18-wheeler accidents are so much more common than you might think right now. Over 5,000 people died because of them in 2019 and the number is on the rise. Unfortunately, most deaths happen with occupants of the passenger vehicles.
We all have to understand the fact that 18-wheelers are very dangerous in vehicle accidents. They are very heavy and take up to 40% more space and time to come to a full stop.
At the end of the day, we all need to be prepared to prevent unwanted situations that could harm us. So, according to a specialized 18-wheeler accident lawyer with tens of years of experience, these are the most common reasons why such accidents happen.
Truck Driver Fatigue
Most truck drivers find themselves in the unwanted situation in which they are against the clock as they have to deliver loads on a very tight schedule. This often forces them to stay behind the wheel for way too long. Fatigue can easily set in and drowsing driving actually ends up being as dangerous as being intoxicated.
According to the NTSB, around 40% of the larger truck accidents appear because of truck drivers being fatigued. However, the number might be so much higher because not many accident reports actually highlight such an impairment.
The NHTSA showed that thousands of people die every year due to distracted driving. And we know that over 70 percent of the large truck crashes happen because an operator was not fully focused on driving.
When mentioning distracted driving, people know that this means the driver did something else than drive and keep their eyes on the road, like being on the phone, texting, or eating. However, drivers will also become distracted by the objects that are outside the vehicle, like ads on the roadway and billboards.
In 2020, vehicle speeding was the reason for almost 30 percent of all the traffic fatalities in the US. When traveling at a high speed, 18-wheelers are particularly dangerous. This is because of the huge size when compared to almost all other vehicles on the road. The truck cannot stop fast when faced with an emergency so the speeding truck is just much more likely to become a huge hazard on the road when speeding.
Reckless Or Aggressive Driving
Poor driver decisions like reckless driving and aggressive driving were an accident reason for close to forty percent of the commercial trucking accidents. This includes any behavior or act that is disregarding other people’s safety while on the road, like:
- Excessive speeding
- Erratic changing of lanes
- Not obeying traffic signs
- Improper passing
- Obscene gestures
Whenever you see truck drivers operating vehicles in an aggressive or reckless manner, it is important to contact 911. There are also special numbers that you can call from the commercial trucking companies you can use to report aggressive, reckless, and negligent drivers.
Intoxicated And Impaired Drivers
The last cause we have to highlight is one we normally do not think about when looking at truck drivers since they should be professional. There are specific federal regulations that prohibit the commercial truck driver to drive when under the influence of all psychoactive drugs. This does include legal medications. Even so, many choose to break the rules in order to spend more time on the road. Such behavior can lead to horrible conclusions.