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Truck driver fatigue and other accident hazards

| May 13, 2020 | Firm News

In a collision with a truck, it’s almost certain that a smaller vehicle will come out of the crash with worse damage and injuries.

In March, a collision between a motorist and an oil tanker in Cary hospitalized the motorist, who crashed into the rear of the truck.

That crash was the motorist’s fault and occurred from behind, yet the driver still left the scene with severe injuries. It’s clear that truck drivers carry a massive burden on the roadways.

What causes trucking accidents?

Trucking accidents are more likely to involve two or more vehicles than crashes among other types of vehicles, with thousands of fatalities occurring each year.

The following are a few potential causes of trucking accidents:

  • Fatigued drivers – sleep deprivation affects many long-haul truckers, who often pull 10-hour days on the road. It’s easy to imagine how this issue can drastically increase the odds of a collision. In fact, 60% of fatal crashes in 2017 were the result of fatigue on the road.
  • Drug and alcohol use – this is a serious issue for all types of motorists, but given the higher likelihood that a semi-truck accident will involve another vehicle, the use of substances while driving a truck becomes an even greater public safety risk.
  • Difficulty stopping a truck – on average, it takes a truck at least 525 feet to stop, compared to just over 300 feet for a car. At higher speeds, this length grows, which accounts for a number of accidents.
  • Inclement weather – icy conditions and snow are two of the most dangerous driving hazards. Given the distance required to stop and the weight of a truck, the risk is high for a collision if the roads are slippery. There’s a reason you’ll see ramps designated for “runaway” trucks on high elevation mountain passes.

Prevention starts with knowing the risks. Always drive defensively around large trucks and semis, and be alert to your surroundings.

It’s important to contact an attorney if you’ve been involved in a trucking accident. Insurance companies may not provide you the full amount of coverage needed to recover following such a major accident.