It’s summertime, and that means vacations and more travelers on the roads. With this comes more vehicle accidents and collisions. Tragically, tractor trailers cause a dramatically increasing number of these crashes, which often result in death or severe injuries for all involved.
160,000 Americans are injured every year due to truck crashes. Many of these accidents can be prevented by the truck driver or the trucking company.
In this blog, Tony O’Dell discusses the main causes behind tractor-trailer crashes and some actions that can be taken to prevent them.
What are some of the most common causes of tractor-trailer accidents?
The most common cause of tractor-trailer accidents is the failure of trucking companies to hire qualified drivers or adequately train and supervise their drivers. Since the pandemic, we are seeing many more unqualified drivers on the roads. It is frightening even to imagine unqualified drivers driving huge tractor-trailers because they can kill multiple people at once. Add in the trucking companies’ failure to adequately train the drivers or properly supervise them once they are on the road, and you have a recipe for disaster.
Speed is absolutely another one of the most devastating causes of injuries in trucking cases. Most trucking companies pay their drivers by the mile and not by the hour. It doesn’t take much thought to understand why truckers speed.
We have seen some horrific, fiery crashes involving big trucks, and there are a lot of causes like speeding, sleepiness, texting, and following too closely. And many are sadly foreseeable due to the long-standing system failures of the trucking companies.
What are some things trucking companies are doing to help prevent accidents?
First, hire qualified drivers. And then properly train and supervise the drivers. Trucking companies have so many ways to supervise their employees. For example, GPS. They now also have dash cams and driver-facing cameras so they can always see what’s happening in the truck’s path and inside the cab. This is a great way for safe companies to supervise their drivers while also protecting themselves from false claims. Common sense tells us that supervised drivers are safe drivers. This helps supervisors see if their drivers are texting, messing around on computers, driving while drowsy, and doing things they shouldn’t be doing. The companies have to ensure that they are monitoring their drivers because monitored and supervised drivers are safe drivers.
How do truck drivers help prevent accidents?
Some of these trucks are the size of a seven-story building, so their rules are a bit different from regular drivers like us. There should be a second for every ten feet of the truck between the truck and the vehicle in front of them. If a truck is 70 feet long, the distance should be 7 seconds. Some of these trucks – single trailer, double trailer – are much more dangerous, much more unstable. It’s very important for truck drivers to maintain a safe distance because it takes them a long time to stop and a longer time to steer, so they don’t want to do anything that requires an abrupt steer or stop. Truck drivers must be patient. They must drive at safe speeds and not tailgate. Otherwise, it is too late for them to stop once something happens.
The lawyers at Tiano O’Dell have been handling trucking crash cases for over 30 years and work diligently to find the root cause behind these cases to bring the client the justice they deserve while at the same time helping make sure it doesn’t happen to someone else. You need experienced trucking lawyers on your side. The quicker we can have our team of dedicated lawyers and experts on the case to collect and preserve evidence, the better it is for the client. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed due to a tractor-trailer accident, call Tiano O’Dell for a free consultation.