Accidents on the road are not only traumatic but can also be costly if the correct procedures are not followed. This is especially true when it comes to accidents involving commercial vehicles. The good news is that if you ever find yourself in such a situation, you can take a few steps to ensure your safety. Here’s what you need to know!
Common Causes Of Trucking Accidents
Due to new technologies and stricter regulations, heavy goods vehicle incidents have become much rarer than they used to be. Nevertheless, many of today’s accidents can still be attributed to the exact causes plaguing the industry for years. According to the Illinois attorneys Blumenshine Law Group there are four common causes listed over at blumenshinelawgroup.com/illinois-truck-accident-attorneys that range from defective equipment to reckless driving. Learning about them may greatly increase your chances of avoiding them.
1. Defective Equipment
Defective trucking equipment is any type of trucking equipment that is considered to be broken and unusable. The most common types of faulty trucking equipment are:
* Vehicle parts
* Tires and wheels
* Engine components
* Air brake systems
* Steering systems
Although Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Regulations have stringent rules regarding servicing and maintenance, trucking companies can violate these rules if they lack proper driver training or try to cut costs.
2. Driving Recklessly Or Carelessly
Careless or reckless driving is a legal term, which means that the driver didn’t take care and was not paying attention to what they were doing. It could also mean the driver did not drive with reasonable care or due regard for other people’s safety. This is arguably one of the most common reasons for trucking accidents across the US. Some examples include:
* Driving at an excessive speed while having an evident and unjustifiable disregard for the safety of other persons or property
* Driving in a manner that indicates a reckless disregard for the safety of others
* Ignoring the safety of others either on purpose or negligence
3. Overexertion Or Fatigue
Similarly to the rules surrounding maintenance, there are equally stringent rules concerning how long a driver can remain active. Fatigue-related crashes are a significant cause of fatalities among truck drivers, other road users, and pedestrians in the trucking industry. Fatigue can result from a lack of sleep, irregular work schedules, or long driving hours. Truck drivers often experience fatigue because they are typically on the road for over ten hours per day and may be away from home for weeks at a time.
4. Untrained Drivers
Untrained truck drivers are dangerous to themselves and others on the road. They are not aware of all the hazards that exist on the highway and may not know how to react in specific scenarios. This lack of awareness can lead to accidents that can result in serious injuries or even death. Therefore it is essential for inexperienced truck drivers who are new to the job to take safety courses to be better prepared for situations they may encounter while driving.
In The Event Of A Trucking Accident, Here Is What You Should Do
As stated in the introduction, almost all road incidents are traumatic events. However, they can take on a further dimension when you are involved in a work-related incident. What should you do if you are at the wheel of a heavy goods vehicle and an accident occurs? Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to reduce the impact and control the situation after the event.
Stop Your Truck In A Safe Place
No matter how minor or severe the situation is, you must attempt to remain calm and find a suitable place to pull over and stop your vehicle. If you can safely do so, you should try to move out of traffic to avoid further complications. You should turn on your hazard lights and move to the next step. Furthermore, you should check that you and any passengers you might be carrying are OK.
Contact The Emergency Services
Once you can do so, you should contact 911 and explain the situation. Calmly and coherently answer all of the ere questions to the best of your knowledge, including:
* The status of you and your passengers
* The type and severity of the accident
* If there were others included
* Your location
It is possible that there will be other questions, and you may be asked to stay on the line until a first responder arrives. However, the critical point is to remain as calm as possible and be aware of your surroundings.
Accidents involving trucks are among the most devastating. Often, truck accidents cause more severe injuries than car accidents due to their weight and inertia. Therefore, truck drivers and haulage companies must take every precaution to prevent these accidents.