Don't Call It An Accident
By Tim Dollar —
Most crashes involving truckers could have been prevented. They happen for specific reasons. As professionals, truck drivers are trained to avoid dangerous situations. Truck drivers know they’re taking risks when they ignore a multitude of safety standards, and engage in risky behavior.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, driver error is ten times more likely to cause a trucking-related crash than any other factor. Drivers who are distracted, inattentive or even under the influence are hazards, but fatigue is perhaps the biggest danger. Truckers aren’t supposed to drive when they’re tired, but when they do, the danger to other motorists skyrockets.
Commercial truck drivers are supposed to err on the side of caution when it comes to traveling in inclement weather. When roads are slick, a tractor trailer’s braking distance increases dramatically. Many crashes are caused by drivers ignoring local weather reports and not taking into account how much harder it is to steer and stop such a large vehicle.
Equipment failure is second only to driver error as a cause of truck crashes. Worn-out tires and brakes, as well as mechanical and technological failures, should be detected during federally required pre-trip inspections and scheduled maintenance throughout the year. However, these rules are often ignored.
When a truck’s cargo is loaded carelessly, it can cause the load to dangerously shift, even causing the truck to malfunction. Bad loading also leads to trucks toppling over. If cargo is not properly secured, it can even spill out into lanes of traffic.