Driver Error: The Cause of more than 90% of Truck Accidents
Compared to cars, 18-wheelers are much harder to maneuver; these huge vehicles also require more room, especially when making turns or driving along curves. This is why operating 18-wheeler or a big-rig requires special skills. Thus, before a person can be issued a commercial driver’s license, which will allow him or her to operate a truck (or a bus), he or she will first have to undergo a special training and a series of tests aimed at making sure that he or she can operate one safely.
There are more than two million semi-trailers currently operating in the U.S., according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). One fourth of these huge vehicles, that is 500,000 trucks, is said to get involved in accidents every year, with thousands of these accidents being fatal.
One of the common causes of truck accidents is a truck driver’s failure to check his or her blind spot, especially before making turns or making lane changes. A blind spot is an area where smaller vehicles are not visible to truck drivers. These blind spots, where most accidents occur, include a truck’s front, back area and sides, especially the passenger side.
Failure to check blind spots is a driver error which, according to the Federal Motor carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), is the cause of more than 90% of accidents involving trucks. Besides this failure, other errors attributed to truck drivers include driver fatigue, intoxication from prescription and/or over-the-counter-drugs which results to impaired driving, and speeding or driving too fast for road conditions.
The dangers that 18-wheelers or a big-rigs pose on the road make it imperative for truck drivers to observe all necessary safety measures. They should always realize that, due to the size of their vehicle, one mistake on their part can result to a deadly accident. Though it is true that they and, in certain instances, their employer, may be held liable for an accident that would occur, these accidents are nothing more than results of negligence, making these totally preventable. Accident lawyers from the Scudder & Hedrick, PLLC, law firm advises people who have been in a vehicle accident or caused an accident to find out and know about their legal rights and options to help their case.