The deadliest accidents are those that involve semi-trucks. The size disparity between tractor-trailers and passenger vehicles make crashes between them frequently fatal.
Even though the government regulates some aspects of the trucking industry, these alone do not stop accidents from happening. Take a look at some of the factors that contribute to tractor-trailer crashes.
Truckers operate on a 24-hour schedule, picking up a load and delivering it to the recipient within a particular time. While there are government-mandated restrictions on how long a driver may travel before taking a break, truck drivers may still operate their semis extremely fatigued. This may cause them to have slower reflexes, miss exits and misjudge distance. Even though drivers may operate their trailers exhausted, the time of day most fatalities occur is somewhat surprising. According to 2018 crash data, the majority of truck-related deaths occurred between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. The same stats show that a majority of all other vehicle crashes happened between 3 p.m. and midnight.
Drivers do not always operate vehicles using solid judgment. Taking chances behind the wheel may work out for a time, but at some point, the negligent operation of a car may cause an accident. Truck drivers who behave irresponsibly behind the wheel, unfortunately, wind up causing accidents that kill people. Common negligent practices include:
- Substance abuse
- Improper loading
- Subpar maintenance
All vehicle operators should avoid negligent behavior, especially truckers.
At present, the leading contributor to accidents is driving distracted. The allure of reading a text or checking email becomes too great for drivers to avoid, and a few seconds spent looking at a smartphone may result in a lifetime of horrific consequences. Truck drivers are not immune to the distractions faced by other drivers. They have cellphones, in-cab GPS navigation and eat on the road. Unfortunately, if a trucker diverts his or her attention from the road ahead, someone may pay with his or her life.
Semi-trucks are a critical piece of American commerce. Accidents with include tractor-trailers, regardless of the cause, may result in the worst injuries imaginable.