The trucking industry is among the most important industries in the nation. Virtually everything we touch has been influenced in some way by the trucking industry. Everything from the food we eat to the cars we drive travel by truck. We need the trucking industry to continue to live the lives that we currently have in the United States.
However, there is another side of the trucking industry that we must take notice of and change. Annually there are more than 400,000 accidents involving trucks. Those accidents are responsible for 150,000 injuries and 5,000 deaths in the United States alone. Truck accidents happen on highways, city streets, and rural roads.
While stopping the trucking industry is not an option (it would close down commerce), there must be another way to reduce the number of tragedies. In order to do that, we must identify why there are so many accidents.
Breaking The Law
There are laws in place that are there to keep truckers and the public safe. However, a trucker only makes money when he is moving. While he is required to keep a logbook of how many miles he has gone and how many hours he has been on the road, he will often put inaccurate information on the book in an effort to keep his wheels moving. This means there is a truck speeding down the road that weighs thousands of pounds with a driver at the wheel who is sleep deprived and fatigued.
- Turn signals
A truck is a massive force and sometimes the trucker will use that force to intimidate other drivers. Not using turn signals or giving drivers notice of what he is doing is very dangerous.
- Careless drivers
People driving standard vehicles often behave as if the semi next to them can operate his vehicle the same way. Riding too close to the back of a truck means he cannot see you. If he has to hammer down on the breaks, you will not have a chance. Also pulling up beside him without watching for blind spots is a danger. The rule is, if you cannot see his mirror, he cannot see you. Finally, trying to pass and pulling in front of the truck in traffic and hitting the breaks is an invitation to an accident.
While illegal drugs could be an issue, for the purposes of this article we are talking about over the counter drugs. In order to stay awake, the driver may drink energy drinks, take energy pills, and drink lots of coffee. This means he is high and not in full control.
Later, he may take a sleeping pill to help him sleep. Since he rarely sleeps a full night, he wakes up in a haze and drinks another high energy drink.
Driving a truck is like driving a missile. If the driver is not clear of mind and watching out for drivers who do not respect the size of the truck, there is more chance of an accident.
Improper Tie Downs
Truckers haul a lot of big items. These items must be secured to endure the open road. If they are not properly secured, it is a recipe for disaster.
If you are involved in an accident with a truck, it is a good idea to contact a truck accident lawyer. Every driver must be held to the same standards if we are going to reduce these staggering numbers. For more information, speak to our truck accident attorneys today.