Accidents involving commercial trucks can result in serious property damage and fatal bodily harm because of the catastrophic effects brought on by the sheer size and weight of trucks. Since these vehicles are large and heavy, they develop momentum at high speeds, which makes it difficult for them to stop quickly after hitting brakes.
When a truck driver does not pay attention and becomes distracted from the road or experiences a sudden change in road conditions, the consequences can be destructive. Trucks need more distance and time to stop, even when an obstacle is a few hundred meters away. Despite the many safety features introduced by trucking companies and steps taken by the government to curb truck accidents, they are still on the rise. There are several major causes of truck accidents, including:
One of the leading causes of truck accident is driver fatigue, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. The federal government has taken many steps to avoid this problem, such as implementation of fixed duration of service hours. However, most drivers are still operating vehicles without getting enough sleep. Being tired or sleep deprived results in slowed reaction times, increasing the risk of accidents tenfold. In some cases, the driver has been reported to have slept behind the wheel, leaving the moving truck practically driverless.
Truck Law Violations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is a federal government entity that was established in 1999 with the purpose to reduce trucking law violations. Some of the common violations reported by the FMCSA include:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Driving with an expired or invalid Illinois commercial license
- Exceeding hours of service
- Excessive truck height, load, length, and weight
- Driving on unapproved roads
- Leaving the scene of an accident
Unfortunately, with detailed rules and regulations in place, trucking companies continue to ignore them and violate the law for their own purposes.
Truck Maintenance Issues
Improper tire pressure, faulty brakes, inappropriate weight distribution of cargo loads, and others can be a major factor resulting in truck accidents. Trucking companies are required to regularly maintain, inspect, and repair trucks to keep them up to the safety standards. Safety parts, including reflective devices, lamps, emergency braking systems, and hazardous materials warnings must be installed in trucks before they are dispatched for commute. However, trucking companies ignore these standards and regulations, thereby placing other vehicles sharing the road in peril.
Truck Driver Negligence
Distracted driving and driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol are some of the major causes of truck accidents. Texting, consuming alcohol, changing radio channels, and many others cause the driver to lose track of changing road curves or speeds of the vehicles in front, making it difficult for them to quickly maneuver and adapt to the changed circumstances.
If you have been in a truck accident, you may make a personal injury claim against the driver or the trucking company based on your specific situation. It is recommended to hire a trucking accident attorney who can help you get maximum compensation.
Contact Fisk & Monteleone Ltd. today at 815-209-9030 to schedule a free case consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.