Semitrailers and large vehicles play an important role in the U.S. economy as they are responsible for the transportation of goods across the country. Truckers not only have an important job, but they are also responsible for the safe operation of large, heavy vehicles. In the event of an accident — even a low-speed collision, these trucks are capable of causing significant damage to smaller cars and trucks.
Unfortunately, some truck drivers and trucking companies do not take their responsibility seriously. They may act recklessly or negligently, resulting in crashes that cause harm to innocent individuals. Truck accidents can happen for many reasons, but the most common relate to driver behavior and other preventable factors.
Preventing these types of collisions
In order to reduce the chance of an accident occurring, it will be beneficial to first understand why they happen. Identifying common causes can be beneficial as it can lead to better safety standards, more effective driver training and increased awareness. Some of the most common reasons for truck accidents include:
- Driver training — Lack of proper training can significantly increase the chance of an accident. Truckers should know how to drive defensively, safely operate their vehicles around smaller ones and receive sufficient training before they get behind the wheel.
- Driver error — Poor decisions and negligent actions, such as speeding or distraction, can make it much more likely an accident will occur. Statistics indicate that driver error is responsible for approximately half of all truck accidents.
- Equipment problems — Poorly maintained vehicles are more likely to malfunction and lead to serious accidents. Trucks must receive careful inspection, including the brakes, lights and more, to ensure that they are working properly.
- Company negligence — Trucking companies that do not properly inspect vehicles, train truck drivers or enforce safety standards represent a danger to everyone on the road. Trucking companies are responsible for practices and policies that may pose the risk of an accident.
Other factors, such as health problems, drowsiness or substance abuse, can increase the chance of a truck accident. After a crash involving a semitrailer, a victim may benefit from seeking an understanding of the legal options available to him or her, one of which may include filing a civil claim. The trucker, as well as his or her employer, may be responsible for the results of an accident that caused harm to another motorist.