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What Are The Main Causes Of Truck Accidents And How To Prevent Them

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Trucking, freight transportation, and the logistics industry, in general, are the backbone of any successful economy. Without proper infrastructure, the right vehicles, and good management policies it would not be possible for this industry to flourish and, consequently, it would limit the economic development of a region. However, this is also an extremely stressful job for drivers, fleet managers, and even stakeholders. While the trucks themselves and the cargo that they carry are all extremely valuable, it's also the life of the drivers and the safety of other people on the road that is at risk. Considering the nature of the job and the size of these vehicles, it can have serious consequences for everyone involved. Through proper training and some proactive measures, many accidents can be avoided. These are some of the leading reasons and solutions to these problems.

1.  Driver Fatigue

Among the leading causes of accidents in freight trucks is driver fatigue. Quite simply, the driver is so exhausted that it hinders their ability to drive and manage the vehicle and this eventually results in an accident. There are several reasons for this problem and different measures that can be taken to avoid this. If drivers stick to the rule of only driving their vehicle 8 hours a day and maintaining good driving conditions this can safeguard them against accidents. The problem is when drivers work overtime, trying to cover more miles than they are allowed to, and in doing so, they go beyond their physical limitations. The result can often be a fatal accident.

2.  Driving Under The Influence

Considering the high stress, the loneliness, and the monotony of the job, it is not uncommon to find drivers who resort to some kind of intoxication to keep themselves alert or entertained. With the need for drivers there are a drivers that come into the profession already with drug problems and addiction problems, and this is something that continues as they start to drive. While there is no restriction on drivers consuming alcohol in their off-time, they often bring this to the cabin. As they have no one to supervise their behavior while they are driving and they are often driving across long stretches of barren highway where there is no police either, they are free to do as they please. Moreover, driving under the influence is even more common in situations where the driver is also fatigued and together these two things are a recipe for disaster.

3.  Poor Maintenance

Trucks that are managed by larger freight forwarding companies or are part of a larger fleet, often have routine maintenance.  They have a dedicated servicing team that takes care of the vehicles and there is little chance that they will skip regular maintenance. On the other hand, with driver-operated rigs, the maintenance is up to the owner of the vehicle and they often skip these crucial maintenance breaks. According to experienced truck accident attorneys from the Burch Law Firm, even though truck accident caused by faulty equipment is easy to prevent, it still happens very frequently because people don’t take proper care of their machines. These trucks travel hundreds of thousands of miles every year; maintenance is extremely important not only to keep things going but also serves as a checkup for the truck. It is during maintenance that problems can be uncovered; when left unchecked, big problems arise.

4.  Incorrect Loading

Trucks are often carrying thousands of pounds of cargo of all kinds. If the cargo isn’t packed correctly it can completely upset the weight distribution of the truck and lead to an accident. Especially in larger trucks that have the carriage connected to the cabin through a pivot, an imbalance in the weight can cause the entire truck to flip and roll. Drivers, especially those that are running owner-operator rigs, need to learn how to package and load cargo properly to ensure their own safety and also the safety of the cargo.

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5.  Speeding and Recklessness

At the end of the day, drivers are also human and they do make mistakes. In some cases it might be due to road rage, in other cases, it might be because they are just running late for a delivery, or it could be for any other reason. But when it results in the driver driving the vehicle recklessly it can be extremely dangerous. It is very difficult to take control of a vehicle at high speeds and it is even worse when it is a full-sized truck.

Even though the government and many other institutions are trying to reduce traffic accidents by increasing awareness, providing free training, and providing all kinds of resources that are important for drivers, it is still up to the drivers themselves to take safety into their own hands. With a more calculated approach and better management drivers can make the changes that are necessary to help improve their own safety and create a safer environment for everyone else on the road.