Truck driving is ranked 7th among America’s top 10 most dangerous jobs in Time Magazine, even with the numerous technological advancements in the automotive industry. Large trucks account for 10% of fatal vehicle crashes and pose considerable danger to other vehicles, especially on highways. This is due to reasons ranging from truck design, size and weight to insufficient driver training or rest. However, the importance of the trucking industry can not be undermined either, as it accounts for more freight hauls than any other form of transportation. That said, avoiding truck accidents is in the best interests of everyone, and as a truck driver, it’s your responsibility to drive carefully. If you don’t follow the driving regulations properly, you can get sued or even severely injured. Additionally, you should be careful while driving trucks since they have a higher risk of accidents because of the following factors:
Although there have been numerous mirror and camera device installments to reduce the number of blindspots a truck has, there is still a handful left. When a car is driving alongside a truck, it can easily trail into one of its blind spots, which increases the chances of an accident exponentially. These blind spots make it impossible for a truck driver to see other vehicles, and a sudden side sweep could cause tremendous damage. A truck’s blindspots usually include the rear end, either side and sometimes the front. As a truck driver, you are responsible for driving in the correct lane to avoid these situations. Usually, the truck’s right side is the primary blindspot, so you should keep your truck in the right lane to avoid side sweep accidents.
Risky Acceleration And Braking
Most vehicles require around 300 ft of space to come to a complete stop. On the other hand, trucks require twice as much distance because of their size. When changing lanes, truck drivers need to be extremely careful not to press their brakes too suddenly, as vehicles can be driving around the truck. Turns are hazardous as well, especially on a cargo-loaded truck. Because of the additional weight of the cargo, the chances of the truck overturning become exponential. For instance, trucks usually have to make a wide left swing to make a right turn safely. During this, if any vehicles are moving close to your truck, they are at risk of getting hit. So, in addition to turning distance, you also require sufficient time to make your turns.
Driver fatigue is one of the most prominent reasons for trucking accidents. Since work hours are extremely demanding, truck drivers can find it challenging to get sufficient rest. Consequently, it becomes increasingly difficult for truck drivers to stay alert and properly gauge the driving and speed patterns of other vehicles, which results in accidents.
Although truck drivers are required to take periodic breaks after working for consecutive hours, many drivers neglect to follow this. Plus, many places have extensive traffic issues, for example, the state of Texas. Therefore, you must uphold these regulations, as a semi truck accident attorney in El Paso deems it necessary to ensure you don’t get sued in the event of an accident. Since El Paso is a crowded city with heavy traffic, it’s best to ensure you follow all safety tips when passing through. Drowsy driving causes tons of accidents every year in states like these, so it’s best to ensure you’re rested fully before making your trip here.
Weight And Length
The main reason for trucking accidents is their excessive weight and length. Since most of them are used to transport valuable cargo from one place to another, trucks are almost always loaded up to total capacity, up to 80K pounds. Compare that to a 3K pound car; it’s obvious why truck accidents are so fatal. Moreover, because of its length, it can be difficult to make turns without hitting other vehicles in the process.
The maintenance of heavy-duty vehicles, especially trucks, is expensive and time-consuming. Due to this, many drivers neglect truck maintenance until the very last moment. However, this practice significantly increases the chances of vehicle collisions. You don’t want your truck to break down in the middle of a crowded highway and collide with all the vehicles moving near it. Ensuring that your truck is compliant with state and federal regulations helps avoid mechanical breakdowns during long routes. Ensuring your truck’s safety starts with a pre-inspection test, which takes just 15 minutes, and can save you considerable time and money in the future.
Heavy-duty vehicles are incredibly challenging to handle, as they come with exponential accidental risks. Driving a truck is no easy job, and in addition to following regulations, you also need to get proper training and sufficient rest before every journey. Whether it’s faulty blindspots, difficulty in turning, or your sleepiness, numerous factors make truck driving a dangerous task, which should be done with utmost care and focus.