Truck drivers are trained to handle the strain and hazards posed by long hours of driving. However, no matter how well trained they are, this does not make them immune to mistakes. In fact, driver error is actually the number one cause of truck accidents. They are more than ten times likely to be responsible for an accident than any other cause, including truck performance, road conditions or adverse weather. These accidents can be rather serious, as tractor-trailers are large and heavy vehicles. Even minor collisions with them present the risk of serious damage and injury to other cars and motorists.
Sadly, one of the most common causes of driver error is also one of the most preventable. Intoxication from prescription and over-the-counter drugs accounts for 42 percent of driver-related collisions. These drugs affect drivers’ motor skills and cognitive abilities, leaving them ill-equipped to handle the hazard of highway driving.
The second most common error truck drivers make is driving too quickly. Speed is to blame for nearly a quarter (23 percent) of driver-caused truck accidents. While speeding is always dangerous no matter what type of vehicle a person is driver, it is even more dangerous in a tractor-trailer. These large trucks can be difficult to maneuver and slow to stop, especially when a driver is traveling too quickly.
Fatigue is to blame for approximately 18 percent of driver-caused crashes. This is no surprise, as truck drivers are expected to log long hours and travel great distances every day. The monotony and lack of sleep leaves many drivers fatigued. This slows their reaction time and leaves them less able to make quick and intelligent driving decisions.
Truck accidents are often very serious, with the potential to cause catastrophic injuries or death for drivers and passengers. For more information on your options after a crash, consult the skilled personal injury attorneys at North Carolina’s Lanier Law Group, P.A.