- Trucking accidents are rising due to the increasing demands of e-commerce and unsafe driving practices.
- Distractions, fatigue, speeding, poor maintenance, adverse weather, and exhaustion are leading causes of truck accidents.
- Drivers can mitigate risks by maintaining focus on the road, following speed limits, and ensuring vehicle upkeep.
- Drivers must take breaks, rest adequately, and adjust their driving to changing weather conditions.
- Following safety regulations and guidelines can greatly reduce the risk of trucking accidents and improve road safety.
Trucking is an essential part of moving goods around the world. The trucking industry is responsible for transporting billions of tons of cargo annually. However, with the significant responsibilities that come with this job, truck drivers often face dangerous working conditions. The unfortunate reality is that trucking accidents can happen at any moment and have devastating consequences. Here’s what you need to know about trucking accidents, their leading reasons, and ways to avoid them.
Trucking Accidents Today
It’s estimated that over 5,700 people died from large truck crashes in 2021, and many more were injured. This number has steadily increased over the years, with a 52% increase in fatalities from large truck accidents since 2009. With the rise of e-commerce and online shopping, there has been an increase in demand for goods to be transported by trucks, leading to more trucks on the road and, unfortunately, more accidents.
Leading Causes of Trucking Accidents
There are various reasons why trucking accidents occur, but some are more prevalent than others. Here are some of those causes:
1. Distracted Driving
One of the main reasons for trucking accidents is distracted driving. This can include a range of factors, such as using your phone while driving, adjusting the radio, or even eating or drinking while behind the wheel. To avoid distracted driving, you must remain focused and avoid any unnecessary distractions. Use a hands-free system when using your phone, pull over to eat or drink, and avoid multitasking while driving.
Deadlines are a significant cause of trucking accidents. With tight schedules and strict delivery deadlines, many drivers feel pressure to reach their destination quickly, leading to speeding and reckless driving behavior. This can put themselves and others on the road at risk. It’s important to be patient and choose to fail the deadline instead of getting into an accident.
3. Unsafe Speeds
Another leading cause of trucking accidents is unsafe speeds. Truck drivers must understand the importance of following speed limits, especially when driving on unfamiliar roads or in poor weather conditions. It’s always better to arrive late than never to arrive at all.
4. Poor Maintenance
Regular maintenance of your truck is essential to prevent trucking accidents. As a professional truck driver, you must ensure that your truck is always in excellent condition and well-maintained. Regular checks can help catch potential problems early and prevent them from worsening.
5. Weather Conditions
Weather can be unpredictable and can create hazardous driving conditions. As a truck driver, you must be prepared to face adverse weather conditions and adjust your driving accordingly. Never underestimate the impact of weather on the road, and always drive carefully in unfavorable weather conditions.
Due to long hours and tight schedules, truck drivers often experience exhaustion, which can lead to mistakes on the road. Taking breaks and prioritizing rest is essential to ensure you’re well-rested before getting behind the wheel. Additionally, consider consulting an experienced truck labor lawyer if you are overworked. They can help ensure that your employer follows regulations and provides a safe working environment.
Ways to Avoid Trucking Accidents
While some accidents may be unavoidable, there are steps you can take to minimize the risk of trucking accidents. Here are a few tips:
- Properly maintain your truck and conduct regular checks to catch potential problems early.
- Always follow speed limits and adjust your speed according to weather conditions.
- Avoid driving distractions, such as using a phone or eating and drinking.
- Take breaks when needed and ensure you are well-rested before getting behind the wheel.
- Be aware of potential hazards on the road, such as adverse weather conditions or heavy traffic.
- Follow all safety regulations and guidelines set by your employer and the Department of Transportation.
Trucking accidents can have severe consequences, and both truck drivers and other motorists need to be aware of potential causes and how to prevent them. By following safety guidelines, staying alert on the road, and prioritizing rest and proper maintenance, we can reduce trucking accidents on our roads. Remember, safe driving protects yourself and others on the road and ensures that goods are delivered efficiently and on time.