | Keese website, a truck accident lawyer, “Truck drivers and companies are required to follow strict federal safety guidelines.” Companies must ensure that drivers follow these guidelines through proper training. Additionally, truck drivers in reputed companies might be required to complete a defensive driving course. If a novice truck driver is not properly trained, they could end up making a costly mistake on the road. In many instances, newer truck drivers have caused accidents due to inadequate training. Ways to help this include using DOT compliance services to provide fleets with proper expectations around safety and compliance.
Road Traffic Conditions
It is a common misconception that many of these fatalities are due to driving in bad weather. In fact, trucks drive fairly well in the rain or snow because of their tires. Most of the accidents or fatalities reported take place during the summer months. This is because more people are on the road, and there is a lot more traffic. People also tend to cut in front of trucks, thinking that they move slower than other cars. But because of the intense weight carried by trucks, they are not able to break as fast as cars, causing accidents. In fact, large trucks weigh 20-30 times more than passenger vehicles which takes much longer to stop. When there is more traffic on the road, passenger cars can increase the chances of an accident.
Poor Sleep Patterns
One thing that all truckers struggle with is poor sleep patterns. Truck drivers work extensive hours, and they can range between different times throughout the day. Because of this, these drivers work with inconsistent sleep schedules. Drivers also tend to take less sleep breaks because they are not getting paid when they are not driving. This lack of sleep greatly affects how a person drives and could make the truck driver liable in an accident. It also negatively affects the person’s health. While being a truck driver is already a stressful job, doing it with sleep deprivation increases an individual’s sensitivity to stress. These poor sleep patterns greatly contribute to the dangers of being a truck driver.
Loading And Unloading Locations
Additionally, many truck accidents happen at loading stations. Truckers that help load or unload their truck commonly get injured by equipment on the docks. Other loading stations may be in dangerous areas. There have been some cases in which drivers have been hurt due to unsafe factors of the areas they are delivering to. Even truck stops can be dangerous. While the drivers are walking to or from their trucks, they need to keep a look out for other trucks in the area. If they were to walk in the blind spot of another driver, they could get seriously injured. These specific working conditions can greatly affect the driver during their jobs.
Overall, trucking is seen as one of the most dangerous jobs because of the high number of fatalities. There are many factors that contribute to truck accidents. Firstly, speeding with a truck is very dangerous. If an inexperienced truck driver does not have enough training, they could cause an accident. Depending on the time of year, traffic congestion is another cause for major truck accidents. On a personal level, drivers have to sleep properly and exercise caution at loading areas. These are contributing factors to accidents that could be avoided.