One of the most serious types of motor vehicle accidents is when large trucks collide with passenger vehicles. While semitrucks are vital to our economy, they are also inherently dangerous to people like you. Tractor-trailers can weigh 30 times as much as cars and take 40 percent more distance to stop. The vast majority of deaths in commercial truck accidents are occupants of passenger vehicles.
Many truck collisions occur due to the negligence of truck drivers. Here are some dangerous factors and behaviors that may contribute to large truck wrecks.
1. Substance use
Driving a truck can be a stressful and demanding occupation. Being a truck driver often involves working long hours and being away from loved ones for weeks or months at a time. These stressors lead some truckers to use various substances. When truck drivers misuse alcohol, prescription medications or illicit drugs, the consequences can be fatal. These substances may cause fatigue and slow reaction times.
2. Reckless driving
A lot of truck drivers face significant pressure to arrive at their destinations according to stringent deadlines. This often results in truckers partaking in a variety of careless behaviors, including speeding, running red lights, swerving, rapidly changing lanes and tailgating.
3. Texting and talking on the phone
Big-rig drivers are prone to distractions just like everyone else. But while it is hazardous for any driver to be distracted, the impact of distracted truck drivers can be especially catastrophic. Some truckers cannot resist the urge to send text messages, take phone calls or use apps while on the road. Just a few seconds of a truck driver looking at a text message can result in a fatal accident.
4. Exceeding federal driving limits
Truck drivers must adhere to federal rules regarding how long they can drive without rest. When drivers choose to ignore these regulations, they may experience a significant amount of fatigue. Fatigue can be just as deadly as impairment and distraction.