Driving near 18-wheelers can be very stressful and intimidating, especially in areas that are heavily congested with the large trucks. The Southeast’s highway system is full of tractor-trailer vehicles. Because of the nature of the business of 18-wheelers, they spend more time on the roads than other vehicles – which means they are frequently involved in traffic accidents. When they are involved in a crash, it can be especially devastating due to the size, speed, and travel loads that trucks carry.
All car accidents are terrible, but those involving 18-wheelers are typically more serious than others because of the size and weight variation of involved vehicles. Big truck will always have a heavy presence on the road, so it’s important to be conscious of them. Below are four common causes of 18-wheeler related accidents:
- Distracted driving. This is a concern for all drivers on the road, but automobile accidents can be especially devastating when truck-drivers are distracted. Everyday people are guilty of being on their cell phones, using other electronics, and other reasons to take their eyes off the road. When 18-wheelers are involved in such accidents, results can be especially destructive.
- Irresponsible driving. This can result from unrealistic scheduling for truck drivers, or neglect to the truck itself. Often times, truck driver are expected to drive for many consecutive hours in order to meet delivery requirements, and it can lead to driver exhaustion. Such results can often end in drivers being too tired to drive, sometimes even falling asleep at the wheel.
- Traffic violations. This is another that all drivers on the road are guilty of, but it can often be much different for truck drivers. For example, if a car is tailing another car that slams on their brakes very quickly, the driver that is tailing may be able to brake quickly enough to avoid a collision. But truck drivers are not able to brake as quickly, and accidents can be more common as a result. The same goes for speeding. Many times, vehicles will cut off 18-wheelers, or try to speed by them. But trucks may not be able to stop as quickly or be as mobile as other vehicles. So minor traffic violations can often result in extreme consequences when 18-wheelers are involved.
- DUI. This doesn’t just go for alcohol, but also drugs. Even drugs that are legally prescribed to a driver can lead to accidents. Many prescription medications warn against driving while using. Because driving takes up a large part of truck drivers’ lives, this may not be realistic and drivers will choose to operate their trucks while under the influence of prescription drugs. It doesn’t make it acceptable, but it should be known that day-to-day decisions when involving medication could often lead to extreme consequences on the road. Regardless of the reason, anything that impairs someone’s ability to operate vehicles takes the lives of many every year.