Top Ten Causes of Trucking Accidents
When traveling on interstates or any major artery throughout the Palmetto State, you can be certain of sharing the road with any number of large trucks and tractor trailers. A booming industry in the Carolinas, trucking companies provide jobs for many people locally, and drivers spend long hours’ zig zagging both throughout the state as well as across the country delivering the food and goods we rely on each day. Unfortunately, crashes and collisions involving trucks and motorists have become increasingly common, and trucking accidents often end up causing severe and potentially fatal injuries, particularly for automobile drivers. While the most common reasons for these accidents have more to do with conditions regarding the truck and the truck driver, there are steps that motorists can take when driving to help avoid these types of accidents and injuries.
Ten Reasons Trucking Accidents Occur
According to the latest statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), of the more than 3,500 people who die in trucking accidents each year in the United States, nearly 70 percent were automobile drivers and their passengers. The size, weight, and sheer bulk of commercial vehicles means that car drivers are particularly vulnerable to injuries in these accidents, injuries that are often severe, potentially disabling, and even life threatening.
According to Ryder Systems, Inc., a leader in the commercial trucking industry, nearly 500,000 large truck and commercial vehicle accidents occur each year. The top ten causes of these accidents are as follows:
- Failure of driver to obey rules of the road.
- Speeding and unsafe acceleration.
- Underinflated tires.
- Problems with cargo, including shifting and improperly loaded vehicles.
- Driver fatigue.
- Driver substance abuse issues.
- Improper braking.
- Poor truck maintenance.
- Vehicle blind spots.
- Careless and reckless driving behavior.
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Preventing Trucking Accidents
In the Palmetto State alone, the South Carolina Department of Public Safety reports that nearly 6,000 trucking accidents occur each year. While you cannot control the safety or behavior of commercial trucks you encounter on the road, there are ways that you can protect yourself as a driver. The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles recommends these tips for sharing the road with trucks and commercial vehicles:
- Be careful not to drive in trucking no-zones, which are areas to the front, side, and rear of large commercial vehicles in which cars are not visible to drivers.
- Realize that larger vehicles require more time to stop. Be careful changing lanes and avoid having to slam on your brakes in front of a truck by not tailgating or speeding.
- Truck drivers make wide turns and need plenty of room to navigate. Do not follow a truck too closely, and avoid passing a large truck when it is about to make a turn.
No matter how careful you are, truck accidents still happen, yielding catastrophic results most of the time. Suppose you have driven too close to the truck. On the other hand, the truck driver was too exhausted to pay attention to the traffic. Who is liable in such cases? And who will pay for your property damages, medical treatments, emotional distress recovery, lost wages, and so on? To get a complete and correct answer to such questions, you need to consult with a Columbia truck accident lawyer. They will explain the at-fault laws in your state and help you understand your legal rights to compensation.
Let Us Assist You Today
If you or someone you care about has been injured in a trucking accident, contact Anastopoulo Law Firm. Our experienced South Carolina accident attorneys can help you to hold responsible parties accountable do that you can get the compensation you need to recover from your injuries.