In 2019, large truck accidents have increased by 43% from 2010. 5,005 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes. They account for around 10% of all types of vehicles that have been involved in crashes that had deaths.
Typical Causes of Truck Accidents
Most truck accidents are caused by human error, either by the truck driver or the other party involved. However, these accidents can be prevented if you know what to look out for.
Truck maintenance is important. It is the linchpin of any trucking company whether they provide tanker trucks for hire or they’re flatbed truck companies. Most trucks have air brakes but when they malfunction, they become 80,000 pounds of pure deadly force on the road.
Accidents caused by careless drivers who are unaware of a truck’s blind spots are quite common. Motorists should be aware that when driving behind or next to a truck, they should exercise greater caution because truck drivers cannot see everything in their surroundings from their angle.
A rollover is perhaps the most common truck accident. Anything can cause a truck to tip over when it careens out of control. A miscalculation, a guard rail, a curb, or a vehicle can cause it to turn and flip over several times.
There is a reason why trucks have a cargo weight limit. Certain rules were set in place for cargo securement. It usually has to do with keeping everyone safe on the road. Anytime a truck is hauling more than the limit, the truck might not respond well to the driver’s maneuvers and cause him to lose control of the vehicle.
Bad Tires or Blowouts
Another maintenance-related accident is a blowout. This is especially bad if trucks are running at high speeds and their bad tires explode. This can cause them to lose control of the vehicle which could be deadly to the traffic around them.
Cargo that’s not secured properly can fall off on the highway and cause other cars to get into collisions and sideswipes.
Road Safety Violations and Negligence
Ignoring traffic rules and signs is also a common cause of vehicular accidents. However, it becomes deadlier when truck drivers are the ones that ignore the rules.
In most cases, trucks haul cargo across different states and it takes a driver days or weeks to reach a destination. Understandably, fatigue will set in and cause drivers to fall asleep behind the wheel. This is why it is recommended that drivers take advantage of truck stops to get as much rest as they can.
A driver’s existing medical conditions also come into play in some road accidents. Even if a driver is healthy, the amount of stress and lack of quality rest can trigger certain medical conditions which could range from being an inconvenience to downright deadly.
Distracted driving is one of the main causes of vehicular accidents. Anything that takes your focus off the road can lead to something disastrous so keep your eyes on the road at all times.
What to Do in a Truck Accident
When you’re caught in an accident or you happen to be on the scene when it happened, these are the things you should do:
Step 1: Do not panic
Panicking impairs your judgment and clouds your mind. You need to maintain your composure so you can function and respond better to help out.
Step 2: Call for police and medical assistance
Call 911 to report the accident and request medical assistance. Do not delay this. This is the very first thing you should do in any vehicular accident.
Step 3: Identify all the parties involved in the accident
Properly identify the people involved in the crash. If you’re a part of it make sure that you and your company are safe and well and see to the other vehicle’s passengers.
Step 4: Get the information of all parties involved
When you get involved in an accident, make sure you exchange information with all the other parties involved. This will help you keep track of each other for compensation.
Step 5: Look for witnesses
Take a look at your surroundings and see if there are witnesses to the accident. You can get their recollection of the incident or get their contact information in case further details are needed for the investigation.
Step 6: Document the accident
Take photos of the accident site from different angles so you have evidence to show the police and the insurance company to prove who was at fault. If anyone was injured because of the accident, take pictures of the injuries as well.
Whether you’re driving a large truck or a smaller vehicle, any time you’re behind the wheel and on the road, you should exercise greater caution to avoid accidents. Drive defensively and buckle up at all times.