If you frequent the freeways or even county and state highways, you realize how many semi trucks are out on the road. Due to the size and power of these vehicles, they can also cause serious accidents. When a semi truck is involved in an accident with a smaller vehicle, the results can be disastrous. The causes of these accidents are often completely preventable, making the effects even more devastating.
The DOT has¬†strict guidelines¬†in place for how long drivers are allowed to be on the road in a given time period. All drivers must take a 10-hour rest period and then are allowed to drive through a 14-hour period, but cannot drive more than 11 hours of that period. They may not drive more than 8 hours consecutively and must take breaks of at least a half-hour. However, despite these regulations, many drivers do suffer from fatigue, resulting in slow response times and poor decision making.
Because semi truck drivers spend so many hours on the road, it is easy for them to become distracted. Many companies have policies against cell phone use and other similar distractions, but they can be difficult to enforce. Some of the most common distractions for truck drivers besides cell phones include:
- Using navigation tools
- Changing radio stations
- Talking on the CB
Anything that takes the driver’s eyes off the road qualifies as a distraction that can lead to a serious accident.
Semi trucks are supposed to undergo regular checks and maintenance, both by the driver while on runs and by the company that owns the truck. Unfortunately, many of these inspections go undone and the maintenance of these trucks may be sorely neglected, especially by drivers who also own their trucks. The lack of maintenance and inspections can lead to malfunctions that cause serious accidents out on the road that can injure or kill other drivers.
Unsafe Driving Practices
While not all truck drivers are bad drivers, many become so accustomed to driving that they begin to exercise poor driving practices. This can include:
- Speeding to cover more ground in a shorter period of time
- Changing lanes frequently
- Failure to properly check blind spots
- Not using the turn signal
- Following too closely
- Road rage
All it takes is one unsafe maneuver to create a chain reaction that results in an accident.
Driving on the road with a¬†semi truck¬†can be a dangerous endeavor, which is why all drivers need to exercise caution out on the road. If truck drivers learn these important ways to reduce their risk of getting involved in an accident, the roads will become a safe place for everyone.
If you have been injured in a semi truck accident due to one of these issues or another cause,¬†contact The Truck Accident Attorneys¬†to learn how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.