Driving semi-trailer trucks and 18 wheelers poses inherent dangers. Due to their size and speed, these trucks can cause severe damage to roads.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were 4,862 deaths in large truck accidents in 2018. Large truck deaths were 55% caused by singles. This includes 18-wheelers.
A large truck accident can lead to many complications. After an accident, you should consult an 18-wheeler lawyer immediately. An 18-wheeler accident lawyer can help you with all aspects, including insurance claims and liability.
Why is 18-wheeler so dangerous?
What makes 18-wheelers safer than regular vehicles? Let’s take a look at some of these reasons.
A combination of speed and weight: An average car weighs 1.5 tons, while a fully loaded tractor can weigh up to 40 tons. This is almost 27 times the average car’s weight. Imagine a 40-ton truck traveling 60 mph, colliding with a small vehicle. It could have devastating consequences.
Distances to stop: Large trucks are more difficult than cars. In ideal conditions, it takes a passenger car travelling at 65 mph to stop at 315 feet. It takes 525ft for a 40-ton truck to stop at the same speed. Brake lag is another problem for large trucks. Air brakes can cause a delay in the time between when the driver presses the brake pedal to the moment that the brakes are applied. 18-wheelers must stop farther.
Four large blindspots: An 18-wheeler can have four large blindspots. These blindspots are located at the sides, back and front. Because of their truck’s size and height, drivers may have trouble spotting smaller vehicles in these areas. Small vehicles can be in danger if they aren’t aware of their blind spots.
Semitrucks transport hazardous materials: Semitrucks frequently carry hazardous material on American roads. Because of the stricter regulations, drivers must complete specialized training to become hazmat drivers. Radiologically hazardous materials include radiologically dangerous or radiologically hazardous items. These materials can cause severe damage to the environment or people if they are exposed.
Unsecured cargo Some 18-wheelers don’t have enclosed trailers. Semis may have an open flatbed, which requires either the driver or the semi driver to secure the cargo. Negligently tying down cargo can lead to injury or even death. The most popular types of cargo are car parts, raw materials and industrial tools.
As you can see, there are many risks when driving an 18-wheeler. If you don’t reduce these risks, an accident could occur. If another person is negligent, you can claim compensation. An attorney who is experienced in 18-wheeler accidents will be able to help you decide the best course.
COMMON CAUSES18 WHEELER ACCIDENTS
It can be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of an 18-wheeler crash. Sometimes the truck driver isn’t the only person responsible for an accident. An accident can be caused by multiple factors. These are the most common causes of 18-wheeler accident.
Drivers must undergo extensive training before they can obtain a Commercial Drivers License. Each state has its own requirements. However, the basic requirements are to pass a written exam, get a learning permit, and then take a driving test.
Due to the increasing demand for truck drivers, companies may be hiring unqualified drivers. Trucking license fraud cases where trucking schools issue false licenses could lead to more inexperienced truck driver on the roads.
Fatigue in Driver
According to the FMCSA, fatigue was a contributing factor in 13% all accidents involving commercial motor vehicles drivers. Truck drivers are often required to drive long hours in challenging conditions. It is possible to fall asleep behind the wheel a large truck.
To counter this risk, hours-of-service regulations (HOS) are in place. They limit driving hours. After 10 hours of off-duty, drivers are limited to driving for only 11 hours. Drivers are also required to take breaks throughout their shifts. Despite these regulations, driver fatigue can still happen. Drivers who fail to comply with HOS regulations can cause driver fatigue. This makes the roads unsafe for everyone.
Distracted driving is often a factor in truck crashes and near-crash. Truck driver distractions account for nearly 80 percent of truck crashes. You can distract yourself from driving in many different ways. It can be done inside or outside of the cab.
- Using dispatch devices
- Food and beverages
- Look at the billboards
- Setting the GPS
Technology has made it more difficult for drivers to stay focused on the road. An 18-wheeler accident can be caused by a momentary distraction from mobile phones and tablets to in-cab displays or in-cab displays.
To ensure safe operation of trucks, trucking companies must follow FMCSA maintenance guidelines. These maintenance requirements include checking for tires, fuel systems, and brakes. Routine safety inspections are required for these parts to ensure compliance.
Trucking companies might cut corners when it comes to truck maintenance. Trucking companies might choose to do as little maintenance as possible to save money. Neglecting to properly maintain your truck could result in serious accidents. Truck drivers, trucking companies, as well as maintenance contractors, all need to be responsible for maintaining the truck.
Poor weather conditions can also lead to an 18-wheeler crash. There are many possible causes for an 18-wheeler accident, including high winds, snow, rain, ice and fog. Due to the large blind spots and increased stopping distance, truckers need to be extra cautious in inclement weather.
Federal regulations allow truck drivers to refuse to drive. Drivers often have to meet strict delivery deadlines. Drivers might choose to drive in bad weather conditions, but still be at risk of an accident.